For some people, a federal job is what they dream about doing. For others, it is something that they just stumble into. So, when you begin your job search, do not discount job in the public service area. Think about what kind of work you would like to do and where you would like to work. Then, get information from websites such as www.firstgov.gov about the different agencies and pick the ones that you are interested in and contact them to find out about job opportunities.
Steps to a federal job:
Job Choices magazine lists some steps to follow when you are looking for a job with the government.
1. Go to www.USAJOBS.opm.gov. It is the government’s official job website and it gives you access to over 16,000 job listings daily. It will also provide you with applications, forms, and employment fact sheets.
• You can also get e-mail notification of available jobs. All you have to do is state the types of jobs you are looking for, and when new jobs are posted that match your specifications you will get an e-mail telling you about it. It will have the basic information about the job and a link to the actual announcement.
• You can also call USAJOBS. They have an interactive voice response telephone system. The numbers are (703) 724-1850 or TDD (978) 461-8404.
2. You can use the USAJOBS résumé builder that will allow you to create up to five different résumés so that you can tailor them to an individual agency. This website also has a feature where you post your résumé so that agencies can look at it when searching for employment candidates.
3. Once you have found a job (or several) that interest you, you can visit the agency’s website and read its requirements and qualification to see if you are a good match.
4. Apply for the job. Read the instructions and apply online or submit a paper copy. Be sure to still include all the necessary paper work such as a cover letter. It is still a job application even if it is online so stay professional. Make sure you get the contact information for the agency from the job announcement because you can use it to ask more questions about the job and find out if your résumé was received.
If you do not have a résumé, you can use an Optional Application for Federal Employment (OF-612). Just like a résumé, the OF-612 should include all the job information from the announcement online. While this is good tool, a résumé always looks more professional.
A federal public service job is a good one to keep in mind when thinking about changing careers or starting a career. It is hard work and you must be persistent if this is the job you want. Follow all the procedures you would for a non-federal job and the rules of business correspondence and you should do well.
Additional tips for getting a federal job include talking to a career counselor. They may be able to give you more information about contacting agencies that interest you. You can also go to job fairs and talk to representatives from some federal agencies. Human resources offices at these agencies can also assist you with information. If you are not able to do these things, a good resource is the internet. Use USAJOBS.gov as a reliable resource.
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Dewitt Shotts is President and Founder of Marketing Solutions, Inc. which serves the proprietary school industry as a full service company including television production, media buying, direct mail and internet marketing. www.collegecareersource.com/
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