How to Build a Federal Resume
A career with the Forest Service means making a lasting impact by managing and caring for more than 193 million acres of the nation’s forests and grasslands. Build a fantastic Federal resume and take the first step toward leaving your legacy for future generations.
Federal resumes are different than traditional resumes, with certain requirements and no recommended page limit. It's important to describe how your skills and work experience match the requirements in the job opening. To improve your chances, customize your resume for each job you apply for.
For each job that you list on your resume, you must also include:
- The start and end dates including the month and year.
- The number of hours you worked per week.
- The level and amount of experience. For example, whether you served as project manager or a team member can help show your level of experience.
- All relevant experience and accomplishments that prove you can perform tasks at the level required for the job.
You should list all work experience in reverse chronological order, with your most recent experience showing at the top of your resume.
Separate you temporary seasonal work experience by month and year for each period of service. Do not combine multiple work periods into years such as “worked seasonal during the summers of 2010-2015.”
For every job on your resume include your supervisor’s name, contact information, and if they are okay to contact for reference checks. Salary information is optional, but may give the Human Resources reviewer and hiring manager a better understanding of your current and past experience.
A Federal resume requires significantly more information than a traditional resume. As a result, there is no page limit. Make sure you cover your education and work experience in exhaustive detail.
When possible, show your achievements and accomplishments in numbers, percentages, and dollars. Include examples of how you saved, earned, or managed money and time. For example, describe your experience with phrases like “improved efficiency of document processing by 25 percent over the previous year” and “wrote prospect letter that has brought in more than $25,000 in donations to date.”
Format & Design
It's important that your resume is visually appealing and easy to read. However, there are no requirements for design or format. For example, when listing your experience, either bulleted lists or narrative paragraphs are acceptable.
- Customize your resume to make sure it matches your competencies, knowledge, skills, and experience to the duties listed in the job announcement. Leave out experience that isn’t relevant.
- Include qualifications you have that are specifically listed in the qualifications section. Use the same words that are in the announcement if you have that skill.
- Your resume and responses to the Assessment section must verify you have the qualifications required for the position. You can preview the assessment questionnaire by reviewing the Requirements – How you will be evaluated section of the job announcement.
- Spell out acronyms
- Be honest
- Write clear and concise statements
- Use active verbs
- Proofread your resume
Visit the Official Documents webpage for more information on transcripts, SF-50s, performance appraisals, and more.
Please direct questions about career opportunities and applications to Human Resources Management at 1-877-372-7248. Select Option 2 and follow the prompts. We're open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mountain Time and closed on all Federal holidays.
You can also find specific information related to Forest Service jobs on our Next Steps page, including our jobs resource directory, our webinar schedule, or contact information for our recruiters.