Forget what you know about typical resume writing. While you may find yourself summarizing your work history into a one-page document for a typical job application, your federal resume should be more detailed and run two-to-five pages in length for an entry-level job. A federal resume uses the same information from a typical resume, but goes into more depth about your skills, past duties and accomplishments.
To write your federal resume, we strongly suggest using the Resume Builder available on USAJOBS.gov. It will guide you through the resume writing process, ensuring that you do not leave out important pieces of your application. It also allows you to store multiple resumes, so that you can tailor each one to a different position. The Resume Builder will also eliminate decorative formatting by generating a template that looks the same for every applicant, ensuring a fair and equal process.
Provide basic information, including your name, contact information, and citizenship. Most positions require applicants to be a U.S. citizen in order to apply, but there may be exceptions for hard to fill jobs. You also need to identify whether you have ever worked for the federal government and whether you qualify for veteran's preference. If you have never served on active duty in the Armed Forces, then you are not eligible for veteran’s preference.
Required: Name, contact information, citizenship, whether you claim veteran’s preference, federal employee information
List the required elements for any relevant jobs you've held. Each component is essential to your resume meeting the minimum qualifications. Experienced workers may choose to list only jobs held in the last 10 years.
Required: Employer, location, position title, start and end date, average hours worked per week, responsibilities and accomplishments
Optional: You may want to include your supervisor(s) as a reference. Including your salary is also optional and will not exclude your resume from consideration
Include basic information about all schools attended and coursework completed. Only list degrees from accredited schools or programs that meet the Office of Personnel Management’s standards. If you wish to substitute education for experience to qualify for a job, you must include the information about coursework in your resume. To ensure that you receive appropriate credit for your academic credentials, you should provide as much information as possible.
Required: Schools attended, degrees obtained
Optional: Grade point averages, relevant coursework taken, academic papers or projects, key presentations, honors received, other important accomplishments
It is to your advantage to provide as much relevant information as possible in any of these optional sections. A federal resume can range from two to five (or more) pages so you can expand your accomplishments and demonstrate why you are qualified for the position.
A well-written resume allows you to highlight your accomplishments and display your competitive skills, which demonstrates to the employer your value and ultimately determines your pay level.
Include any classes, seminars, coursework, certifications, or trainings you have completed that relates to your professional development and the position description.
In addition to your supervisors, you may choose to provide professional or personal references who can vouch for your character, work ethic and dependability. Individuals you have worked with closely—such as colleagues, classmates and mentors—will add to your credibility as an applicant.
Include any language experience you may have and level of proficiency.
List any professional associations, societies, clubs or other organizations you are affiliated with. Highlight any leadership role and volunteer experience you may have had, to the extent that it relates to the job description.
Include any publications you have contributed to, along with the publication name and date.
You can include any other relevant pieces of your resume in this section: skills, awards, leadership activities, public speaking engagements, volunteer experience or other items that may not fit in a section above. You may choose to list your availability, the type of work environment you seek and your desired location. These items will not exclude your resume from consideration, but are simply used for recruiters to determine your interest.