In May of 2011 President Obama directed that the government application process be made simpler and that the time between a federal job posting and fulfillment should be no more than 80 days and applicants should be kept abreast of where their applications stand in the hiring process.
First off, by creating a USAJOBS account you will be able to save your search results and set your criteria so that internships and jobs will be sent to as often as you designate. USAJOBS, the official civil service jobs site of the US federal government operated by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the government's Human Resources Department, posts over 95% of all federal positions. Only 16% of all government jobs are located in the Washington DC area while 84% are located outside the area.
The Resume - What You Need to Know:
On the USAJOBS site you may use the Resume Builder which can be used for all government internships and jobs you apply to and you can upload up to two resumes that you already have prepared. You may build and store a total of 5 resumes on the site. Federal resumes have always been more detailed than a regular resume and applicants should be aware of the difference.
First of all, the applicant's full name, address, phone, e-mail, and social security number is required on a government resume along with the name of any previous supervisors along with their phone numbers and company addresses of where you’ve worked along with your ending salary. A Tutorial is listed on the site to help you learn more about the government hiring process.
For education the school’s address and the student’s GPA must be included. It’s important that the resume matches the position announcement and to remember that use of KSA’s (knowledge, skills, and abilities) is important to keep in mind when drafting a government resume.
Tips to Remember:
- Be sure to check out the section on USAJOBS for students and recent graduates.
- By updating and refreshing your resume frequently it will add a new date to the document and make it appear more current.
- By entering a job description, job responsibilities, and an agency’s mission statement in TagCrowd you will be able to identify key words to use in your resume and cover letter.
- Networking with people currently working in a specific agency or organization can help considerably in gaining adequate attention to your application documents.
- Try your Career Services Office at your college or try using LinkedIn to find individuals who may be willing to sponsor you. When applying for government positions where there are thousands of applicants, knowing someone can greatly increase your chances of being called for an interview.
- Join Govloop, a social networking site for government connecting federal, state, and local employees and participate in their discussions.
- Attend government job fairs to learn more about current jobs available and to meet some government representatives.
- Be sure to follow all directions very carefully when applying for government jobs. Not following instructions will quickly eliminate you from the applicant pool.
You can also learn more about government jobs by checking out some of The Best Places to Work. The Best Places to Work in the Federal Government offers a ranking of the best agencies to work and includes approximately 290 federal organizations.
Many Federal agencies hire students through the Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) and the Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP) along with the Presidential Management Fellows Program and the new Pathways Program signed into Executive Order 13562 by President Obama.