Top federal sections that make the best resume
- Professional summary
- Experience (with numbers and results)
- Relevant skills
Writing a strong federal experience section
Federal resume experience section: ultimate checklist
- Use no more than 4-6 bullet points per position;
- List relevant positions and situations that add value to your application;
- Describe situations, tasks, actions, and results (the S-T-A-R method);
- Remember to include numbers in whatever form you like (e.g. the number of projects you’ve finished);
- Begin each bullet point with an action verb.
Check out the examples below when building your experience section. They will help you stand out!
- Full accountability in administering the overall aspects of medical planning and operations, including direct health services support abroad for deployed service members, medical evacuation planning, and pre-deployment medical readiness.
- Conducted intensive review and analysis of worldwide medical threats and medico-cultural considerations; integrated intelligence into medical concepts of operations to support missions in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Burma, Malaysia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and other minor outlying island-nation States. This included establishing contacts abroad and in-person medical facility assessments.
- Employed outstanding communication and presentation skills in facilitating briefings and discussing current medical operations and plans to strategic-level leaders, operations coordinators and deploying personnel. This included internal and external stakeholders.
- Served as major liaison and Accounting Command on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, HI, during medical contingencies, illness and disaster relief efforts requiring extensive interagency communication and coordination.
- Developed comprehensive mission tasking packages for deploying personnel which included country briefs.
- Led the coordination, facilitation, and monitoring of training for staff in the areas HADR contingency planning, medical mitigation and response to health threats.
- Established mechanisms and processes through which knowledge was transferred back into existing records and information management systems resulting in closure of the information feedback loop. Activities included conducting organizational outreach to determine requirements and then applying Lean Six Sigma tools to develop the knowledge management initiative into a workable concept and program.
- Served as agency's primary point of contact for Members of Congress and their staffs.
- Analyzed and interpreted federal policy as it related to Delta Regional Authority's (DRA) projects and programmatic work; briefed Federal Co-Chairman and Chief of Staff on the same.
- Protected legislative agenda and fought for budget allocation amid appropriations cuts.
- Collected business and system requirements for >10,000 end users
- Authored business case recommendation for a $122M procurement that was successfully implemented in July 2016
- Co-authored a winning re-compete proposal valued at $9.5M
- Bestowed "Award of Excellence" in 2015 as the employee that best represented the company's core values out of 100+ employees
- Led delivery for multiple federal client programs
- Grew primary account by 84% within 12 month period
- Matured corporate proposal and teaming process
- Even it was a short 6 weekly program, I was able to help a Welcome Project that resulted to publish my assistance and contribution in success for the project in a local weekly newspaper
- Main activities & Responsibilities:
- Assist in a Welcome Project on social integration and development of rural areas of Switzerland. Reporting the project progress on a weekly basis. Contribute to organise cultural events and seminars.
- Set up the federal budget of 2013; collaboration in management templates; review of business plans; preparation of data material
- Analysis of the international projects financed or funded by the federal government and other investors, taking into account the financing types from the budgetary law
- Responsible organisation of the budget negotiations with the Federal Chancellery, Federal Press Office and Commissioners of the Federal Republic of Culture and Media
- Responsible for operations oversight, staff development, growth & profitability, quality control, marketing support, project execution, and fostering good overall team morale.
- Managed Program in excess of $15M in annual professional services.
- Led the development of an initiative for a National Federal Design Build Program.
- Doubled revenue for geographic area of responsibility within 2-years.
- Contract Manager and Client Manager for NAVFAC and COE.
- Principal in Charge for those projects within the East Coast deemed to be critical.
- Established a strategic relationship with Lockheed Martin that generated $12M within the first two years.
- Built joint solution with Northrop Grumman that generated $15M+ in 2008, as well as SAIC purchasing $4M+ of products and services.
- Led team to attract sales revenues of $30M+ from less than $200K in 2006 by systematically marketing company’s solutions, offering leading edge value to customers. Achievement reflected ability to compete in very challenging federal market.
- Negotiated Lockheed’s NETCENTS contract with output of $24M annually, along with relationship with Northrop Grumman that produced $15M+ per year.
- Formed strategic alliances with numerous partners that netted $30M+ annually, compared to one indirect partner that produced approximately $19M upon arrival in 2004.
- Built strong indirect channels with SIs and BPs, with team generating 80% of company’s overall growth in federal business, growing from $19M to $60M in just two years.
- Undertook stakeholder relationship management;
- Represented the Secretary at meetings;
- Was responsible for the development of briefings and sensitive correspondence;
- Managed administration of the International Teachers Fund;
- Attended executive board meetings;
- Liaison with branches in development of documents.
- Active DoD Clearance
- US Citizen
- Architecture of high performing, complex, mission critical systems using industry best practices and standards
- Development of enterprise-wide solutions for private and federal sectors
- Specialization in initial theoretical concepts and business requirement capturing of epics, stories, task alignment and overall team effort
- Sprint planning, development, delegation, internal review and stand up orchestration
- Decomposition of epics and stories, task alignment using agile methodologies such as burn down charts, capacity planning, complexity/point assignments
- Communicating clearly and effectively complex solutions from technical and business functional perspectives, angles, approaches while dealing with confrontations and obstacles
- Develop, mentor and transform existing programmers into top developers by providing highly specialize training in various areas of IT
- Research, develop and participate in the latest technologies & trends for cliental demonstrations, prototypes and organizational growth
- Server side administration including data replication, tuning and advanced customizations
- Mature multi-threading experience via asynchronous/synchronous computations in various platform components, widgets and underlying mobile OS features
- Strong version control between various Android API versions to support various platforms and capabilities
- Experience in design patterns such as Holder, MVVM, MVC, Business
- Design Pattern Experience: Delegate, Facade, Adapter, Factory, Singleton, Command, Master/Slave, Factory
- Plan, design, implement and configure continuous integration environments
- Discuss designs at various layers with in depth expertise
- Java Virtual Machine tuning, optimization strategies and profiling
Show off real numbers that display your accomplishments in past roles. Instead of listing out your responsibilities as Federal, talk about the measurable impact you made to their business. Did you boost their revenue? Increase customer retention? Mention your proudest points on your resume.
Action verbs for your federal resume
Writing a strong skills section for your federal resume
Checklist for your federal skills section:
- Include all relevant skills from the job description to pass ATS;
- Focus on skills that show your expertise;
- List your technical skills in a clear and concise manner;
- Leave room for transferable skills related to teamwork, communication, negotiation, and conflict management.
Top skills for your federal resume
Business Process Reengineering
Empathy and compassion
Negotiation and debate
Trust and integrity
Add a Talent Section to your resume, where you can pick your top 3 soft skills and describe how you used them to complete a project or balance departmental communication.
Federal resume header: tips, red flags, and best practices
Checklist for your federal resume header
- Your name and surname in a legible and larger resume font
- The job title you’re applying for or your current job title as a subheading to your name
- Link to your portfolio or online profile, such as LinkedIn
- Address (City and State for the US; just your city for rest of the world)
- Email address
- Headshot (required or welcomed in the EU; not required and sometimes frowned upon in the US)
Stick to popular email providers such as Gmail or Outlook. And use these professional formats to create your username:
Some companies, states, and countries have non-discrimination policies about what kind of information can be included on your Federal resume. This might include a photo (which is often included in a resume header and might be on personal web pages you link to). You can always email the company’s HR department to ask about their policies before you apply.
The ideal summary for your federal resume
Mastering the summary section: checklist
- Mention the total years of experience you have in the field;
- Focus on 2 to 3 of your top achievements;
- Highlight the things that make you the best fit for the position;
- Go for short, easy-to-read sentences to keep the recruiter’s attention.
Resume summary formula:
Read the job description carefully and understand what the hiring company is exactly looking for. After that, write your summary accordingly while highlighting your potential and ability to be the best at that job.
Things to include in your federal resume education section
Federal resume education section checklist:
- Mention your highest education degree;
- Add the duration of your course and the institution you attended;
- List the awards you’ve received during your studies;
- Feature your certifications if they are relevant to the position;
- Entry-level positions: Share more about projects and classes.
Top certifications for your federal resume
Learn Federal Government Contracting From An Expert
A comprehensive guide to Register, Search Opportunities, GSA, Certifications, Accounting, Bonding & Bidding to the feds
Federal Grant Writing 101
Grant Writing Classes on How to Write and Win a Federal Government Grant Award
Managing Federal Project Performance
Federal Project Management Series
Federal Resume Writer Certification
Helping Career Counselors write Federal Resumes for Veterans.
Staffing Business Development Federal and State Government
Learn How Staffing Bidding Process Works For US Staffing Business Development
If you hold a certain major and a minor, your majors should be mentioned first.
Formatting your federal resume
What’s worse than a .docx resume? A resume with a poorly chosen format.
In general, there are three basic resume formats we advise you to stick with:
- Reverse-chronological resume format;
- Functional skills-based resume format;
- Combination (or Hybrid) resume format.
Choosing between them is easy when you’re aware of your applicant profile – it depends on your years of experience, the position you’re applying for, and whether you’re looking for an industry change or not.
The reverse-chronological resume format is just that – all your relevant jobs in reverse-chronological order. It’s great for applicants with lots of experience, no career gaps, and little desire for creativity.
When working with less experienced applicants, we suggest the functional skills-based resume format. It’s great for recent graduates or people with large career gaps. Functional skills-based resumes focus on your personality, the skills you have, your interests, and your education. Ultimately, the idea is to show you’re the perfect fit without putting too much emphasis on your work experience (or lack thereof).
If you’re in the middle or are generally looking to make your resume feel more modern and personal, go for the combination or hybrid resume format. It offers the best of both worlds by combining sections focused on experience and work-related skills and at the same time keeping space for projects, awards, certifications, or even creative sections like ‘my typical day’ and ‘my words to live by’.
Federal Resume Formatting Checklist
- Choose the resume format based on your level of experience and the company you’re applying for
- Go for a traditional 10-12p font
- Stick to 1-inch page margins to ensure high readability
- Match the length of your resume to your experience, but don’t go for more than two pages!
To take it a step further, check out how your resume can stand out without leaning too much on the creative side.
If you feel that you don’t have high chances in a particular company, due to lack of relevant experience, then you can still consider using a creative layout. That might help you get noticed and invited for an interview, as most of the other applicants will have boring resume designs.
Additional sections for your federal resume
In some cases, especially when it comes to entry-level positions, adding more sections beyond the usual ‘experience’, ‘skills’, and ‘education’ works well in your favor. Such additional sections will help you paint a fuller picture of who you are in the recruiter’s head.
Here’s a list of fun yet informative additional sections for your resume:
Making your federal resume creative
We know too well that recruiters go through tons of resumes every day. The worse part is, they often need to hire people for different positions and teams. So how do you make yourself stand out in such cases?
By adding a dash of creativity to your Federal resume. It can be in the form of a colorful layout, a section describing your typical day, or even a picture of your favorite book – you decide!
Just make sure that the levels of creativity match the industry, company, and position you’re applying for.
What makes a great federal resume: key takeaways
- Choose a resume layout that sends the right message across and fits your current career situation;
- Create a resume header that shows your desired job title, and easy to find contact numbers;
- Be specific about your experience, accomplishments and future goals in your summary;
- Feature detailed metrics and specific examples that show the impact you made in your previous roles when describing your experience;
- List soft skills backed by examples;
- Add all of your technical skills and certifications that you have and match the job description;
- Show off a dash of personality in your resume that will demonstrate your culture fit and the right mix of hard and soft skills.