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Step 8: Time to Apply

Step 8: Time to Apply

Kyle Stone | GovCentral Contributing Writer

You’ve done the preliminary research, and you’re finally ready to apply to one or several of the 193,000+ positions the U.S. Government will be looking to fill over the next two years.

Read these tips to make sure you’ve covered all bases: if you miss some required information, or neglect an important aspect of your application, you will cost yourself a valuable activity and a good deal of time.

Here’s what we’ve included:

● Resumes and Application Procedure
● Make USA Jobs work for you
● Get the Best Job you Can
● Interview Tips
● Prepare for a Background Check
● Information for Students

Resumes and Application Procedure

Government resumes are slightly different from other resumes, because they are often examined as if they were applications – if you don’t clearly specify your qualifications, your entire profile as a potential profile is likely to be disregarded. The upshot is that some hiring managers don’t even require interviews – if your resume is good enough, they’ll hire you based on your resume alone.

You can apply to most federal jobs with a resume, or the ‘Optional Application for Federal Employment’ (form OF-612). Depending on the department you apply to, you might have more flexibility in the written format you choose, and whether you apply on paper or using an online job application.

Find out more about how to structure your resume with GovCentral’s database of expert resume advice:

Federal Employment Forms
Keywords that Work
How Are Federal Resumes Different?
KSA’s in the Resume
Military to Federal Resume Tips
How to Manage Your Online Federal Application

Make USAJOBS Work for You

It is important to realize that using USAJOBS to your advantage is not merely an option, but often a necessity. Even job seekers who have networked with federal managers or have completed a government internship are required to go through the process. While some agencies have started working outside the USAJOBS portal, and either use third party hosts or their own websites to post some vacancies, the processes they use are usually similar. Knowing the USAJOBS portal inside and out before you begin searching is likely to benefit you either way. Start here to make the most of the time you spend on USAJOBS.

Get the Best Job You Possibly Can

Do you qualify for several jobs? Will the city or area you apply at greatly affect your pay? If these questions ring true, make sure you’re taking the time to get the best job you possibly can. After all, accepting a new job is a serious decisions, and may define a large part of your life for years to come.

Top Federal Career Fields: Which is Right for You?
2008: Hottest Government Job Searches
Highest Paying State Government Careers
25 Federal Agencies Hiring the Fastest
Highest Paying Federal Careers for 2008
Top Metros for Government Jobs

Make Your Interview a Success

Seven Tips for a Successful Interview
Prep for the Top Ten Interview Questions
Make Your Interview a Success
Make Interview Preparation a Part of Daily Life

Other Important Information

If you’re looking for more specific advice, see if any of the following articles are helpful to you:

Learn how to leverage your Veteran status Here.


Students and recent graduates can visit to search for summer jobs, co-op positions, temporary work and federal internships for college graduates. Read tips about applying while still in school here.

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