If you enjoy the outdoors and working with people, consider a career in the National Park Service. You'll be able to play a vital role in protecting the some of America's most beautiful natural and historic resources. The service seeks motivated people with a variety of academic backgrounds and trades, so see what opportunities are available today.
Become familiar with the website USA Jobs (see Resources). All federal jobs must be posted on this website.
Use the Frequently Asked Questions page to help learn the lingo of the job listings (see Resources). The federal government uses lots of acronyms.
Search for "National Park Service" jobs (part of the Department of Interior) using the USA Jobs website.
All of the jobs available within the National Park Service will pop up. Don't get hung up on the job title of "park ranger" because all of the of the positions with titles like "park guide" or "visitor use assistant" actually do a lot of what people think park rangers do. Most NPS rangers start in a different position and work up to park ranger. The most important thing is to get your foot in the door at NPS.
Read the job descriptions closely and pick one (or a few) that you are qualified for and would enjoy. Work experience goes a long way. So if your highest degree is a bachelor's, but you see a GS-9 job (which generally requires a master's degree) you think you can qualify for based on experience, go ahead and apply. Read the application directions and follow them to the letter.
Consider using the OF-612 form instead of a traditional resume. The application reviewers are familiar with this form and the standard format helps them get through the applications more efficiently. Technically, the form shouldn't give you an advantage, but it shows you have some familiarity with government workings.
Your application may call for answering KSA (knowledge, skills and abilities) essay questions. Unless there is a page limit designated, write every relevant experience down you can think of, drawing from school, volunteering, life and work. Don't hesitate to repeat these qualifications in each KSA if appropriate.
Plan to wait a while after submitting your application. You will eventually get a letter or a phone call letting you know your fate. Applications are graded on a 100-point scale. Veterans can get bonus points. And only the top few are handed over to the interviewing/hiring people at the park.
If you are turned down, call and request your score. Keep trying.
There are two kinds of park rangers in the NPS: interpretive and law enforcement.
Students and recent Peace Corps volunteers get the coveted noncompetitive status. They can be hired by a park without having to go through the USA Jobs hiring process.