How to write a federal resume that standout for government job applications

how to write a federal resume
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Do you have a burning desire to work in a government institution as a full-time employee?

If yes, then this blog is a must-read!

It is an art that not anyone can master. It is best if left to the professionals. Only someone with the acumen to provide artisanship in writing a resume  can make your government job application stand out like an elite.

It requires a hawk’s attention to detail and a profound intellect to understand the specific job requirements and expectations for any federal job opportunity. In this blog post, we have outlined a few tips through which you can attempt to create a compelling federal resume. 

You will see the difference between an ordinary-looking resume and a federal one, as it gives due prominence to educational qualifications, skills, and experiences to increase the probability of locking in the government position you have ever always dreamt of.

Find out how to write a federal resume using the steps and advice provided here, or rely on the experts to make sure your application stands out.

How to Write Federal Resume

First of all, it is not just a piece of paper. It is a detailed and comprehensive document that provides specific information, or in detail – , that would help the government in profiling yourself you and the relevance of your work experience with the job requirement.

Unlike a one or two-page professional resume, a federal one is usually longer because it needs to be customized per requirements stipulated by the federal hiring managers and human resources personnel. Since it is a government job, the federal resume will have information such as citizenship status, personal details, and other information for security clearance.

Some critical elements of your federal resume may include the following:

  1. Contact Information
  2. Citizenship Status
  3. GS Grade
  4. Veteran’s Status
  5. Work Experience
  6. Education
  7. Reference Details for Vetting

Understanding the Federal Resume Format

It is pivotal that you understand the federal resume format. One way to do so is to get acquainted with the official USAJOBS Resume Builder. You will learn how to create a federal resume, and from the very start, you will ensure that the format complies with federal guidelines mandated by different government organizations.

In the builder, you will see a structure to every resume, each segmented into different sections, such as contact information, objective statement, professional experience, education, relevant skills, certifications, and references. One note of caution! –  Be precise and accurate, as all the information will be vetted and checked.

Transform Your Ordinary Resume into a federal resume.

What is the first thing you do when you see a government job announcement advertisement? You analyze! 


Go old school.

Take a piece of paper and pen down the specific particulars, such as what keywords or key titles are used. Does your education qualifications match with that of the requirement? If you don’t qualify, don’t apply. Even if you are overqualified, don’t push your luck. These are government organizations, not fantasy islands.

After preliminary screening of the job advertisement, craft your federal resume and justify with reasons how your skills match the position’s requirements. Also, how you present your resume tells a lot about your behavioral pattern, but let’s not get into the psychological factor as it is a different domain altogether.

Quantification of achievements is a must. Consider this as condensing complex sentences into a few words. When it comes to government organizations, they love the simplification an individual puts into an effort as it helps create a positive impact and marks your accomplishments as distinguished.

Education and Training

If you have a huge ladder of educational qualifications, try to list them so that your relevant degree or training matches the job requirement. Moreover, if you received any licensed or certified training from your previous organization and can add value to the opportunity, please mention it as well.

Additional Documents

Almost all federal positions will ask for additional documents besides your resume; if you forget to attach even one, there is a high chance of getting disqualified. Remember to read about the job requirement and that you have all the documents consolidated.

Some documents may include:

  • SF-50
  • OF-306
  • SF-15
  • DD-214
  • ECQs
  • Cover letter
  • Academic transcripts

Proofread and Seek Feedback

If you have written the entire federal resume by yourself, there is a tendency that you might have tunneled in a few unnoticeable errors or typos. So what do you do?

You sit back. Take a break and proofread the federal resume for grammatical mistakes, font legibility, or typos. An even better suggestion would be to seek the services of a professional with years of experience in writing federal resumes and you can check our article if you want to know how to win a job by writing a resume with no experience.

Key Takeaways

Hope that was not a great deal, but let’s try to consolidate some of the tips mentioned above. A one-page resume is considered lazy in any government organization. Ideally, it should be between 4 and 6 pages with essential information, such as GS codes, citizenship, or more.

And If you’re still struggling with effective resume writing, you can always hire Experienced Resume Writers, our professional industry experts will coordinate closely with you to see that your application conforms to all federal guidelines.

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