Salute to Spouses Blog

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So, You Still Want to be a Fed?

If the recent close call of a government shutdown didn’t scare you away from applying for a federal job and neither does the current hiring freeze, then now is as good a time as any to prepare yourself for the search. Just follow these seven easy steps to avoid being overwhelmed in the process.

1.    Establish USAJOBS as your “home base” for the job search. Almost nothing is worse than being all over the internet to conduct a job search. Here, you can find vacancy announcements, apply for jobs and track your status all in the same place – online – and accessible from anywhere. And for people like us who move around at a moment’s notice, it’s one less thing we’ll have to worry about while in transition.

2.    Create and store up to five different resumes. You can build new resumes by inputting your work experience, education, contact information, etc. into a web-based form on the site and you can upload resumes you already created elsewhere. We all have multiple skill sets and professional interests, so this might be a good time to try something new without having to do a lot of extra work to find it.

3.    Upload five supporting documents. These might include transcripts, certificates or other supplemental forms. Your documents will always be available to be attached to your resume when applying for a job.

4.    Search for job announcements. Use location, occupations, agencies, keywords, salary and other terms to identify potential vacancies and to refine the results when far too many of them come up in your search.

5.    Set up a job search agent. Once you have determined the perfect set of criteria to narrow down jobs for you, save that search using the job agent function. The job agent allows you to use the same search criteria without re-entering it each time you log onto the site. An added bonus: you can also set up email notifications to be alerted when a new job has been posted that meets your search criteria. Are you feeling relieved yet?

6.    Check your status regularly.  You can log back onto USAJOBS any time of day or night to find out the status of your application for each job to which you apply. You’ll know if your resume has been received, whether you meet minimum requirements, whether you have been referred for an interview, etc. And you won’t have to wait for an email reply or be put on hold indefinitely when you call.

7.    Finally, email a friend. Anytime you see a job for which a friend might like to apply, you can email the entire announcement right to him or her. What better way to build your job search networking contacts? And who knows, you might get the same in return.

Here’s to landing the federal job of your dreams!


Pamela McBride

Do you have a specific question about the current job market, military friendly industries, or anything career related? Let us help you find the answers. Email Pamela at . Please explain what information you are searching for and we will post the answers in this column. 

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