EFFECTIVE JOB SEARCH STRATEGIES

By Lucy Shapiro, M. Ed.

 

Proactively searching for a Government/Global Security-related career, job, internship, or volunteer opportunity in a focused manner is the effective way to achieve your career goals.  Targeting and exploring realistic career goals will focus your job search efforts in the right direction.  Using traditional and nontraditional methods of hearing about position openings will increase the number of opportunities and offers.

 

Prepare For and Target Your Job Search

 

*First assess your interests, values, skills, preferences, ideal work environments, lifestyle, goals to know what you ideally want.

*Then gather information about interesting, realistic careers that match your criteria by networking, informational interviewing, researching and other career exploration methods (Click on the links “Networking For Career Exploration and Job Searching” and “Career Exploration Methods”).

*Target specific, well-researched employers.

*Plan your time effectively, and keep organized records of contacts and goals.

*Continue to build and expand a network of useful contacts.

*Prepare a professional, qualifying resume or application materials based on critiques from contacts in your field(s) of interest.

*Be persistent and focused.

*Reenergize and take breaks as needed throughout the job search process.

 

Use Traditional and Nontraditional Job Search Strategies

 

Traditional Job Searching Strategies

 

*Job listings/Listserves (newspaper, internet, personnel/human resources)

*Friends/relatives

*Direct mail

*Employment agencies

*Job/career fairs

 

Nontraditional Job Searching Strategies

 

*Internships

*Volunteer work

*Professional associations/trade journals

*Personal contacts

*Networking contacts (approaching companies/contacts with no known job openings via mail, in-person, formal/informal methods)

*People mentioned in newspaper, magazine, journal, internet articles

*Hidden job market (jobs that are not yet available and discovered by networking)

*Alumni

*Faculty/Continuing Education Contacts

 

Make Job Search Decisions That Match Your Goals

 

*Focus your efforts on what you want, since you will get what you target.

*Explore all interesting leads.

*Continue networking and career exploring to expand or narrow your options as needed.

*Utilize many traditional and nontraditional job search methods.

*Do not allow fear(s), frustration, disappointment to slow your efforts or force you to give up important personal career goals.

*Continue exploring and/or refining your goals until you find realistic options that best meet your criteria.

*If your job search efforts do not yield enough results, gather support to reassess your efforts and/or schedule a confidential, individual career counseling session(s) to see what can be improved. 

*Job search support can be extremely helpful in preventing ineffective and frustrating efforts. 

*Interview effectively by highlighting your qualifications (See link to Effective Interviewing Techniques.).

*Follow up on all leads; maintain networking contacts; express appreciation for assistance; write thank you notes.

*Gather all needed information before accepting or declining any job offers. 

*When offered a job, make sure you know about the position duties, opportunities for advancement/growth/travel, the organization’s reputation/style, your supervisor’s expectations/style, training opportunities, and location before make a decision that meets your goals. 

 

Use Many Job Searching Resources

 

Online Federal Job Listings & Federal Government Website Links

 

www.USAjobs.gov  (Official Job Site of U.S. Federal Government)

www.USAjobs.opm.gov  (Government job listings site; offers search alternatives; federal employment process information; post resume; site does not list most federal internship programs; no charge for site services)

www.Careerbuilder.com

www.Govspot.com

www.Opm.gov

www.Federaljobs.net (Government Job Searching Information & Resources)

www.Federaljobs.net/links3.htm (Government Job Hunting Resources)

www.Rcjobs.com

www.Federaljobsearch.com Federal Job Site maintained by private organization; provides free job identification service; lets registrant know about new job listings that meet registrant’s profile. Fee of approximately ten cents a day, includes comprehensive information about job openings and how to apply.

www.Governmentjobs.com

www.Iccweb.com/hwgjc/hwgjc3/.asp  (Links to 100 Government & Agency websites)

www.Hotjobs.com

www.Government-jobs.big.com

www.Governmentjobscentral.com

www.Google.com  (Search for “Government Job Listing Websites”)

www.Jobsfed.com  (Online Federal Jobs Digest)

www.Fedjobs.com (Federal Job Vacancies In 2 Search Formats; Site allows visitors to browse more than 24,000 job listings; charge for FedJobs membership, which is required in order to view complete job descriptions, application information, and gain access to Members Only Library. Membership cost is $19.97 one month, $39.95 three months, $59.95 six months, and $99.95 per year. The Federal Research Service sells many publications, including The 2006 Federal Personnel Guide, The Book of U.S. Government Jobs, The KSA Sampler, and The KSA Workbook. Membership not required to  purchase publications, but members receive discount)

www.loc.gov/rr/news/fedgov.html (Official U.S. Executive Branch Federal Government Web Sites, Library of Congress)

www.monster.com

www.jobbankusa.com (Job & Resume Database Services)

www.jobfindersonline.com (Online & Offline Tools for Finding Government Jobs)

www.fedworld.gov/jobs/jobsearch.html (Federal jobs site maintained by Natl. Technical Info. Service, Dept. of Commerce, much of site information comes from USAJobs.com)

 

Public Sector Vacancy Announcement Listings

 

Roll Call (www.rollcall.com )

Federal Jobs Digest (Weekly newspaper with nationwide federal opportunities)

Federal Times (www.Federaltimes.com )

Federal Personnel Departments

Government Executive Magazine (www.govexec.com )

Federal Job Hotlines (703-724-1850 – Federal Government Job National Hotline)

Listserves

 

Public Sector Directories

 

Congressional Staff Directory

Congressional Yellow Book

Federal Executive Directory

Federal Staff Directory

The United States Government Manual

How To Get a Federal Job

The Almanac of American Government Jobs & Careers

Complete Guide to Public Employment

 

National Directories

 

World Chamber of Commerce Directory

Where the Jobs Are:  A Comprehensive Directory of 1200 Journals Listing Career Opportunities

The 100 Best Companies to Work for in America

National Trade & Professional Associations of the United States

Finding a Job in the Nonprofit Sector

U.S. Industrial Outlook Handbook

Hoover’s Handbook

The National Job Bank

International Careers

 

Government Organizational Information

 

The following websites can provide specific department/agency information.  Newspaper ads, job fairs, professional journals, and networking are also helpful for identifying federal job openings.

 

Federal Government Departments:

 

  1. Dept. of Agriculture   www.usda.gov
  2. Center for Medicare & Medicaid  www.cms.gov
  3. Dept. of Commerce www.commerce.gov
  4. Dept. of Defense www.dod.mil
  5. Dept. of Education www.ed.gov
  6. Dept. of Energy www.energy.gov
  7. Dept. of Health & Human Services www.hhs.gov
  8. Dept. of Homeland Security www.dhs.gov
  9. Dept. of Housing & Urban Development www.hud.gov
  10. Dept. of the Interior www.doi.gov
  11. Dept. of Justice www.usdoj.gov
  12. Dept. of Labor www.dol.gov
  13. Dept. of State www.state.gov
  14. Dept. of Transportation www.dot.gov
  15. Dept. of the Treasury www.treasury.gov
  16. Dept. of Veterans Affairs www.va.gov

 

Federal Government Agencies:

 

  1. Central Intelligence Agency www.odci.gov
  2. Commission on Civil Rights www.usccr.gov
  3. Commodities Future Trading Commission www.cftc.gov
  4. Consumer Product Safety Commission www.cpsc.gov
  5. Corporation for National & Community Service www.cns.gov
  6. Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board www.dnfsb.gov
  7. Environmental Protection Agency www.epa.gov
  8. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission www.eeoc.gov
  9. Export-Import Bank of the US www.exim.gov
  10. Farm Credit Administration www.fca.gov
  11. Federal Bureau of Investigation www.fbi.gov
  12. Federal Communications Commission www.fcc.gov
  13. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation www.fdic.gov
  14. Federal Election Commission www.fec.gov
  15. Federal Emergency Management Agency www.fema.gov
  16. Federal Housing Finance Board www.fhfb.gov
  17. Federal Labor Relations Authority www.flra.gov
  18. Federal Maritime Commission www.fmc.gov
  19. Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service www.fmcs.gov
  20. Federal Reserve Board www.federalreserve.gov
  21. Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board www.frtib.gov
  22. Federal Trade Commission www.ftc.gov
  23. General Services Administration www.gsa.gov
  24. Institute of Museum & Library Services www.imls.gov
  25. Inter-American Foundation www.iaf.gov
  26. International Broadcasting Bureau www.ibb.gov
  27. Legal Services Corporation www.lsc.gov
  28. Merit Systems Protection Board www.mspb.gov
  29. National Aeronautics and Space Administration www.nasa.gov
  30. National Archives & Records Administration www.archives.gov
  31. National Capital Planning Commission www.ncpc.gov
  32. National Credit Union Administration www.ncua.gov
  33. National Endowment for the Arts www.nea.gov
  34. National Endowment for the Humanities www.neh.gov
  35. National Labor Relations Board www.nlrb.gov
  36. National Science Foundation www.nsf.org
  37. National Transportation Safety Board www.ntsb.gov
  38. Nuclear Regulatory Commission www.nrc.gov
  39. Office of Government Ethics www.usoge.gov
  40. Office of Personnel Management www.opm.gov
  41. Office of Special Counsel www.osc.gov
  42. Overseas Private Investment Corporation www.opic.gov
  43. Peace Corps www.peacecorps.gov
  44. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation www.pbgc.gov
  45. Postal Rate Commission www.prc.gov
  46. Smithsonian Institution www.si.edu
  47. Social Security Administration www.ssa.gov
  48. Securities & Exchange Commission www.sec.gov
  49. Selective Service System www.sss.gov
  50. Small Business Administration www.sba.gov
  51. Trade & Development Agency www.tda.gov
  52. U.S. Agency for International Development www.usaid.gov
  53. United States Institute of Peace www.usip.org
  54. United States Postal Service www.usps.com

                      

 

 

 

Job Search Strategy Books

 

The Complete Job Search Handbook

The 40+ Job Hunting Guide

The Hidden Job Market

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Government & Global Security Programs, Career Services

The Johns Hopkins University

Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences

Advanced Academic Programs

Lucy Shapiro, Career Counselor

lucyshapiro@jhu.edu