Federal Job Application Tips

Even in these recessionary times, the federal government is still hiring employees precisely because government work never stops for as long as there are people to serve.  However, you will find that Federal employment is very competitive by virtue of the nature of public work.  It pays to stand out from the rest of the applicants in a good way.  These tips should help you achieve the purpose in a fast, easy and convenient manner.

First, keep your Federal government resume concise.  Most, if not all, federal hiring managers have little time on their hands to read your lengthy resume no matter how impressive it may be.  You have to keep your relevant achievements, credentials and other professional information in a concise manner - use bullets and headings, arrange from the most to the least important, and use short paragraphs.

To determine if your resume is as concise as possible without omitting important information, let one of your colleagues read it in 30 seconds.  If he cannot remember your most important achievements within that time, then your resume is too long - revise it.

Second, prove your enthusiasm for the job.  Federal hiring managers want applicants who express an enthusiastic desire to perform the jobs assigned to them with little to no supervision involved.  The best way to mention this desirable trait is to cite specific examples of the situations where you applied resourcefulness, creativity and drive to achieve a specific purpose.

Third, check for any and all errors.  Many job applications have been rejected at the first sighting of an error, be it in grammar, personal information and other typos.  This is because your resume and application letter are your introductory tools and, hence, any and all errors contained therein point to your carelessness.  It is not a desirable trait especially in highly sensitive federal jobs.  Edit and re-edit until such time that even your college English professor will find no faults in them.  Only then should you dare pass your resume and application.

Fourth, answer every written question, if possible.  In most federal exams, failure to answer one single applicable question can lead to outright rejection of your application.  Even if you have no right answer to an essay question, just write the most sensible thing that comes to mind or just place "not applicable" in the appropriate boxes. 

Fifth and most important, know everything there is to know about the agency.  This is similar to doing your research on the private corporation you are submitting your application.  You will have no excuse not to gather information considering that virtually all government agencies have their own websites, not to mention the offline sources of news.

This way, you can answer the questions posed by the interviewers about your knowledge of the agency and the job.  Ask present employees, if you have to, but make sure that it is done discreetly.

During the interview, you should apply all the things that you learned to impress interviewers.  These include coming in your business attire, looking at the interviewers in the eye, answering questions in a direct and thoughtful manner and then saying your brief thanks when the interview is finished.

Federal jobs are coveted positions nowadays.  It pays to be ready from the submission of application documents to the interviews and then the completion of papers for hiring purposes.


Gail Esparan