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The Best Entry Level Government Jobs

310 Comments
The Best Entry Level Government Jobs

There is a lot of discussion about how government-sector jobs are more stable than others in our faltering economy and about how government hiring trends are predicted to be more resistant to the economic downturn than other sectors. Unfortunately, this doesn’t do you a whole lot of good, if you’ve got no idea of where to start in order to get hired.

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    JTLavery

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    Hi, I have 12 years active duty, and am in the reserves now, but work fot he Fed, at the VA Hosp in Gainesville FL (Go Gators!) The most difficult part of getting hired is filling out all of the paperwork completely. You must read the entire job description to make sure you respond to the KSA's, and have all of the paperwork 100%, if not, they don't look at and they don't tell you what you did wrong, they just move to the next applicant. With your husbands military service (automatically a PLUS) there was probably something missing (DD216 discharge, or employment history gap). Keep Trying, the VA is a great place to work, the starting pay is low ($42,000 for me as GS7) but annual pay raises and COL raises, and great potential to move up or transger. JTLavery at aol dot com

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    lisamd29

    over 5 years ago

    22 comments

    My husband retired 5 years ago from the Marine Corps, and he has an associates and I know that it's probably required that he have a BA or BS, but I've also applied, (BS in Crim Just Admin & Soc Psych) and still can't even get an interview. BTW I have the upmost respect and admiration for anyone who is or has been in law enforcement. We, (here in Pittsburgh, PA) lost three officers and it was and still is very painful. We will never forget the sacrifice that was made.

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    enjones

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    "I work for the goverment. If you don't look, you will never find the job you want. You have to go to www.usajobs.opm.gov and look up what you want. You can also look up by department of the goverment. If you are not out of the military yet, (within 45 days of ETS or retirement), you can go and apply with the US Postal Service. The time you were on Active Duty, your application will be dated back to when you went into the military. This will get you into the door with the goverment, and if you find another goverment job, you can transfer and you won't lose any federal time. You can also transfer you military time toward retirement with the federal goverment. If you are retireded, I would evaulate you monthly pay for retirment, becaus you will lose that portion that is not disability pay (when you retire for the federal goverment and not before). You will find that there are good jobs and bad jobs with the federal goverment."

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    Eeyore3070

    over 5 years ago

    10 comments

    Law enforcement would be great and honorable. Here are two facts that have been both in the newspaper in news. Example: I live in a medium size town , stated on the news they have accepted over 2000 employees and are still accepting applications, THEY ONLY HAD TWO POSITIONS, The government is pushing criminal justice and police work on their sites, Why did they just let go 30 officers in the DC, NVA area. A high gang area and crime rate.
    Is the answer to build hope for people applying for jobs as to make it seem things are getting better, or taking away from some and given to to others. The ecomony has not changed, it is getting worse in my opinion.

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    bielap

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    Law enforcement sounds like the type of job I would enjoy. I just want to have job security like I do in the military. I have spent 6 years in communcations working with radios, Satellites, and computers.
    I currently have a B.S. in Social Work. I am wondering if obtaining a masters degree in Criminal Justice concentrating in Homeland Security would be a good move to assist in my job search once separated from the military. I seems like there are a lot of people still having problems finding jobs regardless of their education level. I am hoping this is just a current economy issue and will change be the time I get out in 2 years.

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    maxdname

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    A sad fact is: Government positions are difficult to find, especially if you are a disabled vet or campaign ribbon vet with hiring preferences. Non-vets and those without preference, already in a government position, are rue to hire someone that could remain after the hirer is RIF'ed (disbaled and preference vets are the last to get RIF'ed).
    Year in and year out OPM and the GAO select facilities within the Fed service to examine their hiring practices with regard to preference veterans. And year in and year out veterans are NOT being given the measure of the law, as written. Search the internet and anyone can find ample evidence of this. Write your congressman/woman, senator, et cetera if you really want a government position. Because the odds are unfortunately stacked heavily against you. If you don't buy that, look at the numbers of preference veterans within all the agencies outside the VA, DOD, and federal prison systems. The rate of 30% disabled vets in the rest of the fed service is less than 2%! Until someone holds the agencies accountable for hiring, in accordance with VEOA et al, veterans are going to find fed service difficult to break into. The minutiae of the fed hiring practices allow for too many exits from standard procedure and exceptions to rules. OPM officials do not fall into line with legislated vet preferences (I had two return memos from the OPM: one stated "VEOA is designed so that an agency can hire the 'right' person..."[quotes in original text; while the second memo stated "It is not the 'right' of a veteran to get a federal job."--I thought VEOA, which is an Act--guaranteed the "right," to compete FAIRLY.)
    NOAA (http://www.eeo.noaa.gov/aep01dv.pdf) started a program to hire disabled vets. When their goals were not reached the program was abandoned. I am remiss in that I do not know if the program has, under the new administration restarted, but oddly enough many data sources, once accessable on the internet, regarding fed hiring have been removed ("...in the interest of security..." Thank you, George W. Bush and Company).
    I tracked the information over the internet for some time (including the Merit System Protection Board--one of the few avenues a disabled vet can pursue under fed guidelines--which finds in favor of the appellant [keep in mind this is for all cases] less than 5% of the time historically and in 2008 only 2% of the time... I want to be one of those lawyers, because Perry Mason never had it stacked that strongly in his favor!) None of this is secret but under the previous administration there was a tacit compliance with the fed agencies up to and including MSPB, OPM, and the even the supposed apolitical (or more properly bipartisan) GAO. This shouldn't surprise anyone the because same thing happened to Vietnam vets. The more things change the more they stay the same. Combat veterans and disabled vets might find better luck in State, County, City and local government (as many of those have a much stronger commitment to veteran hiring practices).
    Most of these observations can be found on the internet by searching amongst tabs: disabled vets, Department of Labor, OPM, VEOA MSPB, et al.
    And yes: a great many agency postings are written with someone specific in mind.
    Lastly, it is a rare occasion that anyone is held accountable for NOT hiring a vet. One incident several years ago was trumpeted by the OPM when they fired a hiring official "...who bragged openly..." about cheating a disabled vet out of a position. One down and how many to go?
    Please, only read these words as someone who has searched, in depth, the fed hiring practices, has been in the employ of the fed service, and whose father and mother were both fed service retirees. Then do a little research yourself and if you find the same as me: WRITE your elected officials expressing your concerns. It will change only if you squawk to high heaven and back to earth again. Otherwise, shut up and put on that paper hat--"Would you like fries with that?"

    For 2008 MSPB Figures see: http://www.fedhallofshame.com/mspbstatistics/mspbstatsfy08q1by_ro.txt

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    rohara8

    over 5 years ago

    4 comments

    I have tried to get a building maintenance janitorial position in the St. Louis, MO area since July, 2007. I am a Vietnam vet with 14 mo. exper. as a custodian & over 25 yrs as an automated line/ equipment set-up operator. Once I lost my dr. license no one will take my application or give me an interview , I can't even get into the local jr. college to retrain for a new job.

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    Bcubedreg

    over 5 years ago

    26 comments

    The reason I submitted my resume 2 years out from retirement was 2-fold.

    1. To see if I had written my resume well. I didn't get a hit against my resume for almost 6 months after I posted it. I didn't get an interview for another 3 months. I primarily submitted my resume 2 years early to test my writing skills and to tighten up my resume to attact interest in specific career areas.

    2. I knew I would flub the first 10-20 interviews no matter how well I prepared. I wanted to interview as many times as I could before a job came along that I really wanted. So I applied for everything and just tried to get an interview for practice sake (even if I didn't want the job).

    I probably interviewed for 30 positions, after the first 10 straight failures I batted 50% on the next 20 (got offered on 10 positions). I took the one I wanted. I can provide the secrets to writing the resume. It is not as hard as people think...but you're on your own for the interview.

    You should practice as much as you can for interviews by interviewing for positions even if you are not interested.

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    bwbarbour

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    I understand the distance caused by the time retired and the time trying to get into the gov't job. There is a lot of "knowledge" factors that are daunting and it looks like the job descriptions are written for a particular person. I also resemble the older guy looking for a job with a more recent degree. Any thoughts about the value of taking some military coorespondence courses to able the check the "familiar" or "knowledgeable" boxes?

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    bpotratz

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    I got "medically" RIFed back in '92. Worked for a DoD contractor for a while then went and got a degree so I could be "marketable". It made me "unemployable". People don't hire 30-40y/o guys with fresh degrees & 4 years schooling seperating that degree from ETS/Employment. They just don't. FWIW, it would be nice to apply for a GS job, but deciphering the gobbledygook in the quals & evals, much less beinng able to find anything that is open to the "public" and not just "status candidates" is just about impossible without a degree in Government-HR-Speak. Absolutely maddening.

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    Bcubedreg

    over 5 years ago

    26 comments

    Here’s advice from someone that made the successful transition from military to government. To give you a little of my background… I retired a year ago as a 22 year Marine Master Sergeant (formerly Satellite Communication Technician) and am currently a GS-14 Senior Financial Management Analyst making over 110K/year.

    Do’s:
    1. Get education (college, college, college). I have 2 Master’s degrees earned while on active duty.
    2. Write your resume and post it to government websites 2 years before you plan to retire/exit. Your resume will never be done well the first time, even if a “professional” service does it for you. Your resume is written well only when you start getting interview requests. 2 years gives you enough tweak time to get your resume right.
    Don’t:
    1. Sell yourself short. No one thought I could jump to my present grade from MSgt right after retirement, except me. I was right not the mob of naysayers.
    2. Don’t believe the hype of keep your resume short. Brevity on resumes is nice for entry level positions but accords no interest for professional/management level work in the civilian sector. It will also not tag keywords triggers for government resume review software.

    You can contact me directly if you would like to know more about how I did it. nicoldima@yahoo.com

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    tkhall42

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    I served in the Army for 10 years. And I been a manager for a satellite company for 2.5 years, and Shift supervisor for Gamesa Wind US assembling wind energy wind mills. I tried to look for Government jobs for years. Can you help me? I can be reached at tkhall40@hotmail.com

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    wayne5600

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    Check out L3 Communications website for employment opportunities. They are a large defense company with locations thru out the US and some overseas locations and hire many former military members. Those with a strong background in electronic test and aircraft maintenance should find multiple opportunities as well as those with engineering disciplines. Good company with good benefits and will normally pay for salaried employee's move for new hires.

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    joyceann57

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    One of the best things to do is go to your local job service center when you get out of the military or before. Make use of their professional resume critique service. Have your resume checked by a professional to make sure it is not too cumbersome. It should be straight to the point and geared toward the job you are applying for. Do not put all of your military awards etc. on your resume but stick to the skills you learned/used in the military. A one to one and a half page resume is fine. Many people are looking for jobs and an HR person only spends so much time looking through them. That is why a resume should be straight to the point and use some of the language used in the job announcement. Employers also like to know you have real world experience. Whatever you do, talk to a PROFESSIONAL to prepare for the job you will face looking for a job. I work for a vocational training school and I have quite a few tips to share. You can contact me or one of my collegues at icsworks.com.

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    nasir007

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    well there how is everyone here? I haVE BEEN IN THE mILITARY 20+ YRS, i HAVE BEEN in charge of platoons, manage people, Schedules time process applications, mant task area, I am now looking for fulltime Gov't work , but the process seems to be very diffcult. So, can I get some assistance here.. ( e-mail me > najae1913@lycos.com < Thanks>!!

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