There are certain ways to apply for both positions that require a very detailed eye when it comes to completing the application process to include cover letters, resumes and completing the KSAs (Knowledge, skills and abilities) supplemental questions. Once you obtain one of the positions, the pros include medical benefits, retirement and tuition reimbursement.
Finding the Positions
There are many websites to obtain information about state and government positions that are open for applicants, you may find the open positions on state websites and federal agencies websites. Job boards at many university campuses have postings for these positions as well. Most if not all federal positions are announced on www.usajobs.gov by all federal agencies. There you will not only find open positions, but tips on how to write a federal resume and how to prepare for a federal job interview.
General Scheduled Experience
The positions in the federal sector are normally called General Scheduled positions or GS positions. In the GS positions there are 10 steps in between each GS rating. The GS ratings start at GS-1 and go up to GS-15. GS-1 is the lowest pay grade and GS-15 is the most senior position that can be held in the federal government before the Senior Executive position can be held. GS experience is based on two main factors education and experience. All human resources departments in the federal sector make their selections based on these two factors as they relate to the job description announced on www.usajobs.gov and in accordance with the Code of Federal Regulations.
State Employment Experience
State employment is a bit different. Being that all states have their own policies and procedures, each state has the jurisdiction to create job descriptions as they pertain to their particular state. For instances, if you are a state human resources specialists and you want to see what your experience would convert to in the GS rating you could look up your specific job in the Federal Code of Regulations for Staffing and Classification Manual and match your duties to find the GS rating that best fits your state employment experience.
Government Experience verses Civilian Experience
When one decides to apply for a government position, it is important to remember that unless your resume reflects what the job announcement states word-by-word your changes of being selected for an interview are slim. In the federal government the human resources departments have to go by what the Federal Code of Regulations states and what the Staffing and Classification manual states your experience is equivalent as per federal sector.
Federal Resume and Application Tips
Federal resumes are different than regular resumes. Federal resumes need to show “everything” that you know how to do. If you don’t have the information on your resume, you will not be found qualified for the position. For example, you apply to a human resources job but forget to put that you started off as a human resources assistant in order to become a human resources specialist, this can be viewed as a gap in specialized experience.
Federal positions have a section entitled “Specialized Experience” if you review this section and your resume doesn’t reflect that you have ALL of the specialized experience, you will be found not qualified for the position. It is important to have the specialized experience in your resume showing it word-by-word.