At the Resume Place, when we give you a Free Project Review, we evaluate your resume to determine whether or not your current draft has all of the required components of a federal resume. Almost all of the resumes we review are NOT federal resumes. Below is my short list for you to use to determine if you have a federal resume or not.
A Federal Resume Is NOT:
- A life history of all of your jobs
- Two-page private sector resume with bullets
- Functional resume
- Old school “Resumix” big block resume
- Combination functional and chronological
- Curriculum Vitae
- One-page resume
Federal Resumes Should NOT Include:
- Two columns of text at the top of the resume with generic skills
- Long summary narratives at the top of the resume with generic skill statements
- Passive voice verbs such as: responsible for, duties include, assisted with, helped with, served as, and participated in
- Positions from 1960, 1970 or even 1980 (which will imply that you are older than 50 or 60 years old). LEAVE OFF THESE DATES!
Federal Resumes – Required Features:
- FORMAT: Reverse chronological resume
- 3 to 5 pages in length
- Includes ONLY recent and relevant positions
- Targets a specific USAJOBS announcement and includes the keywords from the announcement
- Includes ALL required information from the USAJOBS Builder:
- Month and year for employers
- Street address and zip code for address
- Classroom hours for education
A federal resume is the REQUIRED format for a federal application. If your resume is not the right format, you may lose consideration for a federal job. Don’t be creative or clever with your federal resume, and you will give yourself the best chance to get Best Qualified for the position.
Kathryn Troutman is known as the Federal Resume Guru and is the developer of the Ten Steps to a Federal Job®. She teaches hundreds of career counselors each year about her highly acclaimed methods of federal job search and has published dozens of titles, including the recent award-winning Student’s Federal Career Guide 3rd Edition.