The federal job search is not an easy task; to many it can be down right intimidating and most never complete their first application. Federal applications have unfamiliar language and regulations related to them. There are two main elements to look for when applying for federal employment opportunities, and those are “Public” or “Merit” positions. Simply put, “Public” job announcements are those positions whom any United States Citizen may apply for. Keeping in mind, the eligibility and qualification factors. “Merit” job announcements are those positions whom current federal workers, prior federal workers, past federal workers, displaced federal workers, or United States Veterans may apply for.
In the search, you may conduct an advance search for these key works to cut down on wasted time searching threw every federal position on the site. This is a critical element when searching for job announcements, at any given time a job seeker could spend a minimum of 8 to 10 hours a day searching through jobs without using this step to narrow down the job announcements they are eligible for. For instances, if you are looking for a Administrative Officer position, in Tampa, FL go to the “Advance Search” and type in “Administrative Officer, Tampa, Fl, salary range, and public or merit.” This will eliminate all the Administrative Officers that are not in your criteria and save you a ton of time and efforts that could be put toward a different search for more federal employment job opportunities.
Excerpt from: 10 Tips for Apply to Government Jobs