Resumes are the first impression a potential employer has of you. They are extremely important, but they can be challenging and time-consuming. “List your best attributes”, “be detailed but don’t make it too long”, “tailor your resume and cover letter for each job”…the process feels never ending. Applying for federal careers makes it even more complex with the inclusion of military status, citizenship, security clearance, etc. The most important thing to remember when aiming to federalize your resume is to clearly demonstrate your skills, training, and education and how they match the employer’s needs.

As with any other resume, make it clean, simple and avoid improper grammar and word misspellings. The style and format of the resume are more of a personal touch. Just remember to keep your margins set between ½” – 1”, use a standard font such as Arial or Times New Roman and keep font size between 10-12 points. Another thing to remember, minimize as best you can the use of military jargon and acronyms. Instead, translate it for the hiring manager.

Here are some tips on what to include in your own resume for federal positions.

Personal Information

This is the section that will list your full name, mailing address, phone number and email address. When federalizing your resume, according to The Federal Resume Guide, you also want to add the last four digits of your social security number, country of citizenship, veteran’s preference points and your security clearance level.

 Objective Statement

This section is a helpful but optional addition to your resume. If included, you’ll want to briefly state what you are looking for in a position, what you offer that position and also how you can assist the agency with accomplishing its mission.

Education

List the schools you attended. Include the school’s location, your degree title and graduation dates and your GPA. If you did not receive a degree, you want to list the number of credits you received.

 Work Experience

List relevant work experience with the employers name and address, your supervisor’s name and phone number and your job title. Also, the dates of your employment, salary earned and hours worked per week.

Awards and Accolades

This is the section where you list special accomplishments such as awards, honors or certificates. Also list if you are a member of any professional or honor societies and organizations and any training courses completed that pertain to the job. You may also list skills and special accomplishments.

Remember to use the Transition Assistance Center prior to departing the service. Their counselors can help with the resume writing process as well as offer some very helpful tips in the application process.  Also use your “Verification of Military Experience and Training” (DD Form 2586) as a helpful tool. It lists your military work experience as well as your training history, making it an excellent tool to fill up your experience and awards sections.