Let’s jump right into it. In the first section, we talked about the motivation behind searching for a new job. Then we started looking at the main venue for those looking to get into government employment, USAJOBS. It can be a bit intimidating at first glance, and applying to jobs on the site can be a bit time consuming, but hopefully as we walk through this, you will see that there is a method to the madness, and the time spent is worth it in the end – as long as you follow the “rules” and turn in an application that a) gets past the recruiter, and b) catches the hiring manager’s attention and lands you an interview. But first let’s focus for now on USAJOBS.


Here is where I will make a “but I thought you said…?” announcement. I have been harping on getting it right to get the right job – but here is where I say in, you guessed it the infamous capital letters and exclamation points APPLY TO EVERYTHING!!! Yes, it seems to go against the grain of everything else I have talked about, but my point is this.  At the end of the day, if a job appeals to you, and you have had that “come to Jesus moment” we discussed, then by all means apply. It may be labeled as spitballing, but who knows – it just might work. Just remember that this process takes time, and if you can use your time wisely by having all of your job hunting ducks in a row – why wouldn’t you?


I chose to look at a position as an Intelligence Specialist (GG-0132-11) based at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, and now I will give a quick overview of just what the hell all of that jibberish means. First, when you open up the announcement, don’t be that kid who jumps right into answering the test questions without reading the instructions only to get to the end and read “If you paid attention to the instructions you would have known to simply put your name at the top and hand it in…if you didn’t follow instructions and completed the whole test – you failed.” Make sure you read from top to bottom thoroughly, even if you have applied to this exact same job in the same location before. If you are seeing it again, that is usually a sign that it is being re-advertised, and sometimes this means that changes to the requirements have been made.


So, from the top of left when searching the sites as I said, you can tailor your search by job type, key words, location, etc. One thing to be aware of: there is a place where you can search for jobs open to everyone and those only open to current federal employees. Understand that “Current” means that you are working for the federal government RIGHT NOW, not you will be in 6 weeks (which would make one wonder why you are applying here in the first place), or that you did work as a fed in the past – it means at the time that the announcement is open, and that you were in that status when the announcement closed. Federal means that, unless the announcement specifically calls for contractors, vendors, etc., you are a permanent employee of a federal agency.