Government jobs are highly sought after because they are perceived to offer better job stability and more benefits. However, a lot of people find it hard to navigate the application process for a government job. In this article, we’ll talk about the job application process and the best way to find government jobs.
Hunting for Job Openings
The first step is to find government jobs that you are qualified for. “Vacancy announcements” for government positions will provide the following details:
• Who can apply
• Deadline for application submission
• Pay range
• Series and grade
• Highest level (promotion) available in the position
• Work duties
• Standard legal information
• Conditions of employment
These vacancies are posted on various places such as websites, newspaper ads, job fairs, and postings in the government agencies themselves among others. So let’s look into these places in more detail:
• USAJobs.gov – this site is maintained by the United States Office of Personnel Management and it lists all vacant government positions.
• Federal Citizen Information Center Employment Page – it provides web links to government vacancies and offers general employment information
• Individual Government Agencies – in addition to the official website, it is also important to contact the federal government agencies directly. Certain positions can be filled up very quickly and getting in touch with the agency itself will make you aware of new openings even before it becomes public. In addition, there are some jobs that are not required to be posted on USAJobs.gov and you won’t know about these unless you contact the agency.
• Newspapers – there’s no need to look far; federal agencies still place newspaper advertisements to fill up some of their vacancies. Besides these, the job openings can also be posted on journals and even on private job boards.
Applying for the Job
After finding a job opening that matches your qualifications, the next step is to send your resume. Unlike the private sector, the government requires your resume to be in a specific format. There are also other forms that have to be submitted during the application process.
• Federal Forms – it is possible to use the OF-612 form as a substitute of submitting a federal resume. This will require you to disclose the following: personal information such as SSN and federal status, summary of experience, education, training, and any other qualifications. Take note that some vacancies may require the submission of other specific forms.
• KSA – “KSA” simply stands for knowledge, skills, and abilities. You need to submit a KSA statement along with the form OF-612 or federal resume. In writing this statement, it is crucial to be concise and to the point because the hiring manager is reading through hundreds of statements. To make yourself remembered, it is important to quantify your accomplishment (in terms of number of hours or dollar amounts), and use the same terminology used in the vacancy announcements. You can use a sample KSA to make writing your own responses easier.
Once you submitted your application it will go through specific stages of review. All government applications go through this process. All resumes will be ranked by a human resources panel and the top-ranked resumes will be sent to the hiring manager.