What is the Difference Between a Normal and Federal Resume

There is so much nuance in the world of resumes. Today’s hiring managers and recruiters are doing things differently than they have in the past. Automation is changing the way resumes are processed and handled. In most cases, your resume won’t even be seen by human eyes unless is passes the different computer filtering they have set in place. The nuances found in resume writing are even more apparent when it comes to federal resumes. A federal resume carries it’s very own unique formatting and specific requirements that are completely different from normal private sector resumes. In this article, we’ll detail those differences and give our guidance on your best chance at creating a knock out federal resume.

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What is a Federal Resume?

Federal resumes are needed for any job posting that an applicant wants to apply for that appears on USAJobs.gov, the job board for all governmental and federal jobs in the United States. Most job opportunities found on USAJobs.gov have specific information regarding the essentials required to apply for the job. If you leave out any of the important information they ask for, your application has no chance of success as it won’t even be considered.

The information on your federal resume also needs to be formatted and presented in exactly the manner that the job posting states. The goal of the governmental hiring process is to consider each applicant equally and uniformly. As such, it is required that all applicants use the same formatting in order to be considered. It helps them avoid any potential discrimination cases as they evaluate applicants solely on their resume. Because so much emphasis is placed on the resume in federal hiring, it’s even more important to consider hiring a resume writing service in Houston TX to complete your federal resume.

How Does a Federal Resume Differ from a Normal Resume?

Resumes for federal positions are vastly different than normal civilian resumes for the private sector. A private sector resume will often be a maximum of 1-2 pages and list pertinent information only. In most cases, we recommend only listing the last 5 years of employment history and offering a truncated yet precise description of your work history. In contrast, federal resumes have many requirements for extremely detailed information that makes them much longer resumes. In most cases, we see federal resumes averaging 5 pages and up. Below, we will detail some of the items specific to a Federal Resume that aren’t found on resumes for the private sector.

In addition to the length and scope of the federal resume, many formatting structures are different in a federal resume. For example, in resumes for private employment, the use of bullet points to list information is completely acceptable and widely practiced and accepted. For a federal resume, detailed descriptions in paragraph form are required to share that same information. They are interested in knowing the details of the skill or accomplishment you mentioned and want quite elaborate detail on those items.

One other notable difference is the expectation for the formatting of your keywords that target your job posting. In standard resume writing, it is common to use the optimized keywords melded int the paragraph. The federal resume is required to make them stand out more by using all capital letters. 

Lastly, a federal resume leaves much more opportunity to list personal accomplishments and awards. In a normal resume, that information is often eliminated due to space constraints and emphasizing the most important details. Federal resumes not only want to know that information, they require it for evaluation, so be sure to include that detail on your resume.

What Should Be on A Federal Resume?

Job Description: The job description is included in the information you find online about the posting. The Job Title, Job Grade, and Job Code all need to be included.

Personal Information: A federal resume requires you to list all details of your personal infraction.  Items include your Full Legal Name, Contact Phone Numbers, Address, Social Security Number, Citizenship Status, and the Highest Position of Federal Employment you have previously held. 

Education: In contrast to a civilian resume, a federal resume requires all information about your schooling history including your Secondary Education, Undergraduate Degrees and any Graduate Degrees. They often also want information on your GPA’s and credit hours earned.

Work History: You will need to document all of your previous career history starting with your most recent job and include the job description, daily duties, and overall responsibilities, You will also need to provide contact information for your previous employers, so be prepared to have their name, contact phone number, mailing address and email address.

Qualifications: This section allows you to address any other relevant accomplishments, awards, or experiences that equip you with value added qualifications for the job you are applying for. 

Who Can Write My Federal Resume?

Feeling like this is all a bit much? We understand, it’s not quite how normal resumes are created. That’s why we employ certified resume writers that specialize in federal resumes. Our resume writing service in Houston TX understands federal resumes. That’s why so many of our clients go on to achieve the job they set after. We know what it takes to present the resume in the formatting required and how to make your federal resume stand out above the crowd. Hire USA Resume to write you’re federal resume today!