PenFed - Grow Your Dough

Becoming A Federal Employee

Military life sometimes proves to be difficult for family members. There are PCS (permanent change of duty station) moves, spouses going TDY (temporary duty assignment), paying bills and finding care for children when working which can take its toll on anyone. Having a civilian job, more often than not, leads to working for employers who don’t always understand military life which can cause frustration. As a federal employee on an installation, military life is understood. After writing a list of Pros and Cons, the pros outweighed the cons when deciding whether or not one should become a federal employee. However, there isn’t an exact formula on how to become a federal employee!

The Fort Gordon ACS Employment Readiness Program, or ERP, provides information and referral services in the areas of employment, education, training, transition, and volunteer opportunities to assist family members with the challenges of searching for a new job and, ultimately, gives them the competitive edge needed to secure employment.  Every month, the program offers classes such as assistance in writing resumes, interviewing and hosting quarterly job fairs . ERP also posts information about open positions on social media. Assistance applying with spousal preference is also offered!

Over the next few weeks, ten steps will be reviewed with our Employment Readiness Specialist, Sharell Byrd, on working through the federal system to become an employee.

Here’s an overall view according to Ten Steps to a Federal Job – Jobseeker’s Guide:

1. Research the Federal Job Search Process

2. Network

3. Research Vacancy Announcements on USAJOBS

4. Analyze Vacancy Announcements for Keywords

5. Analyze Your Core Competencies

6. Write Your Outline Format & Paper Federal Resumes

7. KSAs, Accomplishments & Questionnaires

8. Apply for Jobs in USAJOBS

9. Track & Follow Up

10. Interviewing & The Best Secret in All of Federal Hiring


Visit for the entire 3 part series explaining in details each step. For more information on ACS ERP, call 706-791-0795 or visit our website at


Troutman, Kathryn K., and Paulina Chen. Jobseekers guide: Ten Steps to a Federal Job® for military and spouses. 8th ed., Résumé Place, 2017.

About Crystal Tyson

Having served nine years active duty military, Crystal has always had a passion to serve those who serve! While becoming a wife and mother of four beautiful children, she was offered an opportunity to continue to do so. In her time with Family and MWR, Crystal has grown to absolutely love her job; it totally fits her outgoing, zany personality! This Chicago native looks forward to many more years to come with Family and MWR.

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