Applying for a Government Job

The longest and often most complex part of looking for a government job is the application process. Everyone knows that dealing with government agencies can be difficult, and trying to become a government employee probably won’t be as easy as you’d like. But the jobs they offer for outdoor lovers are well worth the effort. Simply put, the application process includes paperwork, phone calls, interviews, background checks and more. But you don’t have to start the process blind. In fact, to help prepare and guide you through it, we’ve outlined some of the major steps that will lead you down the road to success.

We’ll break down the process into several different areas of interest for you, but keep in mind that this is just a general overview that is intended to give you an idea of the process. For each announcement that you find and are interested in applying for, we recommend that you print out the job announcement, and then take the time to ensure that you meet all of the requirements listed. If you do, then gather all of the required information before you begin so you can have it handy – that will help make the process smoother.

The Application Process for Government Jobs is Often the Most Complex Part

Most applications will come in a packet that includes a basic federal employment application known as an OF-612, a KSA or KSAO (Statement of Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Other Characteristics). The application will ask you to include a narrative describing your work history experience, education and other relevant facts. It may be tempting to skip some of the questions or to simply write down the basics, but it’s vital that you include all of your information. Why? Because your application is the first thing the hiring person will see, and it will have to make a good impression.

Outdoor Jobs – Where to Go

One of the most important things a candidate will have to consider is which park they should apply at. What’s important to remember is that you won’t be the only one applying for the job, and if you want to work at a popular park, the process can be quite competitive. If you’re considering doing summer work for several years, you might find it more beneficial to apply first to some of the not-so popular positions and start gaining experience. Then, after a few summers working in those positions, you will be looked at more seriously for the more in-demand jobs and better parks.

Outdoor Jobs – How to Contact

You should start your search online by visiting each of the agencies that you’re interested in working for. Many times, they’ll post a list of open positions, and give you the specific application dates as well as any special information that you might need. If you can’t find what you need online, you can always call and ask for more details. For instance, if you’re deciding which park you want to apply to, you might call around and ask how many positions each of the parks anticipate having open. Calling the agency directly may give you a way to get information that otherwise not be public.

Did You Know? One of the best ways to look for and apply to outdoor jobs is to search our Job Center. We have many job listings that you may not otherwise have found.

Federal Employment Job Application

As mentioned before, applying for a job with the federal government is no small feat and many people believe that after so much work, everyone who applies should be hired because of their dedication! The key to success when filling out one of these applications is to be thorough in your answers and follow the instructions precisely. In addition, don’t apply for a job unless you have the required skills because they won’t even consider you for the position. Finally, be proud of your accomplishments, show them off and let the agencies see what types of person you are and what a great employee you would be. And most importantly never give up on your dream job, even if it takes longer than expected to reach it.

Outdoor Jobs – Develop Your Skills

Once you have filled out and turned in your application, it’s time to give up control, sit back and wait to hear something. This can be frustrating, but if you know that you’ve done all you can, then you can feel proud of yourself. And if you have some spare time, consider taking a few courses that might give you an edge. A CPR class or a college class of natural science or forestry might really help you set yourself apart from other applicants. And if you don’t have time to take them before you apply, take them in anticipation of next year’s application.

Did You Know? The Office of Personnel Management is encouraging agencies to hire applicants in 45 days. That’s from the closing date until the actual job offer. They may not always hit this deadline, but it’s a worthwhile goal.

Quick Summary:

  • The process may be long and take extra effort, but it will be worth it if you land the position you desire.
  • Be sure to read the job announcements carefully and gather all the information that you need in order to apply.
  • Application processes will vary slightly depending on the type of position being applied for.
  • Think outside of the box and try applying for some of the positions that aren’t the most popular. This will give you the experience that you need for the top positions later on.
  • Never stop developing yourself and learning more about the industry. This will only help you get ahead in the future.


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