How to Write a Federal Resume (Tips + Examples)

How to Write a Federal Resume (Tips + Examples)

There are several elements that must be included in a federal resume. The standard information must be included, including a postal address to assist in the vetting process. The required nationality or citizenship should also be provided. Federal resumes usually ask for the highest GS grade. In general, however, the federal resume is less comprehensive than its civilian counterpart.

The process of writing a federal resume differs from that of a conventional resume. This document must be 2-4 pages long and should highlight skills, GS ratings, and clearance. Make sure you add details and show your willingness to dig for answers. Moreover, make sure you do not use bad grammar or misspell words. A federal resume sample can be very useful. Read through these tips and examples to write a winning federal resume.

Federal Resume Sample
Federal Resume Sample

Writing a federal resume

If you’re interested in getting a federal job, writing a federal resume will give you an edge over the competition. While few companies specialize in federal resume writing, the resume writing professionals at iCareerSolutions have over 30 years of experience in federal resume writing. Here are some tips for writing a federal resume.

Ensure the information provided in your federal resume matches the vacancy. Ensure that you provide quantifiable data and specific achievements. If you’re not familiar with federal resume writing, review our federal resume template, or hire professionals who can create a document that wins you the interview. Ensure to follow the application process for federal positions, paying special attention to essay requirements and additional questions. Finally, be mindful of the deadlines!

How is a federal resume different from a regular resume?

While most private sector resumes can be one to two pages long, a federal resume can run two to five pages. This resume must contain a detailed description of your achievements, skills, and experience. The resume also needs to include your name, citizenship, and veteran preference. If you’re applying for a government position, you should update your resume regularly to reflect current changes in the government’s requirements.

In both private sector and federal resumes, include keywords relevant to the job description, and put them before your first paragraph. Make sure to use them as category titles, too. Federal resumes should also contain your education and training information, which includes the month and year you graduated. Similarly, you should also list any relevant courses, licenses, or GPA. If applicable, include your career profile. If you have one, it will increase the number of keywords you have on your resume.

Federal Resume Sample
Federal Resume Sample

Federal government resumes require more information and detail than conventional resumes. Federal resumes typically require more than two pages and must include information about previous jobs, education, and skills. Federal resumes should be well-organized, easy to scan, and contain keywords and core competencies. If you’re having trouble keeping track of all the information, it’s probably time for a revision. One tip for writing federal government resumes is to use the headline format. The headline format uses keywords to highlight specific skills and experiences that make you an excellent candidate for federal jobs.

What is the best format for a federal resume?

The format of a federal government resume differs greatly depending on the type of job you are applying for. Federal resumes for new employees are likely to highlight relevant educational credentials and internships. Federal resumes for experienced employees, on the other hand, will focus more on skills and experiences. A resume for a newly hired federal employee should highlight relevant education, skills, and experience. Listed below are the most important components of a federal resume.

Firstly, you should prioritize the most recent work experience and training. The format of a federal resume should be in reverse chronological order. Increased details are also appropriate for recent, relevant work experience. Format these sections in bullet or paragraph format. You should avoid including irrelevant information on the first page of your resume. If the job is for a highly technical position, you can use a chronological format. The objective of the format is to impress the hiring manager and land the job.

Secondly, a federal government resume should show the hiring manager that you have the skills and qualifications for the position. It must be clear that your skills and experience match those of the hiring manager’s needs. Use the job description to identify the required skills and qualifications. List these skills in order of importance, and be sure to include examples of how you have used these skills in previous jobs.

Use persuasive language when writing your federal resume. The goal is to get the hiring manager’s attention and land the interview. Use strong verbs such as “created,” “managed,” “improved,” and “resolved.” Be sure to proofread your resume for grammar and spelling errors. The federal government is a stickler for detail, so make sure your resume is flawless.

When writing a federal resume, you should provide additional information about your education, especially if it is for a federal job. The required information includes your GS grades, number of credit hours, date of completion, citizenship, and security clearance. Federal government hiring managers can evaluate your qualifications based on these elements. You can draw from the job description language and emphasize your highest GS grade. If you have any honors or special recognition, you should include them on your resume.

Federal Resume Certifications Section
Federal Resume Certifications Section


When constructing your federal resume, make sure to include achievements relevant to the job description. Include any special recognition and quantify them in your achievements list. If you have worked for the Department of Defense, state your security clearance information. Alternatively, if you want to join NASA’s mission, state your security clearance and where you are currently employed. If you have a background in the military, add details about your military career in your federal resume.

When composing your federal resume, you must include the basic applicant information, including your job history, contact information, and references from previous federal government employers. However, you can also include specific information regarding your qualifications, such as certifications, degrees, awards, and special achievements. Federal resumes also require you to list any memberships or publications that you have.

When listing achievements, it is important to provide examples that demonstrate your abilities in managing time and money. For example, you could list your 25 percent efficiency improvement from the previous year or a prospecting letter that resulted in $25,000 in donations. If you’ve been responsible for a large amount of work, include examples of how you’ve managed it, such as when you managed a student organization budget. If you’ve been responsible for writing hundreds of news releases under strict daily deadlines, you should include this detail as well.


Creating a great federal resume involves a mix of science and art. The art is in making a dry document look interesting and appealing, while the science is in giving the employer specific information that demonstrates your qualifications for a particular position. The intentional combination of both components can help your resume get noticed and be read, which ultimately results in an interview and a job offer. To help you get started on the right foot, use examples of federal resumes to guide you through the process.

Federal Resume Keywords Section
Federal Resume Keywords Section

When writing a federal resume, you should remember to include keywords that are relevant to the job description. In private sector resumes, keywords should be at the beginning of a paragraph, or in a separate category. Federal resumes, on the other hand, should list the dates and name of your educational attainment, GPA, and credits earned. Federal resumes also feature information about any relevant certifications, licenses, or specialized technical skills you possess.

The best way to make sure your resume stands out from the rest is to find an expert resume writer who is familiar with federal hiring practices. A professional federal resume writer can help you craft a winning document that will get you the interview. Remember to follow the application process, and pay attention to any additional questions or essay requirements. Again, pay attention to the deadlines for federal job applications. You will be surprised at how quickly these documents are read!

What should you not put on a federal resume?

When writing a federal resume, you should avoid including certain types of information. Information that is not relevant to the job or is outdated should be excluded from your resume. For example, you should not include your high school graduation date if you have a college degree. Additionally, you should not list every job you have ever had. Only include jobs that are relevant to the position you are applying for.

In addition, there are certain types of information that are not appropriate to include on a federal resume. Personal information, such as your age, marital status, or religious affiliation, should not be included on your resume. Additionally, you should not include salary information or discuss your reason for leaving previous jobs. Finally, you should not include references on your federal resume. If an employer requests references, you can provide them at that time.

When crafting your federal resume, it is important to remember that less is more. Your goal is to create a document that is clear, concise, and free of any errors. By following these tips, you can ensure that your federal resume will help you get the job you want.

When writing your federal resume, you should:

– Use keywords that are relevant to the job description

– Include dates and name of educational attainment, GPA, and credits earned

– List any relevant certifications, licenses, or specialized technical skills you possess

– Find an expert resume writer who is familiar with federal hiring practices

What should you not put on a federal resume?

– Information that is not relevant to the job or is outdated

– Personal information, such as your age, marital status, or religious affiliation

– Salary information or reasons for leaving previous jobs

– References

How do you list a GS level on a resume?

To list a GS level on a resume, you should include the grade level and pay scale for the position. For example, “GS-11, $54,028 per year.” If you are applying for a federal job, you should include your GS level on your resume.

Federal Resume GS Section
Federal Resume GS Section

See our Government and Federal Resume Writing Services


Arno Markus Resume Writer

About the author

Arno Markus ​BA, MSc., CPRW

Arno Markus Resume Writer

Arno Markus ​BA, MSc., CPRW
iCareerSolutions CEO and Founder

Arno Markus is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and founder of iCareerSolutions. Arno has helped $50K to $2M salary employees through their entire job search, including creating a resume that got them noticed and landing interviews for the position they wanted. 

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