Are you looking for a job?
August 18, 2009 at 5:07 pm #78198
Are you looking for your first job in government or looking for opportunities to develop your career.
We would like to begin a discussion of issues and barriers you may confront as you develop your strategy and tactics for moving in, up, forward.
An issue I hear often among people of all career levels is the difficulty in understanding how to apply for a government position.
For those of you who successfully navigated the first step, what advice can you give others?
August 18, 2009 at 7:43 pm #78208
R. Anne HullParticipant
This is from a colleague who made the leap from private sector to public:
“You must have the patience of a saint. You must have no ego, because you will get tons of “thanks, but no thanks” letters. And you have to make sure your Quality Ranking Factors are dead on (I think they are called KSAs in other parts of the fed hiring process). These are more important than your resume. Truly.”
“Otherwise it is very much like getting a regular job. It just takes 10x longer. I have never had a process take so long. It took months between application and interview. And weeks between first interview and second. And then another two weeks before the offer came. You get so worried you got forgotten and lost in the bureaucratic grist mill. Eventually, the stars align and you’re in!”
Other related suggestions are:
1) Do not discard your application/package materials, even when you think all hope is gone.
2) Maintain a portfolio (updated at least semi-annually) of projects, awards, etc. for future KSA statements
3) check with the POC periodically to know the status of the hiring process. Don’t be a pest. It helps to set your expectations if you know key reviewers are on leave.
What else helps?
August 18, 2009 at 8:06 pm #78206
Great advice. I started my career as an NAF for the Army. Getting the job was easy. When I finished my contract they recruited me to come back to work. I had it easy–then. A few years ago I was invited to apply for a position that was created with me in mind. After working on the application and sending it to OPM, I found out it was lost. Did it again, and lost the job to a person who had priority.
On one hand I appreciate the needs for rules and regulations, on the other hand… You can’t apply for a job if you need work tomorrow–or can you? Any thoughts about how to get hired when you’re in a hurry?
As I read scores of letters, papers and articles on the frustration of applying for a job, I feel the pain. Help is supposedly on the way. Still, if you manage to move forward and you’re hired, you receive so many rewards that you don’t get in private sector.
Still, once you’re in–you want to have opportunities to develop. I would like to hear how those who are in feel about career opportunities in their field. what they do to prepare for them and advice to others–including how to find a mentor.
November 3, 2009 at 6:10 pm #78204
I currently work for the federal government but is looking for an opportnity to change my career. My biggest barrier is convincing mangement that I’ll take a paycut to start all over in the HR field.
When I first came to the federal government almost 8 years ago, I took a paycut just to get in. I went from a GS-6 to a GS-11 in 3 years. So my advice is be willing to take a paycut if necessary and find a job with promotion potential. Also, government positions are getting more complicated and it’s best to just print out the announcment and underline all the requirements and most importantly the deadline for applying. Just don’t be afraid to follow-up in the end. .Cyn
December 16, 2009 at 9:43 pm #78202
I know this response if late, but I felt compelled to respond. I recently graduated with my MBA in Public Administration in 2008, in addition to being a managing partner in our family business; which was established in 1994. As Cynthia stated, applying for a GS-5 – GS7 position to get ones foot in the door is an ideal scenarios. I personally have applied for GS-5 positions, up to GS-9 basing my experience and educations for qualifying factors. The most I have received from all my application entries for one solid year, is to be informed that my ratings are “98-100.” I would love to know how to crack a small hole in this bubble! I have been informed by several of the hiring agents, that I am competing not only with Veterans (and the point spread), but now I am competing with veterans spouse dependents who are now being given point spread. At one point in my search, I thought my prior work history with AAFES, would be considered…but I understand through conversations AAFES is a seperate entity from a GS position. Any advise or assistance to cracking the bubble would be appreicated.
November 17, 2010 at 7:54 pm #78200
Patricia Ann CoxParticipant
Looking for a career change. I’ve worked the for 21 years in Administration for City Government in the Criminal Justice system. Would love the opportunity to work for the next 15 years in Federal Government in St. Louis, Missouri.
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