How to Compete in the Federal Job Market

CATEGORY: Tips on Entering a New Industry
POSTED: May 20, 2011 at 7:15 pm

Employment with the Federal Government can put you on a rewarding career track and now is a good time to pursue government employment. Many long-time government employees are preparing to retire and government agencies are often the least affected by a recession. Despite the growing career opportunities with the Federal Government, it is a competitive endeavor. To obtain a job offer with a government agency, you need to know how to compete in that arena.

Competing for government jobs can be more challenging than competing in the private sector because government agencies commonly hire and promote from within. However, you can become a top contender if you devote time to ensure that you have the necessary qualifications and are steadfast and proactive in your pursuit. In order to improve your chances of gaining employment, you might be tempted to pursue several agencies. However, with government employment, you better your chances by focusing on only one or two agencies and devoting more time and effort to obtaining the necessary qualifications and mastering the application process.

Obtaining the Necessary Qualifications

To obtain the skills sought after by an agency, start by assessing the transferrable skills you already have with your current work. If you are skilled at a specific trade, look at the other tasks you perform to do your job. Determine what percentage of time you spend doing actual tasks as opposed to the time you spend talking to people, coordinating and scheduling projects, and solving problems. Communication, project management, and problem resolution are all transferable skills.

Study Vacancy Announcements

To be competitive in the Federal Government job market, you need to ensure that your knowledge, skills, and abilities are the best match for an agency’s job description. One way to boost your candidacy is to study government vacancy announcements (job postings). Often it is tempting to quickly review job postings to obtain the right keywords to place in your resume. This is counter productive. The more you know about the position and the agency, the better your chances are of winning your desired job. Vacancy announcements are long, but it’s worth your while to gain a thorough understanding of the job and agency. Make sure you complete the application process exactly as it is stated, and without copying and pasting, use the same keywords and terminology in your resume.

Be Proactive

Networking is extremely important in pursuing government employment because the competition is stiff. To get exposure in your desired organization prepare yourself by seeking out volunteer opportunities and meeting people in the agency by attending seminars related to the agency’s objective. More face-to-face contact with the people in your target agency greatly improves your employment prospects.

Getting hired with the Federal Government is often a complex process. However, you can boost your competitive edge by thoroughly preparing yourself to work in a specific agency. If you are diligent and persistent in your efforts, you can land.

Meet Our Resume Writers

ResumeEdge has more than 50 professional resume writers with personal experience in over 40 industries—including the one you want a job in. » Meet Our Writers