What exactly does a government resume look like? How can I better sell my skills and abilities for that job I really want? Explore these USAjobs tips and tricks in building an effective government resume.
Tip 1: Review the job announcement carefully.
Ensure you qualify for the position and have the required experience and/or education. Federal jobs often require that you have experience in a particular type of work for a certain period of time. You must show how your skills and experiences meet the qualifications and requirements listed in the job announcement to be considered for the job.
For each work experience you list, make sure you include:
- Start and end dates (including the month and year).
- The number of hours you worked per week.
- The level and amount of experience–for instance, whether you served as a project manager or a team member helps to illustrate your level of experience.
- Examples of relevant experiences and accomplishments that prove you can perform the tasks at the level required for the job as stated in the job announcement. Your experience needs to address every required qualification.
Tip 2: Highlight your experience and accomplishments.
Make sure you include volunteer work or your role in community organizations that demonstrate your ability to do the job. Use numbers, percentages or dollars to highlight your accomplishments. You can find this information in your performance reviews, previous job descriptions, awards and letters of recommendation.
When explaining your accomplishments:
- Include examples of how you saved money, earned money, or managed money.
- Include examples of how you saved or managed time.
Tip 3: Customize your resume.
You should tailor your resume to the job announcement rather than sending out the same resume for every job. Customizing your resume helps you match your competencies, knowledge, skills, abilities and experience to the requirements for each job. Leave out experience that isn’t relevant.
Use similar terms and address every required qualification. Your experience needs to address every required qualification in the job announcement. Hiring agencies will look for specific terms in your resume to make sure you have the experience they’re seeking. For example, if the qualifications section says you need experience with “MS Project” you need to use the words ” MS Project” in your resume.
Tip 4: Organize your resume to make it easy to understand.
- Use reverse chronological order to list your experience. Start with your most recent experience first and work your way back.
- Provide greater detail for experience that is relevant to the job for which you are applying.
- Show all experiences and accomplishments under the job in which you earned it. This helps agencies determine the amount of experience you have with that particular skill.
- Use either bullet or paragraph format to describe your experiences and accomplishments.
- Use plain language– avoid using acronyms and terms that are not easily understood.
Tip 5: Be concise.
Hiring agencies often receive dozens or even hundreds of resumes for certain positions. Hiring managers quickly skim through submissions and eliminate candidates who clearly are not qualified.
Look at your resume and ask:
- Can a hiring manager see my main credentials within 10 to 15 seconds?
- Does critical information jump off the page?
- Do I effectively sell myself on the top quarter of the first page?
- Review your resume before you apply
- Check your resume for spelling and grammatical errors and have someone else, with a good eye for detail, review your resume.