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Landing the Federal Job

This blog post was written by Mr. Tim McGough, a federal employee on the staff of Commander, Navy Installations Command who transitioned to federal service after retiring from the Marine Corps as a Gunnery Sergeant.

After three years of working in the federal government I have found that one of the things that helped me secure my employment for Uncle Sam was the Fleet and Family Support Center’s Federal Employment Workshop at my base.  I had no idea how to write a resume or what it should look like, what information I should put in it. I had no idea where to look for work or for that matter, where to start. I had no real prospect for employment outside of the military. Or should I say I had no clue what my prospects were.

One day while walking through the headquarters building I saw an advertisement for the FFSC’s Federal Employment Workshop. So I thought I would sign up for it. Well it made all the difference in the world. My resume was good but it was not even close to being complete.  The workshop taught me how to write a proper resume for federal employment and also taught me it’s a “living document,” and changes with each job you apply for.  The workshop also explained the process and gave me practical information on federal employment. At the end of the course I was able to identify the proper job for me, the process of applying for that job, and how to use key words when I compiled my federal application.

Don’t get me wrong it took a solid year from the time I retired to secure my job with the Department of Defense. To some people this can be discouraging.  Once I retired from the military I enjoyed my terminal leave but each day I studied the services employment websites as well as the civilian employment websites.  Without fail, a year to the day I went on terminal leave from the military I was walking into my new job as a U.S. Government employee.

The key to landing a job after the military is to use the services the military provides service members and their families.  Every Fleet and Family Support Center in the Navy is just that — a support center.  The classes they offer are almost boundless.  I know it sounds like I am laying it on thick, but in all honesty it was the FFSC who made the difference in my employment.  I am working on my fourth year of employment and the pay and benefits are great.

The process is simple but it has to be you the service member that takes the first step.  Go see your local FFSC and see what they have to offer. If they don’t have what you’re looking for I am sure they can find you what you need or at least point you in the right direction.  It is not luck that gets you that federal job, it is your resume that lands you the interview and finally your actions after you’re hired. Happy hunting and go see your FFSC.

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