You always hear about the federal government being strict on guidelines, deadlines, and rules. And that’s because they play exactly by the rules. It’s the government. If you want to work in one of the incredible jobs that they offer, you need to play by the rules too. Most importantly check the rules for your particular dream job online.
To start out on the right foot, you need to get your application in early. Often you may be so distracted by the college mad house, you forget to plan out your summer break.
Well if you want to be a smokejumper in Idaho, give tours of battlegrounds in Virginia, or work near volcanoes in Hawaii next summer pay attention to the important dates. Applications for summer jobs become available in November! You can submit your applications from December 1 to January 15. It must be postmarked before January 15 to be even considered. Once you get that application submitted, you can sit back with eager anticipation and wait to be accepted.
Now a little about the applications you’ll be filling out. You should be aware that the application process is complicated. It’s going to take a little more than writing a nice cover letter stating that you want to swim with dolphins for the government.
The application forms are long, tedious, detailed, boring, and not at all like a walk in the park. You want to be sure you fill it all in correctly and this may take several hours. In other words, don’t put it off until the evening of January 14 to get it all filled in. If you miss a section or don’t fill it in correctly, your application may quickly find its way to the recycling bin.
You should be aware that all job opportunities have lots of applicants. You’re not the only one that wants to have a fire watch job in Washington State like Jack Kerouac did. But often the government agencies list job applications based on the number of applicants – the less applicants means the more likely your resume will stand out. This may also help you decide to fight fires in Colorado versus Washington.
Be open to moving around the country, it will open up your job opportunities.
It is also important to note that each year you can apply to one national forest job and two national park jobs. You may also want to call the different agencies about the jobs available. Sometimes talking to a real person puts a voice to a resume, thus showing your true interest in the position. It will also let you know a little bit more about the job and if it’s something you really want to do before you fill out all that paperwork.
The most important thing about federal government applications is to be honest. Don’t make yourself out to be the expert you’re not. Highlight the skills you do have and where you learned them – CPR at the recreation center, rock expert from your university studies, knot genius from your days as a boy scout. Just take the time to fill out the application properly, be yourself, and then sit back and wait.