How to Write a Federal Resume

Many applicants do not know how to write a resume for federal positions or where to apply for positions.  USAJOBS is the Federal Government’s official one-stop source for federal jobs and employment information. The majority of all available federal positions can be found via that site.

After creating an account the next step will be to create the resume.  USAJOBS provides two methods for creating the resume, Build or Upload.  This article is design to discuss some key things to have in the resume regardless of which method is used for creating the resume.

There are a few methods for writing and creating a federal resume, the first key is to review the major duties of the job announcement. You MUST “mirror” your resume on the major duties and the KSA’s (Knowledge, Skills and Abilities) to ensure you have all the information required to meet the minimum qualifications for the position you are applying for.

You need to create a word document and type your “basic” resume up in your desired format. Once you have your basic resume, make a folder for other more specific resumes you may need to create for positions you may apply for. Once you have your basic resume completed you will be able to edited the basic resume and tailor it toward other positions.

Second, in order to tailor your resume, I suggest you copy and paste the “major duties” section of the job announcement you are going to apply to into your basic resume and explain in detail how you meet the “major duties” of that particular job announcement. You can do this in bullet format, or in a standard resume format. Either way, you need to custom tailor your resume in order to receive full qualification consideration from the agency advertising the job announcement.

If your basic resume doesn’t state those exact “major duties” you may not be found qualified for the job announcement. Don’t be afraid to contact the point of contact on the job announcement. If there is a number or an email address, you may contact that point of contact to ask about the major duties, KSAs or if your application was received or not.

The bottom line is to custom your resume toward the job announcement in order to ensure your application receives the attention it deserves. Keep in mind, if you over state your qualifications your application can be discarded. Be honest, detailed and exact. All the best to you on your achieving your federal career.

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