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Job Seekers Ask

A Reader Asks: Is the Federal Job Process Longer Than Private Sector?

Q. Is the federal job process longer than private sector?

A. The federal job process is definitely longer than the private sector. First of all, it takes more time and a greater effort to prepare a federal resume and the accompanying KSA statement. The format and content of federal resumes need to follow specific guidelines and incorporate essential keywords from the job announcement so you cannot use a private sector resume to apply for a federal position.

Once you submit your federal job application, you may have to wait a longer period of time for a response than if you were applying for a private sector job. In fact, it can take months to find out about your federal job application because of the thorough applicant ranking process that is legally required. However, agencies are working to minimize the time it takes for applicants to find out about federal positions they applied for. Some agencies have already cut down the average initial screening time to just a few weeks after the closing date of the job announcement. While you are waiting to hear about your federal job application, there are ways to check on its status. If the federal agency uses an automated hiring system, you can find out your application status by logging onto the employment website. If an automated system is not used by the agency, you can call the contact person about three weeks subsequent to the closing date to find out the status of your application. A status check about the position is important to find out if a position is canceled or reopened.

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