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What's The Difference Between Federal Resumes and Civilian Resumes?

Updated: Nov 21, 2023

A resume is said to be one of the most important job hunting tools. Without a resume, employers will never have a way to contact you, nor evaluate if you're the right person for the job. And now, in a very competitive market, having the best resume is a surefire way to get called in for an interview. One way to get a great resume is by having a highly established and reputable top notch professional resume writing service help you with your federal or civilian resume and cover letter.

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However, not all resumes are created equal. Some resumes are better than others. In some cases, some resumes may not even be accepted in the position you're applying for. For example, a Federal Resume: a resume used for applying for Federal government jobs. It differs a lot from the Standard resume used for civilian jobs.

What is a Federal Resume?

A Federal resume is a resume that is made specifically for Federal government positions. Usually, when you go and apply for federal jobs, you will most likely use the following website: The Federal resume is usually one of the most relevant documents needed when applying for a job for the Federal government.

Usually, Federal positions require certain information present on the resume. Because of this, Federal Resumes are written and repurposed for the exact certain position. Job postings and announcements usually list down the details and information needed. Missing information or not following the presented guidelines will most likely get your federal resume in the trash bin. On top of that, the information listed on Federal resumes must be listed in the specific order specified. This is because all applicants' resumes are evaluated uniformly. Thus, having one format for all Federal resumes is an efficient way for applicant evaluation.

This information is required on Federal resumes:

Job Information:

Job title, job code, job grade are all usually requested and provided by the one hiring.

Personal Information:

Full name, address, phone numbers, social security number, citizenship, highest Federal position held.


Secondary education, undergraduate degree, graduate degree.

Work Experience:

Starting from the most recent, list down job title with duties and responsibilities, name of employer, address, and contact number.

Other Qualifications:

List down any and all relevant and related job experiences, special courses, skills, certifications, licenses, honors, awards, and special accomplishments.

Usually, Federal resumes should list down any and all job experiences. These resumes usually go as long as three to five pages.

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Here are the differences between federal resumes and civilian resumes:

1. Length: Standard civilian resumes are usually one to two pages long. On the other hand, Federal resumes often exceed that amount, ranging from three to five pages long. This is because of the difference in the evaluation process of the Human Resources specialists of private jobs and federal jobs.

Usually, HR specialists of private corporations want a condensed and specific list of your duties and responsibilities. For Federal jobs, the Human Resources Specialist wants to see all your skills, knowledge, and abilities (SKAs) laid out on the resume, as well as an expanded version of your job experiences -- even including the people you've supervised and their scope of work.

2. Details: While jobs in the private civilian sector usually require that details are presented via bullet points, federal resumes require small paragraphs expounding on each skill, knowledge, and ability. For the standard resume, a short phrase or paragraph will do. However, for a Federal resume, four sentences is the minimum per paragraph.

3. Keywords: Usually, keywords are sneakily melded into the language of your standard resume. For Federal resumes, the keywords are usually spelled out, in all capital letters, before the paragraph. Because of the volume of applications received, making the keywords as conspicuous as possible is key.

4. Achievements: Standard resumes are so condensed that there is usually no space left for a list of achievements and awards. For the Federal resume, a list of achievements and awards is mandatory and should be expounded on. This shows your qualifications, and will give you better chances of being called in for an interview.

If you are still having trouble writing your federal or civilian resume, a great professional federal resume writing service in Phoenix, AZ will make a comprehensive resume for you. Whether you need a standard civilian or Federal resume, these services will deliver a targeted resume and cover letter that's sure to grab you the next job interview.

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