What should I include in my federal resume? (from USAJOBS.gov)

Whether you’re a current federal employee or new to the Federal Government, your resume is the primary way for you to communicate your education, skills and experience.

Before you get started

Read the entire job announcement. Focus on the following sections to understand whether or not you qualify for the position. This critical information is found under:

  • Duties and Qualifications
  • How to Apply (including a preview of the assessment questionnaire)
  • How You Will be Evaluated


Make sure you have the required experience and/or education before you apply. Hiring agencies use the job announcement to describe the job and the required qualifications, including:

  • Level and amount of experience
  • Education
  • Training


What to include in your resume

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.


Example

Program Analyst GS-343-11
January 2009 - Present
40 Hours/Week
$63,000/Year

  • Experience/Accomplishment
  • Experience/Accomplishment


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.


Examples

  • “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.


Be concise

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.

Important facts about the federal hiring process

  • The Federal Government does not have a standard job application. Your resume is your application.
  • Hiring agencies use the job announcement to describe the job and list the required qualifications and responsibilities.
  • After applying, the hiring agency uses the information in your resume to verify if you have the required qualifications stated in the job announcement.
  • Once the hiring agency has determined who is qualified, they may use other assessments such as interviews or testing to determine the best qualified applications.
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Applications go through multiple levels of review. Human Resources Specialists screen applications to determine whether basic eligibility requirements are met for the position and rate applications according to the additional qualifications listed in the job announcement. If your application rates among the best qualified, it will be forwarded to the hiring manager who will make the final selection. 

For questions about a position, or to find out the status of your application, contact the agency contact listed under the How to Apply section on the job announcement. For more information about the hiring and selection process, please contact your servicing human resources office.

The names of best-qualified candidates will be forwarded to the supervisor or hiring official. If you are among the best-qualified candidates, the supervisor or hiring official may interview you in person or by telephone, or in rare cases may hire you based solely on your application materials. Selection procedures are subject to Federal Civil Service laws, which ensures that all applicants receive fair and equal treatment in the hiring process. Interviews are designed to measure a variety of competencies important to performance on the job. Interviews may include scenario-based questions that measure selected competencies (e.g., Leading Others, Team Building, Performance and Results Management, Decision-Making and Problem Solving, Oral Communication, Interpersonal Skills, Technical Questions).

Preparing your Federal Resume...

Internship:


The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Response to Terrorism (START), based at the University of Maryland, is now accepting applications for its Summer 2022 Internship Program! We are also very excited to announce that our program now includes a stipend. Students will receive $3,000 for summer semesters, and $2,250 for fall and spring semesters. 

The priority application deadline, for best consideration, is on Sunday, March 13 at 11:59pm ET, and the final application deadline is on Sunday, April 3 at 11:59pm ET. We were hoping you might be able to share the information below with any students and other contacts who you think may be interested in these opportunities! 

START is currently offering our program remotely and plans to continue doing so in the summer. Accepted interns may have the option to work in person pending further public health developments, but all will retain the ability to continue working remotely if desired. You can find the most up-to-date information that UMD offers on COVID-19 and campus operations at this link: https://umd.edu/4Maryland.



Employment:


The Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) Police Department is recruiting applicants for our open Police Officer positions.  

Click here for a link to a recruiting brochure regarding our Police Officer position and containing basic information about the DART Police Department.  Please feel free to share the brochure with any of your Criminal Justice students who may be interested in a law enforcement career in Texas.

Due to COVID precautions limiting our ability to recruit in person with students, we are offering Saint John's University students the ability to virtually connect with us through web conferences. Or, we would be happy to schedule a virtual event just for your students.

Department Information:

Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) is the mass transit agency for the Dallas metropolitan area and employs almost 4,000 personnel serving over 50 million riders annually.  The DART Police Department provides police services for the transportation system throughout 13 cities in 6 counties, covering over 700 square miles. The department has 429 positions, which are comprised of 253 sworn officers and 176 civilian employees.

Given the size of the department, DART Police offers a wide variety of special assignments, such as canine handlers, detectives, motorcycle officers, special operations officers, training officers, and background investigators.  As a medium sized police department, each officer is a valued team member and our officers personally know each other, which leads to a heightened level of support and camaraderie.

The DART Police Department also offers career advancement opportunities due to growth related to planned rail expansion over the next few years.  The new silver line is scheduled to open in early 2024 and the D2 subway is scheduled to open in 2028.  DART Officers are eligible for promotion after two years of service as a sworn officer.

Given the large size of the entire agency, DART offers a generous benefits package that includes: multiple affordable health insurance options, as well as dental, vision, life, AD&D and AFLAC insurance, four retirement plans (defined contribution plan, two 401k plans, and 457b plan), paid time off that increases with seniority, paid holidays, full uniform provided, all required equipment provided, military leave, among many other benefits.

DART Police provides uniforms and all required equipment, to include service weapon and ammunition. 

DART offers relocation reimbursement to out of town applicants.  The reimbursement amount is based on the relocation distance, which for New York would be $1,200.

Texas police officers are eligible for free college tuition for undergraduate criminal justice classes.  DART also provides up to $2,500 tuition reimbursement per year for classes required in a degree plan related to the employee’s job duties.  Therefore, students may continue their online studies at Saint John's University.

Hiring Process:

We currently have the following positions posted:

   - Police Officer – Texas peace officer license required (starting salary = $54,270)

   - Apprentice Police Officer – no experience required (starting salary = $52,642)

Additionally, police officers licensed in other states can become licensed Texas peace officers without repeating the police academy.  Click here for additional information about this process.

Applicants who attend the April exam and interview in New York will be eligible to be hired any time between June and October of 2022, which will allow them to finish their studies over the next two semesters.  We only accept applications through our online system.

If your students don’t attend the exam and interview in New York in April, we offer out of town applicants the opportunity to attend the entrance exam, interview board, and polygraph exam all on the same day in Dallas, to minimize the number of trips they will have to make to Dallas. Then near the end of the process, we will schedule the interview with the Chief of Police, the medical exam/drug test, the psychological evaluation, and the fingerprinting appointments all on the same day.  This will require applicants to make two trips to Dallas, and the second trip can also serve as a house hunting visit.  Both of these trips are at the expense of the applicant.    

Click here for the DART Police Department’s recruiting webpage. 

Dallas / Texas information:

There is no state income tax and no state property tax in Texas.  Additionally, the cost of living index for Dallas is approximately 3% less than the national average, about 19% less than Newark, about 71% less than Nassau County, and about 62% less than Queens.  A DART Police Officer's salary (without overtime) can easily qualify for a mortgage on a 1,500+ square foot house in a desirable neighborhood with good schools.  Please click here for additional information about living and working in the Dallas area.

While the Dallas/Fort Worth metro area is the fourth largest metropolitan area in the U.S., it is also among the least densely populated major metropolitan areas in the world.  The Dallas metro area has been ranked among the seven most livable urban complexes in the world.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott is a strong advocate of law enforcement and has enacted laws to protect police funding in communities across the state, as well as provide additional benefits to law enforcement officers.  Additionally, most Texans are supportive of law enforcement.  According to a 2021 statewide poll, 72% of Texans have a favorable opinion of local law enforcement, 63% of Texans want more police officers on the street, and 58% of Texans want their local police force budget to be increased.  (Source: TexasPoliceFacts.com)

Contact us:

We offer recruiting events via Zoom, during which job seekers can speak to recruiters live.  The scheduled dates, times, and links for these virtual recruiting events are listed on our website.  


If you have any questions or need further information, you may reach the DART Police Department’s Hiring & Recruiting Section by email at PDrecruiting@DART.org or by phone at (214)749-5951.



Order of the Sword and Shield National Honor Society makes no guarantees about the positions listed above.  We are not responsible for safety, wages, working conditions or any other aspects of these employment opportunities.  While we expect employers to adhere to ethical standards, we are not able to research the integrity of each organization or individual that lists a job with us.