Career Center



Why Go Government? How to Find Federal Jobs
Reading Federal Job Announcements Students and Entry-Level Jobseekers
Federal Resumes Veterans

Why Go Government?

The Nation's Largest Employer is Hiring: By 2016, 40% of all current federal employees will retire - that's A LOT of job openings

Federal Service is Public Service: Federal workers play a vital role in addressing national issues and make a difference in the lives of every American

Federal Jobs Pay Better Than You Think: Low federal pay is a myth. Federal salaries are often competitive with private sector, plus there are great benefits, job stability and advancement opportunities

The Government Can Help Pay for School: Federal agencies may help you pay back up to $10,000 per year of your student loans, and some agencies will pick up the tab if you decide to pursue a graduate degree.

You Can Develop a Unique Skill Set: Advance your career by developing highly marketable skills. The federal government offers cutting-edge professional development, from technology to foreign language immersion.

Federal Jobs are Around the Country & World: Nearly 85 percent of federal jobs are outside the D.C. area. Looking to go global? More than 50,000 federal employees work abroad.

The Federal Government Values Diversity: Federal agencies actively encourage minorities and individuals with disabilities to consider government service through internships and fellowships.

There are Jobs for Every Interest and Major: Not a political science major? Not a problem. There are federal jobs suited to every interest and skill, from art history to zoology.

Federal Jobs Promote Great Work/Life Balance: Agencies offer flexible work schedules, world class benefits, job sharing, on-site child care and other incentives to facilitate a high quality of life.

You Can Make a Difference: The federal government is our most powerful agent in addressing national issues. There is no bigger stage for making an impact.


Reading Federal Job Announcements

While browsing positions, focus first on whether you meet basic qualifications. When first reviewing job announcements, pay attention to the following sections:

  • Who may be considered: Review this item in the overview section to ensure you are eligible for this position.
  • Qualifications and evaluations: This will give you an idea if you have the qualifications to excel in this position. Applications will only be considered if you meet the min qualifications.
  • How to apply: Missing documents or incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Make sure you understand what the application entails and follow directions closely to ensure your application is complete.

After you find a few positions that fit what you are looking for, it is critical that you read the position description closely. Even if the description seems unusually long, a careful reading will save you time and energy in the long run.

Federal Resumes

Forget what you know about resume writing. A federal resume should be more detailed and run 2-5 pages in length for an entry-level job.

A federal resume uses the same information from a typical resume, but goes into more depth about your skills, past duties and accomplishments. Some key points to remember when converting your resume into a federal resume are:

  • Tailor Resume to the Job Announcement
  • Numbers Impress Hiring Managers
  • Sell Yourself and Your Achievements
  • Check Spelling and Grammar
  • Be Concise

To get more details on formatting a federal resume check out the below sites:

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How to Find Federal Jobs?

As the main destination for federal jobs, has around 30,000 vacancy announcements on the site at any given time.

However, navigating the website and understanding job listing information can be a battle. With a little help decoding the language used to describe the types of jobs that the government has available, you'll be well on your way.

Create a Account

To gain full access to, create your own account. Simply create a username and password, and once you are logged in to your main account page, you can:

  • Save your searches and edit your profile
  • Create and upload multiple resumes
  • Create and upload application materials
  • Track the status of your applications

Search for Positions offers a variety of ways to search for current job openings. The easiest way to look through this database is to perform a broad keyword search and then refine your results according to your preferences.

To start you may want to refine your search results by:

  • Agency: If you have a few agencies in mind, refine your search by selecting one or more agencies or offices.
  • Grade: Selecting a GS grade level is an easy way to focus on positions that match your experience level. The GS is separated into 15 grades (1 through 15). Below are general guidelines to help determine what GS level to search:
    • GS-05 = bachelor's degree
    • GS-07 = bachelor's and 3.0 GPA or higher
    • GS-09 = master's degree
    • GS-11 = doctorate
  • Location: Look for jobs according to your geographical region by typing in your zip code and selecting a radius of 5 to 200 miles on the results page. You can also choose a specific city, state or country in the advanced search.

Students and Entry-level Jobseekers

Under Presidential mandate, the Federal Government has taken recent steps to help students and recent graduates join the Federal service.

The creation of the Pathways Program offers clear paths into federal service for undergraduates, graduate students and recent graduates to federal internships and/or full-time careers. Three programs are housed under the Pathways Program and you can begin your career in the federal government by choosing the program that is your best fit:

  • Internship Program: This program offers current college and graduate students with paid opportunities to work in federal agencies while still in school. The intern's work should be related to their field of study or career goals.
  • Recent Graduates Program: A full-time, one-year program designed for individuals who have received undergraduate or graduate degrees. Candidates must apply within two years of graduation.
  • Presidential Management Fellows Program: The federal government's premier leadership development program for advanced degree candidates. For complete program information, visit:

Additionally many federal agencies and departments offer unpaid training opportunities to students currently enrolled in an academic program. As a student volunteer, you will gain valuable work experience in the federal government as it relates to your field.

If interested in becoming a student volunteer with the federal government you should contact the personnel office at the federal agency or department of your choice.


If you have served our country in a branch of the armed services, your experience and expertise uniquely qualifies you to serve in the civil service. To learn more about opportunities as a veteran:

Individuals with Disabilities

As an individual with a disability, you have access to programs and hiring authorities to assist in securing federal employment. Learn More: - Disability

Resources for Military Veterans

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