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Tips on Writing a Federal Resume

Resumes are unique and specifically those that are aimed at landing a spot on the federal employment roster or changing jobs within. With a few tweaks, you can create a new federal style resume that highlights your experience while emphasizing your ability to meet the needs of the federal government mission. By using phrases and keywords, for example, along with the criteria mentioned in the vacancy announcement, you can become one of the top candidates!

Finding a way to show value to a government organization while highlighting your knowledge, skills and abilities is challenging. By organizing your information appropriately, you can effectively capture attention while communicating your most important attributes.

  1. Be sure to review the job opening or announcement in detail, be thorough and select the important criteria surrounding the duties or qualifications required so as to be sure you have the qualifications to do the job they are looking to fill.

  2. Demonstrate your experience surrounding these specific qualifications and build upon them with your skills and abilities; present a picture of a solid understanding of them while meeting requirements.

  3. Illustrate and highlight performances by incorporating personal success stories into the resume; be sure to address examples for each of the duty areas mentioned in the open position. Use statistics and numbers where you can (saved x amount of time and/or money for the company, etc.).

  4. In addition to employment highlights, be sure to include any hobby/volunteer skills that may be applicable or perhaps those acquired from an additional part-time career (past or present).. (writing, bookkeeping, editing, etc.)

  5. List any and all education that is currently being pursued (additional degree, certifications, etc.).

  6. List any and all awards, achievements, hobbies or titles applicable to the skills surrounding the position you are seeking (author, publisher, blog, etc.).

  7. Include any unique responsibilities (international travel, deployments, military reserves, etc.)

  8. Make it personal where you can and be sure to avoid using acronyms that others may not understand; proofread and ensure formatting, tone and tense are appropriate (bullet format, bold where applicable, reverse chronological order, etc.).

  9. Highlight your computer skills (MS Word, Project, Excel, Powerpoint, Graphic Designer, etc.) as applicable

  10. Include your resume even though the organization or agency may require an additional application

Some keywords found on government resume submissions include:

Spearheaded – Improved – Managed

Streamlined – Authored – Developed

Steadfast – Saved – Implemented

Fostered – Engaged – Hand-Picked

The above words can assist in not only capturing your expertise, but effectively highlighting your accomplishments. With a simple change, here is an example:

Old: Worked with a small team to develop a new mobility application for our organization which was very successful.

New: Spearheaded a new mobility application (called XFirst), which expanded our European business market segment by 10% and increased our international sales by 5% in year one.

Overall, be sure to present your knowledge, skills and abilities in an organized, yet attention grabbing fashion; highlight your experiences and background to demonstrate a sound ability to meet job expectations. Proofread, proofread, proofread to ensure an error-free submission; be timely with all responses, ensure proper tone and format as well and maintain a positive attitude with the recruiter at all times.

Good Luck!


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