Career Guides >> Browse Articles >> Government Application Process

Career Guides >> Browse Articles >> Government Job Search


12 Biggest Mistakes of Federal Job Seekers

12 Biggest Mistakes of Federal Job Seekers

Kathryn Troutman | Federal Career Coach

If you are a first-time federal jobseeker, feeling desperate for a good, stable job, read this list of mistakes and avoid them. You will waste valuable job search time, energy and enthusiasm if you are doing it all wrong. In the current job market, it is better if you slow down, read the announcements for the qualifications, carefully review the questionnaires, and write good answers to questionnaire essays and KSA narratives. Consider the federal job search your “job”.

Your mission: To get a GOOD Job.

This article is a collection of the biggest mistakes that I am seeing when reviewing and critiquing resumes from private sector candidates seeking federal jobs or coaching people in federal job search who are out of work right now and want a federal job.

The 12 Mistakes:

Mistake 1: I only apply for jobs on USAJOBS

Mistake 2: I only apply for jobs that don’t require KSA’s

Mistake 3: I have been using my regular resume, but I’m not getting anywhere

Mistake 4: I ignore specialized experience requirements.

Mistake 5: Sometimes, I sell myself short

Mistake 6: I apply for all jobs in my salary range and geographic location

Mistake 7: I prefer a functional resume because I am a career changer

Mistake 8: It’s great the USAJOBS is searchable

Mistake 9: I Fly Through the Multiple Choice Questionnaires

Mistake 10: I’ll Take Anything!

Mistake 11: I cannot understand the job announcements. Are they in another language?

Mistake 12: If I like a job enough, I’ll apply even with an unfinished application, and without comparable experience.

Next page: Mistake #1 >>

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.

* 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.