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Step 3 - Set Up Your Job Search

You will use the job search tool on for your initial search. This tool links directly to the website vacancy announcements.

Here is what you do:

  1. Click on "Search Jobs"
  2. Sign in to your account.
  3. Scroll down to “Begin your job search”
  4. Enter your zip code under “Location”
  5. Type in the radius you are willing to travel (default is 25 miles. So click on “More Filters
    to expand the area.)

(screen shot)

When I used the 25 mile radius, it returned 44 Results. When I expanded to the 60
mile radius, it returned 579 results. Most of them will not pertain to my experience, so
let’s filter further:

Under “Top Filters” you can choose many filters, mostly these would limit your hiring
path (#of returns)
so only click on the ones that pertain to you. It is better to filter by
than by hiring path, because if you filter, for example, by “competitive
service” it will not return any results that are “Excepted Service” for which you could
also apply. So don’t limit yourself unless you have to.

(Screen Shot)

Under “More Filters” you will also find limits like Work Schedule, Appointment Type,
Security Clearance, Travel Percentage, again, unless you are specifically looking for
something like “Part Time” don’t limit yourself here.

Now you will want to filter the jobs by your qualifications. Under “Keywords” in the
search bar, enter your interests.

Example: If you want to work for a specific agency,
like Census Bureau, enter that. Or if you have IT experience, enter that.

I entered
“Manager” and it returned 124 announcements. I would look at each one to see if I

Look at the job titles, and save all that match your qualifications. If you want to save
this search click on the “save search bookmark.” Any time new jobs become available,
you will receive an email, so you can keep updated on new opportunities. You will need
to name the search (Keyword and Date) and select how frequently you want to be
of new jobs (Daily, Weekly, Monthly or Never (if you want to save the search
but don’t want to receive emails. Also select how the jobs should be sorted. I like to
sort by job title, so I can quickly eliminate jobs I don’t want.

You can create up to 10 Saved Searches. They will appear on your dashboard.

It is important to remember, apply for EVERY job for which you are qualified. In a
permanent position, federal government employees who have served at least 90 days
after competitive appointment may apply to ANY "status" position. That means there
are a lot of opportunities available. The key is getting in.

If you have never worked for the government, pay particular attention to any
"assistant" position
. These jobs are usually entry level, and may not even require a
degree or experience in that field. Be sure to save every job that has "Assistant" in the
. It is easier to move up to a government job at higher grade levels than to be
directly hired into one.

Once you have saved the jobs to your dashboard, you can determine which ones are
best for you
. You are allowed to save up to 25 job announcements, so don’t forget to
delete the one’s you don’t want.

Once you have reached this point, you are ready for Step 4 – Create a Worksheet. Send
an email to
 with any questions you have so far, and enter
"Ready for Step 4" in the subject line, or click here to move on to Step 4.