Creating Your Career in Government
Government being the single largest employer in the United States continuously hires new talented employees. Considering a government career is a growing trend as job opportunities increase especially as the baby boomer generation reaches retirement eligibility. The variety of opportunities, job stability, salary, benefits, and retirement plans are attracting many to choose a career in government and public service.
Is Government for Me? Try an Internship!
The creation of federal, state, and local government internships and student jobs are part of the strategy to provide students an opportunity to "try out" a public service career. Search for local and national internships in areas related to the profession you are pursuing.
What Government Positions Are Available?
Nearly every possible career available in the private sector is represented in the government sector. With some research, you could find a job that fits your career aspirations.
Some jobs include...
- Social Workers
- Administrative Personnel
- IT Workers
- Logistics and Supply Specialists
- Human Resources Specialists
- Management Personnel
- Social Service Workers
Benefits of Working in Government
- Interesting and rewarding assignments and projects
- Diversity and inclusiveness is valued
- Competitive salary, benefit packages, and professional training
- No limits to the kind of work you can do
- Opportunity to serve the community
- Job security
Government Job Search Tips
- Determine what agencies or departments you want to work for
- Check their website often and consistently
- Apply for jobs consistently
- Consider if the department/agency mission, goals, and values match your own
- Carefully review job descriptions and customize your résumé and cover letter
- Research the career path for the job (advancement opportunities, salary increases, etc.)
- Know that the application process is very structured, and you must follow procedures
- Be prepared for a lengthy process that, on average, takes about 6–9 months to get hired
Read Job Announcements Carefully
Government jobs are advertised to create a pool of qualified applicants. All job announcements contain selection criteria and deadlines that should not be overlooked. Below are some job announcement tips.
- Read the listing, and ask questions if you do not understand the application process
- Ask yourself if you meet the selection criteria, including the minimum requirements
- Be intentional in tailoring your skills, knowledge, and experience on your résumé to the job vacancy announcement
- Keep a copy of the announcement for future reference and preparing for the job interview
Will I Like Working in Government?
Obtain information before you complete the application to give yourself a better idea of the workplace environment. Consider the following.
- Call the contact person on the announcement
- Speak to a representative at a recruiting event
- Visit the agency's website
- Conduct an informational interview with someone in a similar position
Increase Your Chances of an Interview
- Meet the job vacancy deadline
- Complete the application thoroughly (do not send incomplete applications)
- Demonstrate, on your résumé, why you are the best person for the job
- Showcase your KSA'S (knowledge, skills, and abilities) to the selection criteria
- Be clear, concise, and accurate on your résumé, cover letter, and any required essay
Need More Information About Government Jobs?
- Federal Job Database: www.USAJOBS.opm.gov
- Federal Student Jobs: www.studentjobs.gov
- Federal Career Intern Program: www.opm.gov/careerintern/
- California State Jobs: www.spb.ca.gov
- County of Orange Jobs: http://ocjobs.ocgov.com
- The Presidential Management Intern Program (Federal): www.pmi.opm.gov
- State and Local Government Internet Directory: http://www.statelocalgov.net
- Gateway to All Government Information: www.firstgov.gov