The specialists claim that during the next decade the retirement of more than a half of current federal workers will take place. There is a great chance of receiving a job in this area, but it is necessary to realize that the procedure differs a lot from what you usually do to get hired in private sector.
The materials from federal recruiters allowed us to single out the most common delusions job seekers face while searching a government job.
Presenting 10 myths about federal job search that can open your eyes and make you better prepared when you are applying.
Paying for a Federal Job Training Will Guarantee My Further Employment
If you are interested in a federal job, all the information about vacancies and requirements can be found absolutely for free at federal government’s employment site. There you can find a convenient database and leave a resume.
Although it is a common knowledge, a lot of job seekers get fooled by scammers who offer paid courses to discover more details about federal vacancies and get prepared for a special civil service exam. Some candidate might think that this way they increase their chances to be hired, but, in fact, it is just a rip-off.
The civil service exam does not exist since the 1980s and nowadays federal agencies have their own tests and assignments.
Answering to Screening Questions Is Not a Big Deal
It was already mentioned that the procedure of federal employment has its own peculiarities. Answering the hard questions in an application is one of them. It is important to pay attention to your responses as they influence greatly the result. There are also screening questions you need to be careful with. While answering them, try to be specific and accurate.
The tests are usually evaluated on the base of keywords that are used in a job description. It is necessary to be explicit. For instance, if you write “worked as a secretary” or “had a position in a call center”, it does not indicate that you have experience in answering business calls. It should be written as it is.
I Can Use My Private Sector Resume for a Federal Job
The requirements of a federal government may include additional information that your private sector resume does not have. Editing your current CV is not the best idea, it is better to write a new one. The federal agencies may require the Social Security number, the number of working hours in a previous position, information about your citizenship and even contacts of your former manager. It is quite unusual, but with the help of resume builder and the internet research, it is possible to make a perfect resume for different positions satisfying all the demands.
Faxing the Forms Is not Obligatory
Except for your resume, is necessary to provide additional documents like knowledge, skills, and abilities narrative, fill in the official federal forms.
In the section about applying, it is possible to find the list of the necessary materials. Be sure to collect the whole package required for the position. It is also crucial to send them before the deadline.
You might be surprised to find out that the documentation should be mailed or faxed to a certain address or number mentioned in a description, but it is not optional and must be done if you want to get a job.
My Application Was Lost for Good
A lot of candidates give up, when they do not have a call back in 45 days and delete their application and documentation. When later an agency contacts them, it occurs that they are not prepared to following steps.
In fact, the selection of employees might take up to six months. It is important to stay patient and to be ready to hear from an agency anytime. It is recommended to make copies of all documents, applications and additional materials.
Then it is necessary to organize them and make them easy to access. This way when a federal agency will contact you, it will take you a minute to provide all the information and you will not lose your chance to be hired.
The Headhunter Will Notice That I Am a Professional
Even if you are an excellent specialist, the recruiter will not see it, unless you present in a proper way your skills and merits. Demonstrating that you are a perfect candidate for the position is essential.
Remember to double-check the keywords in job announcement, requirements and all the additional materials. They may vary for different vacancies and the agencies. Everything should be provided in time if you want to succeed.
I Will Try to Apply for a Position that I Am not Qualified for
Many applicants believe they try their luck in jobs they’re not particularly suitable for, especially when those positions offer a better salary. However, there is no point to apply for federal positions if you don’t fit in some of the qualifications written in the job announcement. You will simply waste both your and your employer’s time.
Keep in mind that many of HR managers employing people for federal jobs pay more attention to your education, in some cases, you will even be asked to provide transcripts from your university with all of your taken courses and grades. Therefore, make sure you have one in advance (note down that you can wait up to several weeks before you can get an official copy of the transcript).
I Will not Specify My Target Job – My Recruiter Will Decide for Himself
This strategy is not going to work out even if your resume might be splendid and you might have excellent qualifications. The thing is, vague resumes won’t have specific keywords that will be identified by the machine scanner that sorts all resumes in “applicable” or “non-applicable” ones. Your recruiter is not going to waste his time guessing which job you are applying at, consequently, you have to be as specific as possible.
Targeting your resume application works much better as you have a chance to demonstrate that you are qualified for a specific job position. This doubles (or even triples) your chances to get noticed out of hundreds of other candidates with similar applications.
It’s Ok for Me to Embellish a Little Bit on a Resume
With governmental positions, this won’t be a case (it will not be a case for any resume, actually). First of all, the resume application is a document and by signing it you verify its legacy.
Second, the lie will always be found out later as the investigators check your identity through the background check. And be sure: the investigation will be done all the way from your high school records and up to your most recent job position. Lying is a serious deal, therefore, always be honest in your resume!
I Don’t Need a Job Agent from USAJobs
Many job seekers use MyUSAJobs for their job search, however hardly half of them know about a Job Search Agent tool available on the website that might substantially ease their job search.
Basically, by setting a Job Search Agent you will no longer need to search for local job postings. There is also no need to specify requirements manually since once you set the parameters you will automatically receive the announcements. It might take more than several minutes to set up the tool in the beginning, but think how much time you will save in the future by not having to search for new job postings every single time.
The truth about the most common delusions, persistence and confidence will surely help you to get through the demanding procedure of employment in a federal government. The preparation could be long and challenging, but it is worth the effort!