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How to Apply for a Federal Job

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  1. Finding and Applying for Jobs in the Federal Government Report Tile United States Office of Personnel Management

  2. Benefits of Government Service • Opportunity to make a difference • Influence the future of our country • Work/Life balance • Flexible work schedules and generous vacations

  3. Benefits of Government Service • Competitive health and retirement benefits • Excellent advancement opportunities • Student loan repayment assistance • Training and professional development

  4. 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

  5. GS-5 and GS-7 are considered “entry level” General Schedule (GS) Grade Criteria http://www.opm.gov/qualifications/SEC-II/s2-e5.asp

  6. Selected 2008 Starting Salaries Starting salaries for GS-5, 7, 9 and 11 https://www.opm.gov/oca/07tables/indexGS.asp

  7. Federal Jobs By Location In addition, over 50,000 people work for the U.S. Government in foreign countries!

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Where to Look: STUDENTJOBS.gov

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Where to Look: Agency Sites

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  21. 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

  22. Where to Look: USAJOBS.gov

  23. Search by Interests • An example: • Chicago, IL • Social Science, Psychology, and Welfare

  24. Anatomy of a Vacancy Announcement

  25. Anatomy of a Vacancy Announcement Benefits andOther Information Qualifications and Evaluation How to Apply Overview Duties

  26. Anatomy of a Vacancy Announcement

  27. 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

  28. Building a Federal Resume Online

  29. Building a Federal Resume Online Sections: Candidate Info. Work Experience Education References Affiliations Desired Locations

  30. 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

  31. 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”

  32. 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)?

  33. 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.

  34. 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

  35. 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

  36. 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

  37. 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

  38. 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

  39. 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)

  40. Processing Timeliness for Initial Security Clearance Investigations GOAL: 80% of all initial clearance investigations completed within average of 90 days or less

  41. All Initial Clearances Closed duringTotal80%Average FY 08 1st Qtr 158,997 60 days FY 08 4th Qtr 194,252 45 days Top Secret Initial: Closed duringTotal80% Average FY 08 1st Qtr 21,527 83 days FY 08 4th Qtr 26,949 67 days FY 2008 Clearance Results

  42. 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

  43. Thank You For additional information on these topics, please visit: www.opm.gov www.makingthedifference.org United States Office of Personnel Management