Will the federal government shutdown impact my federal career search (not if you don't let it)?


A few people asked me what they should do about their career search during the federal government shutdown so here's some thoughts and ideas that might be helpful. First and foremost, a special thanks to the career federal employees who do tons each and every day to keep us safe when we're on an plane, inspect our food before we eat it, and provide a bunch of other services we rely on! As you know, most of the federal government has been "shutdown" for more then a month. If you are actively searching or applying on USAJobs.gov, don't stop and don't give up! Keep applying and keep getting your name out there. The country and people need you.


So, back to the question, "will the shutdown impact your career search?" The shutdown shouldn't impact your federal career search too much and don't let the thought of the shutdown deter you from public service careers. If anything, this should motivate you to land a federal career or a staff position in the House or Senate to ensure this doesn't happen again.


Since many federal agencies were either not operating or operating on a limited basis, it will probably take more time for agencies to post vacancies, process applications, and contact and interview candidates. Aside from that, I don't anticipate any major new hurdles from the shutdown that will impact your federal career search. Ultimately, the success of your career search is based on your determination and discipline!

For aspiring career public servants, hang in there and consider the following

  • Keep in mind that federal government shutdowns are pretty uncommon and very rarely (if ever) result in employees losing pay in the long run.


  • Don't stop applying to vacancies on USAJobs.gov or attending career fairs. More info on upcoming career fairs here: https://www.usajobs.gov/Notification/Events/


  • If you're in the middle of an application or updating your resume, keep going!


  • If you are waiting to hear back on a job you applied to, give the agency/your point of contact a bit of time to get back up and running before reaching out.


  • Don't stop networking. Network, network, and more networking! Strategically use LinkedIn and email to reach out to hiring managers and recruiters for a coffee or quick phone call (give time to agencies to get back up and running).


  • Keep in mind that federal government shutdowns are pretty uncommon and very rarely (if ever) result in employees losing pay in the long run.


Note: The president signed a continuing resolution that will fund the government until February 15. If another shutdown occurs after February 15, 2019 the above still applies.