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Government Job Posting Myths

Government Job Posting Myths

When jobs are open only two weeks, that's for a couple of reasons you might not realize

Exceprt from Lily Garcia's How to Deal Job Column | Washington Post

On Government job postings: Last week someone wrote: “Job posting by the government is notorious. They already know who they want to fill the position but they have to advertise it.” And you asked if anyone can speak out in defense of the government.

I work in Federal government HR. This is SO not true. A big issue for us is “succession planning,” because of the demographics. People like me who have 30+ years of service are retiring, and we all have to compete for who will replace them. However, bear in mind for hiring people with no civil service status, veterans preference comes into play. Also, you are competing with others. So my advice is:


  • To apply for the jobs that you have the listed experience for.
  • Call the contact number on the announcement if you have questions.
  • Make sure you read the announcement carefully and provide all the required information.

  • Note also, when jobs are open only two weeks, that’s for a couple of reasons: One, if there are going to be a lot of applicants, that keeps the number manageable. Two, there’s lots of pressure government-wide to shorten the time it takes to hire, which includes limiting the time the announcement is open. In practical terms, I don’t think it matters how long the job is open, because no matter how long it’s open, most applications arrive only in the last few days anyway! If they get enough applications to get a good hire, that’s all the time that’s needed. If they don’t, they’ll announce the job again.

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