Go Government: 7 Tips from Federal Resume Writer


Up until this moment, we’ve considered approaches, techniques, and secrets of resume writing for civilian jobs only. However, the process of applying for government positions as well as the rules of the game is slightly different. Today, we’re going to reveal the secrets of an effective federal resume.

3 ways to format your resume

Any professional federal resume writer starts his work with determining the most efficient resume structure, or format, for your professional duties. There are three ways to present your resume:

  • Functional resumes list your responsibilities by skill sets rather than strict chronology. Such resume type is helpful when you’re pursuing a career in the new field or don’t have a stable employment history:;
  • Chronological resumes list your work experience one by one in a reverse chronological order and are a perfect fit for those building progressive career;
  • Combination resumes have skills set first and then list the employment history.

Picked a right format for your military resume? Let’s move on.

1. Tailor your resume for a job posting

The easiest – and the most tempting – way to apply for a federal position is sending standardized resume to all openings. However, this tactics barely brings results.

To facilitate your job search, read job posting first and then tailor your skills and duties for it, your chances for an interview will increase drastically. Your resume should mirror the language and requirements of a job posting.

2. Know the rules of length

While civilian resume experts insist on 1-2 pages as an optimal resume, federal resume writers don’t have strict rules regarding the length. There’s also an unwritten rule: mention the last 10 years of experience in your resume.

3. Get ready to prove your grade

The Government Schedule classification strictly specifies the level of education and experience for each position. As an applicant, you’ll be required to prove your education and experience in your resume. So, find out the level of the position you’re applying for and demonstrate you’ve got the necessary experience.

4. Content is different

The content of federal resume differs from what you typically write when applying for non-federal openings. In particular, insists that your resume should include the following:

  • Job announcement number, job title, and grade
  • Country of citizenship (for non-US citizens)
  • Special hiring authorities, with supporting documentation
  • Your current supervisor, if he can be contacted

Other fields – work experience, education, training and courses, certificates, etc. – remain the same.

5. Keep a non-federal resume copy

Majority of applicants are sure that the only way to apply for a federal job is USAJOBS. However, this is not the only website to apply, as some agencies use outside application systems which may require a different type of resume. If you are not sure, contact the agency’s HR representative to clarify.

6. Avoid being wordy and irrelevant

The fact there are no limitations on length in the federal resume may tempt you to make it as detailed as possible to increase your chances of getting hired. Avoid this kind of mistake, though – be very concise and make sure that your resume only includes information which is relevant to your job search. Leave the early or irrelevant experience out.

7. Proofread to avoid mistakes

Shall I say more?

Federal resume requires a specific approach. Our resume wizards possess the needed knowledge and skills they’ve gained while writing hundreds of federal resumes. Contact us to find out how we can help boost your federal career at an affordable price.

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