Informative guide highlighting the basics of federal employment and resumes

Applying for a federal career presents its own unique set of challenges, and if these challenges are not addressed properly, then you significantly reduce your chances of getting the job you want. The type of resume you create will be highly influenced by the federal career you are interested in, though if you have a number of separate careers in mind, then you are able to store five different resumes with the US federal job agency.
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Information you need to include

Your resume will include most of what you would include for any civilian job, though there are a few extras. General information includes your previous employers, job titles, responsibilities, training, qualifications and accomplishments, awards and education. You will also need to include at least three professional references on the resume, including their names and contact details. Previous supervisors and academic professors and tutors are the best options. Similarly, all evidence of qualifications and education need to clearly detail when’s, where’s, who’s and what’s. Federal jobs have a much more stringent application process, and this is why you need to be so detailed. Look at federal resume examples to see just how detailed you need to be.

Each federal vacancy will inform which additional tasks you need to perform, such as conducting online questionnaires and providing additional documentation.

Resume structure

The resume will include your personal information, an objective, education, work experience and qualifications. How this information will be presented is a matter of choice between chronological, functional, targeted or combination formats. Chronological resumes will list in reverse chronological order your education, work experience and other relevant activities – best for older candidates with more work experience. Functional resumes will instead have headings for skills, accomplishments, competencies and so on, under which you will include educational and working details. Combination resumes are a mix of both, and target resumes will target a specific job role or firm. 

There is no set length or format for a federal resume, though the resume needs to be very well organized and well formatted, so that it clearly presents your key information. Unlike other resumes, don’t make the margins or line spacing too small simply to reach a desired page count, as you don’t want a crowded resume. Control the pacing of the resume and make it easier to read by using a part paragraph part bullet-point combination. Federal resume examples will help you to find examples of good formatting.