Hot Federal Jobs in 2008
Photo Courtesy epa.gov
Elizabeth Wilcox | Monster Staff Writer
Monster: So, more specifically, what are some of the jobs in security and the sciences?
Troutman: Well, security includes inspectors, investigators, police officers, airport screeners and prison guards. And demand is growing for specialized workers in border and transportation security, emergency preparedness, public health and information analysis. As far as engineering and the sciences, these jobs include microbiologists, botanists, physicists, chemists and veterinarians.
Monster: Do you, as a resume adviser and job coach specializing in this sector, foresee demand for any other types of jobs?
Troutman: One department that jumps out is the US Department of Health and Human Services, which will need health insurance specialists and claims and customer service representatives to implement the Medicare Prescription Drug benefit.
Monster: What will suffer?
Troutman: The US Department of Labor expects employment declines will be the greatest among office and administrative support occupations and production occupations, due to increasing office automation and contracting out of these jobs. And as a general rule, the government sells very little, so it employs relatively few sales workers.
Monster: What are your chances of getting a job if you’re coming from the private sector?
Troutman: The government has in the past hired and promoted from within government, but today we’re seeing a change. More vacancy announcements are posted for “Open to all US Citizens” than ever. And the federal human resources specialists are improving their recruitment strategies for hiring from outside the government.
They’ve got a ways to go. According to a recent article published by the Partnership for Public Service, “New Call to Service for America’s Baby Boomers,” the federal government is filling only 15 percent of vacancies at the “mid-career” level (GS-12 to 15) with external candidates; less than half of these openings being open to applicants from outside government.
But Ligaya Fernandez, a senior research analyst at the US Merit Systems Protection Board, says more and more positions are being opened to outside applicants and/or filled with outside applicants. So your chances of getting into sector from outside are looking better and better. The 15 percent hired number isn’t very high, but it should come up.
According to federal resume writers and coaches, more private industry mid-level and senior-level Baby Boomers are trying to land federal positions and their success numbers are improving. It’s estimated that some 35 percent of the federal resumes that went through federal resume writing and consulting firms were from private industry and military applicants. The other federal job seekers are typically those seeking to leave the military and federal employees seeking advancement inside government. Those applying include police officers, social workers, mortgage brokers, financial analysts, military personnel, teachers, business owners, social workers, state vocational rehabilitation counselors, IT specialists, administrative staff and even sales and business professionals, who are seeking career opportunities in the US Government.
Monster: But if the current hiring of mid-career professionals is only 15 percent, is it worth the time to apply?
Troutman: Yes, play the game. Learn about the jobs, focus your resume, make sure you can apply (ie, the job is open to all US Citizens) and submit for positions. The odds will get better and you will be there when an agency needs to hire from outside.