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Federal Job Search: How to Help Your Students Put Their Best Foot Forward

Federal Job Search: How to Help Your Students Put Their Best Foot Forward

EACE Blog contribution by Karol Taylor, coauthor of Find Your Federal Job Fit and Guide to America’s Federal Jobs, 4th ed.  

find-your-federal-job-fit-bookIf students are seeking a federal job, the one thing to remember is that the feds “own the ball.” Just like sports, the rules and regulations must be followed. Feds have a basic hiring process that, if students comply with it, will lead to employment. Students must analyze the federal vacancy announcement to determine if they are 1) eligible to APPLY, 2) qualified to APPLY, and 3) able to follow the How to APPLY guidelines – explicitly.

Qualifications are based on 1) education OR 2) specialized experience, OR 3) a combination of the two. Qualifications for finding the best federal job fit are located here. Read the series definition section to determine the required skills. After reviewing for the qualifications, check out the functions section. The functions section shares occupational areas for which the federal government hires.

Students who apply for Pathways programs, often use their one-page private sector resume with good success. If the application package asks students to use the standard federal resume, additional required information can cause it to be three or more pages in length. That’s okay because it follows the rules. In these instances, the best way to insure that all required federal information is included in the application is to use the Resume Builder.

These are the “bare bones” of applying for a federal job. Of course there are nuances and many additional ways to gain federal employment. Whether or not a student can get a highly-sought-after federal job largely depends on whether or not the student – with your guidance – can create an application package that follows the rules.

The Federal Job Search: Putting Your Best Foot Forward workshop at the EACE Annual Conference in Annapolis will provide tips and ideas to help you to “catch the ball”. Once the ball is in your possession, you will be able to “keep it in play” to insure that it stays in your – and your student’s – court.

Karol Taylor is a retired fed and Career Counselor who helps people get federal jobs. She is the coauthor of Find Your Federal Job Fit and Guide to America’s Federal Jobs, 4th ed. Karol can be reached at and following Social Media: @Federal_Job_Fit and @KarolTaylor;;; and


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