As the United States job market tries to recover from the devastating impact of the pandemic, government jobs have been very vital to that recovery.

Since the unemployment rate hit 14.7% back in April 2020 –the highest since 1948 – a steady recovery began, reducing the unemployment rate to 6.7%, as of November 2020.

Less than half of what it was in April 2020, but still close to double the 3.5% rate in February pre-covid19.

Working for the government may not be as financially rewarding as working in the private sector but there are several perks and benefits that government jobs offer, like job security, more vacation, good health care, and retirement plans, etc.

As businesses return to normal and vaccines are being administered, government hiring also picks up momentum.

This article aims to help you understand how to go about applying and landing a government job in the US.

TOP SOURCES WHERE YOU CAN FIND GOVERNMENT JOBS

  1. USAJOBS.gov: USAJOBS is the official job site for the federal government. Most government agencies list job openings on the website.
    1. Steps to apply for government jobs on USAJOBS.org
    2. Sign up to create an account.
    3. Sign in to your account to create a profile and upload your resume
    4. Locate jobs that best suit your interests, skills, and qualifications
    5. Review the job advertisement, job roles, requirements, and qualifications to see if you qualify.
    6. Prepare and submit your application to the government agency through USAJOBS.
  2. Google for Jobs: There are government job advertisements scattered all around the internet. Google for jobs aggregates search results that match your search from other job websites on the internet.
    1. To find government jobs using Google, make use of the keywords. Keywords serve as search filters that help you find the government job listings that suit you perfectly.
    2. For example, if you are searching for a government job as an information technology specialist in California; all you have to do is go to your google search bar and type “Information Technology Specialist government jobs in California”.
    3. You can still filter your search further by using google job filters.
  3. Indeed: Indeed is the largest and most visited job search website in the world.
    1. Numerous employers, including government agencies, list their job openings on the website.
    2. Finding a government job on Indeed is a straightforward process. Simply utilize the search engine. Search for “Government Jobs USA” and filter the results based on job type, job category, salary, date posted, experience level, etc.
    3. When you find the desired job opening, click on it to read the job description, requirements, responsibilities, qualifications, and every other detail about the job.
    4. When you are sure that the job role perfectly suits you, proceed to apply. Note that you need to sign up on Indeed to be able to apply for a job through the website.
  4. Agency Websites: Although you will find most federal agency jobs on USAJOBS, some agencies prefer to post their job advertisements on their websites.
    1. Click here to find the A-Z Index of government departments and agencies and their websites.
  5. FedsHireVets.gov: This website was designed as part of the Veterans Employment Initiative.
    1. It was set up to honor veterans and their families by promoting opportunities that enable them to work as Federal civilian employees.
    2. Veterans will receive preference when they apply for jobs through this website.
    3. So, if you have served in the armed forces, and you are looking to advance your career in the federal government civil service, this is for you.

TIPS FOR APPLYING FOR GOVERNMENT JOBS

  1. Disregard those who claim to have special information: The only sources you should trust for a government Job are official government websites. Do not purchase special information. Also, keep in mind that government job opportunities posted on non-government websites may be a scam. Therefore, if you find a job listing on a non-government website, make sure you double-check on USAJOBS or the agency’s website. Application for government jobs is free, and you will not be required to pay any fees.
  2. Be patient: Due to bureaucracy, the processing time for a government job may be lengthy. There is nothing to be afraid of. You may call your contact to ask for the progress of your application, but you need to keep in mind that this process takes time, and there are no shortcuts.
  3. Talk about your volunteer experience: Unlike private employers, government tends to favor applicants with volunteer work experience. Especially those that demonstrate your skills in a particular position. Ensure you include all your past volunteer work experience in your resume.
  4. Who is eligible? The majority of federal government positions require that applicants must be US citizens. Some positions are also reserved for people with disabilities, veterans.
  5. Do not apply if you don’t qualify: The competition for federal government jobs is very stiff. Read the job requirements properly and ensure you are qualified before you apply. The chances that you will be hired for a position you do not qualify for is near zero.
  6. If you are invited for a government interview, get ready to answer job-related questions. All candidates are usually asked the same questions in the same order. Interviews can be over the phone, in person, or through video conferencing.
  7. Once you are offered a job, and you accept the offer, HR will commence a security clearance process, this can take another 3-6 months depending on the type of clearance the agency requires.
  8. The job offer is final when background checks and all security clearances are completed. All candidates who weren’t selected will see their application status change to “not accepted”.
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