How to Job Search for a Government Position

Get Hired Fast - how to job searchAlthough the federal government has been trimming some of its job positions to cope with the recession, there still may be opportunities to find a cool and interesting job with the government. The government still has to function and every year a significant number of employees become eligible for retirement. Since there are positions in almost every field, there may be an opportunity for you. Here are some tips on how to job search for government work.

Understand the Landscape

There are many departments in the government so you should take a look and see if there are any that might be a good fit for you. The USA.gov site has an alphabetical listing of all governmental agencies; it is a good place to start. Remember that the majority of government positions are not located in DC so you don’t necessarily have to move there to work for the US.

USAJobs.gov

The USAJobs.gov website is the main place to look for government positions. All federal agencies are required to list open positions on this website. You should look around and become familiar with the unique way that the government posts jobs opening. If looking through 30,000 potential openings seems daunting, remember that many agencies also list any open positions on their own website as well.

Talk to Who You Know

Networking may be especially helpful for government positions due to their competitive nature. People you know may be able to get you an inside track on open jobs or connect you to other people who work where you want to work. You can also learn about the culture and the interview process so you can get prepared.

Adapt Resume to Government Style

The government has its own style of speaking and writing; you should update your resume to reflect this. Look at the specific job posting, find the important keywords and work them into your resume. You should also include more information about specific accomplishments and discuss results that you achieved. Your resume is going to be reviewed by a human so you don’t want to clutter up your resume with 25 years of job history; however, government resumes are often longer than civilian resumes. You may need some assistance with converting your resume to get HR’s attention.

Follow Instructions

When completing the application, it is vital that you follow instructions to a tee. In other corporations, you may get a chance to include something that you left out. The government is not so forgiving. A mistake may land your application in the trash bin.

Be Patient

This is the most difficult part of the government job search. Government positions have opening and closing dates – during this period, job applications may be accepted by the agency. You may have to wait until after the closing date for find out any information even if you were interviewed earlier. It’s the government and everything moves slowly!

For more tips on applying for a government job, you can sign up for our Get Hired Boot Camp today.

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