Government Employment Process
Federal Job Application Process
Once upon a time, applying for a government job seemed mysterious and difficult, like learning to play a game you've never tried before when you don't have the instruction book and half the pieces are missing.
Optimizing Your Resume
USAjobs, or an agency's independent website with a job application feature, are just computer programs. It is essential to remember that a computer is scanning your resume, looking for specific keywords. So how do make sure that your resume gets past the computer program and in front of the eyes of the recruiter or hiring manager? It's simple: use the right keywords. Before you create your online resume, spend some time reading postings for jobs you're interested in.
Waiting to Hear
Long ago, applicants for federal jobs often languished, waiting to hear from their selected agencies for several months. The application process has become much more streamlined today. Although every situation is different, many applicants today hear back from recruiters or hiring managers within a month. However, the security clearance process can delay a job change, sometimes for an excruciatingly long time (more on this later). If you are desperate to leave your job this week, a job with the federal government that requires a high-level security clearance will not get you out of your present situation by Friday.
You would be better off to do a little prior planning, find interim employment, or stick it out with your current job until the clearance comes through. But at least today, you can expect to know whether or not you have a brand-new government job in a manner as timely as what you would expect from a private-sector employer.