Because of so many spammy websites claiming to be the “go to place” for federal law enforcement jobs, I thought it would be a great idea to investigate the website that’s really the go to place for government jobs. If you’re actively looking for federal jobs, don’t visit any websites until you read this unbiased “tell all” article.
Searching for a job within the federal government is similar to searching for private sector employment. There may some differences in hiring criteria and the application process, but it all begins with indicating your interest by filling out an application or sending in your resume. If your qualifications match the requirements for the position you’re applying for you’ll be contacted to set up an interview and go from there.
While there are thousands of Federal job openings at any particular time finding one that is right for you can be a daunting experience. The sheer volume of jobs in any number of departments, agencies or bureaus can be overwhelming. The skill set necessary for employment can vary greatly from one branch of government to another as can testing requirements, security clearances, and other policies. Despite an effort to streamline the application process, it can be confusing and cumbersome.
THE BEST PLACE TO START IS USAJOBS.GOV:
The US Government has modernized the process of searching for openings and applying for jobs by consolidating federal employment within the USAJOBS.GOV website. The website is the official information resource for federal government hiring and includes announcements of job openings, application information and helpful guides and tutorials to familiarize applicants with the process. The website is free of charge and very easy to use.
Federal jobs are very attractive for a number of reasons, not the least of which is employment security. These positions may run up against budget constraints now and then but public sector work on balance isn’t subject to the same challenges and uncertainty as private sector employment. In addition, the Federal government offers a multitude of different job types all with competitive pay and very generous benefits. For some, working to address the challenges facing the country gives them a feeling of satisfaction unavailable in a private sector corporation.
WHAT FEDERAL JOBS ARE POSTED ON USAJOBS.GOV:
Candidates for federal employment will find the position announcements for most openings at USAJOBS.GOV. The only jobs that don’t hire through the USAJOBS.GOV website ‘excepted service’ positions. These are certain jobs that are not subject to the general government hiring criteria due to the need for a specialized skill, security clearance or other factors. In some cases, entire agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are ‘excepted service’ while in other instances specific jobs within a larger agency are excepted. If you’re interested in a job of this type, you’ll have to go to the hiring agency or their website directly. Excepted service positions are not required to post openings at USAJOBS.GOV.
As the official website of the federal government hiring process, every available, non-excepted position will post openings on USAJOBS.GOV. Jobs are available in a wide range of areas, professions and salary scale. These range from clerical and blue collar jobs to highly specialized positions in law and engineering. While more advanced level positions often require written testing, a college degree, and a background check many entry level jobs do not. No matter your experience or skill set you will be able to find job openings that match your qualifications at USAJOBS.GOV.
OTHER FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT RESOURCES:
Despite the fact that every non-excepted opening in the Federal government posts on USAJOBS.GOV, there’s no shortage of third party resources available. A quick Google search reveals dozens of websites offering ‘listings of Federal jobs’ and ‘sure fire tips to get hired’. Some less scrupulous sites push the envelope of credulity even further claiming they have access to ‘hidden job openings’ with some providing a ‘guarantee that you’ll get hired’.
At best, third party federal employment resources charge a fee for the same information available free of charge at USAJOBS.GOV. At worst, there are countless scam artists preying on the public with the promise of federal job information and hiring tips. It’s not uncommon for the bottom feeders of this industry to provide lists of non-existent openings. Such fraudulent providers of federal employment information will claim access to jobs that require ‘no experience’ or ‘no testing’. The problem is so significant that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has a section of their website devoted to ‘government job scams’.
The federal government makes sure that everything associated with learning about job openings and applying for employment is free. There is never a fee charged for job listings or application processing. Jobs will never hire ‘secretly’–in fact, public notice of a vacancy is required by law. Bottom line–there’s nothing you can get for a fee from a third party site that you can’t get at USAJOBS.GOV free of charge.