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Preparing to Write Your USAJOBS Resume

When you apply for federal jobs, the first thing hiring managers will see is your USAJOBS resume. Since this document will make that all-important first impression, you want it to be as strong as possible.

In order to prepare, there is some information you should gather, and some basic steps to take.  

  • Spend some time browsing the USAJOBS.gov website and identify 5-10 jobs that interest you.
  • Shorten the list to 2-3 similar jobs by looking more closely at the duties and qualifications sections, and matching them to your own knowledge, professional experience, and training.
  • Gather your career documents covering the past 10-15 years, including performance evaluations, position descriptions, and education information.
  • Write out a basic work history, in reverse-chronological order, and capture the following information for each job: start and end months/years, full mailing address, annual salary, pay grade, hours worked per week, and supervisor name and number.
  • Write a list of all professional training in the past 10-20 years, with course titles and years completed.
  • Write a list of all awards, honors, or other recognitions you have received in the workplace.
  • Write your duties/scope of responsibility for each position in the past 10-15 years. Include the number of people you supervised, amount of budgets or resources you managed, types of customers, and level of interaction with senior officials.
  • Write your top 5-10 specific accomplishments for each position, using the Challenge-Action-Results  format. Hint: Try to share accomplishments that show your ability to perform the duties and qualifications in the job announcement(s).

If you take the time to gather and prepare this information, you should find it much easier and more efficient to use the USAJOBS resume builder and create a strong federal resume! 

By Lee Kelley

Mr. Kelley is an Iraq war veteran, former Army Captain, and author who now serves as the senior writer on CareerPro Global’s writing team. Leveraging the company’s vast expertise in assisting thousands of SES and federal job seekers, Lee has personally developed hundreds of resumes and more than a thousand ECQs.

He is also the Director of Training and Veteran Transitions, and has provided USAJOBS resume-writing workshops to hundreds of federal employees and military personnel. In addition, Lee co-authored the book, "Roadmap to the Senior Executive Service: How to Find SES Jobs, Determine Your Qualifications, and Develop Your SES Application." His latest book is titled, "Inside Marine One: Four U.S. Presidents, One Proud Marine, and the World’s Most Amazing Helicopter."

Posted in Career Tip of the Month

Tags: Senior Executive Service, SES, USAJobs resume

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