Government jobs include just about every type of job imaginable. From construction workers to lawyers, doctors, engineers, scientists, technology professionals and administrative positions, the public sector has it all.
Government agencies advertise jobs in all the same places as private sector companies: in the newspaper, on the most popular online job sites, at career fairs, and on college campuses.
As with private companies, one of the best places to find public sector jobs is on the web sites of the various public sector organizations. In fact, government agencies almost always post 100% of their job openings on their web site because they have to be made freely available to everyone.
Plus, many government agency web sites receive massive traffic and they want to take advantage of that by posting job openings as soon as they occur. Frequently, job openings are posted first on the web site and then elsewhere such as online job sites and newspapers. As a hiring manager in the public sector, this is what I have HR do whenever I have an opening.
How About Networking?
Using networking to find a job is less effective in the public sector than in the private sector because most governmental agencies are required to post all job openings and consider all qualified candidates. In the private sector, jobs are sometimes filled without ever having been posted or advertised, simply because the hiring manager already had someone in mind through the network.
But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t network and build contacts in the public sector. Government agencies frequently use temporary positions (and “temporary” can frequently mean several years) and these types of positions can usually be filled without being posted if the hiring manager knows a good candidate. Networking with hiring managers in the public sector can pay off for finding these types of positions.
Of course, for jobs that are political appointments, networking is theonly way to get these jobs!
Where to Find Job Postings
Your job search should include searching the job openings posted on the following types of government agency web sites:
- Federal Government
- State Government
- County Government
- City Government
- School Districts
- Shipping Ports
- The post office
There are far too many federal, state and local government agencies to list all of the links. Simply do a Google search for whatever agency, state, county, city, etc, that you are interested in, go to that web site and look for “employment” and “jobs”.
That said, there are a few good public sector job site links that I recommend:
- www.USAJobs.gov is the official job site for the U.S. Federal Government. It list all jobs with the feds and even has an online resume builder.
- www.pse-net.com is a good general site for locating state and local jobs. It has a nice locator map where you can click on a state and it gives a pretty complete listing of all public sector job sites. It includes just about every city, county and school district. One note: I have found that some of the links shown are broken, probably because that agency changed its web address, so for these you’ll need to just do a quick Google search for that agency and you’ll find the new web site address.
- www.federaljobsearch.com is a commercial job listing site. Its advantage is that you can search by area and by type of job. One caution: while it does have a lot of government job listings, it doesn’t have all of them. It has the ones that government agencies have paid to post. Also, you have to register to use the site, but registration is free. This site should be a supplement to your government job search, not your complete search.
Also, don’t forget “quasi-government” organizations such as hospitals, utility districts, colleges and universities.
NOTE: You will see many advertisements from companies that offer to find you a government job. Frequently, there are fees involved.
Don’t do it!
You can search virtually every government job available by going to each individual web site. There is no need to pay a third party to find you a government job of any kind.
Unlike the private sector, public sector jobs are virtually all posted on the various public sector web sites and anyone can apply and must be equally considered if they are qualified.
It will take quite a while to search all of the above types of public agency sites, but it’s worth it for the many job openings you’ll find.