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Three Strategies for a Federal Job

Hi everyone,

I’m Javier with The Gov Geeks and today we’re going to cover a few simple steps to secure a job with the federal government. Public service is a rewarding and noble career with opportunities you can’t get elsewhere. You may be watching this video because you have an interest in becoming a fed or a desire to get ahead in government. Either way – The Gov Geeks are here to help :-)

In this video, I’ll share three straight-forward, easy to apply, and proven strategies to help you land that federal job you’ve been searching for. Let’s get started!

Speaking from experience, I know how getting a job in government can be frustrating, complicated, and down right annoying. As an executive with nearly 20 years in public service and an adjunct professor with over a decade in academia, I’ve learned valuable insights that I’m pleased to share with you. In my mind, the greater this information is distributed the more qualified applicants can serve our country. I’ve benefited from the know how of kind-hearted experts to get to where I am today. Senior executives, HR practitioners, and career coaches alike helped me in this journey. In the end, I’ve developed a series of strategies over the years that will help move your application to the front of the interview line. Plus, they'll give you insights into what hiring managers are looking for in their new hires. While there's no one sure fire way, I'm here to provide what I know. I'm happy to say these approaches have helped me, friends, and maybe they can help you as well.

So without further ado, here are the three strategies:

1. Use the standards - Use OPM’s Position Classification Standards

2. Find the patterns - Find trends in position announcements

3. Show impact! Quantify and qualify your experience

The first strategy is to use the standards. I’ve included a few helpful links below to point you in the right direction. The Office of Personnel Management invests a considerable amount of time developing standards that define government jobs and describe their various levels of work. Using them in your resume is key for you getting to the next level of consideration. The software used to review your materials before a person even looks at them scans for key words in the classification standard for your job area. The more you have the better. Next, take an honest look at the levels in the standard. If you feel your experience matches the work done at that level for at least a year, you should qualify for that grade. Just knowing this will empower you to target the right occupational series, title, grade, and even salary in the Federal Government. I've known many people who didn't realize how qualified they truly were. Once they knew what OPM was looking for, they tailored their resume for the right positions and started getting job referrals!

Now on to our second strategy- find the patterns. You need to be aware of what hiring managers are looking for. Getting passed the machines and first level HR managers is one thing, now you need to show you know the work. Once referred to hiring managers, you'll be one of as many as a hundred up for the position. You need to stand out. Here's how… find the patterns in the job announcements. Look through the duties section of each one and compare. You'll start to see trends. Maybe analysis work or certifications pop up more than twice. Whatever you see, be sure to hi-light them by placing them at the top of your experiences for each position on your resume. Or, add them to a special skills section or qualifications summary at the top. This way, it's easy to spot right away when they're going through binders of materials. Also, be sure to take note of what each position is looking for and write to them. Look for skill sets or experiences you have and make them prominent. This will help your applications rise to the top.

And finally, the third strategy- show impact! This is the simplest but honesty the most challenging. I promise this is really worth it. Good resumes show impact by quantifying and qualifying experience. It's not enough to say that you processed financial transactions or reviewed applications. Context is needed to demonstrate your role. Hiring managers are looking for stand out people that can handle the work and require little oversight. Here's how to do it. Take an action that is key to your position classification or job announcement. Now, show what you've done with it by adding the number of actions, or even a percentage that represents your work. For instance, 'process financial transactions' becomes 'lead the review and approval of 95% of the division's operating budget'. The revision shows your responsibility and the role you played in the division. Plus, these examples will serve you well in interviews! Think through each line on your resume. How can each be updated the same way? Be honest but give yourself credit for the work you've done. You can do this!

If you liked this video and found it helpful, make sure you hit that like button below, share it with your friends, and definitely subscribe for more strategies on professional development in the public sector. I’ll post more great videos and content soon but if you’re looking to get more before then, head over to twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to follow us or go to our website and sign up for our upcoming courses where you’ll get all these strategies and more.

Thank you so much for watching. We can’t wait to hear about your interviews and progress. Leave a comment below to help us create content that best helps you. At The Gov Geeks, we're all about Service for Public Servants!

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