September 25, 2008

Spotlight on Government Jobs

Less than 40 days remain until America’s biggest federal government job gets filled. Of course, assuming you are neither John McCain nor Barack Obama, that’s probably not the kind of government job you are interested in vying for anyway.

Still, given that all eyes seem to be on Washington these days, I wanted to take a few minutes to talk about government job opportunities in the capitol city — and beyond.

For years, government jobs have held a lot of appeal for their reputed stability.

Not only were the jobs believed to be secure, but the salaries were good, the benefits were robust and the retirement packages were attractive.

While there is still truth to the stability rep, the federal government sector has experienced some cutbacks in recent years.  And given the country’s financial crisis, the situation might well get worse before it gets better.

Despite these concerns, however, government jobs continue to be an attractive career option, and not just for policy wonks. In fact, in the wake of September 11, there have been thousands of new jobs created in the field of homeland security jobs. Opportunities abound in fields like law enforcement, border patrol and security.

Other government job fields expected to grow over the next decade include medical and public health, accounting, engineering, program management and foreign service.

If you’re interested in looking for a government job, but don’t know where to start, I’ve pulled together some top-notch resources for you.

On Salaries & Benefits

The US Office of Personnel Management has a plethora of data about salaries across a broad range of government jobs.

The Federal Employees Health Benefits program covers 8 million federal employees and their dependants.  If health insurance is important to you (and why wouldn’t it be?), you will want to review these pages.

Job Search Engines is the #1 search engine for federal government jobs. is a good place to start if you are looking for a government job at the state or local level. has its own job search board for postal service workers.

You can also check out meta-job search engines, like

And more…

The Federal Personnel Guide is an annually published book detailing everything you need to about working for the federal government. Whether you are a current or future government employee, this book will be your bible.

Beyond its free job search, also has great resources on everything you need to know about working for the federal government.

Finally, here are some tips on applying for a job in homeland security from the Department of Homeland Security.

If you are interested in exploring a career in the federal government, but you’re fresh out of school without any significant job experience, an internship might be a great place to start. I’ll be talking about internships in next Thursday’s spotlight, but in the meantime, check out JobMonkey’s section on paid and unpaid internships.

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