Resume Guidelines

It is recommended that you familiarize yourself with our sample ACE Resume and pattern your own after it when applying for positions in the IC.

PROOFREAD: Do not depend on Word Check, as “form” and “from” are both spelled correctly but are different words. Misspellings can cause your resume to go to the bottom of the pile.


LENGTH/SPACE: The ODNI has indicated that one page is always desirable, but they do recognize that in some instances, applicants may need more space. If necessary, use front and back, and only if you have a lengthy educational/work experience history should you use separate pages. It is best to avoid stapling, if possible.

STYLE: Use bullet-style phrases which highlight your key accomplishments and skills. Use space wisely, so that the reviewer can quickly find what they are looking for. Don’t use complete sentences and avoid lots of detail which should be saved for the interview. Too many details, especially those that are not relevant, can work against you. There are many good resume resources which offer advice on style (i.e. One good tip is to include “power” verbs in your experience section. Words like “generate, develop, execute, interpret, design, create” add punch to your resume.

NAME AND CONTACT INFO: It is very important to include your name and contact information at the top of each page, particularly if you find that you must staple.

EMAIL ADDRESS: Create a new email address so only IC responses can be found there. Avoid silly or personal email accounts such as cutechick@… or badboy@… For any career, whether in business or in federal service, such identifiers may be considered frivolous.

OBJECTIVE: Include a career objective after your contact information. Be as specific as possible; e.g., “Obtain a career as an Intelligence Research Specialist with the Drug Enforcement Administration.” Or, for a general resume, “Obtain a position as an intelligence analyst that can benefit from my education and research experience.”

EDUCATION: Include your degrees (e.g., B.A. in Political Science; M.A. in National Security Studies with concentration in Intelligence Studies) and your GPA. If your GPA is not included, the reviewer may tend to think you are hiding something. Typically, they are looking for GPAs of 3.0 and higher. There is no need to include High School information; it is understood that, if you have attended college, you completed high school.

LANGUAGE ABILITY: The IC is very interested in any language ability. Be sure to include a section which lists any level of fluency you possess — reading/writing/conversational.

EXPERIENCE: This must be relevant to the Objective for the position. Show that you are qualified for the job but do not list experience that does not relate to the position. List any internships, projects or assignments, or paper presentations that relate to your career objective you listed.

AWARDS/AFFILIATIONS: This too must relate to the Objective for the position, so include any published papers, conferences, writings, or other skills such as leadership or team experiences that may impact your career. Leadership positions such as in honor societies, student leadership, and the like can demonstrate future potential for leadership in your career.

CURRENCY: Add “Resume current as of (date)” to the bottom of each page. This is important as the needs of the IC change all the time. So, while your resume may not be needed one time, it could be important when a particular office calls the recruiter and asks for someone with certain skill sets.

VISIBILITY: Prior to applying to the IC, you will want to consider avoiding publishing personal information on such places as, Blogger and others. Keep your personal correspondence personal. For obvious reasons, you should avoid living “out loud.”