Tips for Building an Effective Resume

It is important to address any specific information required and ensure your resume includes sufficient information to validate that you meet all requirements of the job for which you are applying.

In addition, an effective resume should include the following information:

Job Information            

  • Job announcement number
  • Title and grade level(s) of the job for which you are applying
  • Locations for which you are applying (if applicable)

Personal Information

  • Full legal name
  • Contact information (day/evening phone numbers, email/mailing address)
  • Indicate if you are a US citizen (required by most Federal jobs)
  • Indicate veterans' preference category, if applicable, Preference categories

Work Experience & National Service (i.e. volunteer experience)

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social).  Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment.  You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

  • Job title (include pay plan, series, and grade if Federal, non-military position)
  • Employer's name and address
  • Supervisor's name and phone number (indicate if we may contact your current supervisor)
  • Starting and ending dates (month, day, and year)
  • Hours worked per week
  • Salary
  • Date of last promotion (if Federal, non-military position)
  • Duties and accomplishments (job descriptions are not recommended)


  • Name of each school, college, or university attended and location
  • Degree or certificate awarded (if no degree, show total credits earned and indicate whether semester or quarter hours)
  • Date your degree was received or when it is expected
  • Grade point average and scale (e.g., 3.6 of 4.0 grade scale)

Other Qualifications

  • Skills (e.g. other languages, computer software/hardware, tools, machinery, typing speed)
  • Certificates and licenses (current only)
  • Honors, awards, and special accomplishments (e.g. publications, memberships in professional or honor societies, leadership activities, public speaking, and performance awards)
  • Training courses (title and year)