How To Write a Federal Resume

If you want to work for a federal agency, you have to write an exceptional resume. This document provides more specific information about you and your experience. A federal resume is required for government HRs who are very strict about the selection process. Therefore, you need to work out this document in detail. You can contact our team to get a resume done professionally though.

How To Write a Federal Resume

How To Write a Federal Resume

Who Needs a Government Resume Format

The federal agency has a whole staff of employees. That means vacancies of various types of activity, for which you need a government resume:

  • Medicine (doctors, pharmacists, and nurses for research)
  • Law enforcement (police, homeland security, criminal investigations)
  • International relations (diplomat, translator)
  • Technology (various IT jobs for government agencies)
  • Legal side (paralegal, judge, state attorney)
  • Business (commerce or treasury)

How Long Should a Federal Resume Be

Since the extract for the government requires more information to ensure its integrity, this extract is quite large. Unlike traditional resumes, which are one or two pages long, federal documents are four to six pages long. The peculiarity of such a resume is that it contains the status of citizenship, security clearance, and wages.

Related: Federal Resume Sample

How To Write a Resume for a Government Job

When researching a vacancy for any federal position, you can use keywords in your resume. It will help you describe your skills and qualifications more easily. Remember to be short and precise. It is also necessary to use simple speech, avoiding contractions.

When wondering “what does a federal resume look like”, you can follow the list of points that you need to add to your federal resume:

  • Citizenship status

You must indicate the status to help the human talents department check and identify you. You do not need to be a US citizen to work in the US. However, some countries may still require a person with their citizenship, but this information must be indicated in the job description.

  • Contact information

It would seem that everything is as usual. You need to indicate the email, phone number, and full name of the person. However, the resume for government jobs requires you to provide your mailing address too.

  • Determine GS grade

GS (i.e., the General Schedule) allows all positions in a federal agency to be classified. It enables you to define your salary and your responsibilities. GS classification bases on a scale of 1 to 15. Each category has ten steps, and each of them contains a precise, predetermined salary increase. If the federal government already employs you, you must indicate your highest GS level and current salary.

  • List work experience

The last ten years have been the period that interests federal hiring managers. What did you do? When did you start? Everything needs to be thoroughly stated in the document.

As with a regular resume, it is worth writing exactly the experience related to the position you are applying for. However, it is best to use a reverse-chronological format for government resumes, where you indicate your most recent experience first.

Read More: Resume Format Guide

But in case you are significantly lacking in experience in this area, focus on your education. And then, select the closest positions that can show your professionalism in your field.

Work experience is an indicator of your qualifications. Therefore, include the following information on your resume:

  • Job title assigned to you by your employer.
  • Full name and location of the employer. And if you worked in another state/country, then necessarily a city, region, state, or country.
  • Your supervisor’s name and contact information. It allows hiring managers to contact your supervisor to verify information about you.
  • Start and end date of work. Human resources personnel need to know how much time you have spent in each of your positions. If you are still in any place, please indicate that you are still in the process with the word “present.”
  • A detailed description of your responsibilities. That is where you can apply keywords from your job description to complement your resume with the required skills. Telling absolutely everything about your experience and accomplishments helps the hiring manager determine where and how you learned specific skills. You can put all your awards in a separate section to quantify your achievements. Use dates and statistics for doing that.
  • Working hours per week. The average number also allows human resources personnel to assess your experience. Often, federal agencies require candidates to have a minimum of 50 weeks of work experience.
  •  Education.

Besides specifying degrees and certificates, you need to mention the school where you attended. Moreover, the experience of studying abroad, obtaining grants, as well as studying at home is not a superfluous information. Present all the data in a proper form. For each institution, try to fill in all the information about:

  • Years of attendance
  • Year of graduation
  • All degrees and qualifications, as well as awards and distinctions
  • Average mark of grades in the certificate and the total number of credit hours
  • Membership in educational or professional organizations
  • Term papers and projects

What Else Is Worth Adding to Your Government Resume Format?

Unlike a regular resume, a federal one requires as much information about you as possible. Therefore, no information is an excessive one.

  • If you already work for a federal agency, be sure to include security clearance, as it determines the extent of your access to the security system.
  • Extra education. It includes various courses or skills you didn’t list earlier but have honed in practice. Technical skills can also be critical if your desired position requires them.
  • Publications. If you have done the research, published articles, then you need to indicate the dates and issues of them.
  • Volunteer work and any organizations in which you are a member. That can show a dedication to the cause you serve.
  • Foreign languages. If you speak another language besides your native one, this can be a plus for your position.


After submitting your application, the human resources department uses the information to check if you have the right qualifications. After careful monitoring, they use other forms of candidate selection, such as testing or interviews. However, a resume is the point of departure by which the hiring manager determines your accuracy and honesty. Knowing how to write a federal resume and making one are the most challenging tasks that require the most concentration and confidence.

Why not reduce your anxiety about that by referring to ResumeEdge? Our team has extensive experience in federal documents writing, and we understand your desire to have the best resume for a government job, so you can stand out among other candidates for the desired position. Working with us makes your resume application process much more manageable, and thus, you will be able to prove yourself more in interviews, showing confidence in your abilities and knowledge.

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