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When Should I Have A Professionally Written Federal Resume?

Updated: Sep 29, 2021

Whether you have a federal background or wish to apply for federal jobs, you will be required to go through—the U.S. Government’s authoritative one-stop shop for information concerning federal employment opportunities — a federal resume is a must-have.

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But the process of writing a federal resume can be quite complicated to grasp. Most job seekers who are interested in federal jobs believe that as long as a resume has some basic information on their resume such as their: academic qualifications, job skills, and experience, then that’s all they need. Well, that’s incorrect! A powerful federal resume isn’t your ordinary private industry resume that most job seekers have to apply for jobs.

A federal resume is much different than a typical resume that most job seekers use to apply for private or civilian jobs. A federal resume should contain all the special requirements that are included in the job application. Interpreting the unique demands of a federal job application can be a challenging task. So, how can you differentiate an ordinary private/civilian resume from a federal resume?

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Unlike a regular resume, federal resumes must be formatted to meet the particular needs of the federal job openings. Therefore, if you’re applying for federal jobs or through the website, then you should know that formatting your federal resume will help you stand out from other job applicants.

Done correctly, a powerfully and professionally written federal resume can help you nail that job interview.

Here are the five must-haves for a powerfully crafted federal resume:

#1: Extra Personal Information

An ordinary resume has personal information details such as names, addresses and contact information. However, if you’re crafting a federal resume, you shouldn’t just state your personal information. Besides the personal information, your federal resume should also state the following:

  • Country of citizenship.

  • Federal Grade code.

  • Most recent employment salary information.

  • Supervisors name, number, and contact information.

  • Whether you’ve served in the military or you’re a civilian.

  • Federal status. State your highest federal civilian and the reinstatement eligibility.

#2: Federal Resume should pass the Application Tracking Software (ATS)

The sheer volume of federal resumes that go through the makes it nearly impossible for hiring managers to review each and every resume manually. This is why federal recruitment process has been automated through the Application Tracking Software (ATS).

The ATS has streamlined the hiring process by ensuring that only the federal resumes that closely match requirements of federal jobs posted are considered. Therefore, your federal resume has to be ATS compliant. If your federal resume does not contain the proper information or is improperly formatted, your resume will not pass the software scan. So, how can a federal resume be made ATS compliant? Good question.

There should be no mismatch between the federal resume that you submit to and how you respond to the questionnaires in the job application. This means your federal resume should be crafted in a manner that showcases the core competencies they are seeking and the skills and job experiences that have been highlighted in the advertised federal job.

#3: Federal Resume should be Search Engine Optimized

Your federal resume can have excellent information concerning your job skills, core competencies, and job experiences. However, if it doesn’t contain the keywords or phrases that your hiring manager or the software system is looking for, then your resume won’t pass the scan and you won’t get called in for an interview.

A federal resume that’s search engine optimized has all the keywords that align it with what hiring managers are looking for. Back in the days when ATS’s were first tested in streamlining of recruitment processes, all your resume needed was the right keywords. Well, that has changed.

Today’s ATS’s have become more sophisticated—with advanced search capabilities, just like search engines—that don’t just look for keywords, but also scan your federal resume for its appropriateness and relevant context. For instance, if you list “Programming” as your technical skill, then listing of language proficiency under the different prior roles will not trick the recruitment system.

For that reason, a federal resume that’s search engine optimized should contain the right keywords that are used appropriately and in the in proper context depending on the federal job that has been advertised.

#4: Professional Accomplishments

A federal resume requires more details regarding accomplishments than ordinary resumes. Besides the information that you do provide on a regular resume—such as the employer’s name, address, the position, dates and the position you held—you should go further and provide your supervisor’s name, his/her contact information, salary details, and average number of hours you worked for a month or a week.

#5: Putting Together a Federal Resume

As you’ve noticed, writing a federal resume is more demanding and time-consuming than an ordinary resume. In essence, writing a federal resume requires more specific details for every section—beginning with personal information, academic qualifications, and professional achievements. Therefore, a federal resume will be longer—usually between 2 to 6 pages—than an ordinary resume.

Bottom Line

Applying for a federal job can be quite intimidating, as a result of a long list of special requirements that you must include in your federal resumes. Since a federal resume is the first impression that you make to a hiring a manager, it has to be perfect. If you’re not a wordsmith, then you’ll fail to nail an interview for that federal job that has been advertised.

On the other hand, a powerfully crafted federal resume can help you stand out from the rest of job applicants. You might want to consider hiring an expert and professional federal resume writing agency if you need help or are unsure on what to include in your federal resume.

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