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Finding and Getting Federal Government Jobs. Jason Parman USOPM September 2012. Happy FY13…. …or is it?. Background. Times are hard Jobs are there There are many ways to get Federal jobs Competitive = Challenge. Today’s Topics. Finding Federal Jobs Applying for a Federal Job

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Finding and getting federal government jobs

Finding and GettingFederal Government Jobs

Jason ParmanUSOPMSeptember 2012

Happy fy13
Happy FY13…

…or is it?


  • Times are hard

  • Jobs are there

  • There are many ways to get Federal jobs

  • Competitive = Challenge

Today s topics
Today’s Topics

  • Finding Federal Jobs

  • Applying for a Federal Job

  • New & Revised Programs

  • Resume Writing and Qualifications

  • Narrative Statements

  • Attorneys & Foreign Service

  • Summary

Step one usajobs gov
Step One:

  • Official Federal employment information system

  • Lists more than 30,000 Federal jobs daily, worldwide

  • Allows job seekers to apply online


Job search agents
Job Search Agents

  • The easiest way to find jobs

  • Set it and forget it

  • The way HR folks find their jobs

Step two build and use a network
Step Two: Build and Use a Network

  • Leverage your network of contacts

  • Every colleague, every classmate, every customer, every boss

  • You can get a job even when no announcement is posted…and it’s perfectly legal

  • “You know, I’d be great at that job…”

Leverage new and existing flexibilities
Leverage New and Existing Flexibilities

Consider creating your own opportunity…

  • Student Pathways Program

  • Yesterday’s non-traditional student is today’s traditional student

  • More agencies looking to hire experienced staff through student appointments

Pathways programs
Pathways Programs

  • Internship Program

  • Recent Graduates Program

  • Presidential Management Fellows Program

Internship program
Internship Program

  • For current students

  • Job must be related to the academic career goals or field of study

  • Agencies have to post information publicly on USAJOBS

  • Complete at least 640 hours of work, up to 320 may be waived

Recent graduates program
Recent Graduates Program

  • For recent graduates (within two years, vets within six)

  • Agencies have to post information publicly on USAJOBS about how to apply for specific positions

  • Orientation, mentorship, 40 hours of training each year

  • Complete at least one year, may be converted to permanent position

Presidential management fellows pmf program
Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program

  • Must have completed a qualifying advanced degree in past two years

  • Opens Monday, November 5, 2012 and closes on Monday, November 19

  • Rigorous assessment process to determine finalists

  • PMFs serve in a two-year excepted service position

  • PMFs get OPM orientation, senior-level mentorship, and 160 hours of training

  • May be converted into permanent positions

Finding and getting federal government jobs

Submitting Your Application

  • Remember:

  • Follow the “How to Apply” instructions carefully, as they may differ across agencies

  • Check your application status online


Overview of the online process
Overview of the Online Process

  • Create your Federal resume

  • Answer the questions posed online

  • Submit the complete application package by the stated deadline

Federal resumes
Federal Resumes

  • Information about the opening

  • Personal information

  • Education and coursework levels

  • Work Experience

    • Dates and number of hours per week

    • Salary

    • Location of position & supervisor contact info

Resume writing tips
Resume Writing Tips

  • DO include all required information

    • USAJOBS resume builder can help with this

  • Boring doesn’t sell

  • Use bullets and storytelling

    • Three to five sentence description summarizing position

    • Bulleted list of top 3 – 5 results achieved

    • Then take defining characteristic of your success and tell a story with it

Job related questionnaire tips
Job-Related Questionnaire Tips

  • Give yourself all the credit you deserve, but none you don’t

  • Check your responses against your resume and narrative statements

    • Do they match up well?

    • If not, you’ve got some work to do

Narrative responses

Can be called KSAs, Competencies, Narratives, etc.

Can be extremely important

Vary depending on the job

Are similar to interview questions

Narrative Responses

Agencies commonly require narrative responses to address characteristics they seek

Finding and getting federal government jobs

Response Approach:Context, Challenge, Action, and Result

  • Context:Describe the specific problem you had to address (What did you have to solve, resolve, respond to, handle, etc).

  • Challenge:Describe the factors that contributed to a particular challenge such as budget cuts, new legislation, institutional reform, new goals from upper management, etc.

  • Action:Describe the steps you took to solve the problem (Stay away from the ordinary -- be extraordinary in your response)

  • Result:Outcomes of your actions (What was the difference you made – highlight THE BEST)

Finding and getting federal government jobs

Address key words/phrases mentioned in the position description

Focus on outcomes

Use plain language, without acronyms

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

Tell a story about your best example

Inject drama where you can

Use a “magazine article” format

Start with a hook

Lay down the facts

Tie it back in

More Narrative Response Tips

What happens next
What Happens Next description

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 clearances

A note about security clearances
A Note About Security Clearances description

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

1) Get the job offer

2) Go through a detailed background investigation

Everyone hired for a Federal job undergoes a basic background check of their criminal and credit histories

Jobs that include access to sensitive information generally require a security clearance, which requires a more intensive background investigation that beginsafter someone has already received a job offer

Summary tips for applying
Summary Tips for Applying description

Plan ahead

Select carefully

Be patient

Summary description

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

Increase your chances of being hired by following a few clear steps

Consider various employment avenues


Follow the application directions carefully

Bring your best to the application and interview


Attorneys description

Www justice gov description

Questions answers
Questions & Answers description