The starting point for finding and applying for a job with the federal government is the US Office of Personnel Management website. There you will find much information about government jobs, including a link to USAJobs.gov, a monster-like job search site.
Applying for a federal job is somewhat demanding. Senate bill 736, sponsored by Ohio Senator Voinovich among others, addresses Federal Hiring Process Improvement.
One TLA (Three Letter Acronym) that is vital to the application process, is KSA, which stands for:
More on KSA's later.
Remember to reference key words in your application & resume. Key words will be nouns and / or noun phrases.
- start with verbs
- use key words from the job announcement
The government uses software to compare applications with announcements, so using the same words in your application as were used in the announcement will make you a better match!
KSA's are mandatory. The job description may or may not be. Customize your resume / application to meet the needs of the job. If given the option, always send a paper resume.
On your resume - use an objective. These are less common now on private sector resumes, but on a resume for a federal job, base your objective on the job announcement. Federal job resumes can be up to 6 pages in length.
Other useful websites for job informatioin include:
KSA's are initially the most complicated part of the application, but can be simplified using the following format:
- context - "In my position as ..."
- challenge - "I was asked to ..."
- action - What did you do?
- result - What happened?
KSA's should range in length from 2/3 of a page to 1 1/2 pages.
Finally, once you land an interview for a federal job, create a script, practice and rehearse!