4 Stats about Federal Job Openings

We recently relaunched our GovLoop Jobs Finder (jobs.govloop.com) which builds upon the USAJOBS data set to make it easy to find great federal jobs.

I’ve been spending a lot of time researching federal jobs so I thought I’d share 4 facts about finding your next federal job based on our subs-set of data we are using (see asterisk below0.

1) 60% of Openings are for Current Feds – In our database, we have 1,260 job listenings open right now and 784 (60%) are only available for current feds. If you are already a fed, make sure you are applying for these openings.

2) 17% are Open less than 10 days – In our database, 215 of the 1,260 (17%) job openings are open less than 10 days. This is actually a lot fewer than I thought. But for these jobs you have to be quick to find out about them to apply – some argue most of these jobs have internal candidates, but other career advisors and HR officials have told me that just as often these are real openings with quick turnarounds.

3) 61% of Openings are Mid-Senior Level – In our database, 773 of the 1,260 jobs (61%) are mid to senior level jobs (GS 12 to 15) – there’s a lot fewer entry and lower level grade openings.

4) 21% Have Multiple Vacancies – In our database, 271 of the 1,260 jobs (21%) have 2 or more vacancies in the job opening. I always encourage folks to especially look at these job openings as these are agencies motivated to quickly hire and your odds are increased

**Caveat – This is based on our database which of USAJOBS openings, it only focuses on white-collar gov’t jobs and doesn’t have all USAJOBS openings so stats may not be representative**

**Looking for your next federal job – check our jobs.govloop.com & make sure to sign-up for our top 10 openings each week by field**

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Lindsey Tepe

There are several reports that speak to the number of employees retiring from government and the need for younger generations to join the federal workforce.

It’s surprising to see that, at least with the jobs posted, there are so few options for lower level positions, and for those looking for their first federal job.

Joe Flood

I’ve never heard a justification for the “feds only” rule. Why are some jobs only open to feds? Why would you want to limit your talent pool?

Mary Kingsley

Joe Flood, keeping it to current feds reduces the learning curve and paperwork.

I’m trying to break into the Federal work force as a Schedule A applicant and while I can apply for more than the general public you still have no guarantees. Out of 15 applications, two were actually seen by HR people but no one called me. I also was notified that one application would not be submitted because there were too many veterans already applying. I don’t wish to deny a veteran a job but if the agency is targeting veterans don’t make us fill out the long application forms, only to be denied.

I have watched and memorized as much as I can the Katherine Trudeau videos on YouTube, read her books at the library and still find it difficult to maneuver between agencies application requirements. The Army has two applications, many don’t tell you they require enlisting till you open them up, and I saw one that actually stated they don’t take online applications. That was ironic.

I’m going to keep applying and hope I don’t become an expert before they call me in.

Steven Goldman

As a not-too-long-ago grad, the lack of entry-level (GS-7 through GS-11) positions for those with bachelor’s or master’s degrees is very discouraging (as if the USAJOBS system wasn’t discouraging enough!) and drives people to nonprofits or the private sector. A newbie might be able to find their way into the federal structure via a fellowship, but an actual position needs to be available post-fellowship for that transition to take place, and less and less of those are available.

Also, the lack of open junior positions is a real hindrance to the agencies who want to innovate and bring in new talent with skill sets the agencies need to do so, esp. in technology, sustainability (i.e., to meet the requirements of EO 13514), communications, etc.

Daniel Crystal

@Joe: for senior positions, you generally want to promote from wthin, just like any other company. Once you get to the GS 13/14/15 level, you really need to know your organization inside and out, especially if you’re going to be supervising people.

That being said, injection of new blood is never a bad thing, especially on the IT side.

Janet Doucette

As a contract employee the position I am currently in had recently became available as a full time Federal position, the Basin Team Leader (BTL) was very persistent that I complete the application process. The position was only open for 1 week and I had completed the process immediately. I have learned the process that may give insight for applicants: HR has 3 groups for Veterans and 3 groups for Non-Veterans, HR takes the highest qualified Veteran applicants and sent them to the BTL to interview, there were 2, they were both interviewed, and the BTL has to choose between the 2 which to offer the position, the only thing to consider is ‘are they trainable’. The BTL offers the first person the position, if they turn it down the BTL has to offer the second person the position, if they turn it down then HR sends the BTL the next highest qualifying Veteran group for interviews, and the process begins again until somebody accepts the position offered. Since I am not a Veteran, my application would have been sent to the BTL if all the Veteran applicants have turned down the position offered, and in order of what group of Non-Veteran I would have been in. I hope I have not overstepped my bounds here, but I would have liked the information beforehand just to be in the know.

Marie Koko

@Mary—did you mean Kathryn Troutman? The only person on YouTube I found under the name Catherine Trudeau was talking about decorating your space 🙂

These statistics are very interesting and back up what I am seeing with my own students. It seems the one place recent grads can often break in is if they have fluency in a critical needs language – some of my students with Pashto, Farsi, Mandarin, etc… are having a marginally easier time in the job search. But the other thing that helps….having interned with the Feds before you go looking for a full time job. The student I have who’s doing that is also Schedule A and is doing quite well for herself so far.