Federal Careers

While this article is primarily focused on new and recent graduates, many of the tips are applicable to more experienced job seekers as well. Image: MMD Creative/Shutterstock.com

Are you a recent college graduate looking for your first post-college position? What should your resume look like?

1. Make sure your resume is ready to go! If you’re targeting the federal government, you need a highly detailed resume—most entry level federal resumes run 3-4 pages—even if you don’t have an extensive work history. Recent grad private sector resumes should be 1 page (unless you have lots work experience—then 2 pages might be appropriate).

2. Identify hiring programs that target new and recent graduates. The federal government offers many opportunities for new graduates, as do many private sector companies. For information on federal programs for current students and new graduates see: https://www.usajobs.gov/Help/working-in-government/unique-hiring-paths/students/

3. Network. You’ve heard this before, but it remains true; networking can help.

4. Leverage the services of your college / university career center, even if you have already graduated, your career center will help. Career centers often offer resume services, opportunities for interviewing on campus, and a built in network.

5. Be open to the reality that your “perfect” job may not be available; you may need to gain some experience (and contacts) through jobs that may not be at with your targeted organization but may help you get closer.

6. Check your social media; make sure it represents a professional image. This goes for your email too.

7. Have a plan; don’t just wing it. Research organizations and positions. Set up “search agents” with various organizations that interest you. Develop and follow a strategy. Looking for a job is a job; spend the necessary time and effort.

8. Don’t forget about informational interviews. Informational interviews (also called information sessions, informational meetings, or research interviews) are interviews that are conducted to gather information to help prepare for a job interview and/or learn more about a specific job, industry, or company. Informational interview is not a job interview, and should not be confused with one. With an informational interview, you’re not seeking a job — you are seeking information to help you get a job.

9. Create and practice your elevator speech. Know what to say when you’re asked what kind of job you’re looking for.

10. Don’t ignore temporary opportunities; while not ideal, of course, temporary positions can provide needed work experience, references, and networking opportunities.

While this article is primarily focused on new and recent graduates, many of the tips are applicable to more experienced job seekers as well.

Grass is Greener? Here’s How Much Federal Benefits are Worth

Warning Signs for Federal Retirement: Are Feds Over-Compensated?

Report: Options for Shoring Up Social Security Exist but Waiting Makes Them More Painful

Money Matters: Can Feds Pay a 0% Tax on Investment Gains?

How Not to Lose Your Federal Insurance at Retirement

What TSP Millionaires Do That Others Don’t

Biggest Social Security Myths That Federal Employees Fall For

Federal Retirement Red Flags to Avoid

Best States to Retire for Federal Retirees

FERS Retirement Guide 2023