Start – On Becoming a Federal Employee

The short version of how to start a journey in becoming a federal employee – USA Jobs and patience. Lots of patience.


This post includes select links to information on and a 2013 video of a former Outreach and Recruitment Coordinator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Also, find USAJOBS on Twitter and on Facebook.

Twice a federal employee. I used to work for the federal government. My first stint with the feds was 19-months, and my second time around was 6 years and 8 months. Doing the math, since graduating from college in 1986, I have worked in the environmental field (as evidenced by my LinkedIn).  (Yikes! It will be nearly thirty years of tactics to minimize my taxable income and optimize retirement pursuits.)

Feel free to ask me. With nearly thirty years of work experience, I have opinions about the workplace, and I have many stories about fair and unfair experiences. Because of my work experience and interest in supporting people in their career and professional development, friends often recommend others to talk with me, especially for those interested in the environmental or energy field. When it comes to having worked for the U.S. EPA and other general career questions, often people ask about the following –

  • how to pursue positions with the federal government (and other government agencies),
  • suggestions for a person’s resume “refresh”, and
  • suggestions for enhancing career and professional development

Use USAJOBS resources. While my suggestions for a resume refresh and professional development often vary depending on the person, my where to start with the federal government does not. At least start with completing one’s USA Jobs profile and reviewing information in USA Job –

Also, check out Melanie Wallace talk (~ 22 minutes) about USAJOBS at Arizona State University’s Global Institute of Sustainability, where she specifically shares about what the U.S. EPA considers when reviewing profiles –

described as –

The USAJobs and Pathways training, presented by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Melanie Wallace, focuses on applying for federal positions, understanding government lingo (GS who, what?), and how to find internships (even ones that lead to permanent jobs). Additionally, Wallace discusses how federal résumés are different from private industry résumés and tackle any questions that you might have about working for Uncle Sam.

When I worked for the government, Melanie was the Outreach and Recruitment Coordinator at the same agency. Although she has since moved on from that agency, her 2013 presentation at Arizona State University is still relevant.

What has been your experience with If you have used resources, how useful is the information? What other advice would you give for someone seeking to work for the federal government?

(Reproduced from March 2016 blog post)

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