18 Tips for Writing a Federal Resume

  1.  Whereas a private sector resume may be 1-2 pages, a Federal resume requires more detail and may be as long as 3-5 pages.
  2.  Be descriptive but keep paragraphs short.  Use simple, straightforward, and essential information.  This makes your resume easier to read.
  3.  Don’t be vague – emphasize nouns, action verbs, and provide concrete information
  4.  Be clear and concise about what you do
  5.  Use action words in past tense, “ I designed and implemented”
  6.  Describe what you did, especially if you’re performing work above your level
  7.  Use plain English, not jargon and acronyms – spell acronyms out at least once
  8.  Include paid and volunteer work experience (include number of hours)
  9.  List On-Job-Training (OJT)
  10.  List recent training and awards
  11.  Include your education (include units or semester/quarter hours)
  12.  List vocational courses taken
  13.  List college degrees and any relevant courses taken – include year completed
  14.  Experience you’ve gained in your specialized field
  15.  Total number of hours you attended courses
  16.  Military Service
  17.  Courses you’ve taken while in military
  18.  Remember to spell check your resume

NOTE: Be sure to read the job announcement carefully and PAY ATTENTION to the wording.  Though it is not advisable to cut and paste directly from the announcement (managers can spot that a mile away), it is important to respond to the needs of the position.  For example, if an HR Specialist job announcement says “Able to provide advice and guidance to managers and the walk-ins” you want to show experience giving great customer service to both higher level supervisors and the general public.  The phrase “provide advice and guidance” is one you can use for your resume, but the experience should be all yours.

For more tips and information on how to write an effective resume, go to https://help.usajobs.gov/index.php/Tips

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