G.I. Jobs Virtual Job Fair   |   June 27

Virtual Job Fair   |   June 27

Federal Resume vs. Civilian Resume – What You Must Include!

federal resume vs civilian resume

Do you have your eyes set on working for the federal government as you transition out of the military? Have you uploaded your civilian resume to the USAJOBS website, only to be passed over for a position? It may be because you did not include all of the components that a federal resume requires.

If you are applying to a federal government position, you should create a separate federal resume. Your federal resume will be longer than your civilian resume because of the details that a federal resume requires. While most civilian resumes are one to two pages long, most federal resumes are at least four pages long.


Items you may want to include on a federal resume that might not appear on your civilian resume:



  • For each position:
    • Full address (street address, city, state and ZIP code) for each military unit that you have worked for.
    • Your supervisor’s name and telephone number.
    • The number of hours worked. Many service members work more than 40 hours a week. It is OK to include that.
    • Your salary.
  • Review the “Requirements” section of the USAJOBS vacancy announcement for the position you are applying to. Include specific information on your USAJOBS resume showing that you meet or exceed those requirements.
  • Reference the “Occupational Questionnaire” and/or the “Vacancy Questions Preview” that is found within most USAJOBS vacancy announcements. Provide detailed information from each question right in your resume to show that you do in fact have that. Include in-depth examples of your duties, accomplishments and related skills for each position.

Education and Training:

  • Your college GPA and list of relevant courses you completed.
  • Detailed information on job-related trainings, such as location, date (month and year) and number of days or hours completed.


  • A description of each military award and/or what you did to receive that award, the granting entity, and date (month and year).

Additional Information:

  • Federal employment status and highest federal grade held if you are already in or previously held a federal position.
  • Veteran’s preference points.
  • Country of citizenship.


  • Refrain from using graphic elements, text boxes, tables, etc., on a USAJOBS resume submission. You may even want to use the Resume Builder tool for each position that you apply to via USAJOBS to ensure formatting is correct.
  • Use dashes for bullets. Avoid using special characters on a USAJOBS resume submission.


Make sure you click on the “How to Apply” section for each federal position and follow the directions. Also click on the “Required Documents” section for each position so that you can see what else you need to submit (such as your DD-214, transcripts, etc.). Follow the instructions listed within the vacancy announcement if you need to upload or fax additional documentation requested.

Applying to a federal position can be intimidating, but with the right information on your resume, you will have a better chance of being referred and hopefully among the “Best Qualified.”


For more information on federal pay schedules, and how your education and training connect, read “How More Education Means More Federal Pay”.

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