NAVIGATING THE FEDERAL HIRING LANDSCAPE: Part I – How to Identify and Target Federal Careers

Editor’s note: There are many career opportunities within the Federal government, and as a job seeker, you cannot take a … “I will just apply for any type of job in the government” … approach. In this blog series, “Navigating the Federal Hiring Landscape,” I write about the importance of identifying those career fields that are of interest to you, determining if your experience meets the basic qualifications of those targeted careers, and building and leveraging your network. 

 

The Federal government is the nation’s largest employer, a huge enterprise with just over 2 million civil servants (as of March 2019) working within the Executive Departments alone. Apart from the current pandemic with the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Federal government continues to offer an unparalleled variety of career opportunities – both white-collar and trade – for those who have a desire to enter public service.

And not only does the Federal government have many career fields to choose from throughout the U.S., but there are also many opportunities located overseas as well (currently, there are Federal employees working in almost 160 countries worldwide).

While the Federal government offers an unparalleled variety of career opportunities, it can still be overwhelming for you to choose a career as a civil servant. So, before you even begin to apply for a federal job, you must first know what type of career you’d like to pursue in the Federal government. Basically, you must know your career field of choice, as well as your transferable skills that can be aligned to it.

Also, keep in mind that there are transferable skills that are in high demand in the federal government. According to the “2018 Federal Workforce Priorities Report”, federal agencies need “management support skills such as performance management, project management, and strategic planning; and soft skills such as critical thinking and professionalism.” I will write more about this topic in my next blog: Part II: How to Determine if Your Work Experience Meets the Basic Qualifications of a Federal Job

Know where to look for Federal Careers

Today, approximately 2 million federal civilians – under the Federal Executive Branch – are employed in more than 500 different occupations in the Federal government, ranging from administrative, professional, technical … to blue-collar, clerical, and other positions. And many of these occupations are located overseas

And where to start looking can pose a challenge to most job seekers.

I know when I first started looking for a federal job, it was like “looking for a needle in a haystack.” However, over time I’ve gained the experience of knowing where to look and how to select those positions that matched my experiences and skills.

And I’d like to share these experiences with you…

The following websites are very helpful for learning about the many occupations in the federal government:

There you have it!

Before you begin to apply for a federal job, I would first learn about the many opportunities that the Federal government offers.

Be sure to check out:


Please follow us on Twitter @FedCareer and join our Federal Career Connection LinkedIn Group or find us on Meetup at meetup.com/mbc-cnm.

 To get updates on upcoming workshops and career coaching sessions, visit https://federalcareerconnection.com


Author: Alex Harrington is currently a federal civil servant and a Certified Career Services Provider (CCSP) and Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF). He served in the U.S. Marine Corps and is a Persian Gulf War veteran.

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Author: Federal Career Connection

A free resource for Americans who want to serve in the federal government, while helping the government recruit individuals who possess high standards of integrity, conduct, and concern for the public interest.

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