Federal Resume Example
Written by Sarah Edwards, Author • Last updated on June 17, 2024

Federal resume example

Federal agencies hire professionals for many types of roles, including administration, tech, finance, and science. However, creating an effective resume for a federal position requires that you properly showcase your qualifications and include all of the standard information required from applicants. Here’s how to do both so you can stand out in federal applicant pools and finally land a government job.

Key sections to include in resume

Your federal resume should include all the information a hiring manager needs to learn about your professional background and how to contact you for an interview. If you’re wondering what it entails, here are seven key sections to help you build the ideal application.

This section of your government job resume should include all the information that will help the hiring manager identify you, including your name, phone number, and email address. If you have an updated LinkedIn account, feel free to include that as well.

Federal resumes also require some special information in this section. This includes the job announcement number, job title, and job grade, all of which you can find in the job description. When giving your location, keep in mind that federal resumes should include your full address — not just the city and state. (1) 

Header section example:

Job Announcement #: 24-12406864-CBWQ
Job Grade: DL 00
Job Title: Technical Director

Melanie Clarke
921 Halo Top Court
Arlington, VA 20301
Daytime Phone: (703) 927-8137
Evening Phone: (571) 215-7224

Professional summary

This section of your federal resume functions almost like a cover letter sample. Here, you will write a short narrative summarizing your experience, accomplishments, skills, and personal traits. Make sure that all details you include are relevant to the industry and position you’re applying for.

Professional summary section example:

Senior security analyst with 10+ years of experience developing and implementing security protocols across large organizations. Deep knowledge of penetration testing and threat detection, yielding an 85% success rate in avoiding potential breaches. Implemented company-wide security training that led to a 56% decrease in security incidents. Proven track record mitigating data breaches, saving organizations $15M+.

Work experience

Your work experience section details your professional journey. When describing each job, include your job title, the business address and location, and the dates of your tenure. Then, use bullet points to describe your major job duties and achievements to show how your experience qualifies you for the position.

When crafting a federal resume, there are a few additional requirements for this section, including (1)

  • An indication of whether the job was full or part-time
  • The average number of hours worked weekly (if the job was part-time)
  • The salary or wage you earned
  • A listing of any temporary positions
  • An occupational series and starting and ending grades for federal positions (does not apply to military personnel) 
  • The supervisor’s name, address, phone number
  • An indication of whether your last supervisor can be contacted

For a federal-style resume, you should begin this section with your current role. Then, list all your other relevant roles in chronological order after that. Be aware that this structure is quite different from that of many resume examples, so you’ll likely have to tweak them to fit these instructions.

Work experience section example:

Cybersecurity Analyst, Verge Government IT Services
Full-Time, May 2018-July 2020
Salary: $75,000/year
Supervisor: Hannah Bell, 12264 Mylar Avenue, Fairfax, VA 22030, (703) 776-1912 (Okay to Contact)

  • Conducted regular vulnerability scans and penetration testing to proactively uncover 85% of potential threats
  • Mitigated major data breaches using deep knowledge of blue team tactics, saving the company $5M+ in potentially lost revenue
  • Implemented company-wide security training and single sign-on/multi-factor authentication protocols, resulting in a 56% decrease in security events 


This section should include the type of degree you earned, your major(s), the name of the school, the school’s location (including city, state, and zip code), and the date your degree was conferred. If you are still in school, note the number of semester hours you have completed.

Be aware that some federal positions may also ask you to include the name of your high school, its location, and the date your GED or high school diploma was issued. (1) If you have taken any job-related training courses, you can list those in this section. 

Education section example:

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030
Degree conferred May 2018

Certificates and licenses

Here, you can simply give the title of any certifications you have earned, the date you earned them, and the organization that issued them (if applicable). If the job you’re applying for requires any licenses, you can list them in this section. 

Certificates and licenses section example:

CompTIA Security+ Certification, June 2018
The Computing Technology Industry Association

Certified Ethical Hacker, August 2020


Your skills section should be a simple listing of the capabilities you possess that make you a great fit for the job. Save the context information for your cover letter. You should include technical/functional skills (those competencies specifically related to the job) and soft skills (those that help you do your job well). 

Skills section example:

Technical skills:

  • SIEM management
  • Network security
  • Data analysis
  • Reverse engineering

Soft skills:

  • Critical thinking
  • Teamwork
  • Attention to detail
  • Time management

Hobbies and interests

This section of your federal resume is your chance to showcase your personal interests. This can include languages you have learned or volunteer work you have completed. Make sure that all you include is relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Hobbies and interests section example:

  • Languages: Native English speaker with full professional fluency in Spanish and a working knowledge of French
  • Volunteer Work: Volunteer regularly with Network Legion, a pro-bono cybersecurity service working to help local non-profits keep their networks safe

Tips for writing the role-specific resume

Writing a role-specific resume for a government position isn’t easy. There are lots of requirements to meet, and whether you get the job can hinge on your ability to be creative while still following directions and best practices. 

One way you can create an effective federal job resume is to tailor your resume to the job opening. This involves combing the job description to gather important keywords and figure out what the hiring manager wants in an ideal candidate. You can adjust your skills and work experience so that you’re only including what is highly relevant.

Additionally, don’t forget that there is no specific federal format. Resumes for federal jobs, however, require adherence to strict guidelines for certain sections. For example, best practices for the work experience section include listing your most recent position followed by all other relevant experience in chronological order. (1) 

This structure is quite different from what you may find in a standard reverse chronological, functional, or hybrid resume format

It’s also a good idea to quantify your achievements as much as possible, as this helps to show the impact you’ve made in previous positions. You can do this by noting how much money you have saved an organization, how many new hires you’ve trained, or the percentage of time you were able to successfully resolve a customer’s issue.

Finally, make sure to use action verbs when describing your job responsibilities. Words like “achieved,” “created,” “improved,” and “developed” help you come across as confident and clarify your role and contributions.

Remember that while most resume articles encourage you to keep your document to one page, this isn’t the case for a government resume. (1) It isn’t unusual for federal resumes to be much longer than standard corporate resumes, so don’t feel you have to leave out critical details, especially if they help you showcase your qualifications.

An effective federal resume is all about standing out while maintaining the standard

As you are creating your federal resume, it’s important to:

  • Know the key sections to include, such as your header, professional summary, education details, certifications and licenses, skills, and hobbies
  • Pay attention to special details required for each section, such as job announcement numbers, salary information, and previous supervisor names
  • Stick to relevant details to keep the resume focused on the specific job
  • Use keywords, quantitative data, and action verbs to strengthen your resume and tailor it to the job description

If you’re not sure how to build your federal resume from the ground up, Jobseeker can help. We have many resume articles, guides, examples, and even cover letter templates to help you craft a standout application. Use our resources to start creating your best federal resume today.


(1) U.S. Department of Labor: Tips for Writing a Federal Resume

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Sarah Edwards
Sarah Edwards
A seasoned HR writer with more than a decade of experience, Sarah crafts insightful guides and timely articles that help people grow their skills.

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