I was pleasantly surprised to see the results of the most recent bi-weekly GovLoop poll:
“How did you get your first job with the government?”
The results were:
30.8% Student Internship
7.7% Leadership Programs (such as PMF)
0.0% Job Fair
30.8% Referral From Friend
I think this poll is good information for those wanting to get into the governmentt:
1) I always encourage students and recent graduates to apply for internships and leadership programs. Obviously, they are a big way to get into the government (38.5%).
2) I strongly encourage everyone looking for government work to use their network and connect with friends, colleagues, and neighbors. While we’d like to think that it doesn’t matter who you know, it truly does as 30.8% enter the government through a referral from friend.
3) I’m encouraged that 30.8% started government through USAJOBS.gov. I often talk about how usajobs.gov is a broken system (ask anyone who’s recent spent countless hours applying for jobs with little to no response). Maybe I’m too pessimistic – it seems like it is working at a certain level.
4) The fact that 0.0% stated they received their first job from a job fair seems fitting. I know personally when I was in graduate school federal agencies would come to our school and try to recruit. I would state that I’m really interested and they would just send me to USAJOBS.gov. Job fairs are a great place for agencies to start the recruiting process but they must provide a clear path for interviewing (not USAJOBS). I am encouraged as some agencies are better utilizing job fairs recently by holding special job fairs (see CBP and FEMA) where they conduct interviews on the spot based on unique hiring authorities (direct hire, FCIP, etc).
Your thought? What has been your experience?
Side note – I’ve noted my federal government bias here as I failed to properly ask the question to state and local government workers. I’m going to work harder in the future to have better options as I want to encourage state and local govies to participate in GovLoop.
The new survey asks your thoughts on a new initiative – the U.S. Public Service Academy. It’s a proposal to build a U.S. Public Service Academy (similar to the military academies) designed to develop leaders for public service. I’ve personally met Chris, one of the co-founders, and find his ideas quite interesting and provocative. However, many people have weighed in with conflicting views so I’d like your opinion.