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Federal Application Workshop for Veterans “ How to Apply for Federal Employment”. Presented by Don Froman Jorge McCall. Section 1 - INTRODUCTION. 1). Federal Facts 2). Where are these Jobs? 3). Why Apply for Federal Jobs? 4). Mobility 5). Veterans Preference

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federal application workshop for veterans how to apply for federal employment

Federal Application Workshopfor Veterans“How to Apply for Federal Employment”

Presented by

Don FromanJorge McCall

section 1 introduction

1). Federal Facts

2). Where are these Jobs?

3). Why Apply for Federal Jobs?

4). Mobility

5). Veterans Preference

6) Special Hiring Authorities for Veterans

federal facts
  • Federal Government is the largest employer in the U.S.
  • 7,500 to 20,000 jobs open at one time.
  • In the next 5 -7 years, 60% of the Federal workforce will retire.
  • In most agencies, age is not an issue.
  • Veterans receive special consideration.
federal agencies located in the coachella valley
Dept. of Agriculture

Dept. of Commerce



Dept. of the Interior

Dept. of Labor

Small Business Admin.

Social Security Admin.

Dept. of Transportation

Dept. of Homeland Security

US Postal Service

Veterans Administration

Federal Agencies located in the Coachella Valley
  • Retirement
  • Buy Military Time
  • Savings Plan
  • Rate of Pay
  • Healthcare
  • Sick Leave
  • Vacation
  • Paid Holidays
  • Pay Increases
  • Choose from a multitude of plans to fit your needs
sick leave
Sick Leave
  • 4 hours per pay period, 2.5 weeks per year
vacation annual leave
Vacation / Annual Leave
  • With 3 years of service, you earn 6 hours per pay period. This is 4 hours shy of 4 weeks per year!!!!!
paid holidays
Paid Holidays
  • 10 Paid Holidays per year, which is 2 more weeks off per year!
  • Do the math, you only work 10 ½ months per year.
scheduled pay increases
Scheduled Pay Increases
  • Annual increases
  • Based on your anniversary date (date of hire)
  • You can purchase your military time to add to your retirement.
  • Retirement is based on your 3 highest grades.
thrift savings plan
Thrift Savings Plan
  • Allows you to invest up to 15% of your salary which is taken off the top of your paycheck.
  • This reduces your taxable income.
  • Catch-up contributions available to TSP participants age 50 or older.
rate of pay
Rate of Pay
  • Generally speaking, rate of pay is higher than the local economy.
  • Cost Of Living Allowance (COLA), additional money that is based on the local economy.
  • Example: Palm Springs’ COLA is 21.5%
  • Location preference
  • Making grade and pay
veterans preferance
  • Veterans have preference over the general public.
    • 5-point preference
    • 10-point preference
      • less than 30% Service-Connected Disabled (SCD)
      • 30% SCD or more
special hiring authorities
  • Veterans Recruitment Appointment (VRA)
  • 30% SCD or more
  • Veterans Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA) of 1998
veterans recruitment appointments vra
Veterans Recruitment Appointments (VRA)
  • Eligibility Criteria
    • discharged under other than dishonorable conditions
    • recognized periods or campaigns
  • Time Limit
    • NONE
  • Grade limit
    • Up to GS-11
30 or more disabled
30% or More Disabled
  • Eligibility
    • self-explanatory
  • Time Limit
    • NONE
  • NO Grade limit
veterans employment opportunity act of 1998
Veterans Employment Opportunity Act of 1998
  • Allows eligible veterans to apply for positions announced under merit promotion (which closes it to the general public) when the agency is recruiting from outside its own workforce. (Agency means the parent agency, i.e. Treasury, not the IRS)
introduction end

Introduction (End)

Questions, Concerns ?

section 2 starting your federal job search

1). 10 Steps for Tackling Applications

2). Federal Vacancy Announcements

3). Searching through USAJobs

4). Searching an Agency’s Official Website for

Vacancy Announcements

10 tips for federal applications
10 Tips for Federal Applications

1. Identify and apply for appropriate Federal positions

2. Read and follow all directions

3. Choose application format

4. Keep it simple, but detailed

5. Be honest

10 tips for federal applications cont
10 Tips for Federal Applications (cont.)

6). Type your application

7). Avoid using shortcuts in the application

8). Keep it easy to read

9). Review your application before sending

10). Modify application for each position you apply for

1 identify and apply for federal positions
1). Identify and apply for Federal positions
  • Identify jobs you’re interested in and qualified for
  • Every job has a full vacancy announcement
  • USA Jobs is the official Federal website
  • All announcements have contact information if you are unsure or have questions
2 read and follow all directions
2). Read and Follow All Directions
  • Qualifications, Requirements
  • Address all requested information
  • Include all supplemental forms and documents
  • Include all other qualifications
  • Questions? Call the POC for the announcement
3 choose an application format
3). Choose an Application Format
  • Most agencies offer you choice of applications in the form of a resume, Optional Application for Federal Employment (OF-612), or online application
  • It is YOURresponsibility to include all requested information
  • Supplement the resume with additional info as outlined in job announcement
3 choose an application format cont
3). Choose an Application Format (cont.)
  • Keep in mind, your application paves the road for your KSAs (Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities)
  • For accurate dates, request employment history from Social Security
  • Requirements differ between agencies; read & follow instructions in each Job announcement
4 keep it simple but detailed
4). Keep it simple, but detailed
  • Application should be thorough, detailed, and clearly depict experience, education, and qualifications.
  • Use percentages to account for experience
  • Use past-tense action verbs; accomplishments stand out. Do NOT just state duties
  • Use key words from vacancy announcements
  • Do NOT use civilian industry jargon, acronyms, or company specific terminology; govt. jargon OK
5 answer truthfully
5). Answer Truthfully
  • Do NOT over-inflate your experience, knowledge, education, or qualifications
  • You will certify the accuracy of information provided
  • False or fraudulent info may be grounds for not hiring or firing after hired, and
  • May be punishable by fine or imprisonment
6 type your application
6). Type Your Application
  • Your application is your first impression
  • It should NOT be handwritten
  • All forms can be downloaded and typed out on www.opm.gov
  • Use Quick ‘n’ Easy Application software; next section will cover Quick ‘n’ Easy
7 avoid using shortcuts on application
7). Avoid Using Shortcuts on Application
  • Do NOT attach position descriptions to document your experience.
  • Do NOT assume HR knows your job because they don’t.
  • Put your experience in your own words, highlighting what you did not what was expected. Use %’s.
  • Need extra space? Attach response on plain paper.
8 keep it easy to read
8). Keep It Easy To Read
  • Two individuals will review your app. & determine if you meet the qualifications
  • Do NOT submit messy, wordy, or too much information on your application
  • Be Clear, Concise, and to the Point
  • Leave white space.
  • Highlight key points using bold or underlining,(NOTin Resumix; Army & Navy)
9 review before sending
9). Review Before Sending
  • Review, review, review
  • Proofread for typos, grammar, punctuation, etc.
  • Ensure all requested forms are attached; DD-214, college transcripts, SF-15 for veterans preference, etc.
  • Failure to submit all requested documents will mean disqualification
10 modify applications
10). Modify Applications
  • Using the same application over and over will hurt you
  • Modify application for each position you apply for highlighting outlined requirements
  • KSAs or qualifications must be linked back to employment & education
  • Quick ‘n’ Easy Application software will help tremendously
federal vacancy announcements
Federal Vacancy Announcements
  • Name of agency and office
  • Title of job and grade level
  • Opening and closing dates
  • Location of the job
  • Who can apply
  • Qualifications required for the job
  • How to Apply
  • Point of Contact
section 2 end
Section 2 - END

Questions, Concerns ?

section 3 federal applications resumes other forms
Section 3 - Federal Applications, Resumes, & Other Forms
  • 1). Federal Resume vs. Private Industry Resume
  • 2). 4 Common Application Methods
  • 3). OPM website
  • 4). Create your Own Federal-style Resume
  • 5). Quick & Easy software
  • 6). Application Resume
  • 7). SF - 15, Award Letters
private industry resumes
Private Industry Resumes
  • Goal is to get an interview
  • 1 page, never more than 2 pages
  • Hit the highlights, forget the detail
  • Hiring decision comes after interview
  • No compliance details, i.e.. SSN, Supervisor’s

name, Supervisor’s phone, Veterans Preference

  • Does not require KSAs
federal resume
Federal Resume
  • Hiring decision based almost completely on resume (interviews are optional most times)
  • No limit (3-4 pages at least)
  • Use government jargon
  • Must include compliance details, i.e.. SSN, Supervisor’s name, Supervisor’s phone, Veterans Preference
  • Lays the foundation for your KSAs
3 common application methods
3 Common Application Methods

1). Optional Form 612 (OF – 612)

2). USAJobs Resume Builder

3). Agency’s Resume Builder

1 optional form 612 of 612
1). Optional Form 612 (OF – 612)
  • Most commonly used application method
  • Recommended for new employees
  • Is a great method because it contains all requirements for most agencies
  • Can be downloaded off of www.opm.gov
  • Save form on computer
2 usajobs resume builder
2). USAJobs Resume Builder
  • A preset format offered by USAJobs
  • Very easy to use
  • Must create a username and password
  • Must include a catchy Profile Statement
3 agency s resume builder
3). Agency’s Resume Builder
  • Some agencies offer their own Resume Builder: DON and DOA
  • Artificial Intelligence that reads your skills from your resume
  • Formatted or create your own resume
create your own federal style resume
Create Your Own Federal-style Resume
  • Alternative to the 3 Common Application Methods.
  • Follow the guidelines on the OF – 510, page 32.
  • Follow all procedures from Vacancy Announcement – it may require additional info not included on the OF – 510, i.e. transcripts.
basic fundamentals
Basic Fundamentals
  • Regardless of which Application Method you use remember:
    • Must be typed
    • Proofread for errors
    • Read instruction, submit ALL required information
    • Do NOT staple
quick n easy

The Quick & Easysoftware will help you through the federal application maze with these templates:

  • OF-612
  • Resumix Resume
  • Federal Style Resume
  • SF-15
  • SF-181
  • OF-306
  • OPM 1170/17
  • and much more...
quick n easy1

Other features include:

  • Built in word processor
  • Spell-checker and Thesaurus
  • Built-in email and fax capabilities
  • Automatic conversions from one template to another with the click of a button
standard form 15 sf 15
Standard Form 15 (SF – 15)
  • This is the Application for 10-points Veterans Preference
  • Verifies that you have a Service-Connected Disability (SCD)
  • Ensure you submit official VA Award Letter dated 1991 or later
va award letters
VA Award Letters
  • If you have an SCD, ensure it is dated 1991 or later from the Department of Veteran Affairs, or from a branch of the Armed Forces.
  • If outdated, call VA at 1-800-827-1000. They can expedite the award letter.
adjudicating your application
“Adjudicating” your Application

Step 1 – HR checks your application for completeness (many people don’t make it past this point)

Step 2 – HR or computer screens your application. Hiring Official sorts into either Best Qualified, Qualified, or Not Qualified

Step 3 – KSA Rating and Ranking, Veterans preference comes in at this point

section 3 end

Section 3 - End

Questions, Concerns ?

section 4 ksas background
Section 4 - KSAs, Background,
  • 1). Writing Effective KSAs
  • 2). Background / Credit Check
ksas 1
KSAs #1
  • KSAs are AS important as the application itself!
  • You should always check the KSAs first before applying for the position. If you cannot demonstrate having performed the KSAs in the past, you will not qualify.
ksas 2
KSAs #2
  • The experience/job you cite in KSA MUST be listed on the application as well, regardless of how long ago or whether it was volunteer experience
  • Read the job announcement carefully! You must understand the needs of the job in order to weave your own experience into the KSA.
ksa 3
KSA #3
  • Position - Identify the position you held, where, and with who
  • Task - (KSA such as being able to write effectively) Identify what your particular responsibility was, i.e. detailed monthly reports, evaluations, etc.
  • Action - What you did, how often. Be specific!
  • Results - Did anything noteworthy come of it ?
ksa 4
  • At the end of each KSA, enter the percentage of time (5%) that you performed that particular task
  • As a separate bullet or paragraph, enter pertinent training, awards, recognition, etc.
  • Do not be afraid to toot your own horn. This is your chance…no one else will do it for you.
ksa 5
KSA #5
  • REMEMBER…..keep copies of your KSAs. After you spend so much time creating them, you don’t want to have to recreate them for another position
  • These KSAs are used over and over again in federal job announcements.
you got the job now they want a background check
You Got The Job! Now they want a BACKGROUND CHECK
  • In every federal position, a background investigation is conducted.
  • Criminal record….depending on the conviction, how long ago, and surrounding circumstances. It does not automatically rule you out, BUT it will be scrutinized!
  • If the position is sensitive, the background check may be up to 14 pages long.
background check
Background Check
  • Your credit will also be looked at. The government wants to know that they are hiring someone who takes responsibility for the debts they incur.
  • Bankruptcy will not rule you out, BUT a current bad rating may.
background check 2
Background Check #2
  • The background is intense and may take up to two or more years to complete!
  • When you fill out the background survey, you MUST be able to verify all information with an individual, their address, and phone number
  • You CANNOT repeat an individual’s name on the survey. THIS is very, very hard.
background check 3
Background Check #3
  • Under any circumstance… DO NOT LIE!
  • If your background reveals that you lied, you may be terminated and will be escorted off the federal premises immediately.
section 4 end

Section 4 - End

Questions, Concerns ?

federal application workshop conclusion
Federal Application WorkshopConclusion
  • It is pretty clear to see that the Federal Application process can be an overwhelming affair!
  • The REWARD for your great effort, is a promising career with:
    • Higher average pay
    • greater benefits
    • and better job security.