Have you ever wondered why some who land jobs with Uncle Sam have half the experience, education, and special qualifications that you do — and you’re still looking? Many who approach the federal sector don’t take the time to understand the federal hiring process. Others get frustrated by the required paperwork and give up prematurely.
The hiring process today is streamlined compared to when I applied for my first federal job. Federal recruiters are hard pressed to find the talent they need for critical vacancies and are trying everything possible to attract the limited talent available.
This includes incentives such as the ability to negotiate salary, student loan payments, the potential for remote or telework options, and multiple duty locations.
Their USAJOBS recruiting site centralized recruiting for agencies that in the past had to do this on their own. You apply online, submit your application for jobs of interest and posted resumes are searched by recruiters, even if you don’t apply for a specific job.
Their centralized job search site, www.usajobs.gov offers everything an applicant needs to explore jobs in related fields, find active job announcements, and apply online.
The first step is to create a profile which allows you to save job searches and specific job vacancies for further review. Before uploading your resume and related documents, locate jobs of interest and apply online. Upload your tailored resume, and you can elect to make it searchable so all federal recruiters can review it and contact you for positions you qualify for in their organization.
When applying for any federal job print out a copy and read the job announcement front to back. Highlight key qualifications, skills, and other requirements. The job announcement explains everything you need to know to apply for that specific job.
Every job announcement is unique, so don’t assume because you read one for the exact same job series and grade that the requirements are the same for this new job. This is especially true for the required key Duties, Responsibilities and Specialized Experience. Each advertised job has specific requirements such as proficiency and experience with computer software, equipment, programs, reporting systems, skills, and other factors.
Job applicants shouldn’t submit the same resume for every job they apply for. Your resume must be tailored to the announcement’s qualifications. Applicants can save multiple resumes on their account and tailor them as needed when applying for other jobs.
Apply Early and Often
Start your employment search early, applications take several weeks or longer to process and evaluate. Plus, the top-rated applicants must be interviewed.
Contact the recruiting specialist that issued the announcement if you haven’t heard anything within a reasonable period of time. The recruiting specialist contact information is located towards the end of each job announcement. They can also answer any questions you may have about the vacancy.
Many submit one application and wait to hear back from the agency. Be proactive, and apply for any vacancies that you meet the qualifications for and are interested in.
Competition for federal positions increases during times of economic uncertainty, when workers seek the stability of federal employment. In general, employment in the federal government is relatively stable because it is less susceptible than private industries to economic fluctuations.
If you take the time to understand the differences between the private and public sectors, thoroughly complete your application package, and seek out all available job vacancies, your chances for employment increases substantially.