Federal Hiring Process

Navigating your way through the federal hiring process can be frustrating but certainly worth it in the end if this is a career path you choose to pursue. The federal government hiring process is complex. According to The Resume Place, Inc., (http://www.resume-place.com/) there are some basic guidelines for landing your first federal job:

Step 1: Network

First-timers should talk to as many government workers as they can to see what agencies are hiring and when new jobs could be posted.

Step 2: Become Familiar with the Hiring Process

Understanding the hiring process for a federal job requires a little more research on your part, because job postings often seem to be written in each agency’s own unique language. What job title is right for you? What “grade” or salary is right for your experience and education?

Step 3: Look for Openings on USAJOBS.gov

Aspiring federal employees have the benefit of one-stop shopping: USAJOBS, the official federal jobs website of the US Office of Personnel Management.

Step 4: Assess Your Soft Skills (Core Competencies)

Stand out with extra skills. Are you flexible, resourceful, resilient, creative, and a team player? Add this!

Step 5: Analyze Keywords in Announcements

Keywords are found in the vacancy announcements in the Duties, Qualifications and KSA (Knowledge, Skills and Abilities). Add these to your federal resume.

Step 6: Create Your Federal Resume – Preferably in the Outline Format

Federal resumes demand more detail and run three to four pages. Add keywords and accomplishments to get referred, selected for an interview, and hired.

Step 7: Write Your KSAs and Essays for Questionnaires

When applying for federal jobs you need to submit KSA statements and answer self-assessment questionnaires along with your resume.

Step 8: Apply for Jobs

Application processes vary in surprising ways from agency to agency. Read the “how to apply” instructions carefully.

Step 9: Follow Up on Your Application

Follow-up is even more critical in government. You can usually check status online at www.usajobs.gov.

Step 10: Interview for the Job

In the federal market, an invitation for an interview usually appears in writing, via a letter or email. Your interview could be in person, before a panel, or over the phone. Behavior-based interviews are popular.

The federal hiring process differs from the civilian hiring process. Do your homework before you submit an application. A well-prepared federal resume is the key to your success.

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