Print

Career Guides >> Browse Articles >> Government Job Search

+7

Six Common Myths of Federal Job Hunting

Six Common Myths of Federal Job Hunting

Most federal job seekers spend a majority of their time hunting for positions online, using websites such as USAJOBS.

Shannon Kelly & Dan DeMaio | Monster.com


















Myth 2: “I Can Breeze Through These Screening Questions”

The federal government’s hiring process is highly regulated in order to ensure both of the following: that ineligible candidates are disqualified before advancing to the next stage of the application process, and that all hiring processes are conducted fairly.

Learn more about basic eligibility requirements for federal jobs.

When you apply for a job, you should expect the agency will ask you to answer some hard essay questions in your application. How you respond will significantly impact your candidacy. Pay attention to the who may apply section of a job listing you are considering (pictured below):
<img src= “http://govcentral.monster.com/nfs/govcentral/photos/0001/7621/who_apply.jpg”>

Remember: Your responses should be concrete and tailored to the announcement’s wording. Federal agencies often evaluate a candidate’s relevant experience based specifically on matching keywords in the job announcement to keywords in the candidate’s resume and essay. For example, don’t assume they will deduce you have experience answering phones by simply saying you worked in customer service; explicitly state that you have answered phones in your past positions.


Previous Step Next Step
Myth 1 Myth 3

+7
  • Photo_user_blank_big

    dtkkc4

    over 4 years ago

    2 comments

    I would like to see a free resume service for people applying for a Federal position for the first time. This service would provide actual transformation of a resume from private to federal. I would also like to have other forms( form 306, Mobility statment, ect..) available to be submitted along with the online application as the resume and transcripts are. The points system of grading an applicant for the public sector should be available for viewing by the applicant.

  • Me1-gif_max50

    msvaldase81

    over 4 years ago

    2 comments

    I would change everything that is now writen about the jobs here in the USA. First off for those companys that make job seekers wait 2-3 weeks before they decide to tell you that the job has already been filled. I believe that they should tell the seeker why they did not hire them therefore that seeker can fix the problem for the next app they fill out. They should not make someone wait for 2-3 weeks nither due to the fact that they could be looking for a different job. I feel that the mayors in every state should use money to make jobs for everyone not just for construction workers. ( They really need to stop building so much anyway.... Hell the way its going right now... there is going to be a lot of business buildings with no one to rent them out and apartments that no one can afford.) Second, I would make it so that people with no visa would have to give up their jobs to people of the US. All men and women with a felony record would be giving a chance to work and not be with-held from succeeding in life. (Crime might go down with doing so since they would have no reason to steal). Third, I would extend the amount of time that a single parent can attend schooling. The Urban League/ Heath and Human Service only allow a single parent ONE... yes, ONE year to continue their education. These days employors are looking for someone with a Masters or Bachelors Degree. Women and men whom are attending school after that one year would have to do job hunt, volunteer work or something else for Twenty hours of the week while trying to study and pass. They (the student) are the ones who are paying for the schooling anyway, therefore the state should reconize that and let them continue without any interruptions. The Government wants for the US to succeed... so why make those who are willing roll over and play dead? People over seas succeed, why? We see new different games, T.V, gadgets and all being made in China. Doctors, and store owners from India. All because they were able to get the education they need. You know... the US is slow. Everyone around us is passing us by. While we are trying to take over other countries, we need to focus on ourselves and the small ones who are going to fill our spots. We have to learn that it took GOD 6 days to make the world and rested on the 7th. Therefore it will take the US right now 6 years to figure out how to get the US right so that we can rest on that 7th year. 2015 sounds about right. They should be jobs made just for those who are disable and are physically disabled. All of those men and women who have put their lifes on the line, old vets, and all should be able to come home knowing that when they do they can still be able to take care of their families. It's had on the family already since their dad, mom, or family member is gone... why make it ten times worst when they do get home? WELLLL since there is so much that I have to say about the government... heck... one day.... when the time and money is right, I might as well go ahead and run for mayor... VOTE MS.VALDASE... VOTE MS.VALDASE... VOTE MS.VALDASE! Has a nice ring to it HUH?

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    wtherolf

    over 4 years ago

    2 comments

    I already have degree's/credentials and am not interested in filling out the "Short Form" which turns out to be a request for educational material. It's a waste of my time and is a turn off when I am looking for a government job in my area of health care.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    rdguerra

    over 4 years ago

    2 comments

    The process is really bad. #1- why do you have to have a password to view jobs? Once you build a profile, there should not be a password required to view. #2- Most jobs posted are written with federal employees in mind, job postings should be written for the public in the "public" section.
    #3- 'Forms required should be part of the profile that USAJOBS can access, why do we have to send in copies every time we apply OR the application manager could prompt for these forms during the application? I have been applying for Fed Jobs for over 2 years now, I am a college graduate with a Business degree and have had only one interview. Seems to me, there is something wrong in the process.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Rickt888

    over 4 years ago

    2 comments

    For how I would fix USAJOBS: I would get rid of all those extra forms you have to fill out. I remember about 10 years ago when I got out of the service, all I needed was a resume and fill out an application.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    gauskouas

    over 4 years ago

    2 comments

    ok

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    gsporer

    over 4 years ago

    2 comments

    I'm retired military with a VA 10% disability. I have applied for 38 govt jobs that I qualified for without any interviews until recently. The change I made was claiming my 5 points for being military, but not claiming my 10 points for disability on my latest applications. There is no way I could ever prove discrimination, but I wonder if this is a trend. Anyway, since I have taken my 5 points for military and disregarded my points for disability, I have had 3 interviews. I hope to have a job soon. I just wonder if other ex-military are having the same issue. There are many solder returning from combat with mental health issues and I wonder if claiming disability points is actually hurting ex-military chances of landing a government job. Thank you! I would like to hear from others

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    ras527

    over 4 years ago

    4 comments

    It is not different than in the private sector where you need to create a new profile for each company you apply to. And they are no better and often times worse than the government in replying to you application. I can say I have had better success in the past 6 months with responses from government job ads than I have had with private sector jobs ads.

    I too have had not so good experiences with applying for government jobs, but I have also had success with offers being made. I think the key is staying focused, follow the application guidelines to the letter and don't get frustrated. It is a job finding a job and if your desire is to work for the government, attack it like any other job task. At some point the effort will pay off.

    "galegunder" and the 6 Myths give us good insight on the application review and hiring process.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    vetman

    over 4 years ago

    4 comments

    I also have been trying to get a job with the VA doing the same job I have done for 15 years of active duty service. According to Title 5, as a 30% (or more) disabled vet I am supposed to get vet preference and if not hired I am supposed to be notified along with OPM as to the reason why. When I call the VA human resources they tell me these are title 38 hybrid positions and they don't have to follow title 5 rules. I have read title 38, the entire thing. Nowhere can I find any mention of doing away with the title 5 mandate regarding disabled vets. So I call again and ask where does it say that title 5 has been deleted by title 38. No reply to my questions. When I talked to the DOL vet rep she said from her point of view the VA was the worst federal agency in regards to discriminating against vets. There is a big push on to hire people right out of school with good grade point averages "To make the hiring process quicker." Interestingly enough there is a position that is still vacant 10 months after the first cutoff.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    gallawayrk

    over 4 years ago

    2 comments

    I totally agree with putc2. I have had the same types of experiences and know others who have also.

  • 162_162_max50

    putc2

    over 4 years ago

    4 comments

    I've attempted USAJOBS for several years now and find it incredibly frustrating. Even with a Federal military academy background, being a Reserve officer, 20 years of experince in the maritime industry and despite reformating resume's, answering all the screening questions AND submitting extra documentation I never even receive a phone call or return email for jobs that I'm well qualified for. To equal my commercial job pay level (with stock and bonus) I need to apply for a GS-13/14 level government job. Yet every job description requires all the government experience with procedures and regulations at the prior GS level. Which is of course impossible unless you're already working for the US Government. Example: a Homeland Security position requires complete knowledge of every US reg relating to HS. Same with NOAA, EPA, Justice, etc. So as I see it, anyone with great credentials who could without question do the posted job, need not apply. I've been told these positions are written with someone specific within the FedGov already in mind. The jobs are posted only because they are required to be. So what's the point?

  • Lisa_and_son_max50

    lisamd29

    over 4 years ago

    22 comments

    Attitude is Altitude. The better attitude you have the higher you will go and achieve suceed in life. Happy hunting.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    LACONRAD

    over 4 years ago

    2 comments

    believe me, it's not what expertise or talent you have anymore, I was told by several seniors, you have to have a buddy pull you in now. There is no looking for talented individuals in the Federal government, if you are a bud, you get hired. I've had over 30 years in and it is just that way for folks looking for make a career change. Keep trying, but it's hard not to get discouraged.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    vernon_eldred63

    over 4 years ago

    24 comments

    My application has been almost 2 years,I have been paying taxes from 2 to 3 jobs,where are my EOE to federal jobs.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    vernon_eldred63

    over 4 years ago

    24 comments

    I have tried without success to obtain a federal job and am of the conclusion that the hiring process constantly requires prior federal employment.

Govcentral School Finder

Save time in your search for a degree program. Use GovCentral's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

Get Info

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.