Federal Resume Writing

What is a Federal Resume and how does it differ from a regular resume?

A Federal Resume is tailored to Federal/Government job opportunity announcement (JOA) postings. You can find these JOAs on usajobs.gov. Unlike resumes used in the private sector, federal resumes require additional information and are a very detailed relevant overview of past roles and background information. For each past experience, you provide the standard information found in most resumes, but your federal resume should also include the following:

  • Job announcement number, job title, and job grade of the job for which you are applying
  • Your full name, mailing address, telephone number, and personal e-mail
  • Country of citizenship, if different from U.S.

Here is a template example of the format as of 2022:

DOWNLOAD A COPY Federal Resume Format 2022.docx

After clicking on and downloading a copy of the template, observe the stricter format. There is no page limit to a federal resume, but past experiences must be in reverse chronological order and include up to 10-15 years of experience.

You also have the option to utilize the resume builder on usajobs.gov to create and download or print out a federal resume:

After you click on the “Upload or build resume” option, you will have the option to add or create your resume:


Instead of utilizing the Microsoft Word template provided above, you can fill out the sections provided:

Upon filling out all the sections in the resume builder, you will be able to navigate back to your documents page to “View” your resume to print or save a PDF copy.

Federal Resume Reminders:

As you apply for jobs, tailor your resume to the position’s requirements. Study the job opportunity announcement (JOA) and emphasize the parts of your work history that match the qualification requirements listed there. It is important to portray your knowledge and skills as a match to the requirements of the position and demonstrate the ability to do the job. Include your results, achievements, and accomplishments. Alleviate the use of technical jargon or specialized terminology (e.g., military abbreviations) in your resume. If you must use a military abbreviation, be sure to spell it out first and then provide the abbreviation in parathesis the first time it is used. Use verbs and adjectives (e.g., managed, implemented, created) that match keywords identified in the JOA.

Finally, your positive attitude and genuine enthusiasm go a long way.

Check out this Government guide for next steps:

What Happens After You Apply • Go Government

By Courtney Pletcher
Courtney Pletcher Senior Career Consultant