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BPA Resume Aid

Use the links below to find tips for writing your resume!

Please note: Your grade level will be based on the information in your resume and any supporting documents submitted. The Notice of Results (NOR) will reflect your qualifying grade level and examination results.

Not sure what grade level you qualify for? Click on the Border Patrol Agent Qualification Aid!




GL-5 GL-7 GL-9

Border Patrol Agent Resume Aid Documenting Your Qualifications for the GL-5:

There are three (3) ways to qualify for the Border Patrol Agent position at the GL-5 grade level: experience, education or a combination of experience and education.

1. Documenting Experience for the BPA GL-5

Qualifications based on work experience will be determined by what is listed on your resume. Your resume must be in English. It must contain your full legal name, address, phone number, complete work history (which includes job titles), a detailed description of your duties (including tasks performed), the dates you performed those duties (MM/DD/YYYY - MM/DD/YYYY) and hours worked per week.

You must clearly demonstrate a total of one (1) year of full-time (35 + hours per week) general work experience comparable to the GL-4 grade level in the federal service; part-time work will be prorated. You must provide detailed examples of your work experience that address the three (3) elements listed below. Make sure to include all of your work experience on your resume, even if you don’t feel it addresses the elements below. Be sure to include hours per week.

Element 1: The ability to take charge, maintain composure and make sound decision in stressful situations. Experience gained in a classroom or as a part of training cannot be used for Element 1.
Element 2: Classroom training and/or on-the-job training.
Element 3: The ability to gather factual information through questioning, observation, and examination of documents or records. This element MUST include an example(s) of examining documents and accessing records.


Sample resume format for EACH job provided:
Place of Employment
Job Title:
From (mm/dd/yy): To (mm/dd/yy):
Hours per week: Salary:
Duties: Provide specific examples of your duties, accomplishments and/or related skills that address the three (3) elements listed above.

You can include National Service Experience (i.e. volunteer experience) which 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.

Experience as a CBP Explorer may be qualifying if your resume provides sufficient information to credit your experience. To receive full credit for your experience please be sure to describe your duties, roles and responsibilities in detail

2. Or Documenting Education for BPA GL-5

You must provide copies of transcripts that show a four (4) year course of study (120 semester hours or 180 quarter hours above high school) in any field leading to a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college/university:

Sample resume format for EACH school attended and number of credits received:
College Name(s) # of Semester Hours Completed # of Quarter Hours Completed Degree Earned Month/Year Awarded

NOTE: Education obtained from a foreign university is not creditable unless evaluated by a private credential evaluation service as recognized by the Department of Education; such as a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services http://www.naces.org/.
Education must be deemed equivalent to that gained in conventional U.S. education programs.

3. Or Documenting a Combination of Experience and Education for BPA GL-5

Please ensure that you have provided detailed information regarding both experience and education ON YOUR RESUME.
To determine the percentage of qualifying experience and/or education: you must divide the months of qualifying experience by 12. To determine your percentage of qualifying education, divide the number of undergraduate semester hours by 120, or undergraduate quarter-hours by 180. Add the experience and education percentages together; they must equal 100% or more to qualify using a combination of education and experience.
Example: An applicant has 10 months of full-time qualifying experience, and 42 semester hours of post-high school education. Experience: 10 months divided by 12 months = 0.83
Education: 42 semester hours divided by 120 semester hours = 0.35 Combine: 0.83 (from experience) + (from education) = 1.18


Border Patrol Agent Resume Aid Documenting Your Qualifications for the GL-7:

There are four (4) ways to qualify for the CBP Border Patrol Agent position at the GL-7 grade level: Specialized Experience, Graduate education, combination of specialized experience and graduate education, or superior academic achievement (SAA)

Please review the qualification requirements below and provide the necessary information. Your grade level will be based on the information in your resume and any supporting documents submitted. The Notice of Results (NOR) will reflect your qualifying grade level and examination results.

1. Documenting Specialized Experience for BPA GL-7

You must clearly demonstrate that you have one (1) year of full-time (35 + hours per week) specialized work experience, comparable in level of difficulty and responsibility to grade GL-5 in the federal service; part-time work will be prorated. Specialized experience must be one (1) year of LAW ENFORCEMENT experience or other responsible work experience in a law enforcement related field that shows your ability to perform the functions below. On your resume, provide detailed examples of your work experience that address ALL of the elements listed below. You must respond to each part of the four (4) elements with specific examples of what you have actually done. DO NOT USE JOB DESCRIPTIONS OR TRAINING. Make sure to include all of your work experience on your resume, even if you don’t feel it addresses the elements below. Be sure to include hours per week.

Element 1: The authority to make arrests and exercise sound judgment in the use of firearms.
Element 2: Deal effectively with individuals or groups of people in a courteous, tactful manner in connection with law enforcement matters.
Element 3: Analyze information rapidly and make prompt decisions or take prompt and appropriate law enforcement action in light of applicable laws, court decisions, and sound law enforcement procedures.
Element 4: Develop and maintain contact with a network of informants, include the number of informants, the length of time you used them and the type of information they provided.


Sample resume format for EACH job provided:
Place of Employment
Job Title:
From (mm/dd/yy): To (mm/dd/yy):
Hours per week: Salary:
Duties: Provide specific examples of your duties, accomplishments and/or related skills that address the three (3) elements listed above.

NOTE: Education obtained from a foreign university is not creditable unless evaluated by a private credential evaluation service as recognized by the Department of Education; such as a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services http://www.naces.org/.
Education must be deemed equivalent to that gained in conventional U.S. education programs.

2. Or Documenting Graduate Education for BPA GL-7

You must have completed one (1) year of graduate level education beyond a bachelor’s degree (or expect to complete within nine (9) months from the closing date of the announcement) (e.g., criminology, criminal justice, homeland security, justice studies, law enforcement, courts and judicial systems, forensic technology, forensic psychology, corrections and rehabilitation). One (1) year of graduate education is the number of credit hours determined by your school to represent one (1) year of graduate level course work. If that information is not available, 18 semester hours, or 27 quarter hours is considered equivalent to one (1) year of graduate level education.

Sample resume format for EACH school attended and number of credits received:
College Name(s) # of Semester Hours Completed # of Quarter Hours Completed Degree Earned Month/Year Awarded

NOTE: Education obtained from a foreign university is not creditable unless evaluated by a private credential evaluation service as recognized by the Department of Education; such as a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services http://www.naces.org/.
Education must be deemed equivalent to that gained in conventional U.S. education programs.

3. Or Documenting a Combination of Experience and Education for BPA GL-7

If you do not qualify based on education or experience, you may be able to qualify based on a combination of your experience and education. To determine your percentage of qualifying experience, you must divide your total number of qualifying months by
12. To calculate your percentage of graduate education, divide the number of graduate semester hours by 18; or graduate quarter hours by 27. Add your percentages; the total must be at least 100% for you to qualify under the combination of experience and education.
Example: Nine (9) months of specialized experience (nine (9) months divided by 12 months = .75 or nine (9) months experience)
Nine (9) semester hours of graduate education (nine (9) semester hours divided by 18 = .50 graduate education) Combine .75 + .50 = 1.25 or 125%

4. Or Documenting Superior Academic Achievement (SAA) for BPA GL-7

The SAA provision is used to determine eligibility for GL-7 for applicants who have completed (or expect to complete within nine (9) months from the closing date of the announcement) all the requirements for a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college. The SAA recognizes students who have achieved superior academic standing as evidenced by one of the three methods below:

  • GRADE POINT AVERAGE (GPA): 3.0 or higher out of a possible 4.0 (“B” or better) as recorded on your official transcript based on four (4) years of education, or based on courses completed during the final two (2) years of the curriculum; or 3.5 or higher out of a possible 4.0 (“B+” or better) based on the average of the required courses completed in the major field; or the required courses in the major field completed during the final two (2) years of the curriculum.
  • CLASS STANDING: The upper third of the graduating class in the college, university, or major subdivision, such as the College of Liberal Arts or the School of Business Administration. Class standing must be documented on your official transcript or in a letter from the registrar’s office verifying your class standing. The registrar or a designated representative must sign the letter.
  • MEMBERSHIP IN A NATIONAL SCHOLASTIC HONOR SOCIETY: To verify eligibility go to: http://www.achsnatl.org/quick_link.asp

For additional information on how to qualify using Superior Academic Achievement (SAA) go to: http://www.opm.gov/qualifications/policy/ApplicationOfStds-04.asp

If using education to qualify, documentation must be submitted in English.
You must provide copies of transcripts for any undergraduate colleges attended and any qualifying graduate coursework completed prior to the close of the announcement.
Official transcripts will be requested from you if/when they are required.


Border Patrol Agent Resume Aid Documenting Your Qualifications for the GL-9:

There is one (1) way to qualify for the CBP Border Patrol Agent position at the GL-9 grade level: specialized experience that meets the eight (8) elements listed below.

1. Documenting Specialized Experience for BPA GL-9

You must clearly demonstrate that you have one (1) year of full-time (35 + hours per week) specialized work experience, comparable in level of difficulty and responsibility to grade GL-7 in the federal service; part-time work will be prorated. Specialized experience must be one year of LAW ENFORCEMENT experience or other responsible work experience in a law enforcement related field that shows your ability to perform the functions below. On your resume, provide detailed examples of your work experience that address ALL of the elements listed below. You must respond to each part of the eight (8) elements with specific examples of what you have actually done. DO NOT USE JOB DESCRIPTIONS OR TRAINING. Make sure to include all of your work experience on your resume, even if you don’t feel it addresses the elements below.

Element 1: Develop cases and conduct interviews or interrogations, and make apprehensions and arrests, in order to further the process or case development.
OR
Element 2: Develop and maintain contact with a network of informants, social and political organizations, state and local enforcement agencies, and private citizens, to ensure continuity of enforcement work and to carry out enforcement responsibilities.

AND At least 4 of the following elements:
Element 3: Prepare cases and appear as a professional witness in court.
Element 4: Exercise sound judgment in the use of firearms and conduct training and qualification exercises or courses in the proper care and use of firearms.
Element 5: Deal effectively with individuals or groups of persons in a courteous and tactful manner in their detention and control or interrogation, and work to promote effective community outreach programs and public relations.
Element 6: Analyze and disseminate intelligence information and data rapidly and apply a practical knowledge of the laws, concepts, operational practices and law enforcement methods and techniques in order to independently perform duties typically encountered in law enforcement.
Element 7: Use a variety of law enforcement databases and information retrieval systems, such as TECS, NCIC, and LexisNexis.
Element 8: Prepare reports and write other documents that deal with the collection, protection and recording of evidence, the presentation of testimony, and the retention of informational materials concerning illegal activities and practices encountered during daily activities.

YOU MUST PROVIDE A DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF YOUR WORK EXPERIENCE FOR ALL ELEMENTS LISTED ABOVE IN ORDER TO QUALIFY AT THE GL-9 LEVEL ON EXPERIENCE. ATTACH ADDITIONAL SHEET(S) OF PAPER IF MORE ROOM IS NEEDED.


Sample resume format for EACH job provided:
Place of Employment
Job Title:
From (mm/dd/yy): To (mm/dd/yy):
Hours per week: Salary:
Duties: Provide specific examples of your duties, accomplishments and/or related skills that address the three (3) elements listed above.

If you cannot fit a detailed description of your work experience into your resume, you may answer each element on an additional sheet of paper and attach to your resume.

Last published: 
March 29, 2017