Five Things Your Federal Resume Must Have

If you’re looking for a public sector job with the federal government you should know that there are some significant differences between a federal government resume and a traditional resume. In fact, if your federal government resume does not contain a few key ingredients then it won’t get a second glance. Let’s take a look at five things a federal resume must have.

#1 Personal Information

Federal resumes are very structured and rigorous documents. It is important that you include all of your personal information. You want to include your phone name your mailing address, area code and phone number. You’ll want to include the last four digits of your Social Security number, but not the entire number. You may also want to include the country where you have citizenship. If you are a veteran then include your reinstatement eligibility and civilian grade.

#2 Education

In this area your federal resume isn’t much different from a traditional resume. However, the federal resume format and structure must be adhered to. Your federal resume should state where you went to high school and the year you received your diploma. Then it’s time to address your college education, if applicable. Include the name of each educational institution you attended, where it is located and when you were a student. If you graduated then also include the degree you received and when you received it. Your GPA and awards should also be highlighted if relevant.

#3 Work Experience

When documenting your work experience there’s a lot of information you’ll need to add to your federal resume. List each job title you’ve had, along with the:

  • Dates of employment
  • Salary
  • Hours worked per week
  • Employer’s name and address
  • Supervisor’s name
  • And whether or not your supervisor can be contacted for a reference.

When in doubt, list your work experience, and your education, in chronological order. You can also create a functional resume which puts emphasis on the accomplishments at each position you’ve held. However even with a chronological resume, you can include your accomplishments at each job if they are pertinent to the job you’re applying for.

Two Additional Pieces to Consider

There are two other areas that you may want to include on your federal resume. They’re not “musts” but they can help improve your resume, and thus your chances for getting the job. The first is what’s called an “Objective” statement. While there is a trend to create a branding statement or summary on a traditional resume, an Objective statement is what’s used on a federal resume. It basically outlines your intentions, and should identify the job you’re seeking. It can also include what you have to offer the employer or department. For example, a person applying for a specific job at the National Park Service might simply list their Career Objective as “Natural Resource Specialist; GS-0401-09.”

The other final element to consider adding to your federal resume is your “Other Qualifications.” This is a section where you can identify any skills, experience, or strengths that you have. You can include memberships, awards, certifications and experience gained through volunteer work.

Writing your federal resume can be a bit tricky. If you’re seeking a job with the federal government, consider getting professional assistance. A professional resume writer with experience crafting federal resumes can help you get the job.


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