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Applying for a Job in the Government

Job hunting is tough.

In my previous post, I talked about how to check for vacancies in the government service. If you were able to read it, the next question is – now what? Before you write your application letter and send in your resume,  here are some things that you have to know when it comes to applying for jobs in the government:

1.  Qualification Standards (QS) matter. 

Qualification standards refer to the four basics which you have to meet before you can be considered for a vacant position: Education, Experience, Training and Eligibility. Here’s an example:


Remember that except for confidential or personal staff, all positions in the government must have an approved QS. If you get hired for a position without an approved QS, the Civil Service Commission will disapprove your appointment.

2. Substitution for deficiencies in education or experience is not allowed.

If you meet the requirements indicated in the QS, then you can start writing your application letter. It is important that you pay attention to the education and experience requirements because you cannot substitute one with the other. Take that example above. The job requires a Bachelor’s Degree and 1 year of relevant experience. If you only have two years of college education, you will not qualify even if you have 3 years of relevant experience. The same goes if you have a Master’s Degree but do not have any relevant experience.

3. You have to go through the Personnel Selection Board.

The hiring agency has its Personnel Selection Board (PSB) who are in-charge of screening all the applicants for the job. From among the aspirants, the PSB prepares an evaluation report where they indicate the top five people who they think best qualifies for the position. But, there are certain instances when PSB screening is not mandatory-

a) When the vacancy is only for a substitute to a position that is temporarily vacated by its incumbent (such as when the incumbent is on study leave);

b) When the position is in the closed-career service or those positions which are scientific and highly technical (including faculty and academic staff in State Universities and Colleges or Local Colleges and Universities);

c) When the vacancy is for entry laborer positions; and

d) When the position is for the Non-Career Service, which includes elective officials and their confidential staff, contractuals, emergency, and seasonal personnel.

4. Even if you think you are the most qualified in the PSB evaluation, there is no assurance that you will get the job.

When applying for jobs in the government, impressing the PSB with your qualifications and communication skills during the screening process will not assure you the position you applied for. The appointing authority still has the last say as to who he/she will appoint. This is more commonly termed as the “discretionary power” in appointment. In fact, the appointing authority may even order further recruitment and selection if he/she does not find it practicable to select from the five applicants recommended by the PSB.

Good luck with your jobs hunting!

4 thoughts on “Applying for a Job in the Government

  1. who is most qualified for a vacant permanent position if the candidates that applied for the position has professional, sub prop., and civil service skilled eligibilty mc 11 series 99 ,category 2 eligible respectively.

    1. A candidate needs only to have the minimum QS set for the position. Apart from that, the decision on whom to appoint will depend on the appointing authority.

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