Federal Resumes

USA Jobs and Intro to Federal Resumes

“When applying for a federal job, forget what you learned about resume writing. For private sector jobs, you typically summarize your work history in a one-page document, A federal resume, even for an entry-level job needs to be more detailed and may run anywhere from two to five pages or more since you need to go into greater depth about your skills and your previous responsibilities and accomplishments.” See more tips about writing your federal resume

Steps to Finding a Federal Opportunity 

  1. Open “my account” at www.usajobs.gov
  2. Create a search agent to begin receiving job openings and to become familiar with key terminology and skills requested in your field
  3. Create your profile
  4. Apply for specific openings by creating your resume (access the Resume Builder in USAJobs.gov for a Master Resume and then create up to 5 Uploaded Resumes tailored for individual job announcements) using the terminology from the job announcement; match your experience to the qualifications listed—use key words
  5. Pay special attention to:
    • Key words and qualifications
    • Citizenship and the vacancy announcement number
    • Closing dates and instructions
    • Other required application materials

KSA's Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA’S) are the requirements needed to perform a job and are demonstrated through qualifying experience, education, or training. Read through each section of the Federal job announcement carefully to discover all the KSA’s.

  • Each vacancy announcement will list the KSAs required in terms of "specialized experience" or "selective factor" requirements. In determining if you qualify for a position, your education and experience will be evaluated against the KSAs for each position. Because each position is different, the requirements will also be different.
  • When you apply for Federal positions, it is important for you to show that you meet the "specialized experience" and "selective factor" requirements for the position in your application package. You can do this by including the information in your resume by addressing these requirements in your education, work experience, volunteer experience, skills, and certification sections. 

Success Statements

Your success statements should be more than just a list of duties and tasks. They should be focused on your responsibilities and quantifiable accomplishments.

Action Verb + Skill/Responsibility + Action/Tools + Benefit/Result = Success Statement


  • Performed an EPA study using over 30,000 cells of carbon emission data from fleets, electricity consumption and other sources from seven Logan City departments
  • Create a database for rivers in the Intermountain West using R statistical software, QGIS and ArcMap, and interviewing key stakeholders in rivers and watersheds
  • Communicated information to the public about points of interest, available services, rules and guidelines, visitor safety, maps and directions within Timpanogos Cave National Monument and American Fork Canyon
  • Oversaw True Blue Reuse thrift program, motivated by textile waste diversion and local humanitarian profits, collecting and reselling over 5000 pounds of gently used clothing

Sample Federal Resumes

Writing an Effective Federal Resume

Writing an effective Federal resume handout