Applying to Government Internships and Jobs

The Federal Government is the nation’s largest employer and hires across all majors. Currently, two million civilians work for the US government in various capacities. Some ensure food safety, write grants, help low-income families. If you want to serve, make a difference, work in any of the 50 US states and/or overseas, you may be interested in these internships and jobs.

Best Practices

  • Consider using the Go Government website to get the overview of working in the federal government, including benefits, tips on how to find the right fit for your skills/interests, the ability to browse opportunities by agency or field, and great application tips.
  • The first thing you will need to do is narrow down your search. You may want to select a GS grade level in order to make an easy match between your skills and the position. You may also want to refine your search by work schedule or type, (internship options vs full-time work) and location.

    Federal Grade levels (GS)

    • GS-3 or GS-4: Typically internships or student jobs
    • GS-5 to GS-7: Most entry-level positions
    • GS-8 to GS-12: Mid-level positions
    • GS-13 to GS-15: Top-level supervisory positions
  • You will need to create an account on USAJOBS. This account will allow you to save job searches, apply to jobs, search and upload/manage five customized resumes.
  • Apply to positions for which you are qualified. You must meet the minimum requirements of the internship/job, so only apply if you meet them all.

  • Complete the applications in full. This means write out full sentences, use proper grammar, write multi- page, narrative resumes customized to the position, include your references and writing samples per the job posting. Anything not completed will prevent you from moving forward in the process. Consider keeping everything you need for applying in a Word document and allowing at least two people to check for errors in advance.

  • Create a USA Jobs account.

  • Save all of your internship or job searches.
  • Create multiple resumes catered to each job.
  • Create and upload application materials (save them in a Word document for easy retrieval).
  • Track your application and status.

Federal resume example