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The question of “How to create a Federal resume in 2020?” worries many job seekers who have decided to find the best place for their professional skills. To write the perfect document, you should take into account the significant number of nuances and trends among staff workers, approaching this issue as individually as possible. Sound too complicated? Here are the most fundamental tips for you! 

1. Choose the most suitable type of resume.

Before drafting a document, you should think about how best to present yourself, depending on the vacancy and work experience. The most famous (widely used) types of resumes: 

  • Chronological – lists work experience and education in reverse chronological order. It is a classic format of self-presentation, which will be evaluated by senior hiring managers or personnel officers in conservative areas such as accounting, law, and the army. 
  • Functional – allows highlighting specific skills and assets without listing particular workplaces. Rarely used in the federal sphere, but still suitable for people without extensive work experience.
  • Combination – a compromise between the first two types. The resume begins with the “Achievements” and “Skills” sections, and below is a brief chronological section — the last 2-3 jobs and the most important education. 

For different professions, there is a separate type of federal resume that presents individual competencies. Recruiters advise sales managers to show the seller’s skills, IT specialists – technical abilities, marketers – completed projects. 

2. How long should your resume be?

You have 2 options – write an expanded or short resume. The short one takes no more than 1 page and is more popular. The expanded resumes are common in medicine, education, science, and various creative occupations. This way, the artist’s self-presentation may include an extensive list of personal and group exhibitions. 

Do not make a federal resume longer than 5 pages! Ideal 2-3 pages. But what if your work experience is more than 20 years? You should limit the list and provide only brief summaries of the most significant job positions. After all, a recruiter is unlikely to read 10-sheet memoirs. 

3. Just order the professional writer services.

It is only our advice and does not mean that you should follow it. But why waste time and nerves? In 2020, competition in the federal market has only grown, and finding a decent job becomes even more difficult. 

Look for information, write a resume, send it, wait a week, and get a refusal. Is it a common situation for you? And you may think that the problem is in your professionalism or experience, but most likely (95%) it is your resume… Take a look at ResumeWriters best reviews, to find the most suitable option for you. 

4. Follow the structure – it is essential!

The main requirement for all federal resumes is the use of the general structure. The established structure is not only of formal importance – a correctly compiled resume gives the employer the opportunity to quickly and in a compelling manner, get acquainted with all the necessary information about the applicant. At the same time, the candidate can effectively present work experience and not get confused in the process of creating and preparing a document. Use this structure:

  • Document’s title. It is your full name and the name of the profession.
  • Contact details. Phone number, email, social network links (LinkedIn, Glassdoor), home address (not necessary). 
  • Summary. You should pay special attention to this section. Briefly and clearly describe your best skills and accomplishments. Please do not make it longer than 5-7 sentences. 
  • Education. Add this section if it is required and only before the work experience. Here you can also attach a small description of your thesis or dissertation. 
  • Work experience. Indicate only the last 8-10 years of your experience. No need to write about what happened 15 years ago, this information is no longer relevant. So in 2020, your work experience should be not older than the 2010 year. 
  • Key skills. Primary skills that are most relevant to the federal vacancy. Do not write that you are “easy-going” or “communicative” – these are too general concepts. Add highly specialized and rare skills. 
  • Accomplishments. Certificates, scholarships, awards, etc. Indicate anything relevant to the vacancy. 
  • Recommendation. Provide professional recommendations if you have any.

5. Fill out your federal resume with keywords.

Your first task is to go through ATS systems. That is why your paper should be filled with keywords in your:

  • summary
  • work experience
  • skills
  • accomplishments 

How to understand which words you should use? You can find them in the vacancy description, as well as google based on the name of the profession or company. It is not so difficult, because they are pretty uniform for the federal sector. 

6. Do not be so lazy, write a small cover letter!

In 2020, the recruiter’s acquaintance with you should begin with a cover letter. It does not mean that it should be huge! Just write 4-6 sentences:

  • Introduce yourself!
  • Show interest in the vacancy and company.
  • Briefly describe your achievements and core skills.
  • Write down why you want to work in the company and why you think your candidacy is suitable (or even the best). 
  • In the end, show your readiness to come for a personal interview.

You see! Nothing complicated and will take you just a couple of minutes. Here you can also use relevant keywords. But always use the official writing style! 

7. Make your paper attractive! 

The most important thing is the words that you select to create text. Your task is to make it simple and understandable. Do not use too complicated constructions or rare professional terms. 

Also, do not forget about proofreading. Make it 2-3 times to be sure you have no stylish or grammar errors. Typos in headings, company names, and job titles will be especially highlighted. So, try to avoid them. 

That’s all you need for a perfect federal resume. Most importantly, be honest and sincere. If you embellish your merits, it will be noticeable at work for 100%. Therefore, be yourself and follow our tips to get the interview! 

About the author: Linda R. Bedford


Hello, my name is Linda and I’m a professional resume writer, I’m experienced in and a large spectrum of industries. I’m pretty good at job hunting. Besides I like coaching with people and help job-seekers in transitioning to their next career chapter.