The purpose of this worksheet is to aid in the writing and development of each section
of a Federal resume.
Review the job announcement for the position you selected. Read the entire announcement to make sure you’re eligible and you meet the qualifications. For each job there are specific qualifications –your application must show how you meet the required qualifications.
- Read the This job is open to section to see if you’re eligible to apply.
- Read the Clarification from the agency, or the Who may apply sections for further eligibility details (not all job announcements will include this information).
- Read the Qualifications section to see if you meet the job’s qualifications. Understand the job announcement.
Contact the agency representative if you have questions. The contact information is listed below the How to apply section of the job announcement.
Build a resume in USAJobs. To do this, follow these steps:
Work Experience Information -
- Sign into USAJOBS.
- Go to your Documents.
- Make sure you’re in the Resumes section and select the Upload or build resume button.
- Click Build resume.
- Name your new resume and click Next.
- Click Add Work Experience, enter the required information and click Save Work Experience. To add additional work experience repeat this step or click Next to continue with your education information. See the below section titled Experience for information how to input into the resume.
- Click Add Education, enter the required information and click Save Education. Repeat this step to add additional education or click Next to continue with your references. You may also click Finish if you don’t want to add more information.
- Click Add Reference, enter the required information and click Save Reference. You may add up to five references on your resume. Repeat this step to add an additional reference or click Next to continue to the next step.
- You can enter additional information on your resume such as job related training, language skills, organizations/affiliations, professional publications, and other information. Click the corresponding button under each section to add your information, enter your information and click Add or Save for each section once completed.
- Click Finish to save your resume. Your new resume will appear in your Documents list.
- Click View on the resume icon to preview your resume. To edit your resume click Edit on the resume icon and it will bring you to the first page of your resume in the resume builder tool.
Federal jobs often require that you have experience in a particular type of work for a certain period of time. You must show how your skills and experiences meet the qualifications and requirements listed in the job announcement to be considered for the job.
Include dates, hours, level of experience and examples for each work experience
For each work experience you list, make sure you include:
- Start and end dates (including the month and year).
- The number of hours you worked per week.
- The level and amount of experience–for instance, whether you served as a project manager or a team member helps to illustrate your level of experience.
- Examples of relevant experiences and accomplishments that prove you can perform the tasks at the level required for the job as stated in the job announcement. Your experience needs to address every required qualification.
Program Analyst GS-343-11
January 2009 - Present
Include volunteer work and roles in community organizations
Don’t limit yourself to only including paid work experience. Include relevant volunteer work or community organizations roles that demonstrate your ability to do the job.
Use numbers to highlight your accomplishments
Use numbers, percentages or dollars to highlight your accomplishments–you can find this information in things like your performance reviews, previous job descriptions, awards and letters of recommendation.
When explaining your accomplishments:
- Include examples of how you saved money, earned money, or managed money.
- Include examples of how you saved or managed time.
- “Improved efficiency of document processing by 25% over the previous year”.
- “Wrote 25 news releases in a three-week period under daily deadlines”.
- “Managed a student organization budget of more than $7,000”.
- “Wrote prospect letter that has brought in more than $25,000 in donations to date”.
These statements show in concrete terms what you accomplished.
More resume writing tips
Customize your resume
You should tailor your resume to the job announcement rather than sending out the same resume for every job. Customizing your resume helps you match your competencies, knowledge, skills, abilities and experience to the requirements for each job. Emphasize your strengths and include everything you’ve done that relates to the job you’re seeking. Leave out experience that isn’t relevant.
Use similar terms and address every required qualification
Your experience needs to address every required qualification in the job announcement. Hiring agencies will look for specific terms in your resume to make sure you have the experience they’re seeking.
For example, if the qualifications section says you need experience with “MS Project” you need to use the words ” MS Project” in your resume.
Organize your resume to make it easy to understand
You need to organize your resume to help agencies evaluate your experience. If you don’t provide the information required for the hiring agency to determine your qualifications, you might not be considered for the job.
- Use reverse chronological order to list your experience–start with your most recent experience first and work your way back.
- Provide greater detail for experience that is relevant to the job for which you are applying.
- Show all experiences and accomplishments under the job in which you earned it. This helps agencies determine the amount of experience you have with that particular skill.
- Use either bullet or paragraph format to describe your experiences and accomplishments.
- Use plain language– avoid using acronyms and terms that are not easily understood.
Hiring agencies often receive dozens or even hundreds of resumes for certain positions. Hiring managers quickly skim through submissions and eliminate candidates who clearly are not qualified. Look at your resume and ask:
- Can a hiring manager see my main credentials within 10 to 15 seconds?
- Does critical information jump off the page?
- Do I effectively sell myself on the top quarter of the first page?
Review your resume before you apply
Check your resume for spelling and grammatical errors and have someone else, with a good eye for detail, review your resume.
Thank you for taking the time to complete this worksheet. We will discuss each item in your USAJobs resume during our session.