How do you know if a USAJOBS posting is “real”?
May 16, 2011 at 4:36 pm #130397
Was talking to a Capital Hill employee recently who was applying for a bunch of jobs on USAJOBS and he asked me how to know what were “real” jobs on USAJOBS versus job postings that had to be posted but had internal candidate.
Honestly, there’s no 100% but my thoughts were:
-Opening is posted for more than 7 days and less than 2 months. I hate the postings that are continuously open and ones for shorter than 1 week.
-I also encouraged him to apply for jobs with multiple vacancies as they are more likely hiring from outside.
Anyone have other tips? What’s your rule of thumb you tell friends/family/use yourself?
May 16, 2011 at 5:06 pm #130413
Do not try to over think the process. In December of 2008, I put in an application for what I assumed was a “pre-filled” positions (short time listing and posted over the Christmas break). My first thought was “why am I wasting my time”? my second thought was “This may be a good opportunity to polish my application and responses on a ‘risk free’ (not going to get it anyway) vacancy”. So I put together the best application possible in hopes I could canabalize it later for more realistic opportunities. I am 2 1/2 years in, about to get my second grade increase, really enjoy my coworkers and could not be more grateful I made the effort on Christmas eve to respond to a vacancy announcement that did not seem “real” at the time.
May 19, 2011 at 8:11 pm #130411
As a fromer HR staffing & recruiting specialist, it is not possible for the candidate to know this. Yes there could be someone already on board ready to step into the position, but if a super trooper applied, the wise hiring manager would consider them. HR uses short time suspenses on applicaitons because they only have 80 days to complete the process. Apply, apply, apply for jobs! The more…resumes you throw against the wall the more likely some are to stick.
In this financial environment people are taking any job, and pay cuts. HR is receiving 300 applications for each position, when they used to receive 60. Obviously some of those people are more qualified than you. Also, funding for jobs is disappearing. My mentee was selected for one but couldn’t be hired.
Healthy organizations fill about 50% of jobs form inside, and 50% from outside the organization. Organizations need continuity and innovation both.
May 20, 2011 at 12:59 am #130409
I like the 50% inside, 50% outside approach.
I’ve heard the anecdotal stories that you never know and to just apply for everything.
I just wish I had better advice or tips for him. Feels like I should based on all the feedback and years working on issues (from YGL to now), I’d have better advice than just send out a bunch.
June 27, 2011 at 2:25 pm #130407
Mark T. EisterParticipant
Good advice, and encouraging at that. I’m soon to be a veteran myself and am very excited about the prospect of continuing to serve via a federal agency position.
With that, I have been applying for numerous HR-type positions and have had a good number of ‘hits’, along with two interviews. However, I have a question about my federal resume. I’ve been using bullet type comments versus writing my accomplishments in a narrative format. Should I convert my resume to the narrative approach to possibly improve the number of calls for interviews? In other words, should I change my wording from, > Supervised five workers in the production of widgets, improving production 50% over two years, to, “From 04/2009 to present, I supervised five workers and led them to a 50% increase in production over a two-year period”…?
Any advice along these lines would be greatly appreciated.
July 12, 2011 at 1:27 pm #130405
For your resume, stick to your bullet type.
Even though KSA essays are being phased out, you can still submit them – and it will only help you. Use a separate document or your Cover letter to do this. On your CL or KSA socument, use the narratiev approach.
July 12, 2011 at 1:35 pm #130403
External people do get hired into vacancies that are open for 7 days. Its become more common now because there are so many applicants. HR can get all the applicants they need in 7 days when we use to need to keep the vacancy open for 14 or more days for the same applicant pool. Only in the PAST was a 7 day vacancy likely to be for someone the agency already knows or wants.
Its common in this economy, that there are jobs posted in which the agency does not have money for. They post it in the hopes that the money will come through, but in this environment, dissapointment is very usual. Hiring managers can make selections but HR will not extend the job offer due to lack of funds. If this selecteee already has a job – they may still want it when funds become available. If the person does not currently have a job, they shouldn’t wait for the funds to become available. They should take another offer that will allow them to start work immediately.
In short, as an applicant – you won’t know if the job is real or not unless you have a contact within the agency who can give you a heads up. Applicants should simply apply to those jobs they feel they are qualified for with their best application possible. This means customizing your coverletters and addressing the KSAs on your resume and or CL. This means applicants should not get too emotionally wrapped in the application process – there will be many jobs in which they apply that they get no response from. Where USA jobs says “reviewing applications” for months and months or the announcement is simply canceled.
Applicants should consider applying to jobs in which they are overqualified for in order to look like a golden needle in a haystack among all of the other applicants. Be sure you meet the specialized experience and specific qualifications so you don’t waste your time. In this economy old strategies won’t work. Maintain a positive attitude that won’t scream desperate if you do indeed secure an interview. Leave egos and arrogance at the door. Don’t’ expect your previously salary, especially if you’re not currently working. Without a current paystub, you could come in at the first step in the grade. Some income is better than no income.
July 12, 2011 at 1:54 pm #130401
I’ve also seen a trend that favors the hiring agency’s current employees or federal employees in general. If you ever were a federal employee but are no longer a federal employee, consider looking into whether or not you are “reinstatement eligible”.
July 12, 2011 at 3:36 pm #130399
Automated staffing systems are making postings shorter in length. Also, with the current job market, HR is getting plenty of good applicants for all positions regardless of geographic area.
Federal government is no different than private sector in that you don’t know if the recruitment is “hardwired.” However, I have seen external candidates selected over the internal candidates due to the caliber of their experience. When you apply for a job, you are going against the applicant pool for that recruitment which is why you should continue to apply. It took me 3 years to get a Federal job, and I have 10 years experience in my field. Good luck.
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