Resources for Federal Jobs

click to expandBasic Info. for Federal Govt. Work — Advantages/Disadvantages

An employer that will always be hiring in your field is in the local government. Because of this it is almost always desirable to work for the government, but there are a few other reasons as well. For example, there are some amazing advantages associated with working for the government. Along with the benefits however, there are some difficulties that you will need to understand. That being said, let’s have a look at a few of the pros and cons related to obtaining a government job.

click to expandPros

  • The first and most obvious advantage to a government job is the health programs in place for government employees.
  • Other than the military, the government provides some of the most diverse health plans on the market.
  • There are life insurance plans, dental plans, and even long term care plans.
  • Retirement benefits are also pretty prevalent in the federal job system, as you will figure out.
  • Paid vacations are offered by almost every government agency.
  • They also offer paid education leave among other things.
  • These are very attractive benefits for potential employees as you can imagine.


click to expandCons

  • There are often no routes to advancement in the Federal government.
  • Most of the time you will stay right where you started unless you can get an education.
  • Federal jobs tend to suck people in.
  • You might intend on only being there for about a year, but you end up being there for ten to 15 years.
  • Government jobs offer a steady paycheck, but you will not get wealthy.
  • Because of this it would be best to view any government job as temporary unless you are planning to become a senator or even president.
  • It is vital to keep your goals in mind, and move on when it's time.



click to expandNetworking Resources

click to expandNetworking

  • Become familiar with the hiring process
    • Realize that different jobs will require you do to different things
  • Gain information about current and upcoming jobs
  • Learn about specific agency missions and cultures
    • Expand your job search
    • The name of a department may have changed


click to expandHow to Network

  • Start with the people you know
    • Call any family or friends that may have connections in the federal job market; always utilize family and friends!
  • Do your research
    • Find out what a company does. Look at charts and agency missions online
  • Don't expect a miracle
    • Government cares about "what you know, not who you know"
  • Master the informational interview
    • Ask for twenty minutes and stick to it.
    • State that you are not trying to make connections or get a job; you are merely interested in the position at hand;
    • Make sure they know you are interested just don't be needy; that is unprofessional.
    • Send thank you note and updates on your search


click to expandWhere to Network

  • Your Career Services Office
    • Resume development/feedback
    • Career workshops
    • Interview coaching
    • Assessment tools
    • Job search tools/strategies
    • Dress-for-success tips
    • Orientation to their services
    • One-on-one career counseling
    • Employer information
    • Benefits information and assessment
    • Career days/fairs
    • Mentoring
    • Externships
    • Your Academic Program
    • Federal employers often develop relationships directly with college professors or departments.
    • These employers will work with the individual college to provide career information, student briefings, and provide coaches and mentors.
    • Alumni and Alumni Associations
    • Professional Associations



click to expandResumes

click to expandCover Letter

  • Paragraph #1 explain what you are submitting and why
  • Paragraph #2 my relevant qualifications include…
  • Paragraph #3 I would be an asset to your organization because…
  • Paragraph #4 offers to come in for an interview and offer logistics information (be stern but sincere and finish with a thank you)
  • Closing/Signature


click to expandFederal and Electronic Resume

Federal Resume Writing Facts

  • A Federal resume is not the same as a private industry resume.
  • Do not assume anything- include it, and use keywords.
  • Add the details.
  • One resume fits all.

Federal Resume Sections

  • Name, Address, and Federal Job Profile Information - Distinctively Federal
    Personal Information Includes:
    • Name
    • Home Address
    • Phone Numbers (Home, Work, Cell)
    • E-mail Address
    • SSN
    • Citizenship
    • Past Federal Experience
    • Special Hiring Programs:
      • Persons with Disabilities
      • Outstanding Scholar
      • Military Spouse
    • Veterans’ Preference
    • Clearance
    • Languages
    • Objective: Title, Series, Grade of Job Sought Announcement
    • Number
  • Summary of all Skills
  • Keywords and Core Competencies
  • Education
  • Work Experience and Internships
  • Other Information.



click to expandTips/Tricks for Applying

click to expandWhere to Apply First

  • Apprenticeships
  • Student Employment Programs
  • Student Volunteers
  • Scholarships
  • Grants
  • Fellowships
  • Internships


click to expandHow to Apply

  • USA Staffing Application Manager
  • U.S. Navy’s CHART or ARMY’s CPOL
  • Paper Applications
  • Cover Letters

Review the list of openings, decide which jobs you are interested in, and follow the instructions given. You may apply for most jobs with a resume, or the Optional Application for Federal Employment or any written format you choose. For jobs that are filled through automated procedures, Federal Agencies may require that you submit a resume and/or other specialized forms. Jobs with unique requirements may also occasionally require special forms. Whatever application method you select (or is required); it is essential that you follow the instructions for applying that are given in the vacancy announcement.

What to Include

Although The Federal Government does not require a standard application form for most jobs, we do need certain information to evaluate your qualifications and determine if you meet legal requirements for Federal employment. If your resume or application does not provide all the information requested in the job vacancy announcement and in this flyer, you may lose consideration for a job. You can speed up the selection process by keeping your resume or application brief and by sending only the requested material. Please type or print clearly in dark ink.

Job Information

  • Announcement number, title and grades

Personal Information

  • Full name, mailing address, day and evening phone numbers
  • Social security number
  • Country of Citizenship
  • Veterans’ preference
  • Reinstatement eligibility
  • Highest Federal civilian grade held


  • High school
    • Name, City, and State
    • Date of diploma or GED
  • Colleges and Universities
    • Name, City, and State
    • Majors
    • Type and year of any degrees received

*Send a copy of your college transcripts only if the job vacancy announcement requests it.

Work Experience
Give the following information for you paid and non-paid work experience related to the job for which you are applying (do not send job descriptions)

  • Job Title (include series and grade if Federal job)
  • Duties and Accomplishments
  • Employer’s Name and Address
  • Supervisor’s Name and Phone Number
  • Starting and Ending Dates (Month and Year)
  • Hours per Week
  • Salary

Prepare a separate entry for each job. Indicate whether or not your current supervisor may be contacted.

Other Qualifications
  • Job related training courses
  • Job related skills ex. Languages
  • Job related certificates and licenses (Current Only)
  • Job related honors, awards, etc. (Give Dates)

click to expandKSAs: Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Try This Website: (

 Knowledge: An organized body of information, usually of a factual or procedural nature, which, if applies, makes adequate performance on the job possible.

Skills: The proficient manual, verbal, or mental manipulation of data, people, or things.  Observable, quantifiable, and measurable.

Abilities: The power to perform an activity at the present time.  Implied is a lack of discernible barriers, either physical or mental, to performing the activity. 

Common Factors in a KSA

  • Communicate orally and/or in writing
  • Plan and organize work (for yourself and for others)
  • Independently plan and carry out multiple assignments
  • Locate and assemble information for various reports, briefings, and conferences
  • Analyze and solve problems
  • Work well with other
Writing your KSA

  • Context (Why you did it)
  • Challenge (Problems you faced)
  • Action (What you did and how you did it)
  • Results (What you accomplished)
  • Setting the Stage- the opening paragraph
  • Make a Strong Summary Statement

***Important Note: KSAs are not always required anymore. They are not a bad thing to have on hand but, normally they are not required. If the job description says it is optional to send a KSA ALWAYS send one.


Guidelines for Applying

Job Openings —


click to expandVeterans’ Preference in Hiring

If you served on active duty in the U.S. military service and were separated under honorable condition, you may be eligible for veterans’ preference. If your only active duty was training in the reserves or National Guard, veterans' preference does not apply.


click to expandReinstatement Eligibility

You must have held a career or career-conditional appointment at some time in the past. If so, there is no time limit on reinstatement eligibility for those who either have veterans’ preference, or have acquitted career tenure by completing 3 years of sustainability continuous creditable service.



click to expandReference Books/Online Resources

  • Jobseeker’s Guide: Ten Steps to a Federal Job 2nd ed. (ISBN: 0-9647025-4-1) By: Kathryn K. Troutman
  • Ten Steps to a Federal Job: How to Land a Job in the Obama Administration (ISBN: 978-0-9647025-9-2) By: Kathryn K. Troutman
  • Try the following websites: