SF-171: Steps in Applying for a Federal Job

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Looking for a job in the government is a good option for anyone who wants to build a stable and competitive career. With millions of job openings, the chance of you landing a job in federal agencies is usually higher than the private sector. In fact, many consider it the nation’s largest employer. However, strict rules, tedious process, and complex forms await hopeful applicants. Together with the basic requirements, filling an SF-171 application for federal employment is the only way to apply for a job in the public sector but only until January 1995.

SF-171 Application for Federal Employment

The Standard Form 171, a.k.a. SF-171 is a form completed by those who want to apply in the public office. It assists job seekers who are applying for a new position. Most employers will consider your candidacy based on this form. However, this form is no longer available but still accepted in Federal agencies.

Two other options to apply for a Federal job use Optional Application (OF-612) or a resume. The forms will require you to supply vital info when you apply for a job in the public sector. You can download them at www.usajobs.opm.gov/forms.

But if you’re using a resume, make sure to include the employment and personality history info outlined in the Office of the Personnel Management’s (OPM) flyer, “Applying for a Federal Job” (OF-510). Take note that federal copy is different from those sent to private firms. Unlike the latter, federal resumes may be two to four pages long. There are also required format for some posts. If you cannot create one, you can hire services of expert resume writers.

Five Steps to Kickstart Your Federal Employment

1. Search for job openings

Usually, agencies post ads at USAJOBS.com. To succeed with your job search, make use of keywords that are relevant to your desired post. Take note that the job titles might be different from those of the private sector. Conduct research.

2. Analyze the federal employment ad carefully

Check for important instructions and dates. Read also requirements and job descriptions to see whether you qualify for the post.

3. Submit your application

You can use OF-612 or a paper resume (as discussed above). If you have relevant volunteer work, include them in your copy to increase your hiring chances.

4. Send the required documents

Agencies may require you to submit other vital papers. These may include your transcript of records, diplomas, or training certificates.

5. Prepare for your federal employment interview

Be familiar with the details written on your piece. Also, give concrete answers to questions about your qualifications and job experience. Go straight to the point and avoid giving false info.

Getting a federal job isn’t easy. But with the right preparation, you can surely impress any agency and seize your target job in no time. Do you want to submit a resume instead of an OF-612 or SF-171 application for federal employment? You may sign up for our federal resume writing services. Visit our services page for more details.

Photo by Aaron Kittredge from Pexels

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