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Building Your Federal Resume3 minute read • Dec. 12, 2018
A federal government job is often a great transition for military personnel. But a resume for a federal job is different from a civilian resume. It’s longer, more detailed and includes specific job-related terminology. Follow these resume tips and build your resume using the Resume Builder at USAJobs:
- Collect your assets. Make sure you have these things gathered:
- Contact information for your former supervisors
- Performance appraisals
- Letters of recommendation
- Military documentation like your DD214, ACE transcripts and Verification of Military Experience and Training
- Any additional information that could help you stand out as an applicant
- Create a master resume that includes your work history, skills, accomplishments, volunteer work and training. Edit it for accuracy and clarity.
- Use the federal agency’s online resume builder.
- Copy and paste sections from your master resume into the online resume builder website of the federal agency that you are applying to.
- You can also create a hard copy of your resume if a federal agency requires one.
- Choose your words carefully.
- Human resources staff, or a computer program, will scan your resume for job-related key words and phrases.
- Incorporate key words and phrases from the “Duties” or “Qualifications” section of the job vacancy notice into the “Work History” section of your resume.
- Fill in the details
- Showcase details that demonstrate your past responsibilities and your work ethic.
- Use numbers to quantify your accomplishments. Point out, for example, that you “reduced department expenses by 30 percent in the first six months.”
- Check spelling and accuracy.
- Proofread your resume.
- Have a friend or family member proofread it.
- Find a federal employee or someone with human resource experience to review your resume, if possible.
- Read your resume backwards to catch spelling or typos.
- Submit your resume and follow up. Make sure the receiving agency received your resume. Follow the agency’s policies and timelines to check the status.
Here’s more help
- Most federal jobs are listed on the federal government’s USAJOBS site. The site also lets you create an account, online profile, and save your job searches.
- Feds Hire Vets is operated by the Office of Personnel Management. It has lots of good intel about federal employment for veterans and transitioning service members.
- Your installation’s Transition Assistance Program has more information and employment support.