The federal government provides the most diversified job specialties more than any other organization in the U.S. Excluding the military and postal workers, the federal government offers over 1.7 million jobs with over 400 different job specialties. Here are some tips that can help you in applying for a federal government job.
- How to Apply
Almost all federal jobs are posted on usajobs.gov which is the central job website. The best way to search for jobs on this website is to go to the advanced section and select an occupation instead of using a specific keyword or job title. Searching by occupation broadens your search results and increases your chances of finding a postion that best matches your unique skills.
- Understanding the Pay Grade
The federal pay grade scale ranges from GS-1 to GS-15. GS stands for general schedule and is the level of pay an employee qualifies for based upon education and work experience. Within each grade are 10 steps and each step has a higher pay rate. Most federal positions require at least one year of experience in the previous level to qualify. For example, to qualify for a GS-10 position you must have at least one year of GS-9 work experience.
- Understanding Job Titles
The way in which the federal government classifies a job can be very different from the private sector. The private sector is more narrow and specific with job titles while the federal government is more broad. For example, a technical writer job title in the private sector is specifically for the fields of science and computer, while this title in the federal government can relate to anyone with specialized writing experience in any field.