It’s that time of year when graduating college students are seeking that ever-elusive first job, which is time-consuming and stressful. This is especially true for students exclusively looking for jobs with the federal government. Crafting a federal resume and searching for federal jobs is different from almost any other industry. In this post, I will briefly address some important topics related to the federal job hunt, but for more information please don’t hesitate to make an appointment with your career advisor.
Crafting Your Federal Resume:
A Federal Resume is unique in that it defies the conventions of a traditional resume you have probably heard all of your life. Federal resumes typically include the name and title of one’s direct supervisor, the physical addresses of previously held jobs, salary information, hours worked per week, etc.. Since federal agencies evaluate resumes very seriously, crafting them carefully is important. In the private sector, the qualifications section of a job description usually reflects what the employer is looking or hoping for. In a federal job description, the requirements section reflects the minimum requirements the candidate must have to even be considered. Therefore, with less wiggle room, a federal resume needs to be developed to reflect the needs of the job clearly. USA JOBS does a great job of providing valuable information on the structure of a federal resume that you can find here.
Resources for Job Searching:
The aforementioned USA JOBS is the premier resource for federal government job postings. This is the first place to direct your attention if you are searching for federal jobs, not just in D.C. but nationwide. There are also federal jobs posted in Pioneer Careers in the OCI & Job Listings tab. Be sure to use the Industry filter and select all that might apply to your area(s) of interest.
In addition to that, one should also conduct a significant amount of research on individual agencies to assess hiring needs and initiatives of various departments and agencies. This will help focus the job search and determine which agencies/departments to target. As a DU student, you should also know that you are part of a huge network of DU students and alums, many of whom have found work in the federal government. You might want to take time to identify these individuals on LinkedIn to gather information on how they found their jobs, what it’s like to work where they work, what you should be looking out for, and other general advice.
In closing, please keep in mind that there are a number of valuable resources here at DU related to federal jobs. Whether it means scheduling a meeting with our Diplomat in Residence, attending a networking event, or meeting with your Career Advisor there is no shortage of help and expertise to help you find an exciting federal career!