Times have never been worse, yet never better for obtaining a position in the Federal Government as a “contract specialist” commonly referred to as a GS-1102.
My name is Robert Knauer. I am a certified professional contracts manager, certified professional purchasing official, and federally certified at the highest level (Level III) in contracts. I retired after 32 years with the FEDS at the rip old age of 54, and have been working ever since I left the Federal Government teaching young and old alike acquisition courses, and how to get a job in the government as a contracting specialist (or contracting officer). As lucky as I was after leaving the U.S. Navy, and joing civil service, I worked all over the United States, did all kinds of government contracting, and even taught for the Defense Acquisition University, and many other organizations. I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunities given me working for our great government.
People down-talk beinig a CO, and say all kinds of disparaging things about being a contracting officer for the FEDS, but the one thing I can tell anyone that asks is “Working for the FEDS is a great profession. It’s challenging, requires lots of education and OJT, and places great demands on your ability for proper time management. Granted all of that–the pay and benefits are very good. You make the job you have as good as you want to…and there is always ample opportunity in other agencies–especially today with the retirements and brain drain ongoing.”
So, you are unemployed and say you need a job, right? It is very easy if you are willing to follow the simple steps required. First, make up a good resume, broken out into the tasks of each job that you have held. Break it down by the timeframe you held a job. Do this in a MS Word document that you save somewhere. You’ll need it later to post and repost as needed to different government job websites.
The most basic government website for all Federal Jobs is USAJobs.com or USAJobs.gov at www.USAJobs.gov (they are both the same). There, you will need to register, obtain a basic ID and Password that you will use time and again to enter the site, post your job resume to (you may do so from scratch or upload one you already have read), fill out all the required information, and then you are ready to start job hunting.
Once you have your ID and PW uploaded your resume. It most cases government managers and personnel will NOT contact you. You have to be smart and contact them. Since my focus is ONLY for acquisition professionals this Blog is not geared for HR, Engineers, etc….just contracting people (called contract specialists or 1102s). An 1102 means you are in the contracting field or WANT to be in the contracting field. Each time you search for a contracting job, be it an Intern position (for young college grads), or a more senior position, for unemployed professionals, you will want to emphasize your knowledge, skills, abilities in that field. Take the time to do this RIGHT. Too short a synopsis…not a good thing. Too long–nobody will read it.
If you are a Veteran, just back from the War, you get points for that (and preference) in hiring over others that are not veterans. Same is true if your husband or wife was killed in the war, or received a superior medal. But if your only a college grade (must have at least 24 semester hours in business core), you CAN get a position starting out as a GS-7 or GS-9. That’s nothing to sneeze at. A GS-7 makes upwards of $45K, while a GS-9 makes upwards of $60K. If you have the guts and ability to move yourself to Washington, DC like many smart people do, you can go from a GS-9 to GS-14 in as little as 5 years! A GS-14 (GS-1102-14) makes about $120,000 with cola and pay hikes.
Now that you are job hunting on USA JOB’s site…do a search for all GS-11, or GS-12 jobs in the 1102 series and see how many jobs pop up. You will be astounded!! THE GOVERNMENT IS HIRING
If you have considered the federal government for a career in contracting–Do so today.
If you need help, send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with where you live, your background and what you want to do in contracting. Maybe I can help you.