Before opening applications for our 2024 cohort of U.S. Digital Corps Fellows (stay tuned for an exact date!), we wanted to share some USDC-specific resume best practices and samples.
Our selection process is designed to be transparent, skills-based, and equitable. We often describe it as an “open book test” where we tell candidates exactly what we are looking for so they can put their best foot forward.
In past application cycles, knowing that people were curious about so-called government resumes, we shared general resources like TTS’s resume guidance and the USAJOBS Resume Builder, but we recognized that these resources may not be targeted to the early-career candidates that USDC recruits.
Now that we have completed two successful rounds of hiring, we have seen many strong resumes and hope that sharing some of them to model resume best practices will be a helpful guide for interested candidates. In addition to the resume resources in this blog post, we strongly encourage people to register for an upcoming virtual info session and read more about the overall selection process.
USDC resume best practices
You can have confidence that all USDC applications are hand-reviewed by subject matter experts in the track that you apply to—software engineering, data science & analytics, product management, design, or cybersecurity. No screening algorithms here!
There is not one specific format or template that you must use, and while there is no length limit, only up to three pages of your resume will be reviewed:
- up to one page describing your education
- and up to two pages describing your experience.
We encourage you to use the entirety of the three pages that will be reviewed.
Describing your experience
- Your experience will be assessed against the competencies and specialized experience statement listed in the Qualifications section of the posting. Be as descriptive and detailed as possible in showing how your various experiences reflect those requirements.
- When describing your experience, don’t just include paid positions or expressly technical positions. We’re interested in your ability to work with different groups, stakeholders, and contexts. Volunteer experiences, unpaid internships, and student organization contributions can all be listed as experience in addition to jobs and paid internships as long as they reflect at least one required competency.
- Tie skills, programming languages, technologies, and tools to specific experiences and contexts, instead of solely listing them in a standalone “skills” section. Explain why and how those skills were used in each experience.
- Include the month and year for the start and end of each experience, as well as the number of hours per week if it was less than full-time (e.g. 10 hours/week).
- When describing your education, in addition to information about your degree or certificate program(s), include relevant coursework, projects, presentations, and any research projects and publications you may have.
In case it’s helpful, we’ve included a few sample resumes below from current USDC Fellows. Please note that these are just examples, and that there is no one specific format that is required for your resume.
Sample Resume 1 - Data Science and Analytics
Sample Resume 2 - Software Engineering
Sample Resume 3 - Design
Sample Resume 4 - Product Management