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Old 12-03-2015, 11:02 AM
 
Location: 1000 miles from nowhere
549 posts, read 437,189 times
Reputation: 976

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I am finishing up my four year degree in Finance and have been applying to various postings over the past couple of months. I had an interview at a municipal agency a few months ago which I felt went really well, but didn't amount to anything. The position I interviewed for required an "accounting, economics, or similar" degree but requested an Associates rather than a Bachelors (which I will have). I applied for the same position at another agency an hour away and just got a rejection notice. I kind of appreciate that, much better than hearing nothing, but I'm still disappointed. Anyways that was a fast process/turnaround so there may have been an internal candidate.

How can I get my foot in the door? I know this is only a couple positions but they were very much in line with what I want to do, and can see myself doing. I've applied to a couple administrative assistant (w/ financial elements) positions I am waiting to hear back on too, although I don't prefer receptionist work. These are in the public sector as well.

Anyone working in or who has worked at public/government agencies, could you kindly share your tips for breaking through the seemingly impenetrable wall? Should I volunteer to do an internship at one of the agencies, perhaps? Apply to very low level, possibly unrelated jobs and try to work my way up? Any other ideas? TIA

(ETA I want to add that I have not had many, if any, issues getting interviews/offers from private sector businesses. I don't want to work in banking, I am 90% sure, or most any private sector job. I'm not interested in a high salary as much as solid benefits and have personal reasons for preferring public service work. My background is financial, customer service, HR.)

Last edited by nostoneunturned; 12-03-2015 at 11:08 AM.. Reason: Addl info
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Old 12-03-2015, 02:09 PM
 
2,563 posts, read 2,790,486 times
Reputation: 3479
It might help to simply get your foot in the door. Apply for a job your overqualified for. If you get it, you're in. Once they know you and know the quality of your work, it should be much easier to move on to higher graded jobs.
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Old 12-03-2015, 08:51 PM
 
1,871 posts, read 1,666,569 times
Reputation: 2865
I would start with USAJobs.gov and create a profile. Just know that it takes the government extended times to get jobs. I was initially denied, because they were only hiring veterans, then about 5 months later, they magically had job openings. I agree with above poster, part of it is to get your foot in the door. Potentially you may find a job that is actually what you want, best of luck to you.
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Old 12-04-2015, 04:16 AM
 
10,058 posts, read 4,660,435 times
Reputation: 15291
And some working experience first... you'll be competing against people with experience and possibly preference points.

A bachelor's and no experience doesn't do well in competition

After that, treat it like another job... if you can get hired in private, then public is no different
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Old 12-04-2015, 07:46 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
29,789 posts, read 54,440,540 times
Reputation: 31093
I have spent a total of about 20 years as a supervisor and now manager at two public agencies in different states. Our internships are paid, and they do often lead to permanent jobs, but with only 10-12/year and lots of competition having some work experience helps. We will also sometimes hire people that worked for a temp agency that we use. If they were a good worker, and were here long enough to learn our policies and procedures, they still have to go through the competitive process but have a clear advantage. Many of our higher paid people started at a lower level and advanced. In one example, an admin in legal went to law school with financial assistance from our tuition reimbursement program, and is now a lawyer on our legal staff. We have probably 100 admins here, and of those, only 2 are "receptionists." Those 2 are fairly new now, the ones here when I started 6 years ago have both been promoted to higher level jobs.
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Old 12-04-2015, 08:19 AM
 
Location: 1000 miles from nowhere
549 posts, read 437,189 times
Reputation: 976
Thanks for all the feedback so far. I apologize I did not make it clear in my OP but I have around 6 years experience in financial field, 3 in HR, and 10 altogether in office admin/customer service. All of this is in private sector though. I'm a non trad student.
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Old 12-04-2015, 12:12 PM
 
247 posts, read 261,348 times
Reputation: 302
Quote:
Originally Posted by nostoneunturned View Post
Thanks for all the feedback so far. I apologize I did not make it clear in my OP but I have around 6 years experience in financial field, 3 in HR, and 10 altogether in office admin/customer service. All of this is in private sector though. I'm a non trad student.
I work in the public sector and it took about nine years to get there! Stay persistent and keep trying. That is the only advice I can give. If you want to get in on the local level, my advice would be to network as much as you can. Try to volunteer at your city/county events, election commission etc. and get to know more people who work there.
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