Job Search Guide: Federal Resumes

Up until a few months ago, I had no idea federal resumes were a thing that people should have - especially if they want to go into some form of government service.  I have since learned how to create my own and have used it to submit to various job applications that parse your resume online. Essentially, a federal resume is a resume with every single place you've worked at and details what you did at each job. Federal resumes are typically longer and great for  online job applications where they can parce through your resume and populate your experiences. 

The difference between a federal resume vs. a typical resume:

  • A federal resume is detailed. If you want to work for a federal government or if you are applying to an online job that searches for resume keywords, the more detail you have in your resume the better.
  • In contrast, the typical resume a college student has is only one page and doesn't have too much detail in it, it is meant to provide a summary of only your most recent experiences and skills. 
  • Federal resumes should have almost all of the jobs that you have ever worked on, whereas one-page professional resumes should only have the most recent 2 or 3 jobs. 

How to write a Federal Resume:

Start with the basic layout of a typical one-page resume and expand. Go into detail about every little aspect.

  1. Include every place that you have worked at and what you did/what you learned from it.
  2. Include your skills and explain thoroughly the details behind them.
  3. Talk about any research, events, awards, and achievements you have and write at least a sentence on each.
  4. If you are a part of any organizations, go into detail and explain any leadership positions you may have had, projects you worked on with the group and any special events you helped put on.
  5. The more detailed the better. Try to structure your resume chronologically and with separate sections

Where to use a Federal Resume:

  • careers.state.gov
  • usajobs.gov
  • any online job application that searches your resume for keywords or phrases
  • any job where the more background you have the better chance you have of getting the job