Top 5 Federal Resume Writing Tips

Mon, Apr 9, 2012

Internship Resume

Starting your career with the government starts like any other career–with a resume. They can be daunting writing tasks because most of us aren’t used to having to sell ourselves, especially in a couple pages or less. To help you get started or to refine your current resume, here are 5 tips to a solid federal resume.

1) Collect all the information you need to include.
Federal resume require a little more than other resumes so while browsing job openings and collecting a list of jobs you’d like to apply for, it’s also a good idea to pay close attention to elements most federal positions will ask you to provide. Some of these include, but are not limited to, social security number, the supervisors’ names and phone numbers for your previous employments, 3 reference names and contact information, salary history, volunteer work, awards, presentations, languages, clearances, and a detailed history of your education, G.P.A and transcripts included. You may want to create a physical file or a file on your computer in which you keep track of all of this for easy reference throughout your job search.

2) Keep your audience in mind during the entire writing process.
This means pay close attention to whom exactly will be reading this resume. Research the office or branch you’re applying to and tweak anything in your resume to fit their specific needs. Use your accomplishments to make you the perfect fit. If you have years of volunteer service as a candy stripper, but you’re applying for a job with the parks department, they’ll care that you volunteered but they won’t care that it was as a candy stripper. So limit what you say about your experiences and focus on what you accomplished during that time and how those skills would transfer to this position. You may need to tweak your resume a little for every job application so keep track of the different versions you send.

3) Choose the best type of resume to represent your strengths and cover your weaknesses.
The three types of resumes are chronological, skills, and combination. For example, if you have gaps of unemployment, you may want to opt against the chronological and use the skills to present your strongest attributes to potential employers. Some employers don’t like skills resumes because they can hide the primary information employers look for. You could also do a combination in which you present your experience in a way that shows your work history, avoiding those gaps of unemployment, and also highlights some of your strongest attributes. Research the different types to find example resumes and decide which option is best for you.

4) Use industry keywords or “buzz” words.
When browsing job openings, look at the job descriptions to help you find these keywords and phrases. Word both your resume and your cover letter using the same language. Include a lot of good, strong, action words when talking about your skills and experiences from past employment. In some cases, a computer will do the first screenings for applicants so the more of these words you can include, the more likely your resume will make it through. Some even choose to capitalize any buzz words to make sure that a computer, or person, catches them and passes your resume onto the next step.

5) Use a federal resume service
If you’re brand new to resume writing, having trouble finding a job or would like any additional help, you may also want to try seeking professional help. They’ll help you draft, revise and perfect your resume. They’ll help you include the keywords you need and organize your experiences into the most effective resume. Many offer satisfaction guarantees and long-term support for your resume and job search.

Finding a job can be a frustrating process, but building the right resume is an essential part and will help you stand out among your competitors if done correctly. Use these tips and you won’t need to worry about your resume anymore.

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