How to Write a Government Resume

Including keywords found in the job announcement will make your resume more effective.
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The federal government offers many career opportunities, but the hiring channels differ from those in the private sector, starting with the type of resume required. Resumes for federal government positions are similar to private sector resumes, but they tend to be longer, averaging four or five pages and requiring more detail. You can build a federal resume online on federal employment sites for most government positions. However, you can also compile a government resume offline if you follow the guidelines.

    Step 1

    Head your resume with your name, address, telephone number and e-mail address. Some federal positions may also require you to indicate your Social Security number, citizenship, veteran's status and current federal status, if applicable. When stating your objective, be sure to include the job vacancy announcement number and the specific title and position you are applying for.

    Step 2

    Compile a Summary of Skills section. This section consists of relevant work that is specific to the position you are applying for. List specific projects, professional licenses, computer proficiencies and volunteer experience, but only those relevant to the position.

    Step 3

    List your work experience, starting with your current or most recent job. List each job by title, dates of employment, salary, location and a supervisor name and contact information. Indicate whether it is OK to contact the supervisors. List only relevant and recent positions. The suggested length of the work experience section is four to seven jobs, if you have that many. Begin each descriptive sentence or bullet point with a "power verb," such as "initiated," "provided" or "created."

    Step 4

    Indicate awards and accomplishments that can enhance your suitability for the position. This section can showcase professional, academic, military and other awards, honors, medals, certificates and accolades that can help prove your knowledge, skills and abilities.


    • When compiling your work experience section, cite positions going back 10 years. Leave out work and volunteer experience prior to 1990 to avoid giving away your age.


    • Tailor each resume to match each position. Review each announcement for details and key words and adjust your federal resume for each position accordingly.


    • Provide only truthful and accurate information on your resume. Do not exaggerate or inflate your credentials or accomplishments. Any inconsistencies, errors or false statements may result in your application package being rejected. Or, if you are hired, you could be terminated.

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