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Old 02-15-2010, 09:40 AM
 
615 posts, read 899,779 times
Reputation: 410

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To give you a perfect example -

Applied to Federal Job opening in early August 2009.

Job Opening closed Mid August 2009.

Received notice that my application was sent to referring individual in late September 2009.

Received phonecall late November 2009 stating they wanted to do a phone interview.

Interviewed day before Thanksgiving.

Received verbal job offer Dec 3rd 2009.

Took drug test, filled out paperwork, discussed salary, bonuses, etc. Dec 7th 2009.

Requested Sign on bonus 9th of December 2009.

Sign On Bonus approved January 6th, 2010.

Sign On Bonus sent to hiring officials and OPM for signature approval January 6th, 2010.

------------------------------------------------------------

Current status -

Awaiting officials to sign the approval for sign on bonus for 6 weeks. I don't expect to even start my job for another 6 weeks.

Now, this may be a bit skewed since this is a GS-13 position... but think about it.
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Old 02-15-2010, 09:45 AM
 
Location: southern california
50,245 posts, read 47,554,186 times
Reputation: 41644
its very difficult, a giant door that occasionally opens. very easy to leave- very hard to walk in.
the kiss of death "i would prefer", it is by doing the work that nobody else wanted to do- that i have succeeded.
employment is 85% attitude.
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Old 02-15-2010, 09:49 AM
 
4,806 posts, read 12,058,471 times
Reputation: 4582
Another suggestion I would make: Apply for jobs slightly below your qualifications. That is, if you have ten years' experience, apply for a job requiring five years experience. If you have five years' experience, apply for a job requiring two.

Remember the whole thing is a points process. If you apply for jobs whose requirements you merely meet, rather than exceed, you won't get enough points to put your application at the top of the pile. It's sort of like grades in school. If you meet the minimum requirements, you get a passing grade--a "C". If you exceed the requirements you get a B, and if you greatly exceed them you get an A. Only the people with A's get interviews.

Federal jobs typically pay more, so likely doing so won't result in a pay cut, at least not a significant one. It is merely a status cut, and once you are in, you can work your way up within the federal system.
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Old 02-15-2010, 12:00 PM
 
Location: The Woods
14,417 posts, read 13,704,456 times
Reputation: 6071
It's certainly a pain in the neck, applying for federal jobs. I've applied to several forestry type jobs (with the forest service, BLM, etc.). Haven't heard anything back yet but, it may take several tries before you get anything, and it's a really slow process, so I'll just keep at it. I've chatted a bit with a friend who's in the forest service locally. You really can't get any help by knowing anyone but they may give some advice for what to put in your application, to apply for a job slightly lower than you actually qualify for, etc. Writing certain things will improve your chances. It's pretty much all done by computer (no person) until the very end of the process when the actual interview and hiring is done. And I've been told sometimes the computers do make errors, but it's like trying to move a blackhole to fix that if it happens. Be willing to move around a bit for a better chance. I'm not particularly interested in living in, for instance, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, etc., but I'd be willing to work there for a year or so to make some money, so have applied to jobs that could take me there for a while...some jobs are "term" or "temporary" and not permanent but they can be worth applying for...
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Old 02-15-2010, 05:20 PM
FBJ
 
Location: Tall Building down by the river
35,118 posts, read 24,335,266 times
Reputation: 7914
Quote:
Originally Posted by wehotex View Post
I'm looking at USA jobs.com to find Federal work, preferably at Medicare or Social Security, but there seems to be a lot of steps to apply. Have any of you ever been through this process before and landed a job this way? Do you have to know a politician to get one of these well paying positions?
I wouldn't recommend a unemployed person try and get a job through this site because it will just be an annoying process..
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Old 02-15-2010, 05:52 PM
 
1,354 posts, read 2,580,207 times
Reputation: 712
Seems like quite a few have been hired for the last IRS job announcement. They do hire people, you just have to meet the qualifications. I'm guessing agencies that don't really get the same funding probably hire less and those might be more like the stereotypical government job hiring process.
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Old 02-20-2010, 12:15 AM
 
Location: Maryland
1,472 posts, read 2,335,263 times
Reputation: 1962
Quote:
Originally Posted by wehotex View Post
I'm looking at USA jobs.com to find Federal work, preferably at Medicare or Social Security, but there seems to be a lot of steps to apply. Have any of you ever been through this process before and landed a job this way? Do you have to know a politician to get one of these well paying positions?
I retired at the GS-14 level from CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services), the agency that runs the Medicare program (as well as other functions) in 2007 after a 35 year federal career, 30 of that with the agency and its predecessors. My daughter currently works there as a GS-13.

Response to your questions:

1) Yes, the application process is cumbersome and "less than quick", you just have to go through the hoops and be patient. I've heard offhand that application numbers for Federal positions are really high. That alone will understandably slow down the process. I'll give you a synopsis of the basic hiring process as it existed during my tenure and I believe still functions today.

A separate HR unit does the initial qualification screening, establishes who meets minimal qualifications for the posted position and then forwards the application packages to the requesting component. The component management forms a position review panel composed of agency staff who have backgrounds in the subject area. (Panel composition during my tenure was usually around 10-12 staff. Panel members were always above the grade under consideration). The panel meets as often as necessary and individually reviews each package and scores the KSAs for all applicants according to a formal rating criteria provided by HR. This process can take quite a lot of time if there are (as frequently occurs) a large number of qualified applicants. Each panel member makes their own decision about how high to score a particular element. There typically is a fair amount of discussion about how well a particular applicant rates in each area. The completed review packages with scoring are then returned to HR where a BQL (best qualified list) is prepared and forwarded to the selecting official (the selecting official is a very senior manager in the component) who makes the final selection from the BQL.

2) Who you know is irrelevant for the career position selection process. In fact, anyone attempting to influence the selection process or exert favoritism could easily loose their job for attempting to do so. It is a serious violation of federal law. In my entire career I know of no instance where a selection was not made from the BQL, which represents the collective scoring results of the panel under specified criteria. It simply doesn't happen in my experience.

Very high level, Schedule C (a political appointment) positions are an entirely different matter and not part of the career position world or an area I know anything about.

I've participated in more review panels than I can count and can assure you that the selection process is about as thorough and independent as humans can make it. I will advise you that simply regurgitating the KSA language is not going to cut it. What review panel members look for and evaluate is how well you can relate your experience/education to the position's KSA requirements.

Individuals applying for their first professional position right out of college with no prior professional work experience face some serious competition. Entry level GS-5/7/9 jobs are extremely competitive. GPA, work during schooling, summer jobs, extracurricular activities --- everything gets evaluated. Make sure that your application reflects proper English usage, concise structure and clear presentation. The people evaluating it, regardless of their respective disciplines, live and breath via effective written communication skills and place a high value on it.

I enjoyed my career and found CMS an outstanding place to work. I served in both a regional office and at headquarters in Woodlawn, MD. The agency is composed of primarily professional staff with a significant number of folks with advanced educational backgrounds. The work of the agency encompasses a very broad spectrum of activities and offers a wide range of career paths. In addition, once you are in the system, you can readily transfer both within the agency, department or to an entirely different federal department. Uncle Sam is one of the largest employers on the planet and offers a huge range of career opportunities. The pay scale is decent with excellent benefits. You will not get rich and can sometimes earn higher pay in the private sector, but overall I found it to be a very satisfying job. I would recommend CMS to anyone seeking an interesting and rewarding career.
Best of luck.

Last edited by Pilgrim21784; 02-20-2010 at 01:08 AM..
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Old 02-20-2010, 01:11 AM
 
Location: Maryland
1,472 posts, read 2,335,263 times
Reputation: 1962
Quote:
Originally Posted by TVandSportsGuy View Post
I wouldn't recommend a unemployed person try and get a job through this site because it will just be an annoying process..
Then they will not have a shot a Federal job. That is the primary gateway to the Federal hiring process to my knowledge.
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Old 02-20-2010, 01:23 AM
 
243 posts, read 995,828 times
Reputation: 178
The real question is...how hard is it to pass the federal background check?
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Old 02-20-2010, 07:05 AM
 
Location: Maryland
1,472 posts, read 2,335,263 times
Reputation: 1962
A footnote to my prior post - interviews (phone/in person) may be conducted in the selection process. Its an all or none decision, if they interview, they interview everyone on the BQL, at least that's how it worked in my time.
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