Step 5: Network for Success
Kyle Stone | GovCentral Contributing Writer
Networking is one of the most important aspects of the work you will do as you search for a government job – in fact, about 60 percent of all applicants will find their job through networking. And yet, it is often overlooked by applicants.
This guide will help you learn how to leverage GovCentral’s resources in order to become an expert at networking. Whether you’re interested in contacting agency officials, making a big splash at job fairs, or getting career-specific questions answered on GovCentral, we’re here to help you get it done.
Ten Steps to a Government Job
Here’s a taste of what you will find in this section of the guide:
- Six Steps for Career Networking
- Learn the Lingo
- GovCentral’s Discussion Boards
- Create a USAJOBS Account
- Meeting a Recruiter
Whether from formal professional networking groups or casual friend-of-a-friend connections, 60 percent of government job seekers will find a job through networking. Other savvy professionals use their networks for finding answers, advice or leads.
GovCentral’s Career Network provides a great opportunity to make contacts within a specific agency or department. Recruiters will always pay more attention to a candidate who has earned recommendations from government workers serving within their department. The Career Network provides a tremendous opportunity for newcomers to government careers and transfer applicants to reach out to others from the area to learn about the agencies they work for.
Before you apply for a federal job, you have to learn a new language: Government-speak. Are you familiar enough with the acronyms, abbreviations, and slang terminology used by government recruiters and staff members to make a strong first impression?
As an example, the Department of Veteran Affairs often posts job openings for “contact representatives”. In the private sector, this job would be very similar to a “customer service representative” – if you weren’t aware of this as you walked into a job interview, you could end up in an embarrassing situation, or not prepared for the interview.
Find out how to speak like the Fed’s here.
See a glossary of Federal Terms.
Were you unable to find what you were looking for in the GovCentral Career network? Try posting a message on our discussion boards, which have recently been upgrades with added functionality and ease-of-use.
Government employees and applicants throughout the country read and post messages on the discussion boards. Maybe your question has already been answered – search our forums to find out. If not, post your question in a new thread, and get some answers.
Learn more about the updates to our forum pages here.
Create a USAJOBS Account
Becoming a USAJOBS member allows for government job seekers to filter job searches based on their personal information. Furthermore, you can upload your resume to USAJOBS, thus making it more accessible to federal recruiters and retrievable by the agencies that you are applying to.
The most critical aspect of using USAJOBS is creating an account, and paying attention to when and where federal vacancies are opening. Use GovCentral to learn more about federal career fields and what agencies and cities are hiring the most government workers.
Click here to see a list of the top job searches on USAJOBS (updated monthly).
Talking to recruiters can be an excellent way to test your interviewing skills, and to learn a lot more about working for the federal government. Read our 10 tips for visiting a recruiter, which includes a list of questions you might consider asking your recruiter.