Federal Resume Tips

Preparing a Federal government resume is much trickier than writing a private sector resume. While you might have been able to allude to experiences or qualifications on a private sector resume, you really have to be detailed for the Federal government. From qualifications to listing on keywords that were featured in the job announcement, everything needs to be explicitly stated on a federal resume, even if it seems superfluous.

Whether it’s because Uncle Sam is too busy for conjecturing, or just not sharp enough to understand what you’re trying to say, they want you to tell them everything. For example, if the job announcement calls for leadership, you need to explicitly state that you have supervising experience due to…. Don’t just say you were a supervisor. Likewise, if the job announcement asks for Excel experience, don’t say spreadsheets in your resume. Say Excel. Utilize these keywords to bring the focus and attention of the reader to your federal resume.

In the end, you should consider your federal resume like a more detailed account of your private sector resume. It’s very much comparable to the interview that you have in the private sector, in that they want to know everything. While you shouldn’t go on for ten pages, you need to list the experience the job announcement asks for and show clearly you can do for the employer. Using the words from the job announcement will show the reader that you are capable of doing the job.

Government jobs are much more intensive, and so is the application process. When writing a government resume you must prove to the reader that you are qualified for the job.  

Unlike most civilian companies, the government doesn’t have the time to interview candidates to weed out the less qualified applicants. They need to focus only on the capable applicants and will only interview the most qualified. You can make this decision simpler for them by giving lots of details and showcasing you are the best candidate for the position.

Another reason that so much detail is required in federal resume writing is that some Federal hiring managers don’t conduct interviews. Therefore, if you gibe them what they want to read, you could land a job simply by submitting a resume.

Obviously, you need to invest more into this type of resume than a traditional private sector resume. After all, you’re going to be working for Uncle Sam, so you should show that you are committed to giving more than 100% by providing a detailed resume and meeting all of the application requirements of the job announcement.

To summarize, Federal resume writing may seem complicated, but it does not have to be. Just keep this in mind, and you’ll be fine. Remember these points:
·    Details, details, details —be very clear and provide a thorough explanation of your past experience
·    Spell it out — use the keywords listed in the job announcement in your federal resume to show exactly what you can do
·    Attention — make sure that you write your federal resume in a manner that draws attention to it and demonstrates that you are the best candidate for the job.
·    Too much is always better than less when it comes to providing data on a government resume.


Gail Esparan