There are very few aspects of our lives that are untouched by the federal government. An organization with such large reach requires a great deal of manpower, and you may be wondering how you can launch your career with a government agency. There are a variety of ways you can discover federal government jobs.
Where to Start
If you’re looking for a job with the U.S. federal government, you should begin your search at USAJobs.gov. This website has dozens of available positions listed in an organized and easy-to-access manner. In addition to listing all the open positions, the site also informs you about how hiring works, provides tips for applying, and guides you through the interview process.
Agency-Specific Job Websites
Not all federal government jobs are listed on USAJobs.gov. Positions with certain specific agencies like the U.S. Department of State for Foreign Service Officers, CIA, FBI, the Federal Reserve System, the Health Research Service Administration, the Library of Congress, the U.S. Postal Service, and several others will post job listings on their own respective websites. From time to time, federal agencies will post job ads on sites like Craigslist and even in the employment sections of newspapers.
Job seekers should also join professional networking groups like the Society of Government Travel Professionals to obtain job leads. These associations mimic those found in the private sector, and their members will likely provide information to people who want to join their ranks. Plenty of government agencies also hold job fairs on a regular basis where human resources representatives and current federal employees meet with applicants to provide information about job openings and offer networking opportunities.
If you have graduated from college, you should periodically check in with your alma mater's career services department to see if the school’s career counselors are aware of any federal government jobs. Plenty of universities have excellent relationships with federal government agencies due to past placements that turned out successfully.
Some federal agencies have created entry-level leadership development programs that often lead to permanent employment with the federal government. One example is the Presidential Management Fellows Program, which is offered by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. It is a good idea to conduct some Internet research to see if the agency you’re interested in offers programs like these.
You should constantly read government trade magazines to gauge recent hiring trends. These magazines will also likely publicize information about upcoming government conferences you can attend in hopes of finding a networking opportunity.