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Application Steps

 Step 1: Write a Resume

Department of the Navy employment opportunities require submitting a resume. A resume is a way to market an all-important product – YOU. After all the time, energy, effort, and hard work you have invested in your education, training and career, marketing through a resume is your first step towards Federal employment.

Federal resumes differ from private sector resumes. Federal resumes require detailed information about your specific work experience and other job-related information. Because Federal human resources (HR) professionals operate under various Federal employment laws, rules and regulations, they cannot infer from your previous job titles or Navy Ratings your applicable experience. It is up to you to describe your past work experience and how you qualify for jobs to which you apply.

 Tips for Creating a Powerful Resume

Here are some hints to help your resume get noticed and help you get the interview:

  • Get organized: Gather your previous resumes, descriptions of jobs you have held, past performance evaluations, letters of commendation, and awards. Sort them and put them in chronological order. Read them carefully and take notes on important points or themes.
  • Check out OPMs USAJOBS video on Resume Writing:
  • Tailor your resume to the announcement: Announcements for particular job vacancies provide details on specific duties and requirements. Your resume should address the knowledge, skills, abilities, competencies and qualifications that pertain to those unique duties and requirements.
  • Write a first draft in a word processing software: Then walk away from it. Take a second look and revise, reorganize, and improve as necessary. Make sure spelling, punctuation, and all grammar basics are perfect.
  • Be descriptive:  We want to know what you did on the job. Think about:
    • The projects you have worked on
    • What your specific duties were
    • What tools, software, or equipment you used
    • What you accomplished
  • Use plain English: Describe skills and experience in terms common to your occupation that could be readily understood in both the public and private sectors. Minimize the use of acronyms. If you must use them, spell them out at least once and explain what they represent. Use nouns and verbs that present an accurate, clear summary of your accomplishments. Use correct tense for past or current positions. For example:
    • Write “Utilized Microsoft Project to develop timelines. Prepared budget requests, hired staff, selected vendors, negotiated contracts, and designed and implemented a new Unix client-server information system,” rather than "Performed the full range of project management duties for a new information system."
    • Rather than writing "Communicates orally and in writing." it is better to say "Writes complex technical documents and reports; prepares policy statements, and develops and presents PowerPoint briefings to large groups."
  • Keep paragraphs short: To make your resume easier to read, add a carriage return (blank line) after every 20 lines or so. It’s OK to have more than one paragraph for each experience, just keep the paragraphs short.
  • List only recent training and awards: List only training and awards received in the last 5 years. Don’t attach copies of training certificates, transcripts, or awards unless specifically requested in the job opportunity announcement.
  • List certifications and licenses: If applying for a position that requires you to possess a license or certification, list all current licenses, certificates, and/or contracting warrants in your resume. Identify the city and/or State of certification, name of certifying organization, and expiration date, if any. For example, “Certified Public Accountant, Illinois, 06-16.”
  • Test your text: When you finish writing a section, ask yourself:
    • Would a person who is not familiar with my occupational background understand the kind of work that I do?
    • Is there nonessential information in what I have written?
    • Have I omitted any relevant special experience or skills I possess that might distinguish me from other candidates?
    • Have I adequately described the major characteristics of my occupation, or background and skills that are most common to my occupation?
    • Have I addressed how my experience supports the knowledges, skills and competencies outlined in the vacancy announcement and occupational questionnaire for the job I am applying to?
    • Have I clearly described my accomplishments?

 Need More Help

Uncertain about what all to include in your federal resume? The USAJOBS resume builder (available after you create a USAJOBS account), will prompt you to enter all the necessary information to create a Federal resume. Additionally, the USAJOBS Help Center provides detailed “How To” information in support of creating a resume. Check it out at .

Tip! For seperating military service members, Fleet and Family Service Centers (FFSC) – FFSC staff can assist with Federal resume writing, resume review and tips.