Today the largest employer in United States is the government itself, as about 2 million people are employed there. It is obvious that only tiny part of employers is actually working in Washington DC (10% to be exact), and the rest work in federal and local government jobs throughout the US and overseas. Government needs employees in every career field and in a wide variety of occupations and skills.
The salaries for most government jobs are counted on the basis of GS (General Schedule), where the civil service has the salaries starting from about $20.000 to much higher – the average is about $54.000. If the job is hard to fill, you may be offered a special pay rates that are based on location. Plus, obtaining governmental job you get generous benefits like health insurance, vacation and sick leave, child care and good pension. And when the economy is not doing well (like it is today), such job becomes more and more attractive. Yet, it is not a quick solution of your problems, as between the initial application to job offer a lot of time can pass, sometimes ever a year. So how to look for the governmental job?
Where federal jobs are
The Partnership for Public Service says the government in the next couple will hire the most people for the positions in medical and public health (about 54.000 jobs), security and protection (which is about 52.000), legal (24.000 jobs) and administrative/program management (17.000 jobs). Among the specific agencies they would most likely need people in Department of Veteran Affairs, Justice Department and Homeland Security, as well as CIA and NSA.
Look for less-publicized openings
Federal agencies are required to list their openings publicly, but there is more than one place where they can do it, so besides USAJOBS where everyone goes make sure to check the website of the agency you want to work for.
To look for new positions and tips for tailoring your résumé according to the openings, join professional networking groups and monitor the agencies you are interested in – some may hold regular job fairs where you can talk to employees and socialize with other job seekers.
Ace job interviews
An interview for government job is a bit different from the one you used to have for any other position. In most cases this is a panel interview with two or more people that would question you at the same time, focusing rather on what you did in the past than what you are planning to do if you get employed.