Speakers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development came to campus Nov. 13 to educate students on employment opportunities through the federal government and USDA.
“Students in college or high school can work for the federal government while attending school,” said Kim Crabb, the USDA Human Resources manager. “When you graduate you can have a permanent position already lined up.”
Crabb walked attendees through necessary steps to find a position in their field. She recommended starting at the USAJOBS website. This is the federal government’s official system for providing employment information and announcing open positions.
“There’s a common myth that government workers just sit in a cubicle shuffling papers and that’s simply not the case,” Crabb said.
After setting up an account, one must build a resume and start searching. They can pick an agency, location, occupation, keyword, job title, occupational series and salary range to narrow down the options.
“I’m looking for an internship this summer and this definitely gave me some tips on how to use the website to find something in my field,” said ecosystem restoration major Kurt Bennett.
Crabb recommends students acclimate themselves to some positions in order to find interests. There are 12,000 job announcements available every day and posts are updated hourly. She said it is never too early to contact the representative listed and make an introduction.
“Sell yourself,” Crabb said. “It’s human nature to not want to brag about your achievements, but when it comes to applying for federal jobs, that’s what you have to do. If you’re experienced in a field, then don’t be scared to call yourself an expert.”
To make a resume stand out, the USDA recommends using numbers to highlight accomplishments and to take credit for skills and abilities developed through both paid and unpaid positions.
“We respond to applicants who are excited about the job,” Crabb said. “If you know background on the agency, then we know you’re interested and serious about applying.”
For more information on careers with the federal government, students can go to usajobs.gov or CareerOneStop.org.