Fly with the Phoenix


Working for Uncle Sam
June 10, 2009, 4:29 am
Filed under: Career Transitions

Five tips for finding stimulus package government jobs

By Deborah Reinhardt Palmer

According to a recent Associated Press article, President Barack Obama promises to deliver 600,000 jobs this summer through the $787 billion stimulus plan. Federal agencies will fund public works projects and school or youth programs. 

An interesting article by career coach and author Marty Nemko (Kiplinger’s Personal Finance) noted that most of these government jobs are outside Washington, D.C. About 85 percent are in cities around the country, as well as overseas. Here are five tips to help you find a government job.

Tip No. 1: Web sites you should bookmark include http://www.usajobs.gov and http://jobsearch.usajobs.gov/a9recoveryjobs.aspx (lists jobs created by stimulus package). Look for jobs on the sites of an agency you’d be interested in working for, such as the EPA, State Department, FBI. And don’t forget about state government. Missouri’s online job listings are at http://www.ease.mo.gov. 

Tip No. 2: Competition will be great for these jobs, so how do you increase your chances for an interview? Be honest with yourself and only apply to jobs that fit your experience. Lily Whiteman, author of “How to Land a Top-Paying Federal Job,” says jobs in IT, finance, contract/grant management and procurement are plentiful. 

Tip No. 3: Applying for a federal job usually is cumbersome. Take time to craft a solid application, which may take a couple of hours. Research the agency before applying to a job its advertising by visiting the Web site and reading recent press releases. Use a two-column cover letter format. On the left side, list the job’s major qualifications and on the right, show how you meet those requirements. Hiring managers are overwhelmed and any trick you can offer to make their job easier is going to score major points.

Tip No. 4: You’ve got an interview! Create a portfolio of your work or create a Web site about your work experiences and success. Ask a trusted friend to review a resume, portfolio or Web site to see it passes the “elevator test.” If your best attributes can’t be identified in 30 seconds or less, the time you might ride an elevator from one floor to the next, go back to the drawing board. If you’re buddy can’t identify these points, a hiring manager surely won’t.

Tip No. 5: Be patient. If the job doesn’t meet all your specifications–say the salary is a little less than you wanted–it is a foot in the door, and once you are a government employee, it’s easier to transfer to something you’ll like better.

To read more of Marty’s article, click http://www.kiplinger.com/columns/onthejob/archive/2009/job0521.html

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