Thursday, April 21, 2011

Uncle Sam Wants you! Four Tips for Landing a Federal Job

The federal government is the largest employer in the United States. For someone looking for a stable position with excellent growth potential, this is a good option. However, getting a job with the government is a bit of a daunting process. Here are some tips to prepare you for federal employment.

Know Where to Look
The main site where most federal positions are listed is However, each agency within the federal government does its own hiring. Check each agency’s web site to find their individual openings and determine their hiring process. You can find a list of agencies at You can also find a list of internships and opportunities for students at

Be Prepared
The federal application process is lengthy and requires extensive information. However, the more prepared you are in advance, the easier the process will be. Gather employer addresses, supervisor names and contact information, salary, and hours worked per week for each position. You will also want to gather your transcripts and references. If you are a military veteran, you will need to upload your DD-214 form to take advantage of your veteran’s preference. Many applications require you to fill out a supplemental questionnaire with the application. You will find a link to preview the application within the job posting. Some answers require short essay responses, so preparation in advance is important.

Be Specific
It is imperative that your resume clearly demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) that are required for the job. Provide detailed examples of these KSAs within the resume. Always list both month and years in your job experience so that the exact number of months of your experience is clear to the employer.

Be Patient
The federal hiring process does not move as quickly as hiring in the private sector. Don’t be surprised if you submit an application by the deadline and you don’t hear back for several weeks or more. There is a very specific screening process the government must follow and this takes time. There is a feature on that allows you to track the status of your application.

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