3 Tips for Writing a Resume Federal Hiring Managers Will Love

The Federal government is a competitive job market, and a unique one. Do these three things using the free resources we have available at [email protected] to make sure your resume always makes it to the hiring manager’s desk. For more on this topic, check out our resume tips, hiring resources and military-to-civilian career transition advice offered by [email protected].

  1. Qualifications: Check, Re-check and Check Again

Federal job openings can attract hundreds or even thousands of applicants. To narrow down the pool, HR professionals provide hiring managers with a “Best Qualified” list of applicants. The hiring manager reviews the list, chooses the applicants to interview, and often never sees the rest.

HR can only put people on the “Best Qualified” list who meet all of the minimum qualifications in the job announcement. To maximize your chances of making the cut, match your resume content as closely as possible to the list of qualifications in the announcement.

  1. Keywords are Key

To expedite resume review, Federal HR professionals scan documents for keywords – often with the help of software. The right keywords help your resume stand out in the right way.

To identify keywords, carefully read the job announcement. If you see a certain word repeated numerous times, it’s probably a keyword. For example, if you see “contracting” listed repeatedly in the job announcement, weave that into your resume as often as possible.

  1. You Can Break the One-Page Rule

Traditional wisdom holds that your resume should be as short as possible. Your government resume may be an exception. In fact, once you’ve tailored your resume, explained in detail all of your relevant experience, emphasized impact, and included keywords, your resume might be as many as 4-5 pages in length. This is often the case for more experienced applicants.

However, don’t abuse this leeway. HR managers still appreciate a concise, easy-to-read resume.

Want to learn more? Check out this free 30-minute course on resume prep.

Andre J. Castillo is the Program Manager of the [email protected] program, the world’s best career development program.

Leave a Comment


Leave a Reply

Eva Fulton

My resume is at least 3 pages long and it works on making the BQ list. I haven’t figured out how to dwindle it down shorter because if I do then I’m shortchanging my experience.


If the job is pre-selected, you don’t have a chance no matter what your resume looks like. You have to lie 100% of the time on the questions just to get rated Best Qualified by the Personnel office. Why can’t everyone just admit this and stop wasting everyone else’s time???