Entry-Level Government Resume
Your resume is likely the first thing that a potential employer will see before they meet you in person. You should think of it in the same manner that you envision shaking the hand of your interviewers and looking them in the eye. You want your resume and cover letter to be firm, concise and confident.
Most resumes should be kept to one page, and should list one's education, certifications/licenses and prior work experience (including internships). You should only allow two pages if you truly have enough work experience, publication credits or degrees to warrant it. For undergraduates, a good rule of thumb is to stick to one page. If you have a master's degree, PhD or JD, it might be all right to go to two pages if you also have a couple of years of work experience and have authored some relevant academic publications. However, think of empty space as your enemy. You should always project an image of organization--empty space means that you are either not qualified or uncertain.
Experience and skills
The work experience section should highlight the duties that you have performed, using "action words," such as "led," "performed," "provided," "supervised." If you have special abilities (for example, if you are bilingual), feature these on the resume.
Also list skills and accomplishments--for example, if you developed and led a support group, developed or created a research project, or presented a paper at a conference--that are likely to make your resume seem unique and appealing. It is helpful to list areas in which you have had supervisory responsibility. However, do not list extraneous details, such as hobbies, which can easily come across as flippant or unprofessional.
As with any resume (or, indeed, with most kinds of professional writing), keep it clear, simple and easy to read. Use a plain font, black printing and white, high-quality paper. Also, make sure you proofread and spell-check any document you send to an employer. Any misspelled words or signs of disorganization will send the wrong impression to the company even before you have met any of its employees. Below is an example of what a one-page resume might look like.
Thomas C. Smith
63 Bridge Street
New York, NY 10012
Phone #: (212) 753-7325
Cell #: (917) 499-3508
OBJECTIVE: To gain an analyst-level position, with the opportunity for advancement and growth, in the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
New York University -- New York, NY
Bachelor of Arts, economics and political science with a minor in math
Expected Graduation: 2010
Current GPA: 3.6
University of Berlin --
Summer Statistical Research Program
- NYU President's Service Award for Volunteerism and Community Service -- 2009
- Dean's List for Academic Performance -- Fall and Spring Semesters 2009
- Member of Omicron Delta Epsilon, International Economics Honor Society -- 2009
- Intramural Soccer Team Member: 2006-2009
- Boys and Girls Club of New York Volunteer and Guitar Instructor: 2007-2008
- Treasurer, Political Science & Government Research Club: Fall 2008 and Spring 2009 semesters
- Proficient in all Microsoft products including Excel, PowerPoint, Word and Access. Fluent in German.