Premium Content for Members Only

Career Guides >> Browse Articles >> Government Application Process

Career Guides >> Browse Articles >> Government Job Search

+10

12 Biggest Mistakes of Federal Job Seekers

80 Comments
12 Biggest Mistakes of Federal Job Seekers

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.

+10
  • Nasrine_max50

    Nasrine

    almost 5 years ago

    354 comments

    So which are the other sites besides USA JOBS? Can Ms. Troutman be more specific and to the point

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    aggie13

    almost 5 years ago

    2 comments

    I am a military spouse with a degree in organizational and strategic leadership, and I am pursuing my MBA. I have been unable to land a government job now for some time. I know many people have the misconception that spouses can now land jobs easily. However, this is far from untrue. We have to be the qualified for the job first to even be consider. We don't automatically jump to the first of the line. Unfortunately, in your case GreenieG, that spouse had to have been qualified, and possibly already in the government system. It is frustrating, but persistence and initiative pay off.

  • 162_162_max50

    putc2

    almost 5 years ago

    4 comments

    As per usual Federal Gov procedure, the job application process is purposely made difficult and virtually uninterpretable by the vast majority of citizens outside the Federal Gov for the sole purpose of keeping it an 'exclusive club.' The comment made earlier is absolutely correct, why can't the Government accept normal corporate resumes and transcripts like every other oganization in the U.S.? A resume that's entirely suitable for ExxonMobil or IBM can't be used by the Federal Government? And of course entering the government is made even more virtually impossible by the mysterious line 'must be able to demonstrate having one year experience and knowledge of the position directly before the one advertised." Well that just about makes it specifically directed at only someone who already works for the government and applying for the new position. Promoting from within is great, all organizations generally encourage this in order to foster employee moral and to retain their experience base. But if a position IS advertised outside the organization, than there should be an obligation for fair and equal consideration.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    tinasinclair

    almost 5 years ago

    2 comments

    @sdclark; Thanks for the list of websites!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    almir00

    almost 5 years ago

    6 comments

    Best case scenario is to go to Barnes and Noble and pick up a book for Federal Resumes. I am former military and have no idea about KSA's and jobs from Federal GOVT...so books help..I didn't list any because there are soooo many of them. I'm creating my military resume..and its a bit difficult putting all my achievements in words that the government wants it in..

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    sdrennan25

    almost 5 years ago

    2 comments

    Im Interest in getting started in a Federal position even if I have to start at the bottom of the barrel. I Currently have an associate in Admistration of Justice degree from Southwestern IL College in May of 2009. I'm currently working in a grocery store right now as a Courtesy Clerk where you bag people groceries and help them out to there vehicle with their food items. So I deal with the General Public daily. I like interacting with people and helping them out. I would like to set a goal to work in a mail room or office or something.

    Thanks,
    SD

    Need some Advice

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    rhonda5003

    about 5 years ago

    2 comments

    It's great to know that there are additional govt job websites but it would be helpful if I knew what they were.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    LSJewell

    about 5 years ago

    6 comments

    I've done a few of those mistakes in applying for a Federal Career position, but it would be nice for a response from the HR dept. on rather they denied you or if the position is closed. Eventually I'll be able to save the money for an professional to re-write my resume to suit government HR's.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    mutombi

    about 5 years ago

    8 comments

    Number 1 Worst Job Hunting Mistake: Living in America. Outsourced jobs... sold out workers... no viable retirement/pensions... what else could make working here worse? IBM just recorded vast profits for the last quarter... yet laid off 10,000 American workers. They are sending the jobs of hard working Americans that built their company great straight to Ching and Abu so they can pay them only $1.97/hour.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Informeplease

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    There is something fundamentally wrong with the Federal Government's OPM hiring procedures that require specially written "Federal-Style" resumes and cleverly worded KSA replies to Essay questions resulting in foolish applicants paying "professional" essay writing companies hundreds of dollars to produce such breathtaking nonsense. Dispense with the obstacle course games, and streamline the application process. Downloading a simple resume with official college transcripts should suffice. Based on the average caliber of current federal employees, where is the risk in hiring recent American citizen college grads with high GPA's who have already proven themselves--and invested thousands of dollars in their education?

  • Img_0211_max50

    lory

    over 5 years ago

    10 comments

    what a bummer... another job application rejected... but I'm staying motivated.

  • Thorns_spring_new_beginning_max50

    Tukunder

    over 5 years ago

    8 comments

    Ms. Troutman, what are the 5 major sites where I can create a job search profile? They are not listed in your "12 Biggest Mistakes of Federal Job Seekers" article in GovCentral Newsletter on 7/23/09.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    TushMoorman

    over 5 years ago

    4 comments

    If someone could provide me the steps to writing narratives and questionnaire essays, any kind of draft or examples to submit these KSA's, then that would be most helpful and greatly appreciated!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    akkarim

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    I've applied for several jobs on Usajobs, Fedjobs and other sites but not getting any calls or interviews. I don't know what else I need to do. I've been unemployed for over 7 months now.
    AKK.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    gorilla311

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    If the federal government knows that this many people are having trouble getting interviews and/or getting to the next step in the application process; then why not make it more accommodating to the applicant. I have tried to apply for a Security Officer job through USAJOBS and I'm usually running in to a data base one year away Feb. 2010. Leon E.

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.