One of the great aspects of the federal government is that there are positions in virtually every field. As the nation’s largest employer with nearly two million civilian employees, our government is hiring and the available jobs offer a match for almost any set of skills and interests. From biologists to statisticians, the federal government is looking for a wide variety of talented and dedicated employees.
Before looking at any job announcement, answer this question: what is most important to you in a job? Keep in mind that there are hundreds of agencies, professional fields, and locations for federal employment. This creates a network of approximately two million employees and thousands of open positions. If you are not clear on what you want, you’ll probably get lost in a mesh of agency websites and swallowed by the black hole of open job announcements. On the flipside, if you know what you’re looking for, you can focus your search to a few types of careers or agencies.
Additionally, consider what you have to offer an employer. What type of position or employer would most value your skills and education? No employer is excited to hire someone that is not passionate about their work or environment. The federal government is no different. Identifying your specific skill sets will be invaluable as you begin your federal search.
Narrowing your interests and abilities is not an easy task. To hone in on one avenue takes knowing what type of position you want to pursue and where you want to work. However, as an applicant, you need to be able to articulate what you want most in an employer so that you find an agency and a position that you are excited about. Consider the environment and workforce conditions as well as the basic details of the position.
Researching your options is also essential. If you are not sure where to start, take a look at our agency pages to review the different options that may be available. You can also visit our Best Places to Work website to learn about what current federal employees think about their federal work environments. The publication explores employee satisfaction in areas such as effective leadership, teamwork, training and development, work/life balance, pay and benefits, and more. Best Places to Work is a great resource to getting an insider’s perspective on an agency before you apply.
Having answers to many of your questions before you start your federal job search will enable you to spend time and energy on applying for positions that you are most qualified for—and ultimately increase your chances of getting hired.
USAJOBS.gov is the official search engine for federal jobs. Nearly all government job openings are posted on this site and each job announcement includes details about duties, minimum qualifications, basic benefits, and application instructions. With thousands of announcements to sift through, searching for the perfect position on USAJOBS may seem daunting at first. Start here by perusing our agency and professional field pages. This information will assist you in narrowing your interest and focusing your search. With a few additional tips, you will be well on your way to finding the right job for you.