Okay, so you’ve decided that you’re going to apply to work in federal employment. You’ve finally got over the fact that working for the government doesn’t automatically mean you could be President of the USA after two years of hard work, but that doesn’t bother you anymore, and you’re ready for all that the federal employment can throw at you. You’re excited about the possibilities the future might have in store for you.
But then comes the difficult bit, the bit we tend to put off. The federal hiring process. In some ways, this is definitely the difficult bit. It’s the make-or-break bit, the one where, if we get it wrong, we’ll mess up our chance of working for the government. It’s heart racing stuff. After all, we’re applying to work for the government!
To help ease you into this daunting process, and to help you prepare, we’re going to have a look at the federal hiring process and what you need to know.
The Federal Hiring Process Timeline:
Locate A Job
This is the first step in the process and, thankfully, it’s actually quite exciting. After all, this is the bit where you’re looking for the dream job and, at this point, you don’t have to talk to anyone or apply for anything. You’re just looking.
But this is an important part of the process and requires due diligence. To get you started, you need to check a database called USAJOBS, which is home to pretty much every single federal job vacancy. Once you spot a job, you’ll be able to get an idea for whether or not you’re suitable for it. This means you need to look carefully at the qualifications, location, as well as duties. It’s important to only apply for the jobs you know you can do. Otherwise, it’s all a waste of time.
Some jobs will have specific conditions, such as only being open to current federal employees, whilst there are two types of positions in federal employment – competitive services and excepted service.
Complete Your Application Form
The next step on your federal hiring process timeline is the application form and resume. This is the bit a lot of us get anxious over. It doesn’t need to be so difficult, though, and it’s important to remember the standard structure that is required. Find out more about federal resume writing.
You need to list your past jobs, starting with your current. List your job title, as well as the start and end dates, the employers name and the duties you were given. You can list your salary, as well as whether the job was full-time, part-time or temporary. It’s important to emphasise any past positions you have held which are similar to the one you’re applying for, and if there are any accomplishments, list these too.
The next thing to do in the federal government hiring process is to submit your application. Always make sure that you apply before the closing date, and submit everything that the job ad requires. If they want additional documents alongside your resume, submit these.
Okay, this is when things get really nerve wracking in the federal hiring process. If you’re an outstanding candidate, you’ll be invited for an interview – either in person or by phone. Unfortunately, there is not one single interview practice that everyone abides by, so federal resume writing services cannot determine exactly what you’ll be up against, but many federal employment interviews do contain scenario-based questions that are designed to detect whether or not your strengths are what the employers are after. For example, a scenario might centre around decision making, or it might centre around oral communication.
The next bit is the nervy bit – it’s the bit in the federal government hiring process where you’re made to wait for the results. At this point, your application is passed to human resource specialists who will check it to see how well you’ve performed, and whether you’re the person for them. Then a panel of experts will take a look at your application and rate it to see whether your skills meet their criteria. If it does, your application will be sent to the hiring manager. This is the person who makes the final selection.