En Route: A Career Blog

What Federal Agencies Look for in Job Candidates

AUTHOR: Darlene Zambruski
CATEGORY: , , , , ,
POSTED: March 2, 2010 at 10:21 am


By David Jensen, CPRW, CARW, CEIP, ResumeEdge.com Editor

Government agencies can provide great opportunities for long-term employment. While seeking employment with a government agency can be complex, you can give yourself an advantage in the job market by learning what agencies look for in job candidates.

What Expertise do Government Agencies Need?

Given the latest developments in global communications and homeland security, there is a demand for skilled employees in cyber security, intelligence, foreign languages, diplomacy, and law enforcement. However, beyond these skill areas, agencies want candidates who have a clear understanding of the organization’s mission and objectives. For example, the Department of Energy, the Department of Transportation, and the Environmental Protection Agency all have overlapping involvement in energy and environmental conservation issues.  

When President Obama took office, there were a number of issues he pledged to address during his term. Some of these items include:

  • The nation’s transportation infrastructure
  • International diplomacy and trade relations
  • Homeland security
  • Environmental awareness and global warming

Whatever items are on the President’s “To Do” list, there is likely a government agency assigned to handle the issues. When seeking job candidates to work with these agencies, hiring managers are looking for people who are innovative and willing to present ideas. They also want people who are knowledgeable and passionate about the issues that impact global societies such as clean and affordable energy, health and nutrition, and secure Internet usage. You can improve your employment prospects with government agencies when you strive to learn what they are doing to achieve their goals.

Learning More about What Agencies are Looking for

You can learn a lot about various government agencies by reading newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal and the Federal Times and reviewing government Web sites such as the Office of Personnel Management site at www.usajobs.opm.gov or other information at www.firstgov.gov. Look for sections that highlight the specific concerns and “hot topics” that are of particular interest to the current administration.

When faced with new issues, government agencies don’t have all the answers. Due to the Freedom of Information Act, information about the objectives and methodologies of government agencies is available to the public. You can learn about the current events and which agencies have programs to address these issues. Once you learn about what your target agency is doing and what they still need to do to accomplish their objectives, you can present your knowledge, skills, and abilities as a solution to their problems.

Government agencies focus their efforts and obtain funding to address the issues that are of interest to the nations’ leaders. To be a successful government job candidate, it’s important that you present yourself as someone who is knowledgeable of these issues, is a team player, has ideas for solutions, and possess a stellar federal resume and accompanying documents.

To request David for your federal order, please key in his last name (Jensen) in the ‘select your editor’ field of the online form.

Darlene Z.

Darlene Zambruski is a resume writing expert and CPRW (Certified Professional Resume Writer) with more than 13 years of industry experience. She has authored 10,000+ resumes in every industry and at every career level.

» Read Full Bio

Sign Up for the En Route Newsletter

Career articles, resume advice, and interview tips delivered every other week!

Propel Your Career

Get to the next level faster with professional Resume Writing or Editing products.

My writer took the time to give me practical tips on resumes and what prospective employers look for. She explained her suggestions and allowed me to give feedback as well. Her approach to resume writing is fantastic.

— Anna G.
Information Technology
» See All Testimonials

We're Busy Little Bees

Resumes Written This Month
Resumes Written Since 1998