Frequently Asked Questions


How can I write my own competitive federal resume? Or get professional help at an affordable price?

SAVE MONEY on professional writing services by preparing a draft of your federal resume with the above resources, using the USAJOBS Resume Builder (for all of the correct compliance information) and using our FREE accomplishment builder to draft a few accomplishments, BEFORE we can take your case for professional writing.

Should I use the USAJOBS Builder or the Upload feature in USAJOBS?

Build your resume in the USAJOBS Builder. The USAJOBS Builder is preferred by federal human resources specialists. We highly recommend that you put your resume into the Builder before you ask us for a quote for writing services. The Builder requires certain information that is MANDATORY FOR YOUR FEDERAL RESUME, and having that information already in your resume saves our writers up to an hour of time spent eliciting that information from you…in turn, saving you money.
www.usajobs.gov – Set up your profile and complete the Resume Builder!

How do I find the keywords for a federal position before an announcement is posted?

Read the OPM classification standards, which include official descriptions of the various positions in government. We highly recommend that you look at your target position in the OPM standards BEFORE you begin your job search and attempt to write your federal resume:
https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/classifying-general-schedule-positions/#url=Standards

What is the best format for a federal resume?

View OUTLINE FORMAT FEDERAL RESUME samples of relevant, competitive, correct, targeted USAJOBS outline format federal resumes. The samples in the above books are researched, developed, and targeted for specific jobseekers (students, current federal workers, veterans, etc.) and are not available on the Internet.

Where can I find the best samples of federal resumes to get Best Qualified, Referred and Interviewed?

Get one of the best books in America on federal resume writing. See the book recommendations below, based on the type of federal jobseeker that you are!


As a Military Spouse, how can I learn to take advantage of federal career programs specially designed for persons such as myself?

Get our newest book — The Stars Are Lined Up for Military Spouses®. Military spouses travel around the world with their military partner for their career. It’s time that military spouses build their own career with the US Government in a federal career. Federal jobs and NAF jobs are available at every military base in the world.

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As a Recent Graduate, what can I do to write a correct federal resume for my first federal application – Pathways or other federal position?

Get the PDF book — Student’s Federal Career Guide, 3rd Ed. This book has 9 samples of recent graduate federal resumes with emphasis on education, including courses, papers, projects, and internships. Available as a PDF only, not a print book, this is a MUST for a first-time federal job applicant who will be seeking to use EDUCATION to qualify for a new position.

Order the PDF download right away to see successful recent graduate student samples:

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As a current FEDERAL EMPLOYEE, what can I do to improve my chances of getting Best Qualified, Referred, and especially Interviewed?
What is the best federal resume sample book for these types of professionals and seeking federal careers?

  • Private sector entry-level professionals
  • Private sector mid-level professionals
  • IT Specialists
  • Program Analyst
  • Administrative Specialists

Federal Resume Guidebook, 6th Ed. (the Number 2 Resume Writing Book in America right now) This book has 10 samples of federal resumes in the Outline Format – the preferred format for federal resumes by HR specialists. It also features samples and chapters on keyword development from the announcements. This book is a MUST for federal employees seeking a grade level promotion or occupational series change.

Get the book – The first edition was written in 1996 right after the SF-171 was eliminated. The current edition features specialty chapters on IT Specialist, Program Analyst, Administrative Officer, and Contract Specialist / Acquisitions federal careers.

Order the print book or the PDF download right away to see successful fed-to-fed samples:

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As a CONTRACTOR to a federal agency, how can I write a federal resume that will feature the relevant knowledge, skills, and abilities that I have developed as a government contractor to land a civil service position?

Federal Resume Guidebook, 6th Ed. (the Number 2 Resume Writing Book in America right now) This book has 10 samples of federal resumes in the Outline Format – the preferred format for federal resumes by HR specialists. It also features samples and chapters on keyword development from the announcements. This book is a MUST for contractors seeking Federal civil service positions.

Many contractors do NOT include the name of their federal agency, laws, regulations, programs, and customers that they serve in the government. This information is imperative for your federal resume as a contractor to show your KSAs and specialized experience. Accomplishments as a contractor are critical. This book will show you the correct format. Your Contractor Resume is just a starter, short version.

Order the print book or the PDF download right away to see successful contractor-to-fed samples:

ORDER NOW!


I am TRANSITIONING FROM THE MILITARY within a year. How can I write a competitive federal resume that will help me to get Best Qualified, Referred, Interviewed, and Hired?

Jobseeker’s Guide, 6th Ed. (used in more than 200 military base transition centers around the world) This book covers the Ten Steps to a Federal Job formula and emphasizes the Outline Format for transitioning military in Step 6. Veteran’s preference, which will be very important in your federal job search, is explained clearly. This book also includes samples/chapters on keyword development from the announcements. This book is a MUST for service members retiring or separating from the military who are interested in federal employment.

After you complete your GPS TAP class you will know about the two-page private sector resume. This resume is a good start for your federal resume. But do NOT use this resume as your federal resume format. Expand these two-pagers into 4 or 5 pages with more details – looking at the samples in Step 6 of the Jobseeker’s Guide.

Order the print book or the PDF download right away to see successful military-to-federal samples:

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As a VETERAN, I would like to use my veteran’s preference to help me land a federal job. What do I need to do to my resume to get Best Qualified, Referred, Interviewed, and Hired into a federal job?

Jobseeker’s Guide, 6th Ed. (used in more than 200 military base transition centers around the world) This book covers the Ten Steps to a Federal Job formula and emphasizes the Outline Format for transitioning military in Step 6. Veteran’s preference, which will be very important in your federal job search, is explained clearly. This book also includes samples/chapters on keyword development from the announcements. This book is a MUST for veterans with 5 or 10 point preference eligibility.

Your civilian career and your military career can be presented to demonstrate the specialized experience for a federal position. You can see the correct format in the Jobseeker’s Guide. Our Certified Federal Resume Writers can determine which career will demonstrate the KSAs and specialized experience best. Our goal is to match your work experience and education to a specific federal job announcement.

Order the print book or the PDF download right away to see successful veterans’ resume samples:

ORDER NOW!

As a MILITARY SPOUSE, I would like to begin a federal career. What do I need to do to my resume to get Best Qualified, Referred, Interviewed, and Hired into a federal job?

Jobseeker’s Guide, 6th Ed. (This book is used in more than 200 military base transition centers in the world) This book covers the Ten Steps to a Federal Job formula and emphasizes the Outline Format for transitioning military in Step 6. This book covers the Ten Steps to a Federal Job PLUS a great sample for a military spouse in Step 6 of the book.

You can see the correct format in the Jobseeker’s Guide. You will need to translate your private sector experiences toward your federal target position. Our writing and coaching goal is to match your work experience and education to a specific federal job announcement.

Order the print book or the PDF download right away to see successful military spouse samples:

ORDER NOW!


I am an ATTORNEY seeking an attorney position in government. What resources do you have for attorney federal resume writing?

The ALJ Writing Guide contains two samples of attorney federal resumes. They are on average 4 pages with descriptions of types/areas of law, including cases and projects that demonstrate past performance. This guide also includes a case list and narrative descriptions of Litigation and Administrative Legal Work. The guide is helpful for analyzing legal core competencies that can help your federal resume to stand out.

Order book or PDF here:

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I am an EXECUTIVE in the private sector … a SENIOR OFFICER in the military … or a senior executive in the federal government seeking a Senior Executive Service position or Career Development Program in government. How can I write an effective SES resume?

The New SES Application by Diane Hudson and Kathryn Troutman is MUST for your SES ECQ writing and the SES / executive federal resume. This book is used as a text in SES ECQ writing workshops throughout government each year and includes a popular method to GET STARTED. Write your Top Ten List of Accomplishments to begin writing your Traditional ECQ narratives. The book is invaluable to a busy executive who needs to write ten pages of top executive leadership accomplishments. The executive federal resume samples in the book are well received by executive recruiters in government because of the emphasis of accomplishments and executive writing style. The newest executive resumes are five pages in length and emphasize the last ten years.

Order a print book or PDF here:

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I am writing my FIRST TWO-PAGE RESUME for networking and marketing for private sector. What samples would be good for my 2017 job search?

The book, Creating Your First Resume, is an award-winning resume guide for writing a one or two-page resume that has design features. Some of the sample resumes in the book are designed with a free template webpage www.hloom.com. Today’s private sector, networking resumes are easy to read and clearly feature top skills and accomplishments. This book is IDEAL for anyone writing their first resume for today’s job search and networking.

Order a print book or PDF here:

ORDER NOW!


How much does an expert federal resume writing and consulting (plus interview) cost for a USAJOBS Builder-compliant federal resume that is targeted toward a specific announcement or occupational series and grade?

$120 per hour for GS 5 to 7 positions (average 3 to 4 hours)
$140 per hour for GS 9 to 12 positions (average 4 hours)
$175 per hour for GS 13, 14 positions (average 5 to 7 hours)
$190 per hour for GS 15 and SES positions (minimum 6 hours)


WRITTEN BY KATHRYN TROUTMAN JULY 2, 2017

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