Five Tips for Securing a Federal Job

person standing near the stairs
Source: Unsplash

Federal jobs carry all sorts of benefits. Employment opportunities are also fairly prevalent, there is almost a guarantee that there is some governmental job vacancy in all 50 states, as well as overseas opportunities. Federal pay is surprisingly competitive, with some middle-management jobs paying over $100k a year. 

You may also be attracted by the health insurance and retirement benefits that you’re given for dedicating your life to serving your country. Here are some tips to help you get on the Federal ladder. 

Understand what you want to go into

The federal government is an amalgamation of hundreds of departments with their own unique aims and cultures. Do some research on departments near you and try to find one that matches your interests. For example, if you have an interest in law and the business sector you could go into contract management, which involves handling responsibilities related to government contracts, which often results in a feeling that you have helped to make a difference to your community. 

Once you’ve isolated a department you like, check out USAjobs.gov or their own departmental sites for job vacancies.

Find out department requirements

There are opportunities for individuals from almost any background and level of experience in the federal sector. If you’re lucky enough to find a desirable departmental vacancy that fits your experience then you’re lucky, however, for most it is a little trickier. Take the example of contract management (CM) provided earlier. If somebody who wants to go into CM notices that vacancies in the field keep cropping up, but doesn’t have the requisite qualifications, they could get a graduate certificate and meet the requirements. These days it’s possible to get a Contract Management Graduate Certificate Online, meaning that after 12 months they’ll be able to secure their job. 

There are many federal departments that require qualifications like graduate certificates, but if obtaining those qualifications absolutely isn’t for you, checkout gogovernment.org’s career guides for an indication of what would suit your experience. 

Utilize a network

If you have any friends with governmental positions, talk to them and express your desire to join the federal team. They’ll likely gladly discuss their work with you, as well as possibly giving you tips about openings and how to handle the interviews. You should also contact the college you went to (if applicable), as many have established relationships with governmental departments. If neither of these are accessible to you, use the internet to network. LinkedIn is the classic example, but you do have other options

Lastly, Check your Resumé

Federal government terminology differs to that implemented in other sectors, so if you’ve completed the steps above and are ready to apply to a job, then you should reformat your CV by analyzing the keywords and phrases used in the opening posting and incorporate them into your CV and cover letter. 

Once you’ve applied for a federal job you should know that you need to be a little patient. Federal jobs are a little less efficient in the private sector and it’s not unusual to have to wait about four months in order to hear back from them. 

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top