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Old 09-26-2009, 10:41 PM
 
Location: Sometimes Maryland, sometimes NoVA. Depends on the day of the week
1,501 posts, read 10,755,735 times
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I second the other advice you have been given. But I haven't seen anyone else mention this, but what specific area of IT are you in? I've been with three agencies, and all have used contractors for their IT support. The occasional GSer usually was a contractor they brought on to GS. This includes at DOD. Obviously there are sone jobs, since you have been applying. But I do wonder since most agencies have classifed IT as not inherently governmental.

That said, the new admin wants to reduce contacting in favor of GSers, so that bodes well.
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Old 09-26-2009, 10:53 PM
 
691 posts, read 2,071,766 times
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FederalSoup.com - Federal Employees Discussion Board - powered by Infopop

This is a website of people trying to get Fed Jobs, or who already have Fed Jobs, lots of good information on resumes, interviews, and jobs.
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Old 09-27-2009, 04:30 AM
 
10,598 posts, read 12,102,611 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubytue View Post
I second the other advice you have been given. But I haven't seen anyone else mention this, but what specific area of IT are you in? I've been with three agencies, and all have used contractors for their IT support. The occasional GSer usually was a contractor they brought on to GS. This includes at DOD. Obviously there are sone jobs, since you have been applying. But I do wonder since most agencies have classifed IT as not inherently governmental.

That said, the new admin wants to reduce contacting in favor of GSers, so that bodes well.
This is the case where I work (DoD). Most IT personnel are contracted out. You may have one or two civil servants and then an army of contractors doing the work. If the IT group does get an opening, they will usually pull from their pool of contractors.

I work in a fairly specialized area in finance. I really can't hire anyone "off the street" although our announcements are open to all sources. While I may not have any specific in mind for my announcement, I know that the candidate is probably going to come from a handful of contractors that support our area of DoD. Oftentimes, I will pass the announcment on to 5 or 6 contractors that I know would be good candidates and encourage them to apply so I get *some* qualified candidates.

I'm sure that many other offices must operate in the same way.

NOVAChick, one thing you have to understand about people who are in the government and are hiring. It is always safer to go with a "known." Once we hiring someone, it is VERY difficult to get rid of them if they don't work out. Not like when I was a contractor and if someone wasn't working out, it was easy enough for their funding to magically disappear. Not so here, so not only is the competition stiff, many offices are going to hire people they know first (if they have those candidates available).

Your friend Alex sounds very skilled at working this system and if I were you I would get with her and have her help you.
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Old 09-27-2009, 07:35 AM
 
154 posts, read 446,312 times
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I am glad I spoke to you all. My friend, Alex, is one of those people who like to get up the ladder but not exactly share the wealth. I have found that most of my "friends" have become quite weird and jealous as we have gotten older. I am not sure where it is coming from but you all's responses have helped me out a great deal.

Rubytue - My field of IT is networking and telecommunications. This is what I have done for 5 years and what my major is in at college.

I was a contractor before so I wouldn't mind being a contractor again but I wasn't a contractor for any GS offices. I was the Computer Analyst for ITT and the only one which was very stressful and not really an idea situation for an IT analyst. We work best with others.

If you have a website for Contractors that you know actually hires people, please feel free to pass that on to me. When I got hired as the Computer Analyst at ITT, I was contacted through the unemployment office. I was on unemployment for 6 months after getting out of the Army. So I am not sure which websites are good websites to go to for Contract jobs where people actually get called back and hired.

And do you all have any tips on how I should write my resume for a Contract position? Eventhough, based on my last job, I guess my resume was fine the way it is currently written and keywords do not matter so much with Contract jobs. Let me know if you all know anything different.

Thanks for all you all's help! What a wealth of information and you guys have been awesome!
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Old 09-27-2009, 07:52 AM
 
691 posts, read 2,071,766 times
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How to be a government contractor.
http://www.captureplanning.com/articles/26973.cfm?

http://www.sba.gov/ (broken link)
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Old 09-27-2009, 07:58 AM
 
154 posts, read 446,312 times
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Smile Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kek1993 View Post
How to be a government contractor.
How to become a Government Contractor?

http://www.sba.gov/ (broken link)
Woohoo! Thanks! I'm going to head over to these websites right now. I am SO ready to be working but I'm just having a hard time figuring out how to set things up correctly so I will get hired. I really appreciate the websites. Thanks again!
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Old 09-27-2009, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Sometimes Maryland, sometimes NoVA. Depends on the day of the week
1,501 posts, read 10,755,735 times
Reputation: 1093
If I were you, I would focus on getting in with an IT contractor. You can find a bunch on sites like career builder. Since you have had a clearance in the past, make sure your resume says "clearable." If you dropped your clearance within the past year or two (I don't know the exact time), its cheaper for them to reup it, since it won't be a full investigation. At least that was the case last time I dropped a DOD clearance. I just dropped another, but they didn't go over the process to reinstate it this time. But you should be able to put sometime on the resume indicating a clearance is possible. OTOH, I was once told its a security violation to put your clearance on your resume, since the person reading it doesn't have need to know. I have no idea if thats true, or perhaps its just limited to the level of clearance. Its just something I was told once and it stuck with me...
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Old 09-27-2009, 09:55 AM
 
154 posts, read 446,312 times
Reputation: 41
Default Don't put clearance on my resume?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rubytue View Post
If I were you, I would focus on getting in with an IT contractor. You can find a bunch on sites like career builder. Since you have had a clearance in the past, make sure your resume says "clearable." If you dropped your clearance within the past year or two (I don't know the exact time), its cheaper for them to reup it, since it won't be a full investigation. At least that was the case last time I dropped a DOD clearance. I just dropped another, but they didn't go over the process to reinstate it this time. But you should be able to put sometime on the resume indicating a clearance is possible. OTOH, I was once told its a security violation to put your clearance on your resume, since the person reading it doesn't have need to know. I have no idea if thats true, or perhaps its just limited to the level of clearance. Its just something I was told once and it stuck with me...

Ok, I was following you until you said it's a security violation to put my clearance on my resume. Do you mean what type of clearance it was or I shouldn't put that I had a clearance at all? My clearance lapsed about 4 years ago when I left my last Contractor job to go back to college full-time.
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Old 09-27-2009, 10:27 AM
 
Location: Sometimes Maryland, sometimes NoVA. Depends on the day of the week
1,501 posts, read 10,755,735 times
Reputation: 1093
Quote:
Originally Posted by NOVAChick View Post
Ok, I was following you until you said it's a security violation to put my clearance on my resume. Do you mean what type of clearance it was or I shouldn't put that I had a clearance at all? My clearance lapsed about 4 years ago when I left my last Contractor job to go back to college full-time.
I hope someone else knows. I was told this 10+ years ago, and I have no idea how true it is. That said, four years is probably too long to reinstate one. This would make you "previously cleared" and "clearable." Check out federal soup, they probably know the right answer there.
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Old 09-27-2009, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Texas
15,890 posts, read 15,262,613 times
Reputation: 62652
One more thing that is VERY important is to make sure you list beginning and ending dates.

For instance if the job announcement indicates "3 years of experience doing x-y-z" be sure to list the ending date along with the beginning date of your experience doing x-y-z. Many applicants fail to list the ending date.

I've reviewed thousands of applications for jobs with my agency and the length-of-time issue disqualifies a lot of applicants. Do not assume that the reviewer will assume what your ending date is. That is not going to happen and your application will be tossed.

Be thorough and match your experience to the qualifications. This has been mentioned many times in this thread and it cannot be mentioned enough. This information is vital to qualifying for a BQ list of applicants.

Above all, take your time with the application. Make a list of what they want and address each issue with your experience and dates.

Good luck to you. I think that most federal jobs are just about the best around. I worked for one agency for 37 years.

Oh, one more thing....if the announcement asks you for "lowest grade acceptable" put the lowest grade listed on the announcement. That way, if there are BQs (Best Qualified) for each grade in the announcement you may very well be put on several lists as, say, GS7, GS9, GS 11. Your chances are better that way. If you only list GS 11 then you will not be on the GS7 or GS9 lists. Your goal is to get on as many lists as possible. If your qualify for all three then you might be hired off the GS7 list and moved to GS9 in a few months.
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