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Old 09-05-2011, 02:28 PM
 
259 posts, read 446,277 times
Reputation: 246

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoke_Jaguar4 View Post
Federal hiring manager here. The job fair approach above is a good way in, but not quite the 'short cut' around USAJOBS. You still need a decent resume. Here's the standard advice I give anyone applying for federal positions:

On your resume:
- Use the format in USAJOBS. Yes, it sucks but hiring managers are "psychologically conditioned" to use it.
- Get "Ten Steps to a Federal Job" by Kathryn Troutman. It is the best non-gov resource on how to apply and get hired in the Fed.
- Unlike non-gov resumes, there's no restriction on how long you resume can be. The ones I see are typically 5 - 6 pages long. That said, use the length to give your qualifications and accomplishments; I can spot BS, buzzwords and filler a mile away. Be direct, honest, use active voice, and reuse the language from the announcement where possible.
- I don't know what you don't tell me. A lot of otherwise promising candidates leave things off their resumes, forcing me to fill in the gaps for them. There's no penalty for including 'too much' information since a hiring manager may read the entire thing or focus on your two last jobs.
- Spelling and grammar!!! After three typos, I move on to the next resume. Other managers are less generous.
- On the questionaire, always select the "you are an expert..." option. This section is complete BS and rewards people for inflating their answers; don't filter yourself out. Everyone hates it.
- If you have a security clearance and any certifications, put these clearly in the Additional Information section.

On your particular situation, you mentioned wanting to work at State, DoI, or the Smithsonian. You may want to consider applying to other agencies in the same career fields. Once you are hired, you gain 'status' which opens up a lot of jobs that are not open to the public. It will then be easier to transition to your desired agency.

Thanks for your expertise Sir. I apologize if I made it seem like job fairs are a way around USAJOBS in a derogatory manner. I guess I was trying to convey that having a competitive resume AND presenting it to someone face to face may be the difference between getting the interview rather then just being one resume in a sea of submitted resumes.

Also some gov't agencies like mine have their own resume repositories directly on their website where you do not have to go through USAJOBS.

Don't shy away from the DoD/Intel Agencies either...not every worker in these orgs are intel officers, analysts, and agents...there are human resource positions, admin positions, and various other staff work that work in support of the "action" arm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVA1990 View Post
A lot of job fairs are limited to cleared individuals only. Not sure how that works with government jobs but it definitely helps with getting a contractor job if you're already cleared. Might be worthwhile taking a slightly lower position with a contractor that enables you to get your clearance before making a move to something you ulitmately want to do.
True CAVA1990. Contractors usually if not always require a clearance for expense reasons. There are federal job fairs though that are not specifically for cleared individuals, that's how I got on myself. Government will conditionally hire you without a prior clearance, even for jobs requiring a TS/SCI and various other caveats. Good news is that OPM/DISCO under pressure from Congress have significantly reduced the amount of time to get a TS from beginning to end. Those 2 year wait horror stories are mostly relics of the past (but in some cases as far as extensive foreign travel and or extensive foreign national contact it could be very long).
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Old 09-05-2011, 03:25 PM
 
504 posts, read 651,017 times
Reputation: 512
Quote:
Originally Posted by usmarinexi View Post
Shamrock, I'd advise you to slow your role.

They put the prerequisites on the website for the job that they are hiring for. You either have what they are looking for...or you don't. The reason they are looking for military, government contractor etc; is because that speaks volumes about the applicant straight off the bat. It is a federal job afterall. There is no 'good enough' about it. They have earned that chance at that job more than someone straight off the street that doesn't have a credible reference, a secret clearance, knows about OPSEC, or anything else for that matter. You're complaining about the hiring process of a federal job without justifying anything and just simply running your mouth.

Thats like complaining about you thinking your a better baseball game announcer, but get upset when a player retires and gets the job over you.

**** go apply somewhere else.
First of all, I'm not applying for a federal position, so no need to tell me to apply somewhere else. I'm just trying to help the OP and others understand "the game" such as it is so they can be more successful playing it.

I'm not complaining about the hiring process either, just pointing out the reality that it often tends to be very narrowly focused and that federal hiring managers tend to be reluctant to hire unknown candidates "off the street". And the people who have hired federal employees agreed with me. There are certainly some valid reasons for that as several people explained. At the same time, it can mean passing up a qualified candidate who might be a better long term asset to the organization in favor of someone "good enough" with the very specific experience to do the job on day one, but who doesn't bring much else to the table. That's not a complaint, just a fact about the system as it exists. Same thing with the 17 month wait and 6 page resume that needs to be tailored for each opening one is applying to that were mentioned earlier. These are just facts of life about the current process that may cause well qualified applicants with other attractive options to not pursue this path.

For the OP, and others seeking federal employment, the suggestions about job fairs are good ones, as are looking for contractor options which could get you the experience and contacts you need.
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Old 09-11-2011, 10:23 AM
 
154 posts, read 351,552 times
Reputation: 44
Default Thank you

I am so sorry for the delayed response, I was locked out of my account. I want to give a big thanks to everyone for their insight and advice. It seems that Contractor companies could be a great path to take to secure a permanent position with an agency. Can anyone recommend a company that they have worked with?
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Old 09-11-2011, 01:47 PM
 
386 posts, read 520,472 times
Reputation: 419
My daughter got her job at State through Stanley Associates. It has apparently been bought out by CGI. Stanley had been a good company to work for.
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Old 09-11-2011, 02:08 PM
 
154 posts, read 351,552 times
Reputation: 44
Thanks for the info. Any suggestions for contracting agencies?
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Old 09-11-2011, 04:55 PM
 
386 posts, read 520,472 times
Reputation: 419
Default To be clearer

What I MEANT to say is my daughter got her job at State after working for 4 years at Stanley, who was contracted to State. She applied for her own job at State and got it. Didn't even have to change desks. I don't know how CGI is, but Stanley was one of the top 100 companies to work for 2 years ago. Now?

Again, good luck. Be patient. The wheels of government grind oh so slowly.
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:13 AM
 
Location: among the clustered spires
2,380 posts, read 3,860,194 times
Reputation: 869
Quote:
Originally Posted by usmarinexi View Post
Shamrock, I'd advise you to slow your role.

They put the prerequisites on the website for the job that they are hiring for. You either have what they are looking for...or you don't. The reason they are looking for military, government contractor etc; is because that speaks volumes about the applicant straight off the bat. It is a federal job afterall. There is no 'good enough' about it. They have earned that chance at that job more than someone straight off the street that doesn't have a credible reference, a secret clearance, knows about OPSEC, or anything else for that matter. You're complaining about the hiring process of a federal job without justifying anything and just simply running your mouth.

Thats like complaining about you thinking your a better baseball game announcer, but get upset when a player retires and gets the job over you.

**** go apply somewhere else.
Do you really mean to tell OP, or Shamrock, to **** off and forget about serving her/his country in a civil service position?

Because if so, you're personifying all the Tea Party's complaints about the federal bureaucracy.
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Old 09-12-2011, 11:18 AM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,738 posts, read 8,938,746 times
Reputation: 3857
Quote:
Originally Posted by stpickrell View Post
Do you really mean to tell OP, or Shamrock, to **** off and forget about serving her/his country in a civil service position?

Because if so, you're personifying all the Tea Party's complaints about the federal bureaucracy.
I agree. That's all a bunch of bunk. I got hired off the street into a DoD job with no prior federal experience (military or civilian).

Shamrock, who was complaining about overly narrow restrictions, has a valid point. Too many times, I've seen a job whose duties were obviously things I'd done many times in my career--only to see that the qualifying-experience questions were specific to a particular agency, for no obvious reason.

For example, instead of asking the candidate, "Have you edited reports written for a diverse variety of audiences?" they might ask, "Have you edited reports written for a law enforcement audience?" I can tell you as a professional editor with years of experience that someone with editing skills can adapt easily to new subjects, new style manuals, or whatever. You're either someone who knows grammar/puncutation/spelling, or you're not. There's nothing specific about any particular field that makes it impossible to learn quickly. And I know what I'm talking about, because in several jobs, I've had to quickly learn completely unfamiliar (and obscure) nomenclature, acronyms, etc.

But I know the hiring mangers do this because the job is "wired" as a promotion for someone, with the qualifying factors tailored to that person's experience. And that's fine. The private sector promotes people all the time without opening up the promotion to the wider world. It's ridiculous that the government (often) can't do likewise and has to post most promotions as open to the public, which wastes everyone's time. (They can actually choose not to interview anyone--which does at least prevent people from coming in to interview for a job they can't possibly get. But once they interview one candidate on a cert list, they have to interview them all.)

You can often identify the "wired" positions by the amount of time the job is open; anything less than two weeks, and it's almost certainly a wired position, and the only person with a real shot is already working in that office. And you can look at the qualifying questions in advance.

I'm just glad the KSAs have been put to pasture. Those were so stupid. "Describe a time when you communicated effectively." How in hell am I supposed to answer that?!
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Old 09-12-2011, 12:43 PM
 
102 posts, read 532,324 times
Reputation: 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlingtonian View Post

I agree. That's all a bunch of bunk. I got hired off the street into a DoD job with no prior federal experience (military or civilian).

--snip--

The private sector promotes people all the time without opening up the promotion to the wider world. It's ridiculous that the government (often) can't do likewise and has to post most promotions as open to the public, which wastes everyone's time. (They can actually choose not to interview anyone--which does at least prevent people from coming in to interview for a job they can't possibly get. But once they interview one candidate on a cert list, they have to interview them all.)

--snip--
That depends on the company. One of the contractors I was with had a policy to publicly post all openings whether they were earmarked or not.

And yeah, the process stinks whether you're in the private sector or government. Complete waste of time when you have to prep for an interview only to find out you were never in serious contention for the position to begin with.
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Old 09-12-2011, 04:56 PM
 
154 posts, read 351,552 times
Reputation: 44
Thank you I will research CGI
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