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The State Government Resume

When writing a resume for a state government job, the resume will be focusing on skills and experience.  The resume must be spot on since the application process for government jobs is complex and specific.  A great resume will give hiring managers a vote of confidence in your candidacy.

A typical government resume runs between two to five pages, but longer than a standard public sector one- or two-page resume.  All resumes contain specific sections, especially when applying through a rigid government application system.  Therefore, an applicant’s resume should contain the following elements:

  • Resume header with contact information
  • Resume summary (i.e., profile or personal statement)
  • Employment history or work experience
  • Soft, hard, and transferable skills
  • Education and certification
  • Accomplishments and awards

These sections look similar to what you would find on a public sector resume.  So, what differentiates a government resume from a regular private sector resume?

  • The Details
  • Keyword Placement
  • Resume Formatting
  • Resume Length

The Details:

When explaining your assignments in a specific situation, remember to include the details!  Those might include how many employees reported to you, how many programs you directed, projects successfully completed, and/or years performing job duties.

Keywords Placement:

When you are writing a government resume, ensure you use many keywords and place most of those keywords in your introductory paragraphs.  Some experts suggest, ensuring all the keywords you use are capitalized, so that they stand out.

Resume Formatting:

A government resume provides much more information.  Therefore, the best approach is the utilization of brief paragraphs containing at least 4 sentences.  Those sentences should contain qualitative information on how and why you are the ideal fit for the position.

Resume Length:

Government resumes can be lengthy and time-consuming. A typical government resume runs between two to five pages, but longer than a standard one or two-page resume. The objective of the length of the resume is to provide an opportunity to allow the candidate to explain why they are the best fit for the government position.  In addition, it should allow for the reader to validate your application and application responses.

Overall, government jobs often require that you have experience in a particular type of work for a certain period of time. You must show how your skills and experiences meet the qualifications and requirements listed in the job requisition to be considered for the job.

To wrap up, a government resume must be concise, presenting information in a powerful form. The most successful resumes focus on specific position-related skills, relevant areas of expertise, quantifiable accomplishments, and professional certifications.  While there are many skills required for work in a government agency, you must also include those specific skills necessary for the position you want. These typically include computer proficiency, oral, and written communication expertise.

With the highlighted differences between the private and public sector resumes I have shared; I am in hopes you can now confidently navigate and compose your first government resume or correct the errors in your previous one.