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10 Steps to a Government Job - For Military Service Members

10 Steps to a Government Job - For Military Service Members

GovCentral and Military.com

Step 7: Meeting a Recruiter

Sell Yourself: Speak Professionally
During your time in the military you should have had ample time to learn to speak in front of others. Public speaking is extremely important in fire and rescue. As a firefighter, you will be expected to give presentations to members of your department and members of the community alike.

Public speaking is often referred to as the number one fear in the workforce. Tackle that fear early on. If you have to, sign up for speaking classes at your local community college or through the local Toastmasters. There is no substitute for the ability to list yourself as an accomplished public speaker on your application.

Wear a Suit
Always wear a suit or coat and tie. Wearing business attire shows that you hold yourself to the highest standards, and that is what a recruiter is looking for in a candidate. Many prospective recruits make the mistake of showing up in their every day street clothes. This does not go unnoticed and there is a high probability that your resume or application will end up on the bottom of the pile. If, for some reason, it is absolutely not possible for you to wear a suit then make sure you tell the recruiter before hand so they know.

Ask Questions
Be prepared with a list of questions you have for the recruiter. This is your chance to get clarifications to questions you might have about an agency you are interested in, common job tasks, or about general career advancement. Make sure your questions are relevant and aren’t already answered through general literature.

Don’t Be a Know-It-All
Don’t try to impress the recruiter with your knowledge (or perceived knowledge) of the government. You’re there to get information from the recruiter, not to give it. Even if the recruiter is telling you something you already know, listen intently and be thankful for the information.

Listen and Be Courteous
When you meet with a recruiter there will be opportunities for you to get your questions answered. Don’t interrupt or cause disruptions if the recruiter is speaking to someone else or isn’t answering your question as quick as you would like. Be courteous and wait for the appropriate time to interject or clarify your question.

Don’t Use Military Jargon
Even though you are transitioning to a military-friendly environment, remember that not all government employees are former military and may not understand or appreciate certain language, words, or attitudes. Always act and speak professionally in front of a recruiter. Even if you find out that the recruiter served in the same unit as you at some point, be professional and don’t accidentally start talking like you’re in boot camp.

Be Early
Do not be late, especially if you have a one-on-one meeting with the recruiter. Plan to arrive at least 15 minutes early. If you are meeting a recruiter at a job fair, remember that recruiters will usually not forget the first few people they talk to, even if they end up talking with dozens more throughout the day.

Expect Tough Questions
Why do you want a government job? Do you have anything questionable in your past? When was the last time you used drugs? Those are just a few of the questions that you will be asked during your application process. Be prepared to answer them quickly and honestly even as early as your first meeting with the recruiter. Always remember that if you lie, they will find out and your career will be over before it even starts.

Be Prepared to State Your Goals
You should list out your career goals before you even make a meeting with the recruiter. Be true to yourself and be honest, but don’t be stupid. If you’re talking to a recruiter about one specific career paths, don’t go into a lot of detail about your long-term career aspiration to work in a position which you are under-qualified for.

Remember that You Are Talking to a Government Official
The authorities and responsibilities bestowed on government officials can be very serious. You must always be professional and courteous to everyone you encounter. Your attitude and demeanor must convey the embodiment of these principles to the recruiter.


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    vartovsk

    about 4 years ago

    2 comments

    i so agree with JusMe!!! I have 7 years experience working at Morgan Stanley a worldwide financial institution, 20% disabled from navy and a bachelor's degree in Finance. yet I cant even qualify for entry level position with the government because I KNOW they are just "hooking" up the HOMEBOYS and not really looking to hire qualified people. I DONT even get a call back! Thank you USA JOBS for the SCAM you run with our GOVERNMENT> TOTAL CRAP

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    JusMe

    about 4 years ago

    2 comments

    I agree with just_comment. I have been trying to get hired as a civil service employee since I seperated back in 2003...and guess what...no such luck! I have been working as a contractor, and have seen with my own eyes the type of illegal candidate targeting that government people do! They already know who they want to hire! They post a vacancy...to cover themselves, help the person they are targeting to fine tune their resume to ensure they get "selected' by resumix, when the resumes are referred, they just make sure that the person they targeted/their homegirl/homeboy is interviewed, then they pick the person that they wanted all along. So screwed up...and there is no way to get around it...SMH

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    just_comment

    about 4 years ago

    8 comments

    These articles are useless. You have to know someone to get a government job.

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    bforbes

    about 4 years ago

    18 comments

    I feel this is a great article, but the one thing I see missing from most of these articles are suggestions on how to land a government job after being separated from the service for several years. Most of these articles are geared towards newly separated veterans. I served in the Air Force for twenty years and did not consider the civil service directly after my separation. I've worked on and off getting whatever I could get while I supported my wife's military career for another 8 years until she retired. During all this time I could never land a government job. I have a bachelor's degree in management but many of the government jobs require you to be very overqualified for the positions you are applying for. PHD for a GS-12 ? Give me a break. So I would like to see some hard suggestions on landing government jobs years after separation. Thanks

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    LYN12

    over 4 years ago

    32 comments

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    jodyladams

    over 4 years ago

    2 comments

    Wow.....WELL I HAD HOPES VERY HIGH HOPES GET INTO WORKING AS A CILIVIAN FOR THE ARMY BUT - I TO HAVE APPLIED AND APPLIED AND I SEE FM ALL OF THE COMMENTS JUST NO CHANCE OF EVER GETTING IN.........IF YOU DON'T KNOW SOMEONE U DON'T GET IN......PLAIN AND SIMPLE WOULD HAVE BEEN EASIER FOR MY FAMILY IF I GOT KILLED WHILE IN THEN TRY AND GET A JOB WITH THE GOV. ...DAMN SHAME IN THIS GREAT COUNTRY OF OURS....

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    GentFromAlaska

    almost 5 years ago

    4 comments

    The secrecy about the entire civil service hiring process irritates me the most. Thereafter the untruths. Having sat on the other side allowed me some insight into the civil service hiring process. Yes I do want the best qualified candidate and yes I want to promote from within, however I'm not willing to fudge the results for the latter. I realize there are postings for the sole purpose of pay grade promotions (not to be confused with step increases) which have to be advertised where the agency has no intent to hire or even interview other candidates. They are advertised because by the letter of the law they have to be. Civil service hiring managers should understand stupidity is a one way ticket out of the military and it is usually diagnosed early by a good leader.

    I asked in one interview, how many people were being interviewed and was told I can't tell you. Sure you can, there is nothing that precludes you from doing so that I'm aware of. The truth be you may not want to tell me or you are unsure. Okay I'll bite my tongue. Thereafter only to see two lower positions open at the same agency five weeks later. I may be wrong, this is a decent indicator and makes me suspect the agency has or intends to hire internally. In another interview, I saw the death look. Thereafter she blurted out six. Okay that is a good number. I think all internal civil service hires should be audited when a qualified veteran, retired (transistion) or otherwise is not selected except when Delegated Examining Unit (DEU) procedures are approved by OPM. And just just because I have a VA rated service connected disability doesn't make disabled. Some hiring managers really need to sharpen the saw a bit.

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    changeisgood

    almost 5 years ago

    2 comments

    Why don't you all get together and get a website and petition going? It seems with enough exposure (and the liberal media would love this) that veterans are getting shafted by the CPAC's, believe me no one in this environment is sure about their job anymore even the lazy a@##@# at the HR offices. Be the real change people, you can make it happen!

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    charlie27

    almost 5 years ago

    2 comments

    I am a female veteran and have applied for government jobs for the past 6 years. I have a college degree, years of experience in administration and human resources. Doesn't matter! I can never seem to get hired or even get an interview for the matter. It can be a year before you get notification that a job you applied for was filled. What is going on?
    THIS STATEMENT IS VERY TRUE! from VETERAN52.
    I just got out from the service. As a matter of fact , I just got back home from downrange. I have spreaded out my resume to any available jobs in the Government/ Federal/Homeland Department but still haven't heard from any of them. It's very frustrating! We have the tools, the experience, the professionalism and the leadership. HELP the Veteran, FIRST!

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    GentFromAlaska

    about 5 years ago

    4 comments

    I am a 25 year military retiree with a VA rated 10 point preference. Thus far I have applied for a handful of positions at Fort Campbell. I did not transition from the Army so I'm the proverbial fish out of water. My TAP seminar was taught by a Department of Labor contract vendor. With that said I have not limited my job search criteria to just the Army, There are many Federal agencies out there.

    Unbeknown to me Fort Campbell has a Army Community Services (ACS) Office which offers CPOL RESUMIX/ANSWER training. None of this was taught to me to me in my TAP class, which can be its own service connected disability of sorts. In the grand scheme of things it is one more obstacle to navigate. I've sat on the other side of Civil Service interview table, searching for the right candidate can come down to fractions of a point.

    By trail or error as a lesson learned a canditate applying for an Army position must locate the Position Description (PD) in CPOL FASCLAS. The ACS office taught me the applicant must (stress must) paste the PD in his/her resume up to the maximum 12,000 characters allowed to successfully pass the optical scanner buzzword test. Thereafter applicant names make the cut is forwarded back to the CPAC. This is the first a human see's it. I've received a fair share of the canned statements "You were not referred because you were not amongst the group of best qualified candidates" I feel I have a remarkable resume.

    Additionally either as part of the ACS or as and individual entity there is a Retirement Services Office (RSO) on base. I suspect this to be the old Civil Service office. I'm told VEOA eligibles with a 30% or more service connected disability can hand deliver their resume to the RSO even after the vacancy closes and still be considered for the position. This takes RESUMIX/ANSWER out of the equation. I suppose the other elements of DOD have similar requirements and offer similar support facilities on base. Seek them out!

    Additionally DFAS publishes many if not hundreds of FAQ under the Careers tab on the URL under the "askHR" which goes indepth about applying for a Civil Service positions. This is one of the best FAQ and answer platforms I've found to date. DFAS does not use the Army CPOL mentioned above so the application process is streamlined.

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    Veteran52

    about 5 years ago

    2 comments

    I am a female veteran and have applied for government jobs for the past 6 years. I have a college degree, years of experience in administration and human resources. Doesn't matter! I can never seem to get hired or even get an interview for the matter. It can be a year before you get notification that a job you applied for was filled. What is going on?

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    carden

    about 5 years ago

    12 comments

    It does not matter what your rights are as a veteran just ask MS Ferguson, Ms Peterson, if you appeal this two individuals findings reference your resume they will have you investigated by the military police on Ft. Sam Houston Texas. I was found not guilty of all allegations by these two individuals but they remain in their positions as human resource personnel continuing to turn down veterans and disable veterans for employment. To think you went to war sacraficed everything you know for your country to be treated as no more than a common criminal is an insult. you can not even appeal these peoples findings without them protesting aginst you the veteran. just a reminder to these two is freedom is not free and many women and men made the sacrifice so you can be where you are at today, what sacrifices have you made for your country!!!!!!!! Why don't you post your hire rate for veterans and disabled veterans on the internet.
    Just remember when you appeal these two peoples findings whether they are right or wrong they will call the MP's on you. Kenneth J. Carden

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    CALLA66

    over 5 years ago

    50 comments

    VETERAN KNOW YOUR RIGHTS AND LAWS, START QUESTIONING AND DO NO'T ACCEPT THERE BS AND LIES and believe me your get alot of that. Here is the HR OPM BIBLE page 178, start sending FOIA letters to all you applied, the lawlessness and the anti-veteran sentiment comming out of these Government agencys HR hiring office. read this guide and start sending FOIA request letters, on all job refusals start doing your own investigations, if you get a name call them, see if they are veteran education, etc. ask questions. http://www.opm.gov/deu/Handbook_2007/DEO_Handbook.pdf read page 178, use the FOIA generator paste and copy start sending letters on refusals, when you get enough contact the media, your Senator, Representaive they know its happening and will do little. See each agency acts like there "United States of own own rules, you have one agency that will give you name of the person hired, and you have another that will not, that is public information the VA will not they want you to go through there gaulent of FOIA unhelp.
    As you see on page 178 on the bible, there is many questions you can ask, SEND THEM A FOIA LETTER. Many with DOL/VETS. you will be wasting your time, but at least they get in the system. When they tell you to appeal, that is another way the government is telling the VET to go away, because they know the soldier can't afford 4 to 5 thousand dollars for MSPB lawyer and the government does not give you one or will pay for it, THEY SHOULD. But if your try to do it your self all your find out there just another office that will make excuses and will protect the government.
    Veterans its not the corporations that hate us, its our own government, if there letting hiring practices like that that is hate. Write your politicians I already did, do they care "?".
    Good luck Veterans, and women veterans we need more then luck we need a God send.

    http://www.federaltimes.com/index.php?S=3026827

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    CALLA66

    over 5 years ago

    50 comments

    THE GOVERNMENT IS MAKING LAWS FOR CORPORATIONS,

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    CALLA66

    over 5 years ago

    50 comments

    THE TRUTH http://www.federaltimes.com/index.php?S=3026827, Iput in over 500 government applications, the truth is the government has many anti veteran, anti american people working in there HR offices. The facts are there in Black and White even the DAV in April 2009 Issue states the VA only hire 30 percent Veteran and 8 percent disabled veterans, and its not just the VA, but lets talk about the VA, they will deny you, they will hire less educated then you, and if your a women veteran forget it. The VA will violate your FOIA rights then perjure them selves, getting help forget it the DOL is worthless, theylike to tell you to appeal to MSPB because they have no idea how to do there jobs, Then when you go the MSPB fair hearing no way, you need to hire a lawyer got 5000 dollars, 5k to fight a government you fought to protect, the MSPB lawyers want another arm and leg you already gave to protect America. There is no help for veterans out there for jobs, just do what everybody does stay home, your get a job then. Network? you mean like all the civilains will tell you that work at the VA, how they got in I knew someone within, but I got a high school,diploma and I never served that whay i get 70 percent of the time, forget until our govrnment does a congressional inquiry veterans forget it, they need to get rid of all the loop holes, that these anti veterans HR have matter of fact they need to start getting rid of many of the HR that have not served and hire some that have, to work these hiring agencies.

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