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Old 09-13-2011, 10:00 AM
 
41 posts, read 149,971 times
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Is it possible to get a GS position at one of the Air Force Bases without being a veteran or spouse of one? I am looking for a network / system admin. type position and have a secret clearance.
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:30 AM
 
20,308 posts, read 37,797,930 times
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There are some civilian jobs, hard to come by, but look at USAJOBS.COM

More likely one of the many defense contractors would hire you.

The existing clearance is a big plus.
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
70 posts, read 190,941 times
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Yes, but your chances are slim. They will usually hire disabled veterans, veterans, before they do non veterans. From what I've been told the Air Force jobs are frozen right now so they are not hiring unless they really need to fill a position. I'm retired AF and work a GS postion on Ft Carson.
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Old 09-13-2011, 03:17 PM
 
727 posts, read 1,135,208 times
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Agree with Mike an Sixgunner. However, if a job is posted (one that's open to candidates not already employed by the Govt) for which no qualified vet applies, then you can be considered. Unless the job is a trainee position, everyone, vets included, must meet certain technical qualifications for the job, based on experience, education or a combination. Based on your on-line application/resume, you'll receive a numerical score and, if you're among the highest qualified (usually top three or top five candidates, depending on their particular process), you'll most likely get an interview. The selecting official can choose anyone from among that highest rated group. If a veteran makes this group, the vet will be offered the job, unless there's some specific reason having to do with questionable qualifications that can be challenged by a third party (Office of Personnel Management). If a disabled vet meets basic qualifications (i.e., qualified enough to do the job, but may not be in the most highly qualified group), then the job goes to that person. This is admittedly an oversimplification of the process; there are lots of permutations, but the basic premise is accurate. It is certainly possible to get a Govt job without being a vet; the vast majorities of non-DoD and VA positions are non-vets, but with so many returning vets with technical knowledge, they certainly have an advantage.

Also agree that your best bet, particularly in your field, is to hook up with a Govt contractor. If you have a clearance, that's golden, as you can hired and put to work right away, and the employer won't have to pay for the background investigation. In your field, a lot of the Govt work is contracted out, so your chances of catching on with one of them is probably much better (and a lot faster) than with the Govt.

Good luck.
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Old 09-14-2011, 10:20 AM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
14,174 posts, read 22,500,688 times
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I'm a vet and I gave up on trying to get any Federal job about a year ago. It's nearly impossible, from what I can tell. And just to apply, you literally have to spend hours answering questions, writing essays, providing copies of all college transcripts, etc. Then 99% of the time, you just receive a rejection letter in the mail a few months later. I once got to the interview portion on a job with the VA. There were two positions. I went through all the hoops, essays, then prepared for the interview. Two hours of a panel grilling me. I felt like it went very well. Then I received a letter that said the positions were filled internally. Meaning I never stood a chance, and the whole "open positions" thing was just a formality that wasted tax payers' money. I think the only way to get in is to start at the complete bottom with a gov't position that won't pay you enough to live indoors, then work your way up. Trying to get in at mid career is apparently near impossible.
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Old 09-14-2011, 11:07 AM
 
41 posts, read 149,971 times
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Thanks for the info. that's what I was afraid of. I presently work for a Govt. Contractor in California but they dont have any positions in Colorado. The job security as a contractor doesn't seem to be very good, maybe that is different in Colorado Springs. I only have a Secret clearance, is that enough? Does the Govt. every hire contractors that are in place and already know the job?
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Old 09-14-2011, 11:09 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
641 posts, read 1,954,687 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denverian View Post
I'm a vet and I gave up on trying to get any Federal job about a year ago. It's nearly impossible, from what I can tell. And just to apply, you literally have to spend hours answering questions, writing essays, providing copies of all college transcripts, etc. Then 99% of the time, you just receive a rejection letter in the mail a few months later. I once got to the interview portion on a job with the VA. There were two positions. I went through all the hoops, essays, then prepared for the interview. Two hours of a panel grilling me. I felt like it went very well. Then I received a letter that said the positions were filled internally. Meaning I never stood a chance, and the whole "open positions" thing was just a formality that wasted tax payers' money. I think the only way to get in is to start at the complete bottom with a gov't position that won't pay you enough to live indoors, then work your way up. Trying to get in at mid career is apparently near impossible.
Unfortunately, that's all I've ever seen with the GS jobs. I spent 20yrs in the Air Force, with a good chunk of it at the Pentagon and everyone I knew who got a GS position, was someone who left active duty (retired), and came back as a GS employee...literally filling their own previous position, created by themselves or a supervisor, who wanted to bring that person back specifically.

Typically, positions are filled with someone in-house or they were created for someone specifically to fill. What makes things worse (sounds like I'm jealous, but I'm really not), is that those positions sometimes over pay for the job the folks do. It can be a real gravy-train if you can get your foot in the door.
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Old 09-14-2011, 11:12 AM
 
20,308 posts, read 37,797,930 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyerone View Post
Thanks for the info. that's what I was afraid of. I presently work for a Govt. Contractor in California but they dont have any positions in Colorado. The job security as a contractor doesn't seem to be very good, maybe that is different in Colorado Springs. I only have a Secret clearance, is that enough? Does the Govt. every hire contractors that are in place and already know the job?
Our Army agency hired a few contractors who were already working on projects in our agency. It was rare, since the contractors usually made better pay than our GS positions. A secret clearance should do fine, not many people need the Top Secret. I had TS at one time, but in the 1990's they took TS clearances away from thousands who had them but didn't need anything beyond a Secret clearance. Not sure I ever saw TS documents but a few times, most of my classified work was done at Secret-level.
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Old 09-14-2011, 11:53 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
583 posts, read 1,300,771 times
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I've done quite a bit of hiring (for AF GS positions) in the past 4 years.

Not once have I hired someone "retired", "friend", etc. Nor have I created a position for someone I knew. Does it happen, I'm sure it does, but not as much as people want to believe.

What was I looking for in selecting someone? 1) Experience 2) Education 3) Team Player 4) Community Service Involvement

Everyone is different when it comes to hiring...best advice I can give is to separate yourself from everyone else when developing a resume. Also, if you can, take the time to visit the hiring agency prior to applying. A couple of years ago, I had a person stop by to say hi and let me know that they were looking for a job. That person took the time to fight for a job that wasn't available...left a name and contact info along with a resume. Later in the year when I was hiring, I noticed that person's name on the list of candidates...that person got an interview along with a few others. That person ended up getting the job.

Think outside the box and make yourself known.
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Old 09-14-2011, 12:05 PM
 
727 posts, read 1,135,208 times
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Denverian - Unfortunately, you're right on a lot of your points. Unless there was some internal requirement to advertise the position you applied for externally, they should have saved everyone time, effort, and money (including their own) and just advertised it internally through their merit promotion process. There's nothing to be gained by advertising outside the organization if you have highly qualified internal candidates, unless their is some specific agency requirement to do so (and sometimes there are, such as for diversity hiring requirements). You're also right about your chances of finding mid-career positions. It's quite difficult. I believe your best shot at getting a Govt job from the outside lies at either the entry level or at the very senior (Senior Executive Service, or SES, i.e., positions above the GS-15 level). Most mid-career positions are filled from within the ranks. Nothing, wrong, illegal, or unethical about any of this. The exception is if you have a particular special skill that's in short supply in the Govt and is in high demand. Those are the positions that are "created" with special requirements, and often wind up getting filled by the anointed ones who just happen to have that particular skill. Still legal, but the practice can be very easily abused. At the entry level, your chances are better. That's why I advise folks, if you're early enough in your career, and/or are determined to have a Govt career as opposed to a job for a short time, to lower their expectations, swallow some pride, and apply for lower level positions. If you get hired, into what's known as a career ladder position, you'll move up very quickly (depending on the position, 1-2 grades each year). Even if you take a clerical or assistant position, if you have the education and experience, all those higher level jobs filled internally will now be open to you. My personal story: I was a former junior military officer with Masters degree, age 26. I took what was then the professional and administrative exam, known as the PACE (5 hours of testing, as I recall, right Mike?), was placed on the register or list of eligibles for govt jobs nationwide; waited a year before I got a job offer. It was for a GS-5 career ladder job which went to a GS-11 with no further application required. With my experience and education, I was eligible for a GS-9, but that wasn't what i was offered. Swallowed my pride and took the offer. Three years later I was a GS-11, earning about twice as much as I started with. Thirty years later, finished up as a senior GS-15, running the HR program for a Federal agency. The moral of the story is, if you want a Govt career, the most important step is getting your foot in the door. So, my advice is, go for jobs you know you'll be very highly if not overqualified for, and grab one if offered. It'll only hurt for a while. Your pay will catch up within a surprisingly short time and you'll be on your way.

Sorry about your bad experience. Hope this helps.
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