Resume & Application Tips

Some helpful tips to keep in mind about the USAJOBS application process:  

Make sure that your resume includes the following:

  • Dates (month and year) for all of your work or volunteer experience (also include how many hours on average you worked each week).
  • Salary information.
  • Supervisor’s name and contact information.

On average, federal resumes are 2-4 pages in length. The key is lots of detail – but the right details. For example:

Don’t just list a database, tool or computer programming language; use a bullet point to demonstrate how you used them in your daily work or studies.

  • Answer these questions with your bullet points:
    • What were you challenged to do?
    • How did you go about doing it?
    • Who did the project affect or who was the customer?
    • What was the impact of your work? What results did you attain?
    • What metrics can you use to quantify your work/volunteer experience?
  • If you are applying to an IT or Cybersecurity position:
    • Map your resume to the cyber work roles found within CISA.
    • Make sure to include demonstrated experience that speaks to the following four required competencies:
      • Attention to Detail
      • Customer Service
      • Oral Communication
      • Problem Solving
    • In addition to the above four required competencies, general knowledge* for cybersecurity positions includes: 
      • Cybersecurity and privacy principles
      • Computer networking concepts and protocols, and network security methodologies
      • Laws, regulations, policies and ethics as they relate to cybersecurity and privacy
      • Risk management processes (e.g., methods for assessing and mitigating risk)
      • Cyber threats and vulnerabilities
      • Specific operational impacts of cybersecurity lapses

*A bachelor's degree in cybersecurity, computer science, information systems, information systems management or related subjects may be substituted for experience at the early/developmental (GS-5 or in some cases, GS-7) level. A master’s degree in cybersecurity, computer science, information systems, information systems management or related subjects may be substituted for experience at the entry/junior (GS-9) level.

Be mindful of the closing dates.

  • Be sure you complete each application in its entirety before the closing date. Some CISA job applications require completion of a special USAHire assessment that will be emailed to you. Review the job announcement closely for this information, and if required, don’t forget to check your spam folder for the link to the assessment – your application is not complete without it!

Monitor the status of your application(s) on the “Profile Dashboard.”

  • It is located on the homepage of the USAJOBS website (after login). Notifications can include: “Received," "Incomplete," "Referred," "Qualified but Not Referred," "Selected," or "Not Selected.” Notifications will be sent via email and will include a description of your application status. If you have a question about your application status, you may reach out to the point of contact listed on the bottom of the job announcement.

View a copy of the job announcement even after it's closed. 

  • You can do this by reviewing your application history in your “Profile Dashboard.” If you get contacted for an interview, you’ll want to look it over again to refresh your memory.

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