One of the most popular places to apply for a job today is the U S Federal Government. On any given day, USAjobs.gov reports an excess of 30,000 U S Government jobs available worldwide. Now, to describe the Federal hiring process as cumbersome and bureaucratic equates with calling a Category 5 hurricane windy and rainy. With such a complex application process, many candidates believe that networking provides no advantage in finding Federal employment.
Two prominent authors on obtaining jobs with the Federal Government respectfully disagree with this belief. Lily Whiteman, authored the book How to Land a Top Paying Federal Job. In the first of her 10 secrets to landing a federal job, she encourages candidates to not overlook the “back door.” Many candidates report that while working with contract agencies, the make valuable networking contacts that provide inside tracks to federal jobs. Kathryn Kramer Troutman author of Ten Steps to a Federal Job is even more succinct. The first of the ten steps she outlines in the book is network.
Landing a job within the U S Government requires an understanding of how their hiring process works along with the ability to analyze job announcements. Plus, many positions require the candidate to write Knowledge, Skills and Abilities statements, or KSA’s. People that have successfully mastered this process in order to land their Federal Governmant position can provide valuable insights into an agency’s hiring procedures as well as which of the job requirements are most vital. In addition, who can provide better assistance in writing effective KSA statements than people with a track record of successfully writing them. Plus, should you have interest in particular positions within agencies, inside contacts can keep you posted on when openings are made public. Sometimes, the period when applications or résumés are accepted can be very short and one must be prepared to act swiftly.
So, when applying to any U S Government agency, look for internal contacts the same as you would any private company.