Interested in Working for the Federal Government?
Are you inspired to serve and possibly transform the way government works? The Federal Government has positions for every interest, from accountants to zoologists!
The Application Process
- Plan ahead – allow plenty of time to complete your application
- Apply to specific agencies and follow the directions closely since the process and benefits can differ across the agencies
- Keywords are critical – know keywords of current and future occupations
- Prepare for a wait - don’t assume you have been rejected if you do not hear back in a short time
- Allow 2-3 weeks after the closing date to follow up
- Contact the identified representative or call the Human Resources Office (have the vacancy announcement and job title)
- Social security numbers are required on the federal resume when applying for specific positions--not for federal career fairs
- Include very detailed descriptions on the resume as compared to the conciseness of a regular resume; quantify experience
- Print the resume and review it
- Submission: attach it as a word document, fax it, mail it, or electronically transmit
- Create a federal résumé
- Store up to 5 résumés
KSAs – Knowledge, Skills, Abilities
- Thoroughly read the vacancy announcement – this is where you can obtain the position description and tailor your KSA to the responsibilities required
- Utilize the words from the KSA and vacancy descriptions; use the words in order of mention in the KSA, all are important but this ranks order of importance
- CCAR (KSA Response Approach) Context: describe the specific problem you had to address (what did you have to solve, resolve, respond to, handle, etc); Challenges: describe the factors that contributed to a particular challenge such as budget cuts, new legislation, institutional reform, new goals from upper management, etc); Actions: describe the steps you took to solve the problem (Stay away from the ordinary—be extraordinary in your response); Result: outcomes of your actions—use %, #, grades (what was the difference you made—highlight the best)
- Write in the first person, spell out acronyms
- Proofread again and again
- Learn more about KSA writing
Agencies commonly require essays as part of the application to address characteristics such as written and oral communication skills, technical abilities, and knowledge of specific subject matter. Your answers should provide concrete examples demonstrating results and leadership and should be written in the first person.
Points to remember
- Have a good electronic resume focused toward your occupational interests
- Find vacancy announcements for which you qualify
- Make sure announcements are “open to anyone” or you have “status” to apply for the announcement
- Submit your resume to the database – copy and paste your resume into each database separately
- Follow the directions closely
What Happens Next?
After the closing date for applications, the agency evaluates candidate qualifications. The agency then produces a list of qualified candidates and selects candidates for interviews.