Federal Career Services

Federal Resume Writing, Federal Career Consulting, USAJOBS applications

5/19/17: “Kathryn – I wanted to let you know that I was accepted into the program! Much thanks for helping me with the write-ups!” (DHS CDP SES)
4/17/17: “Pam, Thank you for all your work in tailoring my resume for the job announcement. I have been referred to the selection official for consideration.”
4/04/17: “Hi Rita. I’m a little shocked this happened so quickly, but it looks like I made the cert for that Program Spec. position.”
9/1/16: “Kathryn, Next week I start a promotion to GS-14 at the Department of the Navy. I continued to apply for promotions tailoring my resume as you suggested.”
7/11/16 Re: Federal Resume Guidebook: “Great resource! Got 9 out of 12 referrals using your guide! Thank you.”
7/11/16: “Hi Debbie: I wanted to tell you that I recently accepted a position as a GS-14 Labor and Employee Relations Specialist. I like the people that I work with.”
7/7/16: “Before reading Kathryn Troutman’s “Federal Resume Guidebook, 6th Edition” I submitted exactly 18 federal job applications and did not receive a single referral. After reading the book and retooling my resume, I was referred, interviewed and selected for the second job for which I applied! Wow!”
5/23/16: “Carla, I just wanted to let you know that I got multiple job offers after many rounds of interviews with different government agencies. I believe that the federally tailored resume that you drafted for me was very helpful in both securing the interview and being selected.”
2/16/16: “Hi Kathryn, As expected, I was offered a Fed job this afternoon. The hiring manager called to give me a heads up that I would be receiving a call from HR offering me the position. The job is ranked at a GS 12.”
2/5/16: “Kathryn and Sarah, I just wanted to thank you for all the work you did to make my USA Jobs application a success! I have been selected for my dream job, and the first comment from the interview panel was; ‘Your resume is very impressive!’ “. COL ‘JD’
01/09/16: “Pam, I was notified this am that I had been referred for the Chemical Inspector position. Thanks for your help!”
“Hi just wanted to let you know I was offered a position with the Feds over $100,000.00 a year with your resume!! I submitted your excellent resume!!!! Going from private to federal!! Thank you!!!! My dream job!”
“Rita, BATTING 1000 … I got a job offer today for the job in Chattanooga. So… I have used The Resume Place twice, once in 2003 and now in 2015. Both times I have gotten the job I applied for. I will definitely refer The Resume Place in the future.”
“Hello Kathryn, just wanted to say hello and that i am a GS -13 now thanks to you and possibly soon making my 14.”
“Though I have a lot of experience I have a difficult time selling myself. I don’t really know how to “toot” my own horn, which is why I realized that I need professional help with my resume/application process.”
“Rita, I got a job offer today for the job in Charleston. So… I have used The Resume Place twice, once in 2003 and now in 2015. Both times I have gotten the job I applied for. I will definitely refer The Resume Place in the future.”
“Because of Debbie’s writing skills, I made the “cert” on five different job applications and interviewed for two of them — both of which tendered offers of employment at the GS-14, Step 7 level!”
“Rita – Yesterday I completed my first day in my new job at Dahlgren as a GS-14.. I have shifted from a cubicle to an office. Life is good.”
Toggle to view welcome video by Kathryn Troutman

Our Most Popular Services


The federal-style resume was introduced in 1996. Since the beginning, we have been on the forefront of creating the best federal resume formats and writing the best federal resumes! More info

Federal Resume Updates

Thanks for coming back to Resume Place for and update of your federal resume and new targeting! Please complete our New Client form and add your current resume into the form. Please tell us in the form what kind of update you are seeking: 1. Add a new position, training, accomplishments; 2. Change the direction of the resume to a new occupational series; 3. Target the resume toward an announcement this is out now, or will be coming out soon. If you have a position description, that can be helpful to us for the update writing. Thanks again! We’ll update and help you get promoted!

Career Coaching / Consultation with Kathryn Troutman

Kathryn Troutman – President of Resume Place and Author of many books on federal resume writing – can coach you in writing your federal resume, analyzing problems with your federal resume, targeting a specific job announcement or government occupational series. Ms. Troutman is available with her years of expertise to give you insight about your USAJOBS application results (find out what is wrong and why you aren’t getting Best Qualified, Referred or Interviews).  If you want to improve your track record or begin a serious federal job search, two hours with Ms. Troutman (two sessions), could turn your application process around.  $190 per hour; total $380.00.
More information here | Order and Pay here

Career Coaching / Consultation

Our certified staff of writers and job coaches can also guide you to maximize your chances of landing your next position. Get the job search insight you need on selecting the right vacancy announcements, crafting an effective resume, and applying correctly. More info

SES Executive Services


Senior Executive Service Consulting

If you are considering or applying for SES positions, get professional, expert coaching on SES ECQ writing, application selection, writing the Technical Qualifications and matching your federal resume. Our writing and SES application strategies can increase your success at the agency and OPM levels. More info

Executive Federal Resume Writing

The executive federal resume is the FIRST document to be reviewed by an agency Executive Review Board. We will craft a resume for you that matches the qualifications, keywords and features leadership accomplishments to pass the ERB. More info

Executive Core Qualifications (ECQ) Writing

Expert ECQ writing, development, coaching, rewriting and recommendations for writing ECQs for the OPM Quality Review Board. Proven knowledge of the QRB preferences, requirements and the Context-Challenge-Action-Results writing model. More info

5 Page SES Resume Writing

Expert 5 page SES resumes including entire career history, education, ECQs, TQs and specialized experience. Keywords are featured, expert profile and writing style approved by the OPM QRB. Complex resume with extensive QRB requirements. More info

Technical Qualifications and MTQ’s

Technical Qualifications written, edited and developed for the ERB review. Highly skilled, expert, executive writers will write TQs and MTQs or edit your drafts for SES applications. More info

Executive Interview Prep

Performance-Based interview practice and preparation for the SES interview. Highly-complex interviews require accomplishment interviews based on the ECQs. Expert practice, coaching and review services available. More info

Additional Federal-Specific Services

Federal Employment Education

Federal Employment Education is critical for your knowledge and strategy in applying to federal jobs. Available topics include: Federal Pay, OPM Occupational Series, Special Hiring Programs for Individual with Special Hiring Considerations, and USAJOBS Navigation and Vacancy Announcement Analysis. More info

Review of Past Federal Job Search History

Do you qualify for a particular vacancy announcement? Which jobs should you feature in your resume? Our expert writers, coaches and editors will review your federal job experience. We will look for the one year specialized experience listed in the Qualifications section of the USJAOBS announcement. We will match the specialized experience to your resume and feature your most relevant career history for the target position. We will also edit and feature the most recent 10 years of federal employment.

Outlining a Plan for Your Federal Job Search Strategy

Get the most realistic recommendations for the best job series for your experience and education; the most frequently hiring agencies for jobseekers with your background; and strategies for applying online.

General Career Services

(Applicable to all categories)

Application Coaching

Applying for a job can be a complex process. Whether the job is with Northrup-Grummond, Petsmart, NSA or Microsoft, you need guidance on how to prepare the best application package to upload or submit into a resume builder.

Interview Preparation

A job interview is a TEST, meaning that you get scored based on how well you answer questions. Get expert coaching in telling your best stories for the Performance Based Interviews. Practice makes perfect. Get feedback and coaching from expert interview coaches and trainers. More info

Offer Negotiation

Expert job coaches can review your offer, advise you on writing your negotiations request for salary, leave, telework, benefits, training, relocation, sign-on bonus and/or Superior Qualifications payment.

LinkedIn Profiles

Your LinkedIn Profile is your online professional presentation. This is critical in today’s job market. Get advice, editorial support and recommendations for a competitive, compelling, persuasive and interesting LinkedIn resume.

Private Industry Resumes

We don’t just write federal resumes! Many of our clients ask for their federal resume to be converted into a private industry resume that can also be used for networking.

Cover Letter Writing

A well-written cover letter can help you put your best foot forward. We can write a cover letter that will effectively feature your top skills and accomplishments.

Award Nomination Narratives

Expert writers can write a nomination narrative for your professional awards. Get interviewed for your top accomplishments, outstanding leadership traits and other credits that can result in awards and recognitions.

Networking Resumes

One or two-page networking resumes can be written to synopsize the best that you have to offer. The top of page one will feature your most important skills and accomplishments. This is quick to read, easy to attach and hand out at conferences, training events and for email communications.

Performance Self-Assessments

Writing an effective self-assessment can result in a bonus, time-off award or outstanding evaluation. Learn how to match the job objectives with your best accomplishments for the year. Impress your supervisor and team members!

Online Resume Format Tutorials

We coach, you write. You can write your own resume with our expert coaching in selecting the best keywords and formatting your resume in the most readable and popular format for your audience. Learn how to write the Outline Format with Keywords and Accomplishments with an Outline Format Coach.

Retirement Resumes

Translating your last ten to fifteen years toward your next career is challenging. Expert writers and career coaches will learn about your next career objectives and write a two-page resume that will summarize your relevant core competencies and experiences. This two-page resume will feature your most important accomplishments and target the next career level that is right for you, whether it is a promotion or a less-pressure job for having fun or contributing your expertise to a certain mission.

Personal Service Contracts

The PSC is basically a personal contract emphasizing the specialized experience and expertise required by the Statement of Work created by the agency, NGO or government contractor. We will analyze your past performance, projects, skills, match them to the SOW, and follow the directions for the contract requirements.

Across Multiple Industries

Federal Employees

Federal employees need a great federal resume to get promoted, change occupational series and change agencies on occasion. The challenge is to write about your current and past positions with the right keywords for your next target position. Covering the KSAs with your best accomplishments within the RESUME is an art and a talent! We are expert with federal employee career advancement!

Corporate to Fed

Transitioning from the private sector to a federal resume usually involves taking a typical two page resume and expanding it to five pages. The Federal HR specialists need more information than the two-pager. The content for the Work Experience section is developed form the language in the USJAOBS announcement. This requires federal HR technical writing and interview skills to transition your resume to the language of government.

Students / Recent Grads

The average student federal resume is 3 or 4 pages. The average private industry resume for a student is 2 pages. The real difference is length, more content, more details, more keywords and competencies from a target job announcement and developing the language to match the Pathways Internship or Recent Grad position. Our writers and coaches can help you stand out from other student or recent grad applicants.


Writing the veteran federal resume requires translating the MOS language to government occupational career language. The translation of skills, competencies is critical for success in getting Best Qualified. The federal resume is very different than private industry and the descriptions in the Work Experience section will make or break the federal job search. Our coaches will help you develop accomplishments that will demonstrate your best successes in your military career.


Legal decision-makers range from Document Examiners and Hearing Examiners to Mediators and Administrative Law Judges. Each position has its own specialized requirements. Some positions require admission to the bar; others do not. Administrative Law Judges face multiple hurdles before they can be hired. First, they undergo a multi-phase application and testing process controlled by and administered by OPM. Those attaining a minimum score join the ALJ Register, from which lists of candidates are drawn when ALJ openings arise within agencies that hold hearings under the Administrative Procedure Act. Administrative Judges, on the other hand, undergo a direct application process, not unlike other federal applications, and are hired directly by the agency. Patent Judges and Immigration Judges are hired in a similar way. In any case, the application and hiring process can be confusing. Our legal specialists have handled all of these applications, and can provide support at every stage of the process, from initial application through panel interview.


The resume federal hiring officials want to see depends upon the hiring agency. Attorney positions are classified “Excepted Service,” meaning that beyond graduation from law school and admission to the bar, the qualifications for attorneys are set by the agency itself. Typically the Department of Justice relies more heavily on cover letters and expects a more traditional style of resume, whereas General Counsel divisions within agencies respond more favorably to the federal outline format, incorporating accomplishments that respond to the competencies listed in the announcement. In any case, attorney resumes must be framed in response to the position applied to—there is no boilerplate style of attorney resume.

State / Local Governments

State / Local Government resumes are a combination of private industry and federal resume writing. Shorter than the federal resume, but must also include keywords, qualifications, specialized experience and competencies form the mission of the agency. Stand out for a State government is challenging. Accomplishments are critical, especially those that will support the mission. We are experts in this writing and coaching service.

Fed to Corporate

Leaving the government and beginning a corporate career is challenging. Translating the government job responsibilities and skills into corporate language takes studying the recruitment advertisement keywords, qualifications and translating government into private industry language. Adding accomplishments that will be meaningful to the next mission is critical. Two pages is the maximum length. Determining what to include and what to leave out. We are experts at deleting, editing and targeting for private industry resumes.


SES Applicants

The place we start is with the ECQs—Executive Core Qualifications. The standard is the 10-page, single-spaced document with one-inch margins in 12-point, Times New Roman text; typically this requires 10 examples (two per ECQ) that are less than 10 years old and respond to the competencies established by OPM. All examples must be written the in Challenge-Context-Actions-Results format (Challenge and Context can switch places). Results are tied to the mission of the organization, relate explicitly to subject of the ECQ, and are documented with metrics wherever possible. Our writers have written thousands of successful SES application packages, including SES-level resumes (including the highly demanding style of resume required for resume-only applications), narrative TQs (technical qualifications), and specialized SES applications such as those required by the U.S. Air Force and Federal Aviation Administration.

International Organizations

NGOs and international organizations are highly technical and require highly-specialized experience. With our expertise in federal resume writing, we are expert in international resumes as well. The same expertise applies. Keywords, accomplishments, specialized experience, certification and usually in two pages. Sometimes narratives or cover letters are required where we can write about your passion for this mission or organization.

Private Industry

A two-page, targeted, keyword, accomplishment private industry resume that hits the mark for a particular position or industry is a MUST. We will teach you how to change your resume for each position and industry slightly to match the recruitment advertisement. This resume is also valuable for networking and job fairs for federal job searching as well.


Non-profit organizations are mission-oriented. Your resume must also be mission-oriented. But it also needs to include the keywords from the recruitment advertisement, your accomplishments and your skills and competencies for the position. We are experts at writing these two-page resumes and a cover letter to feature your top skills and accomplishments and passion for the mission of a non-profit organization. Non-profits can be more receptive to portfolio presentations, as smaller organizations may be more open to considering a broader range of candidates and can respond well to “lobbying.” We can advise you on preparing a portfolio to bring to and leave with the hiring team—who may share it with the organization’s executive board.

Small Businesses

Small businesses may not realize they need you and may not believe they can afford to hire you. There may be no open position advertised. As the applicant, creativity may be required. Like non-profits, small businesses can be more receptive to a carefully-crafted “sales” presentation. Smaller organizations may be persuaded you can help them grow and perform better, and can respond well to materials that convince them to create a role for you, even if you are there to interview for a somewhat different position. We can advise you on preparing a portfolio to bring to the interview and leave with the business owner.

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