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Applying for state positions is an involved process, frequently requiring lengthy exams and multiple interviews just to be considered for the desired position. Despite the hurdles that have to be overcome to secure state employment, these jobs are still highly prized, as most state jobs pay fairly well and offer great benefits and vacation time. Adhering to application guidelines in a strict and timely manner, and with a degree of congenial self-assurance, will significantly increase your chances of securing state employment.
Study the website of the agency or department to which you want to apply. Specifically, gather information that will enable you to identify key members of the agency or organization, specific requirements and tests for the positions you wish to apply for, and press releases of recent events involving the agency or department. This detailed information will give you an impressive edge over other applicants in your cover letter and potential interview.
Study for any state-administered tests you may be required to take and make a note of where and when these tests will be given. Tests for government positions, such as postal worker exams, are often given a few times per year. Obtain the research materials and study guides recommended by the state agency you wish to seek employment from, study them regularly and test yourself periodically.
Describe your work experience on your resume and cover letter in succinct terminology that closely matches what is used in the state job posting. Human resources personnel will be looking to quickly determine whether your education level and work experience meet the minimum requirements for a given position. One option is to write a two-column cover letter with the job requirements on the left side and your matching experience listed on the right.
Attend all preliminary group/panel interviews that may be required before an individual interview. Not all states arrange these interviews, sometimes referred to as qualifications appraisal panel interviews (QAP). Take part in all of these not only to prove your dedication to those in a position to hire you, but also to take note of the sorts of questions you will most likely be asked in an individual interview.
Follow an individual interview with a phone call to the hiring manager. Wait until at least a few days have passed since your interview, preferably a week. Asking about the status of your application in a polite but confident tone rather than waiting for a response will show determination and a proactive work ethic.
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