Written by Sandy Harris, President of Federal Research Service
In 1974, Federal Research Service started compiling information on available government jobs into a publication called Federal Career Opportunities. Today this vacancy listing is available in the printed version, and on the web site FedJobs Career Central. Sandy Harris, the president of Federal Research Service is also a presenter of the "Find a Federal Job" seminar at the Corporate Gray Military Job Fairs. In addition, based on their 30 years of experience in the federal employment field, they've put together the following resources specifically targeted for federal job hunters, both first-time applicants and those already working in federal service. These resources give job seekers the advice and how-to information they need to land a federal job such as:
With the increased competition for federal jobs it's more important than ever to submit a high quality application package. In this era of reinvented government, that package will consist of either a federal-style resume (paper or electronic), or an OF-612 and your supplemental statements. You may meet all the requirements of a particular job, but if your application package doesn't convey your qualifications, you may not have a chance of getting a job.
To understand the important role your application plays in the selection process, it's helpful to understand how an opening's requirements are determined and how your package is evaluated against them.
For most vacancies there are three levels of qualification requirements:
The evaluation process begins in the human resources office shortly after the vacancy announcement closes. Each application is examined against basic criteria:
At this point, evaluation processes may vary, depending on the vacancy and the practices of the agency. Typically, a selection panel will examine the remaining applications in detail. Such a panel often consists of three or more agency employees who work at the same or a higher grade than the job being filled and in the same or a closely related occupation.
There are no government-wide regulations regarding job interviews although some agencies have adopted their own policies. In fact, most managers prefer to interview applicants before making a hiring selection.
If you hope to be among this select group, your task is clear. You must submit an application that successfully represents you at all three levels of the evaluation process:
Remember, a dynamic and comprehensive application not only communicates your strengths, but also stands as an example of your analytical, interpretive and writing skills -- among the most basic qualities sought for federal service.
Part 1: When applying for a Federal job, it is important to know the difference between the various job appointments that the government offers. A Federal job appointment determines Federal benefits and eligibility for transfer and reinstatement to other Federal jobs. In Part One of this article, we'll summarize what career and career-conditional appointments are and what you may encounter during your first three years of employment.
Part 2: There are many non-permanent positions available in the Federal government. An individual should consider these types of appointments very carefully before applying for a job. Why? Because these job appointments do not convey "competitive status" or "reinstatement eligibility" and the time invested in these types of appointments may not count towards career tenure.
Another important factor to consider is that you may not receive all of the benefits that a permanent Federal employee receives. Why then would a person want this type of job? Good Answer: To help them gain valuable experience in the Federal workforce that could play a key role in future applications for a permanent career appointment.
federal jobs can be fierce; therefore, it's important to you to consider
every option of federal employment. It's especially important that all
first-time federal job seekers know about the Excepted Service. The result
may be an expanded range of employment prospects.
federal government, as well as the nation as a whole, recognizes the
enormous debt owed to those who serve in the military services and has
always been a leading employer of veterans.
The federal government's commitment to ensure that persons with physical or mental disabilities have full and fair opportunity to work for the government has a long history. In 1908 President Theodore Roosevelt signed an Executive Order to encourage government hiring of "deaf-mutes" for a broad range of positions, from laundry-worker to bookbinder to accountant to translator.
Today there are no restrictions on the type of jobs that are open or the types of disabilities that are acceptable for federal employment. Employment of persons with disabilities is more than just a desirable social objective; it is against the law for a federal agency to discriminate against a qualified disabled individual. Equally important is the government's need for the best qualified and most talented workers it can find. It simply makes good business sense to give disabled persons equal consideration when seeking the best candidates.
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) oversees the government-wide Selective Placement program for people with disabilities. Its purpose is to encourage the hiring and advancement of qualified persons who have physical or mental disabilities or a history of mental illness. The program includes not only efforts to recruit disabled persons and special programs to help them demonstrate their abilities, but modifications and assistance in taking entry examinations and carrying out their jobs.
There are many resources available on the Internet to find Federal employment. Some are run by the Federal government and others are run by private companies such as the FedJobs.com website run by Federal Research Service. What are the differences? The sites run by the Federal government are free of charge; however, many of these sites only post jobs that fall under their specific agency, or under their jurisdiction. Sites run by private companies like the FedJobs.com site charge a fee to gain access into their job's database. Why should you pay for this information? Sites that charge a fee typically include access to valuable resources on the federal hiring process as well as a comprehensive database of current Federal job openings. For example, the FedJobs.com lists 20% more job openings than any other website on the Internet. In addition, FedJobs members enjoy many resources and articles on preparing your federal resume to interviewing for job openings and more. They also offer their members a FREE Resume Critique to ensure their resume has all the necessary components to rate 'highly qualified' for a Federal job. Depending on your needs, the free sites may be perfectly fine, but if you want to gain that competitive edge over other job applicants, website that charge a fee may be your answer. Below is a sampling of websites that list current Federal job openings:
|Copyright 2005, Federal Research Service, 703-281-0200; firstname.lastname@example.org. Federal Research Service is the publishers of FedJobs.com, Federal Career Opportunities, the KSA Workbook, the KSA Sampler, and editor of the Federal Personnel Guide. Federal Research Service also offers resume writing and federal career counseling services. For more information on our products and services, please contact Sandy Harris at 1-800-822-JOBS|