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Old 06-22-2019, 09:12 AM
 
600 posts, read 200,314 times
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Lots of solid advice coming out here... still following along!
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Old 06-22-2019, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Amelia Island
2,974 posts, read 3,954,136 times
Reputation: 3088
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deserterer View Post
I'm starting to think my resume may part of the problem, sometimes, and in some way, but went back and looked at the resume I submitted for the one job I was offered and had to turn down. It was 2 pages long. And that was a higher grade level than many of the jobs I've been applying to.

Who has the time or inclination to read a 24 page resume?

I always try to do this of course but there's only so many hours in the day of the life of a job seeker. I wish I had the time to intimately parse every word and make sure my resume shows something for that word but I don't.
Now this gets to the heart of my reason for posting the thread. I have a friend, retired from the park service, who admits to lying on job applications. I know other people are doing it. I have a real issue with how some of the questions are phrased, as they seem to be designed to weed out everyone except liars.

Then there are questions that ask you to rate yourself on very very specific tasks, when performing very similar tasks gives you the same experience. If you take it literally you have to say I have not done that, when in fact you might be an expert in essentially the same thing, or something even more difficult or advanced. I'll make one up.

Please rate your experience driving green 2008 Subaru Foresters on Highway 66.

Oh crap, I've never once driven a green 2008 Subaru Forester on Highway 66 and I was never trained specifically to do so, but I've been teaching student drivers in a green 2009 Subaru Forester on Highway 67 for 10 years, I'm a part-time licensed Subaru mechanic, and I used to work for Subaru and helped design the Forester.

If I take this literally and answer honestly, I have to give myself zero points on this question.
I think you get the jest of this.....I would like someone else to chime in to validate what I have said and also as it would be nice to hear others perception of the process.

Yes it is a lot of work and creativity but it will pay off with a job offer in the long run. Again, just remember to throw out everything you know about writing resumes in the private sector!

This link is four years old but I believe a lot of its contents still holds true!

https://chiefhro.com/2015/09/18/do-y...a-federal-job/
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Old 06-22-2019, 09:52 AM
 
11,118 posts, read 8,523,617 times
Reputation: 28059
Quote:
Originally Posted by mschrief View Post
I retired from federal service in 2017 with 30+ years. Frankly, I think it is more who you know than what you know.

Veterans, military spouses, disabled, minority applicants have priority and you better have a college degree. Ability seemed to be of minimal importance where I worked. Over the years I training many folks who outranked me.

End of story.
Can we do some mythbusting here? It is well documented and outlined that military folks get hiring preferences.

What is the documented proof that the disabled and minority applicants get preferences for regular federal jobs? Not contractors or vendors, but regular employees. Can anyone supply those links?

From what I see, government work has not been taken over by the disabled and minorities. It's a myth.

One source has minorities at only 35.3% of the federal workforce. So, the majority of federal workers are still white.

Why is it so hard for people to believe that they just didn't make the cut and that there are better candidates that match up?
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Old 06-22-2019, 11:09 AM
 
15 posts, read 3,604 times
Reputation: 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlygal View Post
Can we do some mythbusting here? It is well documented and outlined that military folks get hiring preferences.

What is the documented proof that the disabled and minority applicants get preferences for regular federal jobs? Not contractors or vendors, but regular employees. Can anyone supply those links?

From what I see, government work has not been taken over by the disabled and minorities. It's a myth.

One source has minorities at only 35.3% of the federal workforce. So, the majority of federal workers are still white.

Why is it so hard for people to believe that they just didn't make the cut and that there are better candidates that match up?

I agree. The only time I ever see a hiring preference for minorities is with the Bureau of Indian Affairs under the Department of the Interior. Their vacancy announcements specifically read "Indian Preference" which has to be verified.

https://www.bia.gov/Jobs/

I have seen construction and engineering jobs with require the applicant to speak Spanish, but those jobs were in Spanish speaking countries like Peru, Honduras, etc.
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Old 06-22-2019, 12:11 PM
 
921 posts, read 252,508 times
Reputation: 2519
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deserterer View Post
I'm starting to think my resume may part of the problem, sometimes, and in some way, but went back and looked at the resume I submitted for the one job I was offered and had to turn down. It was 2 pages long. And that was a higher grade level than many of the jobs I've been applying to.

Who has the time or inclination to read a 24 page resume?

I always try to do this of course but there's only so many hours in the day of the life of a job seeker. I wish I had the time to intimately parse every word and make sure my resume shows something for that word but I don't.
Now this gets to the heart of my reason for posting the thread. I have a friend, retired from the park service, who admits to lying on job applications. I know other people are doing it. I have a real issue with how some of the questions are phrased, as they seem to be designed to weed out everyone except liars.

Then there are questions that ask you to rate yourself on very very specific tasks, when performing very similar tasks gives you the same experience. If you take it literally you have to say I have not done that, when in fact you might be an expert in essentially the same thing, or something even more difficult or advanced. I'll make one up.

Please rate your experience driving green 2008 Subaru Foresters on Highway 66.

Oh crap, I've never once driven a green 2008 Subaru Forester on Highway 66 and I was never trained specifically to do so, but I've been teaching student drivers in a green 2009 Subaru Forester on Highway 67 for 10 years, I'm a part-time licensed Subaru mechanic, and I used to work for Subaru and helped design the Forester.

If I take this literally and answer honestly, I have to give myself zero points on this question.
Yes, this is often the problem with many hiring questions. USAJobs tends to list specific skills and then ask if you've ever done it on the job, as do some other hiring systems I've used. Maybe you know how it works and you can do it with minimal training, maybe you've done something very similar, maybe you've done it in volunteer work or at school, etc. But you can't honestly answer that you have done it in paid employment. You're thrown out as thoroughly as if you'd had no clue what the thing was. That's the problem with today's computer-based systems. Every question is either yes-or-no. Unfortunately, with the number of people looking for employment today, no employer can have a person to go through hundreds of applications personally the way they could back in the days when they might have had ten people applying for a position (especially since, as others have said, people are desperate enough to apply for anything they might even remotely be qualified for, rather than the only applicants being people who are perfectly-qualified and then some. But let's also face it: some low-level jobs with simple skills would take a reasonably-intelligent and competent person a week to learn; five years of "experience" aren't actually necessary for many of the jobs out there demanding it).


Quote:
Originally Posted by WankelThis View Post
I agree. The only time I ever see a hiring preference for minorities is with the Bureau of Indian Affairs under the Department of the Interior. Their vacancy announcements specifically read "Indian Preference" which has to be verified.

https://www.bia.gov/Jobs/

I have seen construction and engineering jobs with require the applicant to speak Spanish, but those jobs were in Spanish speaking countries like Peru, Honduras, etc.
And, I know plenty of people who speak languages that don't match their nationality. It's true that some people may have grown up speaking another language in addition to English because of family, but plenty have also learned later and become fluent, whether they studied in college, lived in another country, etc. (Or, some may have grown up in another country and learned the language as a child, even if their cultural background doesn't match it-- kids with State Department or missionary or international-company parents, for example.)
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Old 06-22-2019, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Amelia Island
2,974 posts, read 3,954,136 times
Reputation: 3088
[quote=K12144;55489092]Yes, this is often the problem with many hiring questions. USAJobs tends to list specific skills and then ask if you've ever done it on the job, as do some other hiring systems I've used. Maybe you know how it works and you can do it with minimal training, maybe you've done something very similar, maybe you've done it in volunteer work or at school, etc. But you can't honestly answer that you have done it in paid employment. You're thrown out as thoroughly as if you'd had no clue what the thing was. That's the problem with today's computer-based systems. Every question is either yes-or-no. Unfortunately, with the number of people looking for employment today, no employer can have a person to go through hundreds of applications personally the way they could back in the days when they might have had ten people applying for a position (especially since, as others have said, people are desperate enough to apply for anything they might even remotely be qualified for, rather than the only applicants being people who are perfectly-qualified and then some. But let's also face it: some low-level jobs with simple skills would take a reasonably-intelligent and competent person a week to learn; five years of "experience" aren't actually necessary for many of the jobs out there demanding it).

Every thing I see as part of answering the questions go are on a number scale that say no experience to I am considered an expert or I need no supervision.
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Old 06-22-2019, 01:43 PM
 
6,838 posts, read 3,708,603 times
Reputation: 18073
Quote:
Originally Posted by K12144 View Post
Yes, this is often the problem with many hiring questions. USAJobs tends to list specific skills and then ask if you've ever done it on the job, as do some other hiring systems I've used. Maybe you know how it works and you can do it with minimal training, maybe you've done something very similar, maybe you've done it in volunteer work or at school, etc. But you can't honestly answer that you have done it in paid employment. You're thrown out as thoroughly as if you'd had no clue what the thing was. That's the problem with today's computer-based systems. Every question is either yes-or-no. Unfortunately, with the number of people looking for employment today, no employer can have a person to go through hundreds of applications personally the way they could back in the days when they might have had ten people applying for a position (especially since, as others have said, people are desperate enough to apply for anything they might even remotely be qualified for, rather than the only applicants being people who are perfectly-qualified and then some. ...
Part of the history of this process is they used to ask essay type questions. Almost like a written interview in which you describe your Knowledges, Skills, and Abilities. The KSAs. Five or six questions like "describe your ability in oral communication with examples of type of audience and how you communicated with them." Each of these took a half a page to a page to answer and people complained that filling out essay questions was too much work. So they changed they system to the current one that asks very specific questions with multiple choice answers, where of course, many people rate themselves as "expert" on everything. And so they get referred as "qualified" to the hiring official that decides they really aren't and hence we get various version of the OP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by K12144 View Post
... But let's also face it: some low-level jobs with simple skills would take a reasonably-intelligent and competent person a week to learn; five years of "experience" aren't actually necessary for many of the jobs out there demanding it).
...)
The thing is most of those unskilled jobs are not done by government personnel anymore; they are contracted out. So you have a lot of seemingly low level jobs that never the less take a year or more to master because they are interpreting customer (taxpayer) needs vs the thousands of pages of regulations and law that pertain to what seems like a simple request such as social security.
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Old 06-22-2019, 02:37 PM
 
1,411 posts, read 794,770 times
Reputation: 2247
Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
Part of the history of this process is they used to ask essay type questions. Almost like a written interview in which you describe your Knowledges, Skills, and Abilities. The KSAs. Five or six questions like "describe your ability in oral communication with examples of type of audience and how you communicated with them." Each of these took a half a page to a page to answer and people complained that filling out essay questions was too much work. So they changed they system to the current one that asks very specific questions with multiple choice answers, where of course, many people rate themselves as "expert" on everything. And so they get referred as "qualified" to the hiring official that decides they really aren't and hence we get various version of the OP.
Ahem...the OP, who is me, would be absolutely delighted to respond to essay questions where I could actually explain that having designed, rebuilt and trained people in green 2009 Foresters on Hwy 67 gives me all the skills to drive a 2008 on Hwy 66. I have always answered the questions honestly and watched myself be not referred for positions 4 grades below what I've actually held in the past...whatever the reason is that I can't get more interviews, its NOT because I am lying about my KSAs.

Its only recently, and by that I mean in the last 3 weeks or so, where I have begun to contemplate rating myself higher than strict literal interpretation and honesty would have me rate myself. AQnd its why I'd like to see for myself how some of the other applicants actual experience is matching up against their test answers.

Are the liars being weeded out, or are they moving on to get interviews while the hiring managers scratch their heads wondering why they can't get better people?


At a different blog post at a link provided above, former Chief Human Capital Officer for the Department of Homeland Security and Chief Human Resources Officer for the Defense Logistics Agency says "We need hiring reform and a radically simplified hiring process. Agencies need to invest in their HR Specialists and ensure they are properly trained. Agencies need to do professional recruiting rather than post and pray. Hiring managers need to invest far more of their time in the process. And agencies need to tailor recruiting to their talent requirements and spend some dollars on it, rather than relying on undertrained HR Specialists with no budget and very little support to get the people they need". https://chiefhro.com/2019/06/05/is-i...-kill-usajobs/


I tend to agree. I think the process has become so complicated they have outsmarted themselves.
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Old 06-22-2019, 02:43 PM
 
6,875 posts, read 7,267,992 times
Reputation: 9785
Quote:
That's the problem with today's computer-based systems.
-- Which is why people just stretch their experience -- apply it in the broadest way possible -- and say they're an expert.
-- Especially when the question has nothing to do with the job duties in the first place, or aren't ones that are vital.
-- And if you've ever had a recent (in the last few years) gov't interview -- you start to realize they never ask you anything to confirm the questionnaire answers.....so that leads people to say what they need to say to get the gig.

One office ass't job had as part of the duties "maintaining" the office vehicle fleet. It was a law office, so that just meant keeping the keys and making sure when an attorney or anyone else took a company car, they tracked the mileage, make sure they got and turned in the right keys, etc. I doubt it -- but lets say the duties did also include cleaning the car out and filling it up.

Well one of the questionnaire questions was "have you ever FUELED A GOVERNMENT VEHICLE?" Well, unless you already work for the government, chances are you've never fueled a government vehicle. Now, is putting gas in a government car any different from putting gas in ANY car? But that was a yes or no question. So if you hadn't worked for government, you HAD to say no if you were going to tell the truth. THAT is the kind of BS that makes people upset.

Eventually people catch on to the fact that "they're not going to ask me about the questionnaire anyway. So say what I need to say."

Another job was for a PR gig. One of the questions was "have you ever owned your own business?" What the hell does that have to do with ANY of the duties of the PR gig. You might have 20 years PR experience and be highly qualified for the job. And -- legitimately -- an expert on every question. Then you hit THAT question.

THAT is exactly the kind of thing that makes me believe that questionaires are tailored to get specific people in the door that some manager has said, "we want Fred Johnson for this gig." But they have to spend tax dollars making it LOOK LIKE it's fair and transparent.
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Old 06-22-2019, 03:41 PM
 
11,259 posts, read 8,414,613 times
Reputation: 20427
JB I think you summed it up well.

As far as the OP's green Subaru example - it's a great example HOWEVER imo you should rate yourself 5/expert.

I'm not exaggerating about my experience and they interviewed 30 before giving this current job to me (I was their first choice). What's even crazier, I'm female, 58yrs old in a male dominated field and moved from the opposite coast to work here.
I rarely put expert. Actually never unless I am qualified to train someone or if it's a task I've actually instructed. I've seen too many times "your resume has to back up your answer".

Otoh, my young supervisor says put expert on everything.

It's up to you.

If I have no experience in something I Google it, learn a little about it and answer that I've had training on it.
I'm always willing to help anyone. I can get on the phone with both of us looking at the announcement.
About key phrases and tailoring, all true, imo. If the job calls for fork lift experience and your resume says you can operate all warehouse machinery, you need to add the words "including forklift".
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