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What Type of Resume Does USAJobs.gov Require?

One of the first things that a professional resume writing service will do is help you determine what type of resume you must write to land the job you desire.


Should you write a standard resume or a federal resume? They’re different documents – the first focuses on the private sector and the latter on the federal side – so writing the wrong one could lead to outright rejection.


So, “What type?” is a crucial question for resume writing.


That brings us to the subject of this article – what type of resume do you need to create for a USAJobs.gov application?


images of a government building and a corporate building with the words "Federal Resume vs Private Sector Resume"

What Is USAJobs.gov?

Think of USAJobs.gov as the Indeed or Monster of federal roles. It’s the place to go if you want to find government job listings that go into specific details about the nature of the role, where it is, and what qualifications you’ll need before applying.


It’s also where you go to apply for these types of roles.


Whether you’re looking for an internship to start your federal career or your next step up the federal ladder, USAJobs.gov is your first port of call. The site allows you to create a profile – through which you can save job searches and upload several versions of your resume – as well as track the status of applications you’ve submitted.


However, it’s not the only place to find federal roles. A handful of agencies – especially those in the intelligence sector – post roles on their main websites, with other roles being obtained through career fairs and personal networks.


image of a laptop, coffee, and the words "Federal Resume vs Corporate Resume"

What Type of Resume Do You Need for USAJobs.gov?

As you may have inferred from the above, you need to create a federal resume for USAJobs.gov.


These types of resumes differ in two key categories – length and detail.


Where a standard resume is typically one or two pages, with any more often turning hiring managers off, a federal resume can stretch to five pages or more. That’s because federal agencies want you to be specific to determine if you’re a good candidate for the role.


This specificity starts with the basics – such as contact information and availability – as you’ll go into detail about who you are and what type of role you seek. You’ll also be more specific about your achievements within your previous role as federal resumes contain a section titled “Duties, Accomplishments, and Related Skills” for you to complete.


The standard bullet points on a normal resume won’t cut it here.


You’ll use this section to expand on those bullet points, likely using paragraph formatting to detail any achievements relevant to the role or your qualifications.


Other differences include adding more detail about your education. Federal resumes require you to write the date you achieved your degree, as well as any relevant coursework you completed or licenses you received.


Think of federal resumes as your regular resume, but amplified.


The details you cut out from a standard resume get inserted because the general rule with federal resumes is that more detail leads to a higher chance of you landing a government role.


How to Upload Your Federal Resume to USAJobs.gov

You have two options for uploading a federal resume to USAJobs.gov:


  • Upload an existing resume

  • Use the site’s resume builder app

In either case, the resume goes into the stash of five that you can store on the website. Each of those five resumes can be tweaked for specific roles and you have the option of deleting any that aren’t suitable anymore.


image of a man with the words "Employment" and words "Professional Federal Resume Writing Service"

Uploading Your Own Federal Resume to USAJobs.gov

Assuming you’ve already created an account with USAJobs.gov – which you need to apply for any roles on the site – you can follow these steps to upload an existing resume:


  1. Head to “Documents” and select “Upload or Build Resume.”

  2. Choose “Upload Resume” and navigate to wherever you have your resume stored on your computer.

  3. Hit “Open” and choose a name for your resume.

  4. Select “Complete Upload.”


With those steps completed, you should see the resume appear in the “Documents” section the next time you navigate there. You’ll also be able to use the resume when applying for jobs. This option is best used by those who’ve successfully applied for a federal role in the past, meaning they know that their existing resume does the job.


Building a Federal Resume Using USAJobs.gov’s App

The early steps for building a federal resume using the site’s app are the same as those for uploading a resume. You still must create an account, navigate to the “Resumes” section under “Documents,” and click the “Upload or Build Resume” button.


From there, USAJobs.gov guides you through creating your federal resume. Specifically, you’ll complete the following sections during the resume-building process:


  • Work Experience

  • Education

  • Reference

  • Additional Information


Each section allows you to save your progress separately, meaning you can save and revisit the resume at any time.


Take advantage of this.


USAJobs.gov will time you out of your resume-building session if you leave the resume unattended for too long. If you need to grab a cup of coffee before continuing, make sure you hit the “Save” button to retain your work.


When you’re done, hit the “Finish” button in the builder and the resume will be added to your “Documents” list for you to use in an application. You can also view and edit this saved document at any point – ideal for tweaking a resume to a specific role.


Naturally, this app is ideal for those who’ve never written a federal resume before because it handles the formatting side while clueing you in on the information you must include.


Create the Perfect USAJobs.gov Resume

Whether you’re uploading your federal resume or using USAJobs.gov’s resume builder app, you need to ensure every detail a governmental hiring manager wants to see is in the document.


That’s where Expert Resume Pros comes in.


Our Federal Resume Writing Service helps you to dig down into your key skills – ensuring every section has the appropriate level of detail – so you can land a governmental role. Each member of our team has received the Certified Professional Federal Resume Writer (CPFRW) certification. Plus, we guarantee a federal resume that lands you an interview within 45 days or you get your money back.

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