How do I find job opportunities with the federal government?

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Federal government jobs are available throughout the country, not just in the Washington, D.C. area. You can find federal government job opportunities at USAJobs, the federal government’s official jobs website:

http://www.usajobs.gov

Process to Follow

Applying for a position with the federal government is more complicated than when applying for a position in the private industry. Here’s a suggested process to follow when applying for a job with the federal government:

  • Recognize upfront that your resume along with your responses to the Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSA) questions will be used to rank you against other candidates to determine whether or not you are called for an interview regarding a federal government job announcement.
  • Print a hard copy of the job announcement and highlight keywords and keyword phrases describing the position’s duties and responsibilities.
  • Review your existing resume to see if you have included resume content that addresses each of the keywords and keyword phrases you highlighted in the previous step. Note any areas where you have experience related to a particular keyword or keyword phrase, but your current resume doesn’t include that experience.
  • Add resume content to address all keywords and keyword phrases that your existing resume doesn’t currently cover.
  • Print a hard copy of the Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSA) questions and review the questions.
  • Plan to spend a significant amount of time (likely several hours) developing your responses to the KSA questions. As a general rule-of-thumb, plan on each KSA response being roughly two to four paragraphs in length.
  • Incorporate the keywords you identified in step 2 above into your KSA responses.
  • Be sure to include detailed examples that illustrate your experience related to a particular KSA in your response to that KSA question. Use your KSA responses to expand upon information given in your resume.
  • Include relevant information in your KSA response even if you have already included the information on your resume.
  • If a KSA question asks you to self-assess your experience in an area (through a simple yes or no response or to pick from a list of predefined experience levels), be sure to include information in your resume to support your self-assessment or the government reviewer could revise your self-assessment based on lack of supporting detail. Also support your self-assessment through your responses to the KSAs.

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