Working for the federal government may be a great choice for your next career move. The federal government provides a broad variety of career opportunities across a number of fields. Federal jobs also offer portability. You'll have an opportunity to work for an employer who may understand your needs as a military spouse. You may even qualify for hiring preference for some vacancies.
Where to search
You can search online for federal openings by visiting USAJOBS. The homepage will allow you to run a basic search. However, if you ultimately want to apply for positions, you will need to create an create an account. Setting up your own account allows you to:
- Save your favorite jobs and searches
- Upload your resumes and documents
- Make your resume searchable
- Apply for jobs in the federal government
The basic search feature on USAJOBS allows you to search by keyword and location. If you're just starting the process, you might want to run a basic search to see what kinds of jobs are available in your area.
If you have a better idea of what you're looking for, try running an advanced search. This function allows you to look for jobs by keyword, job title, series number, and pay grade or salary range. Searching by series number is a great option if you are looking for jobs in a specific occupational field. Note that not all listings have a designated pay grade or salary range, so you may want to leave this area blank to yield the greatest results.
An even more extensive advanced search includes:
- Agency (up to 10)
- Occupational series (up to 10)
- Type of work
- Work schedule
You can also limit your search results to exclude jobs open for more than 30 days and sort the results by keyword relevance or date.
When searching for federal positions, you may find acronyms in the position title, such as GS. All federal positions are classified by occupational series, grade or pay level and pay plan.
- General Schedule, or GS, is the system under which most white-collar employees are paid. These GS positions are paid annual salaries.
- Federal Wage System, or FWS, is the system under which blue-collar employees, who work in craft, trade or laboring positions, are paid. This system includes several different pay plans, but all FWS employees are paid an hourly wage.
You may find positions that do not fall under the GS or FWS pay plans. Some federal agencies administer their own pay systems. If you'd like information about
Priority Placement Positions
As you search for federal positions, don't forget about the Military Spouse Preference program. The MSP falls under the Department of Defense's broader Priority Placement Program and gives preferences to military spouses applying for certain DoD positions. Be sure to register for MSP to take advantage of the program. You can apply for the program through your local Civilian Personnel or Human Resources Office.
If you are interested in federal employment, start your search with USAJOBS. Create an account to build your federal resume and submit job applications. When you are looking for openings, use the basic search feature to get a feel for what's out there and move on to the advanced search to hone in on the best listings for you. Make sure to read Be Informed About Federal Employment for additional information that will help in your search for federal employment.
For information on federal resumes or the Priority Placement Program, visit the Applications and Resumes article in the the Employment Readiness lifecycle stage of MySECO. If you need help drafting a federal resume, visit MilitaryINSTALLATIONS to search for spouse education, training