Every year the United States government hires thousands and thousands of people. Government jobs often offer security, good benefits and generous pensions. (Of course, many states are strapped for cash now in part because of the government pensions they owe, so these pension plans might not be so favorable in the future.) Many government jobs also are rewarding as they allow you to server the public and improve our society. If you think you might want to work for Uncle Sam, here are a few tips to get you started in the right direction.
First, do a thorough web search when you're looking for a government job. If you know what department you want to work for, check out the web page of that department for a listing of job openings. For example, the best way to find jobs in the CIA and the FBI is often through the individual pages of those agencies as they don't always advertise on other sites. If you've ever wanted to work overseas, try searching for government contracts; there are plenty of federal contracts available, especially in regions where the United States is committed to helping out the local population, like in Iraq.
There are certain people who have a fast track towards getting a government job. Military veterans often find there are special government jobs set aside just for them. People with disabilities likewise can find special opportunities for federal employment. And any person who has served in a federal volunteer program for a year or two, like AmeriCorps VISTA, will be chosen for a federal job over an equally qualified person. In fact, AmeriCorps is often a great idea for a person who has just graduated from college. It gives you a steady, if small, weekly paycheck, housing (in many cases, at least) a job that will help you to expand your skills and improve your resume, and the advantage in a government job search upon successful completion of the program. Also, if you're in college or you have just graduated, consider applying for an internship at a federal agency. If you do a good job, you might find yourself up for a full-time position sometime in the future.
Some government agencies, like the Environmental Protection Agency, for example, set up displays at job fairs, where they will also accept resumes and conduct job interviews. Another way to improve your chances at getting a government job is to work for a private temp agency that sends people to government agencies. If you impress your supervisors while temping at one of these government jobs, then they will take you seriously when you give them a resume.
In many ways, getting a government job is just like getting a job in the private sector. Apply to as many positions as you're qualified for, brush up on your basic resume-writing and job interview skills, be persistent, and you will have a good chance at getting a great job.