Although this material was adapted from USA Jobs (link above), much of what the below content is deriving from are common questions and challenges that arise in the Riddle community.
Applying for a federal job is a different process in it of itself. Although the entire application process is unique (check out USA Jobs’ resources), one hallmark of this process is the one-of-a-kind resume applicants are to use. The resume is “where it all starts” for federal recruiters to see if an applicant is not only qualified, but worth a second look in an application process filled with overwhelming numbers of qualified applicants.
One of the first inquiries Career Services receives often regarding writing Federal resumes is what personal info to list. Name and contact info should be automatic, but you will see on USA Jobs that the government also encourages listing other info relevant to the position(s) including US citizenship (which is otherwise unneeded due to personal privacy standards), and previous class status if an applicant was a former federal employee. Listing a background clearance if applicable would be in everyone’s benefit as well.
Applicants will also see that in comparison to other, typical resumes, Federal resumes can be multiple pages with a longer list of descriptive points for each experience. This comes from the idea that federal employers want to see the entirety of what an applicant has to offer from previous experiences, especially if those experiences are relevant to the requisition details.
Other pieces an applicant will find themselves including on a Federal resume versus a normal resume may be their work schedule (such as hours worked per week), and their yearly salary of previous positions they have held. Other aspects of a typical resume that a Federal resume writer would want to keep consistent is to list quantities whenever they can (this helps descriptions become more specific), and input experiences outside of relevant professional work (including community service, volunteership, and more).
One final pro tip I’ll give you is one of the biggest advantages of applying to a federal opportunity: the qualifications and other details you need to know for the job are virtually always listed in the job requisition. It is pretty much a federal mandate that federal employers must list the type of info you would want to research before not only writing a resume for an opportunity, but applying for it entirely. This is in comparison to other opportunities in the civilian sector, where credible info is tough to find at times.
I mentioned key factors in writing a Federal resume, but know there is much more to it coupled with the unique process of applying to any Federal opportunity. Please continue to monitor USA Jobs and check out their resources. Career Services is also working on releasing more virtual opportunities in regards to capitalizing on the federal job search that we will release as soon as we can. As always, please feel free to follow up with me with more specific questions and feedback!
Ryan Mazon is a Program Manager with ERAU Daytona Beach Career Services. He is a graduate of Florida State University and holds a Master’s in Career Counseling. Check out our podcast “Going Places!” that Ryan spearheads to learn more career development info.