How to Get a Job in Public Service

Deanna Deveney Esq

March 23, 2023

How to Get a Job in Public Service

Getting a job in public service can be a rewarding and fulfilling career choice. Many people are drawn to these careers because they want to help others and make a difference in their communities.

Numerous opportunities are available across the country in federal, state, and local governments. But before you apply, consider your life goals and priorities.

Develop a strong resume

To get a job in public service, you need to develop a strong resume. Government employers tend to be risk-averse when hiring, so your resume must reassure them that you are the right person for the job.

Your resume should be targeted to the specific position you are applying for and mirror the language in the job description. This helps to ensure that your resume is viewed by the human eye and in applicant tracking systems (ATS).

Include relevant awards, leadership roles, and volunteer experience. Also, add other information, such as your availability and desired location.

Make your work experience section impactful by tailoring it to the job ad, quantifying your achievements, and using action verbs and power words.

Keep your resume in reverse chronological order, putting your most recent experiences first. You can then go back to your previous positions and provide more detail on those relevant to the job you are applying for.

Take advantage of networking opportunities

Networking is a great way to connect with people who can help you reach your career goals. It also opens the door to potential referrals, partnerships, and even a job offer.

The most successful networking efforts involve a bit of thought and strategy. For instance, it’s a good idea to list the top contacts you have or keep a running list of people you’re hoping to reach.

If you’re considering a career in public service, make sure you take the time to get out and about. Taking advantage of career fairs, professional associations’ conferences and social events is an excellent way to build your network and see what the industry offers. And it’s a good idea to present yourself as a genuine person with an interesting and relevant background. That’s the best way to show potential employers you’re serious about your career.

Apply for jobs

Working in public service has many great benefits, including long-term job security and excellent benefits. But getting a job in the public sector requires you to meet certain criteria.

Before you apply for a government job, consider your skill set and personal goals. This will help you narrow your search and choose the right organization.

A strong resume can make or break your application. Focus on highlighting your skills and experience that align with the job description requirements.

You may also need to provide additional documents, such as your social security number and citizenship status. Check the requirements and submit your application soon after finding your desired job.

Some government jobs require specialized experience in a particular field, so clearly explain your previous work history. Using exact dates of employment will help ensure your background is verified and your experience is relevant to the position.

Take the civil service exam

A civil service exam is an important step in the hiring process. It tests you on the skills and knowledge necessary to do your job well.

Unlike many other types of exams, the civil service exam is an intensive test that requires hours of study and practice. It can be challenging to prepare for, but with the right study methods, you can score high enough to get the job of your dreams!

Three types of civil service exams are open competitive, continuous, and promotional. An open competitive exam places you on a ranked list against other applicants for a category of actively hiring positions. A continuous exam tests applicants for positions that are not actively hiring, and a promotional exam is meant for current civil servants who want to advance their careers.