Hunt Like a Pro: 5 Tips to Getting Hired by the Federal Government
The most satisfying job is one that lets you make a difference in the world—or more specifically, in your own country. If you have a disposition for public service, you could be perfect for a federal job. Working for the government is a viable career track, especially when so many federal employees are due for retirement.
Hunting for a job with the Federal government is different from searching for an ordinary job. The government has very specific requirements and a thorough screening process. After all, this is no ordinary job—it’s a special position to serve others while building a lucrative and fulfilling career.
Federal Resume Writer has gathered five tips to help you hunt for a federal job. Follow these tips and find could yourself shortlisted for the position you want.
1. Bookmark and Subscribe to Federal Jobs Sites
Before you go out of the house to start job hunting, exhaust all online resources. Get your leads from government websites first. The US government regularly lists job openings on the USAjobs.gov website, covering all kinds of professions from lawyers to agents and other posts. Bookmark this website and read the job posts thoroughly to know the qualifications needed.
If you’re targeting a specific agency, subscribe to or regularly visit their website to find out about any job vacancies or movement in the employment ladder. Retirements, expansions and resizing—take note of all these to know when and where you could get hired.
2. Write a Unique Resume for Every Application
When most apply for an ordinary job, they usually make a single resume and pass it to different companies. The universal advice is to keep your resume short and sweet.
When applying for federal jobs, these rules no longer apply.
Federal job recruiters look for in-depth summaries of work experience, achievements, strengths, and relevant skills. This means you need to write a resume of around two to five pages, at the least. You also need to customize your resume for each position; you can’t have a one-size-fits-all resume. You would be smart to write a “mother” resume you can tweak and revise for each new application.
3. Prepare a Checklist and Submit on Time
The first step in the rigid screening process is simple: throw out all the incomplete applications. If your application is missing an important document or some vital information, you can say goodbye to a callback or an interview.
To avoid this situation, make a checklist of all the requirements for every federal job application. The usual documents asked for are college transcripts and Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSA) statements, so prepare these beforehand.
Gather your documents that fill all the requirements and double-check your list before mailing in your application. Most importantly, submit your application before the deadline and confirm the receipt to make sure the feds have your complete papers on the table.
4. Apply Immediately after Volunteer or Military Service
If you are a PeaceCorps volunteer or an AmeriCorps VISTA member, you have a higher chance of being hired by the federal government. Veterans are also preferred. In 2014, almost one-third of all federal hires were veterans.
A federal job is more likely after a successful volunteer or military stint, so make sure to prepare your documents early if you plan to move on to civilian service.
5. Track Your Application
It may take months before the government gets back on your application, so don’t lose hope. Follow up on your application using your USAjobs.gov account, through email, or via phone. It’s better to get a heads up on the status of your application, rather than idly wait for word.
Your persistence can also catch the attention of the agency to which you’ve applied, and may reflect well on your future applications.
Getting hired by the government is not easy, but it’s not impossible either. With the right skills, information, and career coaching, you can be part of the federal government and have more opportunities to serve.