Interested in a job as a government contractor? Much like applying directly for a civil service position, the world of government contracting can seem complicated to enter. While the industry is filled with veterans with military experience or prior government service under their belt, there is also a great need for new professionals to enter the field and put their skills to use supporting the government.

The application process for government contracting is largely similar to any other application process.

First, build a keyword dense resume. Highlight your skills, credentials, degrees and certifications, which are often required for government contracting positions. Keep in mind that a federal government resume often requires you to list full dates and employment details that will not be required for a government contract employer. Your government contract job application should require a basic two or three-page resume.

Then, network, network, network. Find professionals in the field to connect with, and encourage them to refer you to openings with their companies. Don’t assume your dream job will be listed on a job search site. Build valuable relationships with recruiters and in addition to applying for positions, reach out to ideal companies to let them know you’re looking and what skills you possess.

If you don’t already have a security clearance, it will often be required for those entering the field for the first time. If you’re willing to wait the months it may take for a determination, there are many companies willing to sponsor a clearance for the right candidate.

Supporting the government through a government contracting position can be a rewarding and lucrative career path, and a great way to pursue your passions while giving back to your country and community.

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Lindy Kyzer is the editor of ClearanceJobs.com. She loves the NISPPAC, social media, and the U.S. military. Have a conference, tip, or story idea to share? Email lindy.kyzer@clearancejobs.com. Interested in writing for ClearanceJobs.com? Learn more here.