Is your resume one page? That’s fine for a private sector job. Your government resume, however, will need to have more detail, and it’s likely to grow to about two to five pages.
Key Components of a Federal Resume
The best way to create a federal resume is to use the resume builder on the federal government’s jobs website, USAJOBS. The resume builder will guide you through the whole process. And you don’t have to stick with one. You can create a resume tailored to fit different positions you apply for. You can also create a searchable, master resume, so HR specialists can contact you if there’s an opportunity that fits your skills and experience.
Building a Federal Resume
A federal resume will ask your citizenship status and most, but not all, positions require you to be a U.S. citizen. You’re also asked if you’ve worked for the federal government before and if you qualify for veterans preference—that is, you’ve served on active duty in the Armed Forces.
Your resume should list all the relevant jobs you’ve held.
Required: Employer, location, title, start and end date, average hours worked per week, responsibilities and accomplishments for each job you list.
Optional: A supervisor(s) as a reference and salary, although not listing salary doesn’t exclude resumes from consideration.
Include information on the schools you attended and the relevant coursework you completed. Only list degrees from accredited schools, or programs that meet the Office of Personnel Management’s standards. Provide as much information as possible to support your case that you’re the best person for the job.
Required: Schools attended and degrees obtained.
Optional: Grade-point averages, relevant coursework, academic papers or projects, key presentations, honors received, other important accomplishments.
For the best shot at a position, provide as much pertinent information as possible in optional sections, including:
This could include classes, seminars, coursework, certifications or training that relates to the skills and experience the position requires.
Consider listing professional or personal references who can vouch for your character, work ethic and dependability—such as colleagues, classmates and mentors.
Include the languages you have experience in, and your level of proficiency.
Use this to list professional associations, societies, clubs or other organizations you belong to and to highlight leadership roles and volunteer experiences you’ve had that relate to the position description.
If you’ve been published, include the outlets you’ve contributed to, the publication names and the date your submissions were published.
You can add other relevant information, including awards, leadership activities, public speaking engagements or volunteer experience. You can also add your availability, the type of work environment you seek and your desired location. Even if your interests and desires don’t match the position’s needs, your resume will stay in the running.