Before you start creating a brand new resume to apply for a federal government position, you need to choose the way to build it. You can either make use of the USAJOBS resume builder or upload your own resume. The former has a number of advantages over the latter.

First of all, by using the USAJOBS resume builder, you will create a document in a standard federal resume format. It will make searching and evaluating your resume easier for federal human resources specialists.

Second, the resume builder allows you to duplicate your resume, which is very helpful when you need to upgrade the document or tailor it to a specific position. Offering you to use its federal resume builder, USAJOBS provide you with a professional resume writing instrument, which is worth trying out.

USAJOBS Resume Builder Tips

For your resume to be searchable and efficient, take your time to learn the subtleties of the federal resume builder USAJOBS has created. We have come up with the top 4 tips that will help you avoid the common mistakes that often prevent the candidates from being recognized as qualified for the job.

1. Searching for Jobs

The USAJOBS search engine can be tough. To speed up your job searching process, use OPM Job Series. It’s one of the effective methods to find the right job in your field.

For example, typing 2210 into the USAJOBS search bar will show all available job openings in Information Technology Management Series. Use Top filters from the right column to choose the “Hiring path”, “Grade” etc. and More filters to narrow your search.


Read the announcement carefully! Before applying for a position, go to the Qualifications section in the vacancy announcement and preview the vacancy announcement questions.

Let’s compare a basic Qualifications list for a Marketing Assistance position

USAJOBS qualification section

And more detailed Qualifications list for a Strategic Marketing Analyst position

Qualification section for a Strategic Marketing Analyst

As we can see, Qualifications requirements may vary depending on GS position, education, expert level skills or other specific knowledge relevant to a job announcement. So make sure to select a corresponding answer to each question prior to applying for a job posting. 

2. Tailor Your Resume for Each Specific Position

This is indeed a tedious task but it is totally worth the effort. USAJOBS allows the employee to have 5 resumes created and uploaded via the USAJOBS resume builder.

Hire professional resume writers

Tailoring your resume for each specific federal job announcement can be the key to your success.

Although having similar titles, the different job announcement will be using different keywords to describe their requirements for the candidate. Keep your resume brief, describe your work experience and education relevant to the position you apply for.

The advantage of the resume builder is that you get a consistent federal cv, which can be found by a recruiter using a keyword search. Building a resume that is perfectly in tune with the specific announcement will help your application score more points in the competition.

Information for Veterans: The Saved Documents section on USAJOBS allows to save up to 10 supporting eligibility documents as recommendation letters, cover letters or performance reports.

3. Do Not Leave Blank Fields.

It is true that a resume should normally be kept brief but with the federal government resumes, it is all about the perfect balance between being concise and being informative. The technical trick about the USAJOBS resume builder tool is to use all the fields it provides.

For instance: Even if your GPA isn’t stunning, do not leave the GPA field blank. If you have absolutely nothing to answer the question with, it is better to write “NA” in the field than to leave it blank. This shows how literally complete your resume is.


3. Proofread

Believe it or not but such an obvious step in the resume writing process is often neglected by the applicants. Typographical errors, not to speak of grammatical and spelling mistakes, will seriously impair the impressions of the federal HR specialist even about a seemingly perfect resume.

As a practice task, you can take any USAJOBS resume builder sample and evaluate it in terms of the points described above. This will train you to be more critical and attentive when you start building your own federal resume.

How to Build a Resume for USAJOBS

If you do not know what to start with, read through the instructions on How To Create and Develop USAJOBS Profile. We provide all the necessary basic technicalities of the resume building process. If you have a vague idea about what to write in each section, we highly recommend examining at least one USAJOBS resume builder example to see how a well-built final document should look like. Do not forget that all the information you put in your resume should not only be up-to-date and 100% correct but also demonstrating the level of your qualification for the job to the full extent.

resume writerDaniella Epstein

Daniella knows all ins and outs of the federal hiring process. She is excellent at job hunting strategies, starting from federal resume writing to the final stage of interview conduction.

Still unsure about how to make federal resume? Read our USAJOBS Tips articles:

How long does USAJOBS take to review applications

How to delete USAJOBS account

How to fill out USAJOBS questionnaire

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