A guide for technologists to navigate job opportunities in the federal government
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A guide for technologists to navigate job opportunities in the federal government

September 30, 2022 | Updated on October 3, 2022
, Angie Quirarte

There are no shortage of challenges to solve or opportunities to serve in the federal government—whether you are looking for a long-term career change, a temporary leave of absence from your current job or something in between.

But it’s no secret that the federal hiring process can be quite cumbersome, especially if you’re new to exploring government jobs.

The Tech Talent Project, a nonprofit organization invested in bringing technically skilled talent to impactful government positions, created a playbook to help technologists navigate this process. It includes details on opportunities, processes and requirements for joining public service. The Tech Talent Project and the Partnership for Public Service are glad to be working together to share this great tool. 

What federal technologists do

The federal government is the largest employer in the U.S. and includes more than 79,000 technologists. While federal roles often don’t pay as much as the private sector, they offer incredible opportunities for professional growth, the chance to design and deliver services and the potential to tackle innovation challenges that impact millions of people living in the country. 

Federal technologists make an immediate impact on our lives every day and are a critical force that enables or prevents our government from getting things done for those that are too often left behind. Examples include ensuring our veterans are able to use contact call centers to schedule appointments and attend virtual care visits; making sure Americans can easily order free COVID-19 tests to their homes; enabling student loan borrowers to understand the new student loan forgiveness effort; improving internet access in the most remote areas of our nation; and more. 

A playbook for the job application process

If you are considering government service as a career change, one of the main challenges is learning how to navigate the application process. Interested candidates need to understand the nuances of job descriptions, navigate USAJOBS, learn about different civil service roles and classifications and practice patience as their applications wind through large agency bureaucracies and HR teams.

This hiring playbook can prepare you for each of these steps and more. It is your starter kit to navigate a process that could ultimately lead you to life-changing work as a federal technologist. 

Opportunities to serve can be short-term or long-term and include early career, midcareer and executive-level roles. The key is to apply for several roles, be flexible, and not tie yourself to one job title or level. 

Dive into the federal hiring playbook today to learn more about:

  • What you need to apply.
  • Technology-focused talent programs.
  • How to navigate roles in USAJOBS.
  • How to write a federal resume.
  • How to determine if you need security clearance.
  • How compensation is determined. 
  • Senior Executive Service positions.
  • Key federal hiring and job definitions.
  • And more. 

Angie Quirarte is federal partnerships director at the Tech Talent Project.

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