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Tips for Writing a Federal Resume

woman writing a resume

Creating a federal resume that brings your qualifications to life and shows that you are a perfect fit for the job can be a challenge. Be sure to demonstrate how your skills, experience, training and education match the employer’s needs. Avoid misspelled words and bad grammar. Following are a few ways to make this easier.

Consider what positions you are interested in and review what qualifications or experience they require by reviewing different types of jobs and job opportunity announcements on USAJOBS . Gather information and begin to build out a description of your knowledge, skills and experience to add to your resume. How you present your skills and experience in your resume will help determine whether or not you are invited to interview for a job.

Attend job assistance training prior to departing the service. Contact your Transition Assistance Center as soon as possible and sign up for a Transition Assistance Program Workshop. If you are not near a Military Transition Center, you may use the services at Transition Assistance Offices operated by the other military services. Use your transition counselors. They have the tools and knowledge you need. If available, get their help in creating your first resume or filling out a draft application. Ask them to critique your work and then make the changes they suggest.

One size never fits all. As you apply for jobs, tailor your resume to the position’s requirements. Study the job opportunity announcement and emphasize the parts of your work history that match the qualification requirements listed there. It is important to portray your knowledge and skills as a match to the requirements of the position and demonstrate the ability to do the job. This is easy to do when you include your results, achievements and accomplishments. Minimize the use of technical jargon or specialized terminology (e.g., military abbreviations) in your resume.

Resumes are generally presented in one of three formats: chronological, functional or a combination of both. Which format you choose will depend, in part, on the type of work you have performed and whether or not you are going to continue in the same field.

  • Chronological resumes list work experience according to date, with the current job appearing first. Chronological resumes work well if your career has been progressive and you plan to continue in the same line of work.
  • Functional resumes are organized by the skills you have used on the job. Functional resumes work well if you are contemplating a new career, do not have a lengthy work history, or have held a number of different positions because they sell your abilities based on the skills you have acquired throughout your career. Be sure to include relevant volunteer experience.
  • Combination resumes both describe your work experience and highlight your skills. Combination resumes usually provide the most comprehensive overview of your career.

Unlike resumes used in the private sector, federal resumes require additional information. For each past job, give the standard information found in most resumes. Your federal resume should include the following:

  • Job announcement number, job title , and job grade of the job for which you are applying
  • Your full name, mailing address , day and evening phone numbers and home e-mail .
  • Country of citizenship , if different from U.S.
  • Veterans – Ensure that you attach or upload supporting documentation (e.g., DD214 or Statement of Service if still on Active Duty; SF-15, Application for 10-point preference; and Disability Rating Letter of 30% or more from the VA, if applicable).
  • Peace Corps / AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteers – If you are a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, you will need to provide your Description of Service (DOS) to claim non-competitive eligibility for federal jobs. AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers
  • Persons with Disabilities (Schedule A) – To verify eligibility for employment under the Schedule A hiring authority, you must provide proof of disability issued by a licensed medical professions, a licensed vocational rehabilitation specialist, or any federal agency, state agency, or an agency of the District of Columbia, or U.S. territory that issues or provides disability benefits. Contact the Department’s Selective Placement Coordinators for help with hiring and accommodation requests.
  • Veterans – Keep in mind that your military training may count towards qualifications. Use your Verification of Military Experience and Training (VMET) document (DD Form 2586) to document your training and education.
  • Begin with your current position and list all other positions held in chronological order.
  • State the job title, starting and ending dates (including month and year), prior employer's name and address (or write "self-employed," if that applies), and major duties and accomplishments. Include any positions temporarily held.
  • Show the average number of hours worked per week or simply state "full-time"; salary or wage earned; supervisor's name, address and telephone number; and whether you’re most recent supervisor may be contacted.
  • Veterans - Avoid using military job titles or occupational codes. Instead, look at what you did using your Verification of Military Experience and Training (VMET) as a starting point. Employers prefer proven performers, so make sure you know what employers are looking for in comparison to your military work experience.
  • Indicate if your current supervisor can be contacted
  • Job-related training courses (title and year).
  • self-management skills refer to the way you manage yourself on the job (e.g., dependable, resourceful, etc.);
  • functional skills are the skills you use on the job or have used in previous jobs (e.g., operate equipment, supervise, analyze, etc.); and
  • technical skills relate to specific skills required to perform a described task (e.g., computer programming, accounting, sales, etc.)
  • Current job-related certificates and licenses - Make sure you understand the licensure and certification requirements for your job objective.
  • Job-related honors, awards, special accomplishments , leadership activities, memberships, or publications.

Once you have spell checked your resume, take a good look at its overall appearance. Is it appealing and easy to read? Is there enough white space? Are the margins appropriate? Have the headings, font and formatting style been used effectively? Keep in mind that your resume is an employer's first impression of you. Make sure it makes the best one possible.

  • Review the job announcements carefully for key words
  • Use verbs and adjectives (e.g., managed, implemented, created) that match key words identified in the job announcement.
  • Eliminate military lingo (use words such as personnel instead of squad or platoon).
  • Include your accomplishments; do not be shy, be truthful.
  • Focus on the mission of the agency and translate your experiences.
  • Your positive attitude and genuine enthusiasm goes a long way.

U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Here's how you know

Official websites use .gov A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS A lock ( Lock Locked padlock ) or https:// means you've safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

How to complete any task on USAJOBS, step by step.

Manage Account

  • Create a login.gov account
  • Use login.gov if you have limited access to a phone or cell service
  • Change the phone number you use to sign in
  • Enter an international phone number when creating a login.gov account
  • Update your primary email address
  • Change or reset your password
  • Sign into your account if you can't access your primary email
  • Create a profile
  • Delete a profile
  • Fill out your education
  • Answer questions about federal service
  • Choose hiring paths in your profile
  • Add languages in your profile
  • Answer questions about military service
  • Fill out your work experience
  • Make your resume and profile searchable

Job announcement

  • Understand a job announcement
  • Understand announcement closing types
  • Save a job announcement
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  • Contact an agency


  • Create an application
  • Save an application
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  • View job applications
  • Create a resume
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  • Edit a resume
  • Upload a resume
  • Make a resume searchable
  • Print a resume
  • Upload documents
  • Manage documents
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  • Search by your preferences
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  • Unsubscribe from a saved search

Filter results by...

  • Appointment type
  • Hiring path
  • Mission critical career field
  • Security clearance
  • Travel percentage
  • Work schedule
  • Zero job openings

Keyword and location

Get started.

USAJOBS posts all federal job opportunities with a position description and instructions how to apply. With USAJOBS.gov tools and resources, you can find the right federal job faster.


As the federal government's official employment site, USAJOBS has attracted over 16 million job seekers to create accounts to date.

U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Here’s how you know

Official websites use .gov A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS A lock ( Lock A locked padlock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Writing a federal government resume

This page provides an overview with examples of how to write a federal government resume, which have content and formatting that differ from most private sector resumes.

How to write a federal resume

Written by , external, Amanda Costello , 18F content designer and gummi bear enthusiast, July 2019. (Revised March 2024)

Writing a US federal resume is hard. When I started writing mine, all I wanted was a solid example. What needs to be included, in what order, and what would it look like with real information. This is that example. ( Law and Order chimes )

It can be helpful to think about a federal resume like an academic CV, an overview of your whole career. Also, these are long documents . This is not the place for a 1-2 page resume. When I applied, my resume was 7 pages long; after 5 years at 18F, it’s close to 15 pages.

Below are excerpts from my federal resume, along with details and notes about how it’s written and formatted. I want more awesome folks from all backgrounds and experiences as colleagues. I don’t want the resume formatting or particulars to be a mystery; it’s already a very challenging piece of writing.

General things to keep in mind:

  • Pay particular attention to the Specialized Experience section of a federal job posting. These items must be clearly represented on your resume to show you’ve done the work to be qualified.
  • New in 2024! Another tactic that’s been successful for me has been making the job posting’s Specialized Experience the headers for duties and responsibilities. Obviously you can’t do this until you’re looking at a specific job, but it can be a good way to organize your work for readability.
  • Throw out your formatting. I used CAPS for headers, italics for mission statements, and bullet points. Expect that the bulk of your formatting will be stripped out. No columns, no fanciness. Just write. Hard.
  • Speaking of writing: get your words going, and then get more words. I had to submit two writing samples, and that was where I could show off my content strategy particulars. Remember the job of the resume content: clear, straight lines between the requirements and your experience.

Explicit disclaimer: This resume format is what I chose to use in applying to 18F in the US Federal Government’s General Services Administration. It is not the only acceptable format, but is what worked well for me. I currently work as a content designer at 18F, but put this together on my own time, using no government resources to do so. Using this formatting is not a guarantee of consideration. You still gotta do the work.

Want to chat more about this? Shoot me an email at [email protected]

My comments below will all be in text boxes

Resume formatting

AMANDA COSTELLO 123 Lutefisk Street You Betcha, MN 55555

Mobile: 555-555-5555 Email: [email protected]

Availability: April 1, 2024

Job Type: Permanent, Telework Work Schedule: Full-Time

Desired locations:

United States - MN Remote


Workplace name, Unit name if relevant - City, State, Country

Your job title - MM/YYYY to MM/YYYY - Hours per week: xx

Mission statement(s) of the workplace, or summary of the company’s work on a larger scale.


A paragraph-long description of what the work was overall. Describe your work using a wide scope, leaving the specific details for later.


  • Examples are in a bulleted list, each point describing a project or part of a project, or a piece of work that fits the heading, plus matches up with the qualifications/reqs.
  • I chose to start each bullet with a past tense verb (Collaborated, Wrote, Managed, Edited), because that’s how I usually write resumes.
  • Some of these bullets reference specific things I wrote, and those were included as writing samples with my application.


Software you know, tools you use, best practices and methods. This can’t just be a list, but has to have context in your work overview of how and why they were used. Also, please throw Microsoft Word on there because I was once rejected from a job in 2007 because I put “Microsoft Office” and the listing said “Microsoft Word.” Word matching! Seriously!


  • Another bulleted list, this time of URLs related to work I did.
  • They had quick little blurbs underneath about what they were, and what I did.
  • Photos won’t come through on this resume, so no screenshots or anything.

Work experience example from my 2018 resume

University of Minnesota, College of Education and Human Development - Minneapolis, MN

Lead Content Strategist - 07/2012 to Present - Hours per week: 40

The mission of the College of Education and Human Development is to contribute to a just and sustainable future through engagement with the local and global communities to enhance human learning and development at all stages of the life span. The college is part of the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, a land-grant high-level research institution, dedicated to generating and preserving knowledge through research, sharing that knowledge through teaching and learning, and apply that knowledge through outreach and public service.

Developed and led college-wide content strategy combining current and prospective student needs with college goals for recruitment and retention. Worked as a member of a cross-functional team including designers, developers, business analysts, marketers, and well as content strategists across 7 academic departments to promote and deliver effective processes and consistent content strategy.


  • Collaborated with college academic departments, research centers, student support offices, and senior leadership to develop a “bottom up” content strategy, prioritizing student needs based on their relationships with academic programs. Assessed content through the lens of recruitment and retention.
  • Wrote “Stakeholder’s Guide To Launch,” a two-page reference for the launch of a new college website. By anticipating the top questions stakeholders might field, this guide gave talking points surrounding new features, along with contacts for further questions.
  • Served as strategist, editor, and project manager for regular essay series on college diversity and inclusion work, written by academic leadership. This generated authentic, meaningful content and helped stakeholders better understand the time commitment involved in content production.
  • Established user-centered college voice and tone guidelines, using “A, but not B” format. This was informed by close work with students in formal and informal usability testing, and brand sort activities with college leadership and key stakeholders.


  • Combined findings from user research, new graduate student interviews, faculty and researcher focus groups, higher ed industry trends, and analytics to consolidate more than 600 areas of academic research expertise into 111 categories. Categories were deployed across the college for consistent organization and increased findability of research work.
  • Developed strategy and standards to categorize and sort 127 academic programs and 111 areas of research expertise. This was incorporated into two web-based tools developed in-house and allowed students to explore college offerings and expertise independent of department. Wrote and edited descriptions for each area, capped at 25 words to promote ease of reading and top-level understanding.
  • Planned, edited, and delivered a “Web Writing Best Practices” guide for college content strategists. Formatted as a “one-pager” for printing and pinning up as a reference, this collected links to and recommendations from external tools and guides (Hemingway, 18F, King County Editorial Guide), internal editorial recommendations from the university and college, and voice and tone particulars. Strategists often felt intimidated and overwhelmed by the sheer amount of recommendations connected to good web content; this guide promoted four starting points to improve content: addressing the user (you/your/yours and we/our/ours), employing structured content, concise writing, and using plain language.


  • Led and managed annual process of web usability testing, including project kick-offs, stakeholder workshops, scenario development, task analysis, lab and field-based testing, issues analysis, research and recommendation presentations to project team members, key stakeholders and college senior leadership.
  • Helped subject-matter expert teams and stakeholders understand their users through research and usability testing methods, defining problems and crafting effective solutions based on both quantitative and qualitative data.


  • Contributed to responsive redesign of college website by conducting a content audit, editing student-facing content for an overall 75% file reduction, and migrating updated content to custom-built CMS. Collaborated with design and development teams to create comprehensive style guides, pattern library interface copy.
  • Convened monthly “coworking days” among all college web professionals, bringing us together as a team of peers for a day of training, collaborative problem solving, idea sharing, and camaraderie. Set programming, mentored colleagues on presentations, and collected feedback to regularly adjust how our central content strategy was best supporting the specific work of the departments.


  • Advocated for content strategy best practices to over 30 University departments by regularly meeting with peers and presenting to leadership stakeholder groups. Promoted clear, consistent, user-centered writing from all contributors, even those who don’t identify as “web people,” and facilitated collaboration across organizational silos to increase efficiency and support.
  • Consulted with faculty and staff in academic departments outside the college that frequently contributed to content strategy. Regular guest lecturer and student mentor in the Writing Studies program.
  • Contributed as one of four subject matter experts to the University of Minnesota’s Content Strategy Self-Help Guide, recommending resources and structuring process for the centrally-maintained system to help contributors at all levels improve content writing and strategic thinking for the web.
  • Frequently presented at local Twin Cities-based tech meetups, translating content strategy best practices to adjacent fields such as front- and back-end development, UX research, accessibility, interactive design, and marketing.

Provided strategic content design with skills in copywriting, style guides, plain language, comprehension/reading levels. Conducted usability evaluations using card sorting (OptimumSort), tree testing (Treejack), direct observation user research methods. Worked on a cross-functional team that used Asana, Trello, Slack, Hemingway, pattern libraries, Google Drive, MS Office Suite (Word, Excel, Power Point), and semantic HTML.

  • CEHD Academic Programs, www.cehd.umn.edu/programs Developed content and structure for directory/sorting tool
  • CEHD Research & Expertise, www.cehd.umn.edu/topics/ Created new content structure around college research, including categories and descriptions
  • UMN Content Strategy Self-Help Guide, , external, z.umn.edu/csmap Subject matter expert for update to university-wide guide


MinneWebCon Annual Conference - Minneapolis, MN - www.minnewebcon.org

Conference Director - 10/2011 - 06/2015

MinneWebCon is a two-day web conference in Minneapolis that encourages inclusive grassroots knowledge-sharing. In addition to keynote speakers, breakout sessions, and half-day workshops, our annual conference is a space for speakers and attendees to collaborate, talk, learn, ask, test, and grow.

  • Directed volunteer-run tech conference for 200+ annual attendees, bringing local and national speakers to the Twin Cities web community.
  • Oversaw event logistics, speaker recruitment and support, partnerships and sponsorships, promotion, and attendee experience with conference committee support and input.
  • Introduced speaker mentoring program, pairing conference speakers with an experienced mentor to review slides, practice presentations, and provide support.
  • Expanded conference to two-day event in 2012, adding half-day workshops to meet attendee demand for deeper learning.


My resume listed about 15 sessions that I thought were relevant to this job. I also had sections on selected publications and selected podcast guest appearances, because those are cool too! The format I use is:

"Title of the Presentation," what kind of session - MM/YYYY Conference Name - City, State, Country

  • “How Silos Learn: Working in the Idea Factory,” closing keynote address - 08/2018 (scheduled) PSEWEB Conference - London, ON, Canada
  • “Better Stakeholder Wrangling,” half-day workshop - 10/2018 (scheduled) edUi Conference - Charlottesville, VA
  • “Better Stakeholder Wrangling,” half-day workshop - 05/2018 Confab: The Content Strategy Conference - Minneapolis, MN
  • “Explain Anything to Your Boss & Grandboss,” closing keynote address - 05/2018 Manage Digital Conference - Minneapolis, MN
  • “How Silos Learn,” opening keynote address - 10/2017 Digital Project Management Summit - Las Vegas, NV

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Minneapolis, MN United States Bachelor's Degree MM/YYYY Major: English Minor: Japanese


Language: Japanese Spoken Level: Novice Written Level: Novice Reading Level: Novice

Name: Jeff Awesomeboss Employer: University of Minnesota Title: The Best Boss Email: [email protected]

GSA Logo


An official website of the U.S. General Services Administration

How to Write a Federal Resume in 2024 [3 Free Templates]

Background Image

Creating a federal resume is a lot trickier than a conventional one.

For starters, you need to make it way more comprehensive (3-4 pages instead of the usual 1-2).

You also have to add very specific details, such as your GS rating, clearance, and more.

Want to learn how to create/build a federal resume the easy way?

  • What’s a Federal Resume & How Does It Differ From a Conventional One
  • How to Write a Federal Resume in 6 Easy Steps
  • How to Look for Federal Jobs

So, let’s get started.

What’s a Federal Resume?

A federal resume, as the name implies, is the type of resume you need to make in order to apply for US federal positions.

It is similar to the conventional resume in the way you describe your experiences. You include all the must-have sections in your resume, and describe your skills and past experiences.

There are, however, some differences from a conventional resume that make creating a federal one a bit trickier.

Federal Resume VS Conventional Resume - Key Differences

The differences between the two types of resumes are as follows:

federal resume differences

Sounds a bit complicated, right?

Worry not - once you’ve gotten the hang of it, writing a federal resume becomes a child’s play.

And you’re about to learn just how you can do that!

How to Write a Federal Resume [6 Easy Steps]

Step #1. start with a trusted format.

There are 3 typical resumes formats you can pick from:

  • Reverse-chronological: this one’s the standard and it lists your experiences from most recent to the oldest one.
  • Functional . This one doesn’t include work experiences and focuses solely on your skills.
  • Combination , a mix of the other 2 formats.

Since you’re making a federal resume, though, you need to go with a reverse-chronological format .

It’s the most common format in the US and is recognized by every single federal recruiter.

  • How Long Should a Federal Resume Be?

While a traditional resume is 1-2 pages max , the federal resume provides you with a LOT more freedom.

As we highlighted above, a federal resume includes a lot more detail than the conventional one. So, if you aim for 1-2 pages, you’ll just come off as lazy (and most likely unable to list all the information you need to land the job).

  • Which Format Should You Use ForYour Federal Resume?

Unless the job ad specifically asks for a specific format, we recommend you stick to PDF.

A PDF resume maintains its original formatting and will look just like you intended regardless of which computer you open it with.

The same, however, can’t be said for a Word resume format. 

  • Should I Use a Federal Resume Template?

Yep - if you use a resume template, your resume is going to be a lot more noticeable and at the same time, easier to create.

You can pick one of our hand-crafted CV templates and get started with yours in minutes!

federal resume template

Step #2. Include a Detailed Contact Information Section

Once you’ve picked your federal resume format, you should create a contact information section at the top of your resume.

That's where you include the typical information you’d put on a standard resume:

  • Phone Number
  • Email Address

For a federal resume, also include the following essentials:

  • Citizenship.
  • Mailing Address.
  • Highest GS Score. You can find yours here .
  • Veterans’ Preference (0, 5, or 10). Find yours here .
  • Disability. Learn more about this here .
  • Clearance (if any)
  • Desired Location (if relevant)


[email protected]

Citizenship: United States

Desired Job Type: Security Specialist

Highest Federal Pay Grade: GS-10

Desired Location: US, Massachusetts

Step #3. Create an Attention-Grabbing Resume Summary

Federal or not, a resume summary is essential.

Picture this: you’re a hiring manager and you’ve got 1,000 resumes to go through for a single position.

Are you going to 1) go through them in detail , one by one, and read them cover to cover?

Or 2) glance through them , find the ones that are relevant and give them in-depth attention.

You’d probably pick #2 (and so do hiring managers).

This is exactly where the resume summary comes in.

A resume summary is a short, 2-4 sentence paragraph that goes right on top of your resume (under contact information). As the name implies, it’s used to quickly summarize your work experience and give the hiring manager a snapshot of your application.

If you get the resume summary right, then you can rest assured that the hiring manager is going to read your resume start-to-end.

Federal Resume Summary Example

A well-written federal resume summary contains the following information:

  • Your title & objective (i.e. the job you’re applying for)
  • 2-3 of your most noteworthy achievements or key responsibilities
  • 2-3 of your top skills
  • Your areas of expertise

Here is a real-life federal resume summary example:

  • Maintenance and Management professional with 10+ years of experience seeking the role of a Production Planning Manager. Past experience includes equipment maintenance and repair, policy enforcement, transportation coordination, and more. Seeking a GS-10 to a GS-11 position.

Step #4. List Your Past Work Experiences in Detail

Your work experience section is going to make or break your federal resume.

At the end of the day, this is what hiring managers really care about, while the rest of your resume is supposed to “support” this section.

Creating a convincing work experience section for a federal resume is a 2-parter:

First, you need to make sure that you include all the relevant work experience information.

Then, you need to present your path responsibilities and achievements in the most convincing way possible.

Let us teach you how to do both: 

What to Include in a Federal Resume Work Experience Section

For each entry in your work experience section, start off with the employment information. This includes:

  • Employer name
  • City & State
  • Hours Worked Per Week
  • GS Rating (If Relevant)
  • Supervisor’s Name
  • Supervisor’s Contact Information
  • Whether It’s OK to Contact Supervisor

Supervisory Security Specialist

National Nuclear Security Administration

04/2015 - Present

Washington, DC

Pay Grade: GS12

Average Hours Per Week: 40

Supervisor: Michelle Doe (202-555-0180)

Yes, you may contact the supervisor.

Then, in plain text or in bullet points, describe all your responsibilities and achievements right underneath each work experience.

If you had several roles for the same employer, bold out each role and put the corresponding responsibilities and achievements underneath.

Here, It’s important to note that you want to be as detailed as possible, compared to when compiling a conventional resume.

For the latter, you’d list out 4-6 bullets of your top achievements and responsibilities and call it a day. With a federal resume, you need to include more information.

  • Oversaw the Office of Defense Nuclear Security (DMS). Handled HR processes including classification, recruitment, training, workforce management, and more. Responsible for developing NNSA policies and guidance, as well providing guidance to NSSA headquarters, NNSA field organizations, and NSSA contract organizations.
  • Exceeded sales KPIs by 20% for 3 months in a row
  • Responsible for outbound cold calling, doing up to 100+ calls per day.

How to Write a Convincing Work Experience Section

Now, let’s talk about part 2:

How do you effectively communicate your past achievements and responsibilities?

The key here is to be as achievement-focused as possible.

Most job seekers, when writing about their past work experiences, tend to talk about their former responsibilities.

While this is OK (and will land you a job here and there), it doesn’t help you stand out much.

The hiring manager can probably figure out what your past responsibilities were - they’re hiring for your role, after all.

What they’re really interested to learn about you is how you excel compared to the rest of the job-seekers.

So, instead of saying:

  • Managed 3 projects from start to finish over the last year.
  • Helped implement a cutting-edge project management solution organization-wide, improving employee output by 20% for the year.

job search masterclass

Step #5. Add Your Educational History

Next up in the federal resume is your educational history.

This one’s pretty straightforward - all you need to do is mention the following:

  • College name
  • Type of degree
  • # of years attended (or semesters completed)

If specifically requested, you might also need to include the same information for your high school or GED.

Here’s what your education section would look like on your federal resume:

Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service

Boston University, Boston, MA 02215, United States

08/2014 - 05/2018

  • Major: International Relations
  • Minor: International Business
  • Graduated Magna cum laude

Step #6. Top It Off With Optional Sections

If you have space left on your resume, you can add some of the following common resume sections to help you stand out:

  • Awards & Accolades


  • Professional Associations
  • Relevant Training
  • Volunteer Experience
  • Won first place in the Google Code Jam competition.
  • Certification of Professional Achievement in Data Science (2019)
  • English - Native
  • French - Intermediate

Technical Skills

Federal Job Search Resources

There are a ton of useful internet resources to help you get a job in the federal government. Here are some of our top favorites:

  • USA Jobs is the official government portal for federal jobs and careers.
  • Learn how, exactly, the US government hires candidates .
  • Discover the most in-demand government jobs here .
  • If you’re a non-citizen, learn everything there’s to know about government jobs .
  • If you’re looking for a job in a specific government agency, you can browse through the options here .
  • If you’re a student looking for a government job, go here for entry-level positions .
  • If you’ve served in the military, check out FedsHireVets.gov - it contains all the information you need about getting a federal job as a veteran.

And finally, in addition to USA Jobs, you can find federal work on the following websites:

  • Careers in Government
  • GovtJobs.com
  • CareerOneStop
  • GovernmentJobs.com

Other Federal Resume & Job Search Tips

At this point, your federal resume should be ready.

But before you go and start your job search, here are some of our top tips to help you succeed in landing your next job!

#1. Tailor Your Federal Resume to the Job

If you’re applying to several different types of jobs, make sure to tailor your resume to each of them.

A very common mistake job seekers make is that they create a single resume for dozens of positions.

This is effective at times, but it very rarely works for the type of job you’d LOVE to have.

So how do you tailor the resume? it’s pretty straightforward. Look up a job you’d like to apply for, and read the responsibilities and skills required in great detail.

federal job example

Then, cross-reference it with your resume.

In many cases, you’ll see that you DO have a lot of the required experiences , you just didn’t mention them because you didn’t have space, or because you thought other types of experiences were more important.

Now all you have to do is add the relevant information to your resume, and you’re good to go!

#2. Mind the Additional Documents

Federal positions will commonly ask you for additional documents other than your resume.

If you miss one, chances are, you’re going to get disqualified (even if you have the most eye-catching federal resume in the world).

So, carefully read about the job you’re applying for and ensure that you have all the right documents.

Some documents required for federal jobs include:

  • Cover letter
  • Academic transcripts

#3. Are You Still Struggling? Hire a Federal Resume Expert!

If you’re still struggling with building an effective federal resume, you can always hire an expert to give you a helping hand.

Check out some of the best career coaches in 2024 here.

Federal Resume FAQ

Do you still have some lingering questions on how to build an effective federal resume? We’ll answer them here!

1. What should I include in my federal resume?

In your federal resume, include the following sections:

  • Contact information
  • Resume summary
  • Work experience
  • Optional sections like skills, languages, etc.

2. What format should my federal resume follow?

Definitely reverse-chronological.

The other 2 resume formats (functional and combination) are nowhere near as popular and are more likely to ruin your chances to land the job if the hiring manager isn’t familiar with them.

3. Should I include my picture on my federal resume?

No , you should not include a picture in your federal resume .

You should also avoid adding any sensitive personal information (age, date of birth, marital status, religious affiliation, social security number, etc.), as well as links to any websites.

4. How long should my federal resume be?

Your federal resume should be around 4 to 6 pages long, as opposed to the conventional resume which is 1-2 pages.

The reason for this is that federal resumes require a lot more background information about you than the traditional ones.

Key Takeaways

Phew, that was a lot to take in!

Now, let’s recap all the key points we’ve covered about creating a federal resume:

  • A federal resume should be 4 to 6 pages long.
  • It should be very detailed and include all sorts of essential information, such as GS codes, citizenship, hours worked per week, and more.
  • In a federal resume, include the following sections: contact information, resume summary, work experience, education.
  • If you have additional space left, you can also add things like volunteering experience, certifications, skills, etc.

Related Resume Examples

  • Military Resume
  • Paralegal Resume
  • Career Change Resume

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Quick Guide to Preparing a Resume For Federal Government Positions


Due to the volume of applications received for any given vacancy announcement within the website, your resume will most likely be processed through an electronic filtering mechanism before being reviewed by a Human Resources Specialist for a qualification determination. Your resume will also be screened according to certain preferences (e.g., Indian Preference, veterans, disability, etc.) and rated based on the extent and quality of your experience, education and training described on the vacancy announcement. It is essential that you tailor the experience listed on your federal resume to the specific position to which you are applying.

Once your application is rated, a quality review will be conducted by Office of Human Capital Management staff and/or a Subject Matter Expert (SME). Resumes are forwarded to the Hiring Manager for interview consideration. Once a hiring decision has been made, applicants will be notified.

Resume Writing

Before you begin, it may be helpful to compile all the information you want to include in your resume. The writing process will be much easier and faster.

It is important to thoroughly review the vacancy announcement for the position you are applying. You should tailor your resume to ensure you include the experience and skills that are required for the position.

What Should be Included in a Federal Resume?

A federal resume calls for some information that is not generally required on a standard resume for private industry positions, and not including the required information may immediately disqualify you from consideration. It is extremely important that you carefully read application instructions and include all required information. Below is an example of a resume for Federal employment:

First and Last Name Address City, State and Zip code Email address Phone Numbers

Special Hiring Authority: (Indian Preference, Veteran’s Preference or Person with Disability - Schedule A ) Federal Experience: ( Yes or No and Indicate Military, Federal or State Gov ) Security Clearance: ( Indicate what level and if it's still active ) OBJECTIVE: To obtain a full-time position in public service with ( Department of the Interior, Indian Affairs as a (Indicate the position including announcement Number if there is one )  

SKILLS SUMMARY: ( Has 3 elements: An introductory paragraph, list of skills directly related to the position, and your skills you have acquired throughout your career, that you want to highlight ) (1st Element: The introductory paragraph - Must be specific and highly detailed for each job series and position you're applying to. You need to outline all the specific skills you have that are directly related to the position you are seeking including Key Words identified in the positions description.) Focused and highly motivated management professional, with 12 + years of extensive experience in Strategic Workforce Planning , EEO , OHR and Diversity Mgt . Utilizing my background in Disability, Accommodations, Business Operations, Project Management, and Statistical Analysis to develop comprehensive programs based on the employment needs and mission of the agency. Deploying metric -based solutions and maximizing our ROI . I'm an innovative and energetic team player, relationship builder, and highly effective communicator. (2nd Element: List of skills directly related to the position and the Key Words you identified - Back up your skill summary with specific examples from you career or education. Identify specific accomplishments, length of time, highlight numerical results and awards derived from those duties and skills. This is the most critical area of the resume. You are relating an activity in your career to that of the position you are applying and showcasing your accomplishments.)

• Develop and create a Strategic Workforce Planning program to ensure were accurately utilizing all available resources. Good Example

• Expert in Equal Employment, Labor and Employee Relations assisting managers and staff in identifying and solving EEO Policy questions on Accommodations, for the past 9 yrs. Better Example

• As Diversity manager I trained a staff of 100+ internal and external personnel on diversity rules and regulations. My efforts resulted in a 70% reduction in violations and improved the overall atmosphere at ABC Co. Best Example (3rd Element: Acquired skills - These are skills you want every employer to know you possess and feel they are what defines you as a model employee. Remember you MUST quantify and qualify every statement you make.)

• Analyze, develop, test and incorporated IT business solutions to enhance business process control and tracking. Good Example

• Supervised, motivated, mentored and lead by example, using experience backed judgment, strong work ethic, and irreproachable integrity, derived from my 12yrs as a Department Manager at ABC Co. Better Example

• Developed and implemented a supply inventory program, which tracked our use of production and office materials. This provided us detailed reports of our available inventory at all times. Allowing us to make more informed purchasing decisions. Resulting in ABC Co. to save 500,000 per year. Best Example

EMPLOYMENT HISTORY Name of Employer Position & Title GS level or Salary and Years of Service From: Mo/Year to Mo/Year; (Indicate if the work was Full Time, Part Time, or Seasonal; provide number of hours for PT or Seasonal work) Write a brief description of your experience/duties, and identify your major roles and responsibilities. Describe in detail each position you held for at least the last 10 years and quantify and qualify each statement). IP: Describe each duty as if you are describing it to someone for the first time. Agencies are not allowed to assume you can or can't do anything. Ex: Cashier: A cashier can perform numerous duties, if you only list cashier we can only interpret that as someone we collected and distributed money). As Diversity Manager I analyze develop and manage programs and projects related to the successful deployment of our department's initiatives. My duties included ensuring we provided an inclusive work environment, free from discrimination and ensuring we met all federal and state regulations. This was accomplished by collecting, analyzing human capital data and statistics from various sources to get an accurate analysis of the programs and work environment we provided our employees.   • Performed labor market Statistical analysis and employment projections locally and nationally to determine our recruitment strategy to ensure we were recruiting from a diverse population. Good Example • Coordinated with the Office of Human Capital and EEO managers to develop programs to improve our diversity in the workplace. Performed detailed analysis of the current workforce, and developed a strategy to ensure we targeted a broader workforce. This had an immediate impact on community relations and a 20% increase in local sales. Better Example

• Diversity manager for the past 7 yrs I was responsible for a staff of 20 employees. I coordinated with our Office of Human Capital to develop and measure recruiting timelines and efficiency, to determine cost per employee hired and accurate return on investment. Identified various key elements related to recruiting and performed a statistical analysis on reducing cost per hire. This lead to a yearly savings of 15% on recruiting expenses. Best Example

ACCOMPLISHMENTS (Identify any areas of your career you feel an employer will get a better understanding of who you are and your additional activities, to included honors received by organizations, exceeding specific goals on projects, etc.)

• 2011 Supervised and managed the Specialty Hiring Programs, including NonCompetitive Direct Hiring Authorities, Military Spouse Employment and Individuals with Disabilities Programs, at the Department of Defense. • 2008 Liaised with union and management on contract negotiations and labor dispute settlements with global manufacturer. Prevented the loss of 200+ jobs and saving the company 1.3 million dollars.

• 2006 The Minority Entrepreneur Network - Assisted 5 minority startup companies in researching, forecasting, and drafting their business plans and applications for small business loans.

• 2005 Restructured vendor contracts for a gross savings resulting in $375K per quarter.

COMPUTER SOFTWARE (List all software and applications you are experienced in and level. Identify formal training and where you received that training)

ADDITIONAL TRAINING (List any formal or informal training including accreditations and number of hours in the specific field)

• I have attended various seminars on EEO compliance and diversity Good Example

• Extensive EEO Compliance Training: Laws & Discrimination, Diversity in the Workplace, Workplace Relationships, EEO Complaints and Resolutions: (80+ hrs of training) Better Example

• Extensive Project Management Training specializing in large scale projects and developing the project plans and schedule. All training was done at the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI) 2002 thru 2011 (120 hrs) Best Example


(Any formal awards you would like to share)


(Depending on the type of work volunteering can count the same as formal on the job experience if related to the position) (2010 - current) I hold Diversity workshops at the ABC community center in Washington DC, 6 times each month. I provide employers with information on developing an inclusive and diverse workforce. Note: volunteer work must include the total # of hours PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS AAPD - American Association of Peoples with Disabilities HAVA - Honored American Veterans Afield NRA - National Rehabilitation Association PMI - Project Management Institute Wounded Warriors Project - Warriors to Work REFERENCES (List at least 3 references including their contact information)

U.S. Department of the Interior


An official website of the U.S. Department of the Interior

  • Federal Resume Templates
  • Federal Resume Guide

Do You Need an Eye-Catching Resume That Quickly Communicates Your Skills and Qualifications?

Examples of federal resumes will provide guidance that increases your chances of landing an interview. The following samples of federal resumes display proper formats that will meet the standards of government job recruiters. 

When you study resume samples for federal government jobs, look for ones geared toward your career field and the government department where you’re seeking work. Government agencies perform thousands of different functions, and you’ll want a federal government resume template download that highlights the topics pertinent to the job that you want.

You’ll need to tailor a resume so that it fits the posted job requirements. A resume that addresses the needs of government hiring managers will help them satisfy their administrative guidelines for screening candidates. 

In these examples of a federal resume, you’ll note that it focuses on professional accomplishments, education, and training. Simple lists of job duties lack the impact of strong statements about your successes and capabilities.

You don’t have to confine your federal resume to a single page either if you need more space. A long resume is not necessarily a detriment when applying for a government job, unlike in the private sector that generally prefers single-page resumes. 

Government Resume Template

Federal resume templates simplify the process because you can focus on describing your job qualifications instead of sweating every detail of the document’s format. When filling in a free federal resume template, select statements that stress your talent for managing details and multitasking. Your statements should also convey strong knowledge of the government regulations applicable to the job opening. 

You’ll have to consider your personal background when looking for the right federal government resume template download.

  • A military veteran seeking a civilian job should study examples of federal resumes that explain how military duties translate into civilian job requirements.
  • A civilian professional looking to switch from the private sector to the government sector should seek inspiration from resume samples that describe service for a public mission.

Federal Government Resume Example

As you look at each example of a federal resume, note how action-oriented verbs dominate the language. This is a powerful technique for attracting attention to your career accomplishments and unique qualities. Don’t hesitate to include statements that highlight critical values, like your integrity and honesty. 

Describe your greatest accomplishments first when organizing your work history. Use as many specific details as you can, like:

“Managed 20 volunteer teams during a fundraising event that exceeded goals by 58%.”

Many sample federal resumes clearly show how to present your experience and education effectively. 

Proper paperwork is essential to the functioning of federal agencies, and job applications are no exception. To connect with hiring managers who can advance your career, you need to base your resume strategy on proven resume samples for federal government jobs.

These government resume samples will allow you to write a resume that helps you stand out from other candidates. Although a free federal resume template is not hard to come by, keep in mind that you can hire a professional government resume writer when you need extra assistance with the task. 

No matter how professional, efficient, and effective your firefighting protection competencies are. You won’t be able to get employed without showing off your reliability to an employer.  We’ll do our best to explore what looks good on a firefighter resume, and provide the best firefighter resume examples with detailed descriptions for each element.  Creating a Perfect Firefighter Resume Objective The

Overall, the role of paralegals lies in assisting attorneys and law firms in preparations for court cases, dealing with witness interviewing, drafting trial notes, consulting and guiding clients, and so on. Whether you are in the category of entry-level, mid-level, or senior candidates and wonder how to create one of those excellent paralegal resume samples individually, you’ve come to the

Work in the field of law is always considered prestigious. However, if earlier this profession was not so accessible, today, almost every second university in the country graduates legal specialists. Therefore, competition among lawyers is growing exponentially.  For the last few years, a well-written resume for attorney began to play the most critical role in the selection of candidates for

Cover letters are crucial when applying for a new job, especially in the military industry. This is your main argument and statement that you are better than other applicants and worthy of this vacancy. Therefore, in a cover letter, every word and every comma are essential. But if in a motivation business letter, a candidate can show his/her creativity, the

An entry-level resume of any specialty is always complicated to write. The main challenge is to describe short work experience as advantageously as possible. Nowadays, recruiters are full of those who are seeking work. They are looking through hundreds of resumes per day, so it is almost impossible to surprise them. Anyway, you shouldn’t surprise anyone with an entry level

These examples of military resumes will allow you to overcome mental roadblocks to writing your resume. The resumes possess similar sections, particularly summary, work experience, skills, and education. Except for starting with the summary, you can place other sections in the order that makes the most sense for your situation. Don’t try to compose your resume completely from the beginning.

After years of military life, you might find it difficult to explain your job qualifications to civilians. The military resume examples for civilian jobs presented here offer clear guidance for translating military skills into a civilian style. Writing a resume isn’t easy for anyone, but veterans have to overcome extra hurdles. The jargon and acronyms that you’re familiar with might

Salary negotiation letters should avoid being longer than one page unless someone has an extraordinary list of credentials to highlight. A short letter that quickly makes its point will show respect for the hiring manager’s time and ensure effective communication.  Templates for salary negotiation letters all follow a standard format. At the top, the job applicant enters contact information. This

The FBI has developed a specific resume template for people who want to become FBI special agents. Job postings for these positions will include access to the FBI federal resume template. Applicants must complete every section on the template with the exception of the Military Experience section, which is only necessary for veterans. The template sections are: Summary Statement Professional

PDF Version Size: 56,9 Kb MS Word Size: 21,6 Kb Need more information? See another federal job resume example.

Office of Human Resources

Find out about insurance programs, pay types, leave options, and retirement planning.

Discover resources to have a balanced career at NIH.

Resources for training to develop your leadership and professional skills.

Access your personnel information and process HR actions through these systems.

Information for managers to support staff including engagement, recognition, and performance.

Discover what’s next at the NIH.

Federal Resume Tips

Federal and private sector resumes.

Federal resumes differ from resumes used in the private sector with regard to both content and purpose.

  • multiple pages long
  • detailed description of work experience and qualifications
  • used to determine if you meet requirements/qualifications for a job announcement. Be sure to list all your experiences (including non-paid).
  • generally limited to two pages 
  • brief summary of work history
  • used as a marketing tool to get an interview

In the Federal Government, your resume is your application. There may be an additional component called an assessment questionnaire . The assessment questionnaire asks you to rank yourself on your qualities necessary to do the job being advertised. It must support the experiences listed in your resume.

Curriculum Vitaes

An academic curriculum vitae does not provide enough information to determine if you meet eligibility requirements. If you use one, please be sure to add the information listed below.

Resume Content

Resumes must thoroughly describe how your skills and experiences align to the criteria in the job announcement. It must also support your responses to the assessment questionnaire. To do this, be sure to include detailed examples in your resume.   

Why? We operate under various federal employment laws, rules, and regulations. We are prohibited from drawing conclusions or making assumptions regarding your experience or qualifications.

Resume Checklist

We encourage you to use the  USAJobs online Resume Builder . If you use your own resume, you must include the following information:

  • Contact information . This includes your name, address, day and evening telephone numbers, and email address
  • Citizenship (if other than the U.S.)
  • Relevant work experience . This includes paid and unpaid experiences. For instance, volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religions; spiritual; community; student; social)

For each employment listed, include the following information:

  • Dates of employment . Include beginning and end dates in the following format: month/day/year
  • Hours per week . We assume fulltime unless otherwise stated. Employment will be prorated in crediting experience.
  • Include any supervisory/managerial responsibilities and number of staff supervised (if applicable). This information helps determine if you meet minimum eligibility requirements for the position.
  • Review the qualifications section in the job announcement closely and directly address the education, skills, and experience required in your resume.
  • Series and grade or equivalent (if a Federal position)

Education R equirement

If the position has an education requirement or you are qualifying on the basis of education, include the following:

  • Education history .  Specify the type of degree and major of study. 
  • Relevant courses . This information is needed if the position requires credit hours.

Do NOT Include

On your resume and cover letter, you should not include any of the following:

  • A photograph or video of yourself
  • Any sensitive information (age, date of birth, marital status, protected health information, religious affiliation, social security number, etc.)  
  • Links to web pages
  • Spell out all acronyms .
  • Projects worked on
  • Specific duties and tasks
  • Tools, software, or systems
  • Results and outcomes (i.e. saved money, time, consolidated resources, etc.)
  • Example: an individual in the budget field has "worked with disseminating budgets for small projects." To make the description more relevant, the applicant describes the experience with numbers, "disseminated budgets for small projects amounting to $450,000."
  • Example: When a recruiter reads the keyword "analyst," he or she might assume you have experience in collecting data and evaluating effectiveness.
  • If a job announcement uses a keyword such as "develops," use it in your resume. It is representative of independence in work assignments and the range of responsibility for the available position.
  • Be honest . Be honest in describing your accomplishments, but not modest.
  • Use reverse chronological order to list experience . Start with your most recent experience first and work your way back. An exception: when it is more appropriate to list your most relevant work experience first (e.g. if you are changing careers).
  • Tailor your resume to include information relevant to the specific position you are applying to. Education and work experience that is indirectly related can be excluded if the resume begins to grow too long.
  • Be concise and keep paragraphs short. To make your resume easier to read, add a brief, relevant heading to paragraphs to maximize readability.
  • Use bullets to describe your experiences and accomplishments.
  • Ensure correct grammar and no spelling errors . Your resume is your first impression – make it a good one!
  • Resume Builder
  • Resume Writing
  • USAJOBS Guidance  

Contact us to ask a question, provide feedback, or report a problem.

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Writing a Federal Resume

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

Candidate Information 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.

Work experience 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.

Education 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.

Optional Information

For the best shot at a position, provide as much pertinent information as possible in optional sections, including:

Job–related training 

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.

Language skills 

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.

Professional publications

If you’ve been published, include the outlets you’ve contributed to, the publication names and the date your submissions were published.

Additional information 

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.