Evaluate Goals & Job Functions
Interested in contributing to research and crafting legislation? Explore options within the legislative branch. Looking to contribute to environmental or education initiatives? Explore options within the executive agencies and departments. Have a desire to contribute to government policy and functions beyond the scope of direct government hiring? Explore the possibilities of lobbying, public service consulting, and think tanks.
Government entities hire for a multitude of job functional roles, including engineers, urban planners, researchers, scientists, budget analysts, public affairs and communication staff, accountants, technology specialists, physicians, attorneys, administrative support, and more. The array of agencies and departments in the U.S. and state governments provide ample opportunity for those who are interested in public service work.
A federal resume is often over 4-5 pages, and more extensively covers your work experience than other resumes. It includes all work and volunteer experiences, regardless of their direct relevance, because eligibility is determined based on the information in your resume. If sufficient detail is not provided, it may be determined that you do not meet the minimum qualifications.
Use the resume builder on USAJobs. Start by transferring information from your current resume and expand it to include greater detail. Follow the STAR method. Use as many bullets as needed and tailor your resume for each position. In USAJobs, you can “duplicate” your base resume, edit it for a specific posting, and save multiple versions. Refer to the job posting when tailoring your resume and describe exactly how you meet the minimum qualifications. Don’t worry about the style of the resume builder, it is the one most used by federal hiring managers. Visit GoGovernment for more advice.
Yale students should search the Yale Student Grants & Fellowships for Yale-funding for public service opportunities. Create a profile in ProFellow to find fellowships for educational pursuits, go abroad, conduct research, or discover employment opportunities. Consider pursuing these nationally-competitive Fellowships:
Some may require university endorsements, visit Yale Fellowships Office for information.
Pathways and Non-Competitive Eligibility
The Pathways Program offers federal internship and employment opportunities for current students, recent graduates, and those with an advanced degree. These programs are named: Internship Programs, Recent Graduates, and the Presidents Management Fellowship (PMF) program. Search for Pathways Program opportunities through USAJobs.gov.
Non-Competitive Eligibility (NCE) is available in some agencies for subsequent employment opportunities with the U.S. Government. Learn more about the U.S. Study Abroad programs that offer Non-Competitive Eligibility (NCE) here, and for Peace Corps and AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers here.
Foreign Service Careers
U.S. diplomats in the Foreign Service promote peace, support prosperity, and protect American citizens while advancing the interests of the United States abroad. The U.S. Department of State offers worldwide career opportunities in international public service. U.S. Foreign Service Officers represent the United States in diplomatic and ambassadorial roles, connect with the global community, and explore different cultures while living overseas.
Conflict Resolution & Peace Negotiation
Long-term career plans within this career path usually include a graduate degree in this field. Interested students should pursue opportunities at organizations that handle conflict to build experience and frame their research pursuits around related topics . Below are recommended readings and resources:
Military Service & Yale ROTC
The U.S. Military consists of six branches: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy, and Space Force. Additionally, the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard are reserve components of their services and operate in part under state authority. Visit the Department of Defense website to learn details of each branch and reserve unit.
Colleges and Universities nationwide offer the Reserve Officer Training Corps, which pay for students’ tuition and prepares them to be military officers. In return, students commit to serving in the military afterward. Yale ROTC provides details for the Yale Air Force, Army, and Naval ROTC programs.
Political campaign work builds professional skills in a flexible, fast-paced, and fluid environment. Those who work on campaigns gain knowledge of policy issues, the electoral process, campaign management and funding, and the overarching concerns of the American populace.
The Campaign School at Yale University offers events and programs throughout the year to train underrepresented individuals as they pursue elected and appointed political positions.