Tips to Make Your Government Resume Stand Out

Here are a few tips to make sure your government resume looks its best for new job applications.

Got your eye on a government job? With limited jobs available today, and the American economy still hemorrhaging jobs, chances are that there are hundreds, if not thousands of job seekers who also have their eye on that same government job. In order to land the job you want or even get close enough for consideration, you have got to be sure that your government resume stands out and that it will catch the recruiter’s eye. Your application and resume will be the first exposure they have to you, so it needs to be eye catching and powerful. If you are applying for a government job, here are some tips to help make your government resume stand out so that you are the one that they call in for an interview.

State Your Career Objective

Let’s start with stating your career objective and list the job title of the position you are applying for. You will want to be specific and make it a powerful statement. Here is where you have the first opportunity to catch the eye of the recruiter.

Contact Information

List your current contact information. You want to make sure that all of your contact information is on every page of your resume, and you want to use a bigger font size for it. Include several ways for them to contact you such as; home phone, cell phone, home address and email address.

Outline Your Achievements

List all of your achievements. Don’t forget to include those achieved as a child. If you were an Eagle Scout, or your class valedictorian, be sure to include that. Make sure you also include any academic achievements as well. It does not matter how small the achievement, if you earned it, list it. You want to present yourself as an achiever and a well rounded person. Be sure to highlight any achievements that will relate to the government job you are posting for.

Detail Your Skills

List all of your skill sets. Be sure to highlight those skills that are relevant to the job you are posting for. Although the skills required for the particular job you are applying for are extremely important, be sure to list all of your other skills. You will impress the hiring manager who is reading your government resume with the variety of skills you possess. This could also indicate a strong potential for advancement into other positions. If you have received any specialized training in the past make sure to mention that as well. Whatever you do, never lie on a resume about your skills, or anything else for that matter.

Outline Your Previous Employment

List all of your previous employers and make sure that the contact information for your previous employers is up to date and correct. Include the complete dates of your employment, company name and address and a supervisor name and phone number. The government will check your references so make sure that they are accurate. List the job titles you held as well as the duties you performed with these jobs. Be sure to highlight anything relevant to the government job that you are posting for.

Outline Your Education

List all of your education, including the degrees you have earned. List the names of the schools you attended along with their address and the years that you attended.

Detail Any Military Service

Be sure to highlight any of your military service as well as any government security clearance you have received in the past. List the highest rank you achieved, as well as any medals or special recognitions you were awarded. Add any particular training you received while in the military. List the jobs you worked during your service. This will certainly make your government resume stand out.

Outline Your Volunteer Work

List all of your volunteer work, past and present. As with your former employment, you should list contact information for whoever supervised or worked with you doing your volunteer work. Volunteer work indicates a strong character, and will show you are a compassionate person.

Personal References

Make sure that the references you choose are appropriate and that they are stand up citizens. You want to pick people who have not only known you for a long time, but that will present themselves well during a phone interview. The government will check your personal reference, so make sure they are decent ones.

Outline Your Strengths

Here is where you can add any additional skills or strengths you have. If you have taken seminars on leadership skills, or any personal development courses, here is your opportunity to list them. Recruiters are looking for well educated and well rounded individuals who are seeking to improve themselves. This will certainly help your government resume stand out.


Make sure that your resume is organized and uncluttered. You want your government resume to be presented in a clean and professional format. Make sure that the printing is legible. Your cover page should be just as professional.

For extra distinction, some job seekers have taken to creating a website to post their skills as well as display their technological savvy. Creating your own personal resume website is now easier than ever, as well as becoming more popular than ever. With so many positions in varying industries being closely linked to social media and the online world, it’s no surprise that hosting your resume online is the latest way to show off your various skills and experience to potential employers, including the government.


Make sure to use proper keywords, a lot of them, that are relevant to the federal job that you are posting for. The person looking at your resume will most likely scan it first looking for the keywords. If they don’t see them, they will toss your government resume in the trash.

You want your government resume to be catchy and precise. As with any resume for any job posting, you will need to make sure that it is completely accurate, and all of the contact information for your job and personal references are up to date. Don’t forget to create an appropriate cover page as well. A follow up letter is a great opportunity for you to remind the recruiter who you are and exactly why you are the perfect candidate for the job. By following these tips, you should create the perfect, powerful government resume to help you land that great government job you have always wanted.

About the Author

Jason Kay is a professional resume writer and regular contributor to, a professional federal resume service and repository of sample KSA statements.