Finding And Applying For Federal Government Jobs
- Categorized in: Job Search
It is often assumed that getting a job with the Federal Government in the United States is virtually impossible. Those who hold this viewpoint see the government as some untouchable force which no ordinary person can hope to be a part of. However, this is plainly incorrect. In fact, the Federal Government is actually the largest employer in America with more than two million employees. It’s also believed that Washington D.C holds the majority of employment opportunities. Again, this is false because there are only 200,000 Federal Government employees in the nation’s capital. The rest are spread across the other states and worldwide.
Finding Federal Government jobs is the easy part. All you need to do is go to www.usajobs.gov as this is their official one-stop source for all job opportunities and information. Of course, there are many government areas available and you presumably have your eye on a particular sector such as the FBI, Post Office, IRS, Foreign Service and others. Visiting the websites of each particular sector should yield positive results in relation to finding jobs.
Each individual branch of the Federal Government has their own set of minimum qualifications required and procedures they use to rank each candidate. Once you find the specific vacancy that suits you, your next step is the submission of your resume/application. This application is known as the Optional Application for Federal Employment (OF 612) and will be available at your nearest Career Services office or on the www.usajobs.gov website. It is also important for you to include narrative statements with your application/resume which tells the employer that you have the knowledge, skills and abilities requested in the vacancy. In general, an incomplete application form ends your chances of getting the job. In the majority of cases, you will need to be a US citizen.
Bear in mind that a large proportion of Federal Government vacancies are in the ‘competitive service’ which means that a merit system is used in order to identify the best candidates. This system is necessary because most candidates will have similar qualifications. Unlike job vacancies in the private sector, applications are read and the competition outlined above occurs before you’re even called for an interview. Those who haven’t held a job in the Federal Government before are deemed to be a ‘non-status’ applicant which only allows them to apply for job openings which accept applications from candidates of this nature.
The General Schedule pay system is in effect with Federal Government jobs and contains 15 different grades and 10 levels of salary. For administrative and professional vacancies, you may enter the job between GS-5 and GS-7. Jobs which carry a higher rating at GS-7 generally require applicants to have specialist knowledge relating to the vacancy. Those with a Master’s Degree may enter jobs at GS-9 with PHD holders entering at GS-11. However, your higher qualification must be in exact same field as the job vacancy.
Vacancies in the Federal Government are hotly contested and with good reason. The rising pay scale, promotion opportunities and other benefits make it an exciting and lucrative career move.
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