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Step 1 – Build a Basic Resume

You will need to use the Resume Builder if you want to apply for a federal job. Uploaded resumes are not accepted by most agencies at this time.

Create an account on and sign in. Write down the email you use to create this account, in case you forget your user ID or password.

Start with your Profile. The information on your profile will appear on all of the resumes you will build, so keep it updated.
Legal Name - Use the name you would like hiring officials to see. Remember if you use nicknames, that is what they will see. I prefer full first name (formal) middle name, full last name.

Address - Enter your full address, do not abbreviate street names (street, road, etc.). Enter the city and state (state can be abbreviated, in caps).

Telephone – You are able to enter up to 3 phone numbers. Be sure to enter your cell phone number if you have one. It is very frustrating to a hiring official to speak to a family member who knows nothing about your job search or when to expect you back. Cell phones eliminate the problem.

ALWAYS enter your email address. Don't use an unprofessional address, (like Get an email just for employment purposes ( You may add a secondary email address.

You will be asked several questions on the next page of the profile.

1. Answer “Yes” if you are a citizen. It is required for most federal jobs.
2. Answer the Selective Service question. If you are a male and have not registered for the selective service you will need to do so before you apply for a federal job. Most males register automatically when they are in 11th grade.
3. Say “Yes” if you are a Veteran. You will receive 5 to 10 extra points on your eligibility rating and will be placed at the top of the list if you include your DD-214 with your application package.
4. Select the employment status question. If you aren’t sure, click the “?” for an explanation or contact us at USAJobsHELP
5. If you qualify for the Special Hiring Options listed, check the requested box(es).
6. Complete the rest of the questionnaire with your preferences. If you aren’t sure about something, click the “?” for an explanation or contact us at USAJobsHELP

Next you will create a Basic Resume. This resume will be used for all of your applications, but you will customize it differently for each one.

Tab 1 – Experience
You may enter it 3 different ways.

1. If you had only one position in a company, you will list the company name and the position you held, most recent first.
2. If you had several positions in the company, enter the company name once, enter the dates employment began and ended, and list each position and dates you held each job, within the narrative. Enter them in reverse chronological order (most recent first.). This gives the hiring official the details of your term with the company, and lets them know that you were promoted.
3. If you did freelance, consulting or volunteer work, or had gaps in your employment, you will enter it differently. In the "Company" field, enter the type of work you did (example: Administrative Consultant, Volunteer Work, Set Designer, Actor). In the field for "position", enter the company you worked for and the dates. These dates do not have to be chronological, perhaps you had several consulting jobs at the same time.

Here is an example of the three different types of entries:

Work History:

Example 1:

Adelphia Cable
Positions Held:
Title: Metro Area Sales Manager
From: 08/2000 To: 03/2002 Salary: $90,000/year
Phone Number

Example 2:

US Census Bureau
Positions Held:
Title: Area Manager
From: 09/09 To: Present Salary: $65,000/year
Title: Regional Technician
From: 03/08 To: 09/09 Salary: Grade 12
Title: Senior Field Representative
From: 02/2006 To: 03/2008 Salary: Grade 6
Title: Field Representative
From: 01/2005 To: 02/2006 Salary: Grade 5
Title: Team Supervisor
From: 10/1998 To: 05/2000 Salary: Grade 12

Assistant Regional Census Manager
Phone Number

Example 3:

Positions Held:
Title: Truly Unique Web Administrative Consultant
From: 3/2002 To: 3/2004 Salary: Volunteer
Title: Benefits Plus Administrative Consultant
From: 03/2002 To: 03/2006 Salary: Commission
Title: Say Cheese Photography Administrative Consultant
From: 03/2004 To: 03/2006 Salary: Commission
Phone Number

When you enter the dates worked, if you are still employed by that company, select “present”.

When you enter the salary information, use "$" and commas, and enter the annual rate if possible (ex: $40,000/year – do not abbreviate.)

Enter the most recent supervisor as a reference. If you were self-employed, you may enter a client or supplier. If the company is no longer in existence, enter the supervisor's name and title, and enter "unknown" for the phone number, but try to give a reference with a good phone number if possible under “References.)

Tab 2 - Education
Start with the High School from which you graduated.
Then, enter your degrees, most recent first. Example

High School

Enter any certifications, licenses, additional coursework in the fields under education. Click on “Save Education" for additional fields.

Tab 3 – References
Click “Add Reference”, and be prepared to enter:
Reference Name
Employer (Only if it is a Professional Reference.)
Title (Only if it is a Professional Reference.)
Phone (be sure the phone number is correct, otherwise use only an email.)
Email (always try to use an email. It makes it easier on the Hiring Official when they check your references)
Click the Reference Type. If it is both a Professional and Personal reference, click “Professional.”
Click “Save Reference.” Try to have a minimum of 3.

Tab 4 – Other

You can enter:
Job Training
Languages Spoken
Professional Publications

Do NOT enter anything under “Additional Information” You will use this field to customize the resume for each application.

Next Step 2 - Reading the Vacancy Announcement.

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