It’s as simple as “what” and “where.” While the process to land one of 1.7 million government jobs is highly competitive, searching for one is a simple process, and it starts at www.usajobs.gov.
The government is comprised of over 100 different agencies and cabinet bureaus, and each one of them is required to post openings at usajobs.gov, so use that as your starting point. At the home page, you can narrow your search to a specific category of jobs, or a specific location.
The general public at-large assumes that federal employees only work in the nation’s capital. In fact, 84 percent of government employees work outside of Washington D.C. in one of over 400 different career fields. Oftentimes, though, job-seekers tend to overlook federal jobs, possibly because they feel intimidated by the process.
They shouldn’t be. The process of applying for a job with the government begins, quite simply, with a search. At usajobs.gov, job-seekers can find thousands of job postings, as well as information on how to apply. To save time, create an account by clicking on “create your account now” located in the My Account tab. Enter your contact information, and make sure to include your email address. This enables you to receive email updates about jobs that fit your qualifications and interests.
Once you complete your initial search, be sure to thoroughly examine each job posting as each one is unique and requires its own set of skills. By clicking on the “Qualification and Evaluation” tab, you can determine if you are qualified for the position.
Pay particular attention to any additional documentation needed in the application process. Certain job postings might require a copy of school transcripts, veteran’s forms, military forms, or state licensing documentation. All documentation must be submitted along with your application to be considered for the position.
Each job posting has a closing date, and resumes and applications will not be accepted after that date. Typically, agencies will issue notifications within a month after the closing date. You can easily view your status by clocking on the “My Account” tab, and then selecting “Application Status.” To receive information about your specific application, find the point contact listed on the original job posting. The contact person can provide more information if you were found ineligible for that position.
Aside from the top five career sectors, which include security, enforcement, medical, legal and administrative, there are thousands of entry-level positions available every year in a variety of careers. Knowing what to look for, and how to look for it, is the first step in a lengthy process.
By using the resume builder at usajobs.gov, you can tailor your resume to fit each individual job posting. Think quality, instead of quantity, and only apply for jobs that fit your qualifications. Process time from application to job offer can take months in some instances, so allow four months processing for non-security clearance jobs, and six to eight months for national security positions.