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How to Apply for a Federal Job PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Finding and Applying for Jobs in the Federal Government ... Federal jobs are highly desirable and as a result, are often competitive ...

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How to Apply for a Federal Job

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Finding and Applying for Jobs in the Federal Government

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United States Office of Personnel Management


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Benefits of Government Service

  • Opportunity to make a difference

  • Influence the future of our country

  • Work/Life balance

  • Flexible work schedules and generous vacations


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Benefits of Government Service

  • Competitive health and retirement benefits

  • Excellent advancement opportunities

  • Student loan repayment assistance

  • Training and professional development


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Federal Pay & Advancement

  • Federal pay is generally competitive across a wide range of occupations

  • General Schedule (GS) is the pay scale for many Federal jobs from Grades 1-15

  • Varies by geographic location (the base salary for GS grades does not change)

  • Can progress through several grades within a few years


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GS-5 and GS-7 are considered “entry level”

General Schedule (GS) Grade Criteria

http://www.opm.gov/qualifications/SEC-II/s2-e5.asp


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Selected 2008 Starting Salaries

Starting salaries for GS-5, 7, 9 and 11

https://www.opm.gov/oca/07tables/indexGS.asp


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Federal Jobs By Location

In addition, over 50,000 people work for the

U.S. Government in foreign countries!


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Jobs by Occupation

In FY 2007, 46,264 people were hired in the Federal Government at the entry level, GS-5 to GS-7. Here’s how many of those were hired into the following occupations:

Source: www.fedscope.opm.gov


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www.studentjobs.gov – Find student employment opportunities within the Federal Government

www.makingthedifference.org – Federal job and internship information

Agency websites – Visit the websites of agencies whose missions interest you

Your university’s career development center

www.usajobs.gov – the Federal Government’s main employment information website

Where to Look


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Where to Look: STUDENTJOBS.gov


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Where to Look: MakingtheDifference.org

  • Resources include:

  • Ten Reasons to Consider a Federal Career

  • Red, White and Blue Jobs Library: How to Find Great Jobs in the Federal Service

  • Interest-Specific Career Guides

  • Internship Database

  • Agency Profiles

  • Profiles in Public Service

  • Security Clearance


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Where the Jobs Are

Outlines projected hiring needs through 2009

Covers 99% of the Federal workforce, 34 agencies

193,000 mission critical jobs

Presented by agency and by occupation

Download on: MakingtheDifference.org


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Where to Look: Agency Sites


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FOR ALL STUDENTS

Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP) & Student Career Experience Program (SCEP)www.usajobs.opm.gov/STUDENTS.asp

Where to Look: Special Hiring Programs

  • FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS

  • Presidential Management Fellows Program www.pmf.opm.gov

  • OTHER PROGRAMS

  • Federal Career Intern Program http://www.opm.gov/careerintern/index.asp

  • Volunteer and Internship Opportunities


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Special Hiring Programs: For All Students

Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP)

  • Temporarily work for a Federal agency while in school

  • Schedule determined jointly by student and agency

  • Terminates upon graduation


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Special Hiring Programs: For All Students

  • Student Career Experience Program (SCEP)

    • Work for a Federal agency until graduation

    • Work related to academic goals

    • All requirements/expectations spelled out in

    • agreement with school/student/agency

    • May be offered permanent position after

    • graduation if all requirements are met


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Special Hiring Programs: For Graduate Students

  • Presidential Management Fellows Program (PMF)

    • For Graduate Students

    • 2-Yr Full-Time Developmental Program

    • Appointed at the GS-9/11/12

    • May be offered a permanent position program

    • Recruitment once a year

    • Targets students in last year of grad school

    • Must be nominated by school

    • Rigorous assessment process

    • Fellows selected in March/April


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Other Programs: Federal Career Intern Program

  • Federal Career Intern Program (FCIP)

  • 2-Yr Full-Time Training/Development Program

  • Appointed at the GS-5/7/9

  • May be offered permanent position after successful completion of program

  • Agencies determine design of programs

  • May or may not be named FCIP

  • Agency specific recruitment/application


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Other Programs:Student Volunteers and Internships

  • Student Volunteers

    • May work in Federal agencies as volunteers

    • Designed to give students work experience

    • Must be coordinated with the student’s school

  • Internships

    • Agency unique programs

    • May or may not be paid

    • Short and long term

    • Look on Agency websites for specific programs


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Talk to knowledgeable sources — family, friends, alumni, career services offices, and current or former Feds

Consider student employment opportunities

Search through USAJOBS.gov and by agency/location, etc. — be flexible

Summary Tips to Help with the Job Search


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What to Expect During the Process

  • Applying for a Federal job requires time and special attention to detail -- but the rewards are worth it

  • Procedures vary across Federal agencies

  • Federal jobs are highly desirable and as a result, are often competitive


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Where to Look: USAJOBS.gov


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Search by Interests

  • An example:

  • Chicago, IL

  • Social Science, Psychology, and Welfare


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Anatomy of a Vacancy Announcement


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Anatomy of a Vacancy Announcement

Benefits andOther Information

Qualifications and Evaluation

How to Apply

Overview

Duties


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Anatomy of a Vacancy Announcement


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Overview of the Online Process

After selecting the job for which you would like to apply, there are usually several steps in the online application process:

  • Create your Federal resume

  • Answer the questions posed online

  • Submit the complete application package by the stated deadline

  • Follow up with the appropriate agency contact to inquire about progress in hiring for the position


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Building a Federal Resume Online


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Building a Federal Resume Online

Sections:

Candidate Info.

Work Experience

Education

References

Affiliations

Desired Locations


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Can be extremely important in the evaluation process in sorting out the best qualified candidates

Vary depending on the job, but examples include: skill in written and oral communications; demonstrated technical ability; knowledge of specific subject matter areas

Are similar to interview questions; answers should provide concrete examples (coursework and volunteer experience count), particularly to demonstrate quantifiable results, complexity, or leadership

Should be a narrative written in first person and about 1-2 pages each

Application Essays

Agencies commonly require essays as part of the application to address characteristics they seek


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Knowledge:The foundation upon which skills and abilities are built

Examples: Federal regulations and directives, operating systems andprocedures, budget and accounting principles, engineering practices

What is a KSA (Knowledge, Skills and Abilities)?

KSA is an acronym for “Knowledge, Skills and Abilities”


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Skills:The observable demonstration of proficiency to do a task

Examples: computer software proficiency, second language proficiency

Ability:The capacity to perform a job function

Examples: organize and plan work, analyze situations, communicate orally and in writing, coach and mentor others

What is a KSA (Knowledge, Skills and Abilities)?


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KSA Example

Note:Specifically address each KSA in your application, providing examples of how your experience prepares you for this role

  • Ability to communicate orally.

  • Ability to communicate in writing.

  • Ability to work with data on a computer.

  • Ability to organize the work flow of clerical and administrative support functions.


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Address key words/phrases mentioned in the position description

Tie experiences to each KSA

Use illustrative examples

Focus on outcomes to which you directly contributed

Use plain language, without acronyms

Review answers to ensure they are succinct, easy to read, and grammatically correct

Summary Tips for the KSA Section


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When submitting an application, agencies request eligibility information including:

Applicant Eligibility

  • Past or current Federal employment

  • Veteran qualifications: http://www.opm.gov/veterans/html/vetsInfo.asp


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Disability Status

Non-competitive appointment

Peace Corps and AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteers have 1 year of non-competitive eligibility

http://www.peacecorps.gov/index.cfm?shell=learn.whyvol.profben#adv, http://www.americorps.gov/for_individuals/alumni/opportunities.asp

Applicant Eligibility


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Summary Tips for Applying

Plan ahead-allow plenty of time to thoroughly complete your application

Select carefully-always consider using a tailored application for each vacancy you apply

Prepare for a wait-don’t assume you have been rejected if you do not hear back within weeks of submitting your application

Follow-up with an agency-contact the identified representative to learn the status of an application or find out more about a job


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What Happens Next

After the closing date for applications, the agency evaluates candidate qualifications

From this assessment, the agency produces a list of qualified candidates

From the list of qualified applicants, agencies select candidates for interviews

At this point, agencies are like other organizations

They conduct interviews and select the best candidate(s) for the job

Some jobs require security clearance


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A Note About Security Clearances

Applying for jobs that require a security clearance is a two-stage process:

1) Get the job offer

2) Go through a background investigation

Most individuals selected for Federal positions undergo a basic background investigation(Executive Order 10450)

Jobs that include access to classified information require a security clearance, which requires a more intensive background investigation (Executive Order 12968)


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Processing Timeliness for Initial Security Clearance Investigations

GOAL: 80% of all initial clearance investigations completed within average of 90 days or less


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All Initial Clearances

Closed duringTotal80%Average

FY 08 1st Qtr158,997 60 days

FY 08 4th Qtr194,252 45 days

Top Secret Initial:

Closed duringTotal80% Average

FY 08 1st Qtr21,527 83 days

FY 08 4th Qtr26,949 67 days

FY 2008 Clearance Results


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Federal agencies hire the best and the brightest, and getting a Federal job is competitive

Increase chances of being hired by following a few clear steps

Research potential opportunities

Consider various employment avenues

Search on job websites and specific agencies

Follow application directions carefully

Summary


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Thank You

For additional information on these topics, please visit:

www.opm.gov

www.makingthedifference.org

United States Office of Personnel Management


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