How to Find a Federal Job

Individuals try to find a federal job for a number of reasons -- job security, pay, health and retirement benefits and, depending on the department, evenings, weekends and holidays off. The federal government offers job opportunities for non-degree and degree holders in a variety of fields, such as accounting, aircraft mechanics, botany, cartography, engineering, park maintenance, Information Technology, teaching/training, and welding.

Steps

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    Determine which federal jobs you qualify for. The first step in seeking federal employment is determining which federal jobs you qualify for. If you hold a college degree, USAJOBS.gov, the official Web site for government employment, contains a Federal Job by College Major search to assist you in identifying all those jobs your background will qualify for. For example, someone holding a degree in agriculture may qualify for job postings for agricultural engineers, agricultural management specialist, agricultural market reports, foreign agriculture affairs specialists and soil scientists.
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    Develop a resume with the assistance of Certified Federal Resume Writers. Federal resumes, unlike resumes used for the private sector, are longer and more detailed. Certified Federal Resume Writers have the necessary training and skills to develop a resume that includes necessary keywords and highlights your skills and experience.
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    Write a solid Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSA). Federal announcements often list several KSA questions that the applicant must submit with their application. When writing your KSA, be sure to be precise, use active voice, include keywords from the job posting and include previous work experiences that demonstrate your qualifications for the position. Coming in the near future, the KSA will be eliminated, as will the use of special government resume formats. You will be able to use the same resume to apply for federal jobs as you would use in the private sector.
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    Search the Internet for federal job opportunities. The internet is an invaluable resource that you can use to find a federal job. Web sites allow you to search for federal jobs by geographic location, agency and occupation. At most sites, you can create an account that will allow you to post your resume, apply for jobs and receive notices of job listings that meet your qualifications.
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    Attend job fairs. Job fairs are an excellent way to meet with federal employers and learn the various functions, duties and responsibilities for their respective departments. Before you attend the job fair, it is important that you do some homework, such as reading up on the departments whose booths you will be attending. Even though individuals will be on hand to answer questions you may have, it is important that you have some knowledge of their department to convey that you are indeed interested in employment. In addition, first impressions are lasting impressions. Be sure you are dressed professionally. This includes wearing ironed clothes, polished shoes and keeping makeup, perfume or cologne to a minimum.
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    Read newspaper classifieds. Reading newspaper classified advertisements will alert you to federal employment opportunities in your geographic area. If your local library obtains newspapers from cities across the country, you can use them as resources to find federal job opportunities in other cities, should you wish to relocate.

Tips

  • When applying for a federal job, make sure you follow guidelines exactly and submit all required documentation. Depending on the position you are applying for, there may be hundreds of applicants which reviewers must painstakingly sort through. Missing documentation or not following announcement guidelines may result in the reviewer rejecting your application.

Article Info

Categories: Careers in Government