Yale Undegraduate Career Services

Federal Government

Things to Consider 

The United States Federal Government is the nation’s largest employer and offers its employees challenging experiences, job security, competitive salary, and generous benefits.

When applying to federal departments, agencies, or bureaus, it is important to remember that each department makes completely independent hiring decisions. Each agency also has its own website displaying opportunities; however, most agencies will post their positions online through the federal government’s main online job resource: USAJobs.gov. This site is an excellent resource and provides information on available jobs, instructions regarding writing a resume and navigating job postings, and highlights on the benefits of working for the federal government. The website can also be a somewhat overwhelming resource as it may display thousands of job opportunities, many of them beyond the experience level of recent college graduates. Please be aware of the General Schedule (GS) Pay Scale and determine where recent graduate stand on this scale before you begin to review the job listings.

The GS Pay Scale classifies payment based on a candidate’s qualifications. Graduating seniors will most likely qualify for jobs labeled as GS5 or GS7. These jobs usually require a bachelor's degree with less than 3 years of work experience. Some job seekers, depending on their experience, may qualify for GS9 or above. See US Office of Personnel Management for more information.

While the USAJobs.gov website is an excellent resource, the best way to find a job in the federal government is likely through professional contacts. Developing and maintaining professional relationships within the federal government may provide job seekers with firsthand knowledge of job openings not posted on any website. Professional contacts can be made through alumni, faculty, and professional internship experiences.

Internet Resources

Internship Websites

Job Search Websites

Short Term Opportunities Websites

Federal Government Resources