How To Get A Federal Government Job: 6 Tips!

  1. ERN says:

    Just found your blog and I love it! Thanks for sharing your perspectives. I am an FSO myself.

    In case your readers are interested: Another way to get federal work experience is through Schedule C appointments. These are lower-rung political appointments in executive branch agencies, which don’t require Senate confirmation. They tend to be the assistants to policy/program leaders at each agency. The 1500 (approx) jobs open up at the beginning of a new administration, but also periodically throughout the 4-8 years. A tip: people should watch for these openings in final year of a 4- or 8-year cycle, since the previous employees often leave for new jobs as each term ends. For an early-career person who is willing to take a job for a finite period, that can be an opportunity for valuable experience (and resume prestige).

    Different presidential administrations handle these differently, but the first round of jobs are often given to standout volunteers or workers from the campaign. Their replacements toward the end of the administration are sometimes recent interns, or are drawn from the DC think tanks and advocacy groups that liaise with the agencies. The Obama admin had a website where anyone could submit a resume, to make the process more accessible. Having a network helps, of course.

    Appointees are not civil servants; they are “political” in the sense that they are hired to support the President’s specific agenda, not just the overall mission of an agency, and they serve at the pleasure of the President. If your professional identity is very tied to one party or set of policies, that’ll help you with an admin that shares your views, but likely disqualify you from a Schedule C job for the other side. Very different from the FS and civil service, but valuable, fascinating work that often gives junior people a chance to shine at a high level.

    • Chelsea Heymstraveler says:

      Thank you for commenting! I appreciate it! Your comment is very detailed and I’m sure someone will benefit from it.

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