With President’s Day just around the corner, this can bring to mind the range of jobs available working for the government. Many job seekers think that they need to live near Washington, D.C. to land a government job, but in reality these positions exist throughout the country. There may even be opportunities to work around the world. Job openings span a multitude of industries, so there is a good possibility of finding one that matches your skills, experience, and interests.
When creating a resume to apply for government positions, it is important to carefully read the opening. Note if the organization has specific requirements for the content of your resume, or if they use a certain format. Make sure you understand how your experience correlates with the series and grade standards if you are applying for a federal position. This can ensure that you are not applying for positions too far above or below your capabilities.
Pay close attention to keywords. Employers may have very specific skills they are looking for so using the same words or phrases is important. Oftentimes skills in analytics, logistics, management, process improvement, and budgeting are commonly desired. Avoid trying to be too fancy or technical with your language. Stick with what is listed.
Note clearances and citizenship. Depending on what area you are looking to work in, you may need to have certain security clearances. If this is a requirement, consider listing it at the end of your summary of qualifications so that it is quickly seen by employers. Also note citizenship, especially if your work history shows that you have lived in other countries. If you are in the process of obtaining your citizenship, you could mention that it is in progress. Including language proficiencies can help as well.
Emphasize results. It is common for the government to have a strong focus on results. Saving time and money and increasing effectiveness are key. Include metrics where possible to further prove your abilities and give solid evidence of the results you have achieved. Employers want to know how you will benefit their organization, so make your capabilities clear. If you don’t have access to specific metrics, still demonstrate that you made an impact. Use words such as decreased, increased, reduced, improved, grew, or secured.
Highlight specialized training or experience. If you have previously worked in government or been a member of the military, make sure to include any training you have undergone. List your certifications and any other professional development related to the role you are applying for. For military personnel, include your final rank, years of service, and positions you assumed during this time. There are many transferable skills you may have acquired and specific levels of training may be required for the position. Your training could count as relevant experience.
Government jobs can be very rewarding and lead to many opportunities. Make sure that your resume creates a strong impression and includes all necessary information for consideration. Let your skills and accomplishments stand out and gain you positive attention.