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5 Steps to Getting a Government Internship

5 Steps to Getting a Government Internship

Image Courtesy of Flickr. Creative Commons

Kyle Stone | GovCentral Editor

Nail Your Application

You’ve already been given links to different internship websites. You can also search USAJOBS’s listings.

Here’s a few more insider tips to follow as you begin to apply for internships.

Follow Every Instruction Carefully: If you ignore any instructions on an internship application page, you’re application will quickly be disregarded. Follow all directions carefully!

Consider an Advisor: If you are a student, ask a counselor at your career center if they have relationships with any federal agencies.

The Presidential Management Fellows Program: This is an option when you are in your last year of your graduate program. You should talk to your graduate career center about this program now — so you will know how to apply for it. You must apply through your university career center.

Your Federal Resume</span

Remember, federal resumes are longer than business resumes. In fact, your federal resume can be two to three pages. Be sure to use the space to add details. The graduate student federal resume should include a list of your relevant courses, a few sentences describing your significant papers or projects and a list of your activities. Federal HR specialists want to read as much as possible about your experiences and skills. Your federal resume should also:

Be in Two Formats: You may need a paper format for submitting by fax or mail for some agencies and an electronic format for submitting to the various resume builders and databases. Each agency has its own application system and instructions, so be ready to copy and paste.

Be Considered Your Application: It may also serve as your examination for the job and sometimes the interview (or certainly a preinterview), so more information is better.

Include Competencies or Soft Skills: If you are particularly analytical, detail-oriented, a natural leader, enthusiastic, energetic or resourceful, mention these qualities on your resume.

Highlight Academic Achievement: If If you have a 3.45 GPA or higher, write “Outstanding Scholar, 3.45/4.0” on your resume. If you have a 3.0 or higher, you can write “Superior Academic Achievement, 3.0/4.0.” These GPA-based programs can help you get hired faster. The government can offer Direct Hire opportunities to students with GPA of 3.0 and higher. And a 3.45 GPA can even earn you more money!

Additional Reading:

Education and Federal Jobs: What You Need to Compete
Top Ten Federal Internships
The Ultimate Government Internship Index

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