Student 3. Application for Federal Employment

Mechanics of Applying for Student Employment

  • Step 1: Prepare your resume beforehand. Write in a word document with spells check. Plan to enter your information into an electronic form using the “cut and paste” method where you can. Be sure to have someone read and proof your resume for you. Include:
    • Contact Information: Name, address, phones, and e-mail
    • Citizenship: U.S. Citizenship required
    • Veteran’s Preference: If you served your country in the military, you want to get your papers in order as this helps move you to the top of the list.
    • Job Type: What type of employment do you want — student, permanent, seasonal, part-time, or full-time?
    • Work Experience: If you have experience working for pay or as a volunteer, describe what you did. Include company name, beginning and end dates, salary, work week, supervisor’s contact information, and job descriptions using action verbs like “developed, directed, and demonstrated.” Scroll down for Tips from Avue Central.
    • Education: Include your area of study, any special classes, awards, honors, clubs, and extracurricular activity while attending college.
    • Job Related Training: Include year, class title, and organization that provided the training.
    • Languages: Decide how you rate; novice to fluent; read, write, speak, listen?
    • Affiliations: memberships and volunteer efforts
    • Professional Publications: Did any of your stories, articles, drawings, poems, etc. get published? Did you write for the school paper? Did you exhibit artwork in juried show?
    • References: both personal and professional – remember to ask beforehand and get all their relevant contact information. Ask your teachers for references. If you know someone who works for the Federal Government, I would ask them to serve as a reference.
    • Additional Information: This is where you would post your awards and recognitions, professional interest, talents, and other information which might be useful like writing, gaming, programming, or social networking.
  • Step 2: Gather your forms: Each application has a list of forms you will need to upload and select to send. Generally you will need your transcripts and if you are claiming veteran’s preference, you need specific papers. Avue Central’s Crack the Code defines most of the common terms like “veteran preference.”
  • Step 3: Choose your possible careers from the Federal jobs by college major list to check for openings. Review this chart on grade and education levels which will help you find what “grade level” you qualify. Refer to “Crack the Code” if you need more information.
  • Step 4: Set up an account at USAJobs.GOV.
  • Step 5: Enter your online resume. Set aside enough time to complete it in one setting. I would set aside 2 to 3 hours so you have plenty of time to explore once you complete your resume. Be sure to cut and paste from your word document. Grammar, spelling, and punctuation count. Double check using the form’s spell checker. Be sure to choose to make it “searchable” at the main resume page after you save and “publish.”
  • Step 6: Upload your required forms.
  • Step 7: Search for jobs. Click on Student Jobs. Fill in key words from the career fields you chose, separate by commas, and enter the place for where you wish to work. For example I listed marketing, public relations, business, clerk, and program management for key words and California for where I want to work. Nine positions came up on the list. They varied from a laborer to a Park Ranger. Play around with it; get comfortable.
  • Step 8: Save your best search. You can also set up an automatic notification for when jobs come up. Federal Government agencies post hundreds of new listings every day. Follow the instructions to save your search.
  • Step 9: Apply for jobs. Read the application carefully. You must follow as instructed and answer every question. When you hit the apply button, it may take you to another site to complete the application process. Good news is that your resume and forms can migrate to the new site. Just follow the instructions.
  • Step 10: Prepare for your interview. It will be the interview that gets you the job. Check out interviewing skills on the web like Avue Central’s Skills for Applicants. Usually the supervisor interviews candidates within 30 days of closing. However sometimes it takes much longer. For my current position my interview took place about six months after I applied. The time before that, they hired me without an interview. The hiring process can take a while also as the volume of work is staggering at times.

I hope this helps explain how to apply for Federal student employment. If you have further questions, ask them in the comments section and I will attempt to answer. If I cannot answer, I will find someone who can or will send you to a website for the answer.

Good luck on your job search! Jan

Three-Part Series:

Student 1. Opportunities for Federal Employment
Student 2. Jobs in Civil Service
Student 3. Application for Federal Employment

HELPFUL Sites for Students

Careers in National Defense
Salary Tables
USA.GOV Civilian site Student site
U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM)
Avue Central’s Crack the Code and
Skills for Applicants.

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