Get started on a federal career

By Jane Norris

The Washington D.C. area has an economic engine: it’s called the federal government. And Uncle Sam is looking to hire tens of thousands of people. So how do you go about getting a federal job?

Q: What’s the best way to learn about job openings in the federal government?

A: The best place to look for federal jobs is The website lists all of the civilian job openings in the federal government. The site is pretty easy to navigate. It allows you to search for all federal jobs across the United States or by specific locations. You can then narrow down the job openings by job category.


Q: What kind of process do people have to go through to get a federal job?

A: When you find a job you would like to apply for on, it will tell you every single form you have to fill out. This can be a bit cumbersome for some jobs. But it is the process. People applying for federal jobs should know that it can take awhile to hear back from a federal agency. Sometimes this can take weeks or months. Government agencies are inundated with applications right now because of the layoffs in the private sector, so people should keep this in mind if they don’t hear back quickly. We should also point out that only people who are U.S. citizens can apply for jobs in the federal government.

Q: What else should people know about applying for jobs in the federal government?

A: Federal agencies are setting up accounts on social networking sites like Facebook, YouTube, and Linked In. These are great sites for applicants to visit to learn more about the agency and who they are looking to hire. Potential job applicants can also use these sites to network with people who already work in the federal government and learn more about various agencies that way.

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