How to Understand Government Job/Career Pay Scales

Many people know that government jobs pay well, but most people don’t know much more than that. The truth is government jobs pay includes “Locational Pay.” With most government positions, there is a increase in pay for where you are geographically located. Government agencies have different pay scales i.e. GS (General Schedule) positions.

The key to selecting a government agency to apply to is to research and find out as much as possible. You must research the agency and the pay scales of the agencies. Find out about the locality pay, hazard pay, or any other positional pays that may be associated with the desired position.

We all know that pay is an important aspect of any career selection. There are benefits to earning a position with the government. It is not so different than any other position you may have applied for in the past. There are a few exceptions…the government has great benefits that no other civilian company may or may not be able to match.

Where people get confused is with the General Schedule Step grades, GS pay scales for the Office of Personnel has pay grades within the pay grade are called STEPs. Meaning, there are “STEPS” to earning promotion within the pay grade. When you review the GS Pay scale on OPM website you will see basic, locality and then there is also a pay scale that combines basic pay and locality depending on the location of the position. Among the pay scale are the STEPS of the pay. Steps are normally given to the pay grade employee depending on “time in grade” the normal promotional time period is 1 year per pay scale and STEP.

Here is a web site for the Office of Personnel Management that will give you more insight on how this agency categorizes its pay grades and locality pay. For more information click on: Government Pay Scales

Happy Government Job Hunting,
Jenice

How to Get Updates on Your Application after Applying for a Government Job

Once you have submitted your government application on www.usajob.gov there are specific ways to keep up with your application status. Many applicants don’t realize the tools they can utilize on www.usajobs.gov. There are a few ways to get the status of your government application and you should check the status at least weekly.

After you have submitted your government application wait until the job announcement closes to check the status of your application. Log into your www.usajobs.gov profile and click on the title “Application Status” on the left hand side. Then find the announcement you wish to check on. Go to the “application status” which is a blue underlined word and click this hyperlink. Some government agencies don’t link the application status to this hyperlink and some agencies do. If the agency does use this hyperlink, you will be redirected to the agency website where you submitted your original application. You will be able to view the status of your application here.

If the agency does not use this hyperlink, it will say “no application status available” this is okay. Don’t be discouraged. Click on the job announcement title and a second window will open up. Scroll down to the bottom of the job announcement and find the point of contact. You will see contact phone number or an email address. Contact this person and request the “Applicant Status.” Sometimes, you may get a HR Specialist whom doesn’t want to talk or gives you a vague answer.

If this happens, ask a more specific question like “Has the selecting official received the list of applicant’s resumes that have been referred and qualified for the position?” This will ensure you get a more detailed answer. I recommend always contacting the point of contact via email; this will ensure you have written documentation in case you have any issues with this job announcement in the future.

 

All the best to you, and if you have any questions – you know where to find me.

Dr. Jaye

Dr Jaye

How to Write Government KSAs for USA JOBS Applications

Your government application will be evaluated by a Human Resources Specialist and they will be reviewing your on-line or mailed in resume and your responses to the User Information, Core Questions, and Vacancy Questions. The Job Specific questions will relate to the following knowledge, skills and abilities required to do the work of this position. Many people don’t realize that many applications are “thrown out” because of a lack of KSAs being addressed by the applicant.

IMPORTANT NOTE: ALL federal positions are advertised on www.usajobs.gov. Many people don’t realize this, DON’T be fooled by “other” websites that promise to advertise federal jobs. Many of these “other” websites charge applicants to view federal positions and re-route their job links, but rest assure that these “other” websites are “pulling” information from www.usajobs.gov to get their information about advertised federal positions.
No matter what agency you are applying to, the advertised job will have KSAs or Knowledge, Skills and Abilities. You need to read the entire job announcement because some federal agencies require applicants to submit addition information on a separate piece of paper about how they feel they meet those exact KSAs and some agencies don’t require KSAs to be answered at all. (You can press the PRINT PREVIEW button to see the entire announcement located at the bottom of the announcement.)

Overall, KSAs are important because this is how you WILL be evaluated on the position you have applied for. If your resume or applicant doesn’t contain the listed KSAs your application will not be found “NOT qualified” and your application will be put in the NOT Qualified stack of applications. The Key to writing government KSAs in your resume is to put the EXACT KSAs which are found in the job announcement in your resume or application WORD-FOR-WORD.

So if these KSAs are in a job announcement:
Ability to evaluate and process realty applications and proposals and conduct compliance examinations on authorized actions.
Knowledge of the laws and regulations governing the realty program and the ability to use sound professional judgment to resolve conflicts with other resources.
– Ability to communicate with the public, the applicant, and other agencies regarding realty related matters.
Copy and paste, or type these exact KSAs into you online resume/application or type them into your resume/application. After you do this make sure you give examples of how you meet the KSAs. Ensure your resume and applicant look exactly alike.

Keep in mind this statement is ALWAYS in ALL Federal job announcement:
ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS MUST BE SUPPORTED IN YOUR RESUME. If your answer(s) are not supported in your resume, or you fail to follow the instructions for the question(s), you will have your answer(s) adjusted to reflect what is provided, for failure to follow instructions.
This means that if your resume doesn’t match the supplemental questions or application you answered in the online application or written application, the agency can change your application score. You need to remember: SCORES are from 100 points to 70 points. The applicant résumés with the highest scores are reviewed first. Your goal is to receive as many points as possible.

You have been empowered, now go and get your federal job.

Dr. Jenice Armstead aka Dr. Jaye

Dr Jaye

Simple Academic Overview: Scientific Management

As a professional, scientific management is vital for the development of managerial practices. I wrote “Simple Academic Overview: Scientific Management” to provide a historical overview of the development of management principles during the Scientific Management Era.  Including key scholars, principles, and insights, as well as notable critiques of scientific management.  Human resources managers today, explain principles of scientific management as the topics are related to organizational policy, organizational development and also promote organizational growth.
For more information click here: Simple Academic Overview: Scientific Management

Here for your success,
Dr. Jaye

How to Know What Documents to Use When Applying to Government Jobs

Merit Promotion (See How to Know the Difference between Which Government Job to Apply for article)

There are many documents that are required by government agencies for applications. It is important you understand the difference in required documents for a Merit announcement you are applying to, and a DEU announcement.

I have listed the required documents:
– If you are applying for consideration as a Veteran under the Veterans’ Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA) or Veterans’ Recruitment Appointment (VRA), you MUST submit evidence of eligibility, such as: DD-214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, or Standard Form 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference, and the proof requested on the form.

– If you are applying for consideration under a special hiring authority such as a person with a disability, Peace Corp or Vista volunteer, you MUST submit the appropriate supporting documentation to be considered by the closing date of this vacancy announcement; e.g. “certification” statement (contact your Vocational Rehabilitation Office) that identifies you as a person with a disability and that describes your ability to perform the essential duties of this position, Standard Form-50, etc.

– If you applying for consideration as a Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) eligible, you MUST submit the appropriate supporting documentation as proof of program eligibility.

– If you are applying and are a current or former federal employee with Career or Career-Conditional status, submit your most recent SF-50, “Notification of Personnel Action”, (NOT an award SF-50) which shows your status.

– If you are qualifying with education, you must submit a copy of your college transcripts.

– If the position you are applying for requires specific NWCG red card qualifications or training, you must provide a copy of your IQCS report.

Delegating Examining Unit: (See How to Know the Difference between Which Government Job to Apply for article)

– If you are applying for Veteran Preference, you MUST submit evidence of eligibility, such as; DD-214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, or Standard Form 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference, and the proof requested on the form. You must clearly identify your claim for veterans preference on your application. For more information on Veteran Preference, please go to OPMs website at: http://www.opm.gov/veterans/index.asp

– If you are qualifying with education, you must submit your college transcripts.

KEEP IN MIND: ANSWERS TO YOUR JOB QUESTIONS MUST BE SUPPORTED IN YOUR RESUME. If your answer(s) are not supported in your resume, or you fail to follow the instructions for the question(s), agencies will lower your answer(s) to reflect what was provided, for failure to follow instructions.

Stay motivated and GO GET YOUR GOVERNMENT JOB.

Jenice

PRESS RELEASE: SIMPLE ACADEMIC OVERVIEWS VOL. 1, 2 & 3

Dr. Jenice Armstead published “Simple Academic Overviews: Vol. 1, 2 & 3” on Dec 21, 2015. Dr. Jenice Armstead provides an historical overview of the development of management principles during the Scientific Management Era, the understanding of the concepts of performance management as they are related to organizational development theory and organizational leadership theories that exist with the implication of creating better leaders within an organization.

For more information click or go to: Simple Academic Overviews: Vol. 1, 2 & 3

Vol 1 2 and 3 Cover

Kick Off for the Veterans Business Initiative III

Dr. Jenice Armstead was honored as a special guest speaker of the Kick Off for the Veterans Business Initiative III. The room was filled with Trustees, Sponsors, Employers, Academic partners, Friends, Guests and Honored Veterans. The Veterans Business Initiative is a collaborative effort of the Disability Chamber of Commerce for Central Florida, Manpower, and other affiliates. Dr. Armstead spoke about the changes in the new workforce and how education and interviewing skills are vital when looking for a job. The audience was captivated by Dr. Armstead’s ability to share her personal and professional experiences with recently obtaining employment with Saint Pete College.  Dr. Armstead gave a speech about staying positive and focused on your goals. “I am working in my dream career, and it is because of the VBI program that I was able to properly transcribe my military experience within my resume for civilians to understand.”

The Veterans Business Initiative is an eight-week program that assist veterans with obtaining employment with businesses. The program is free of charge for all veterans who are seeking entrepreneurship opportunities, employment, and continuing education opportunities. For more information, CLICK HERE: Central Florida Disability Chamber

Dr. Jenice Armstead

Dr. Jenice Armstead

Dr. Jenice Armstead

Dr. Jenice Armstead Speaking at VBI 

Dr. Jenice Armstead

Dr. Jenice Armstead with VBI Staff

Monday Morning Mindset – Inevitable Change

This week’s Monday Morning Mindset focuses on “inevitable change.” Change is something that we all have to deal with at one point in our life. We change careers, relationships, clothes, we even our minds. In today’s global market, it’s important to understand the changes in your profession as they relate to professional growth, development and sustainability. Organizations go through changes in management, policy and other significant factors to stay competitive. Individual change works in the same way. It’s important to make constant changes in working habits to clarify and define expectations for efficiency and practical actions. Many of us avoid change as much as possible, and this can cause anxiety and an inability to move forward in life. Although change can be unsettling, it can also be an empowering experience to embrace. There are many ways to prepare for change, manage change and reinforce change. Preparing for change can be adopted directly or indirectly by gaining education and experience in your field. Managing change can be effective in setting goals and creating detailed plans to manage the changing environment. Finally, reinforced change involves data gathering and corrective action to take action. No matter your environment, change happens. It’s important to embrace change and find positive ways to deal with your ever-changing circumstances.

Dr. Jenice Armstead

Career Source Tampa Bay – Veteran Employment Services

Dear Veteran Career Seeker,

CareerSource Tampa Bay offices are staffed with a network of professional certified Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP) Specialists who will assist veterans or eligible military family members with their employment needs. These staff members work only with U.S. Military Veteran who have Significant Barriers to Employment (SBE). To find out if you have an SBE please visit your local CareerSource office to complete an initial assessment.

When arriving at a CareerSource Tampa Bay center, a Veteran will be asked to fill out an Initial Assessment and will meet with a Core staff member. The assessment will be reviewed and a determination of whether Significant Barriers to Employment (SBE) are identified. All Veterans with a Significant Barrier to Employment may choose to meet with a DVOP staff and enter case management to receive services such as career planning and counseling, referral to On-The-Job Training (OJT), employability skills workshops, and other services. Veterans who do not have a Significant Barrier to Employment are welcome to meet with Core staff for additional services if needed.

Core staff members are experts in helping our customers use technology to conduct an effective job search. Our Resource Room can provide you with access to:

• Fax, Copy ,and Telephone

• Computers, Internet Access, and Printers

• Basic Office Software (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint)

• Interest Inventories and Assessments

• Workplace Skills for the 21st Century

• Salary and Job Market Information

• Information on Community Services

• Assistive technology for sight and hearing impaired customers

Note: Full registration at www.employflorida.com, includes an on-line resume for the employers to review and to assist us in helping you identify suitable employment.

For more information on veterans services and eligibility go to: http://careersourcetampabay.com/pages/veteran_services

Additional information on our services is available at our website: http://www.careersourcetampabay.com

CareerSource Tampa Bay is an equal opportunity employer/program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. TDD/TTY (813) 930-7699

April Events

Employment Event: Career Source Florida

For those looking for employment who may need some extra assistance with preparing and finding a position, a job club will be held next Friday April 24, 2015 from 0900 am until noon. The location is 609 North Powers Drive, Suite 340, Orlando, Florida 32818 at the West Colonial “Career Source” Office.

The job club will consist of networking, open dialogue about issues concerning finding the right job, resume critique and referrals to open positions that may interest you. If you would like to attend, please email Jaime Quarnoccio, 
Veteran Representative-LVER Email Address: JQuarnoccio@careersourcecf.com or phone 407-531-1231 x7339 for more information go to Career Source Florida for more information and event announcements.

All the Best,
Jenice

How to Convert Military Experience into a Civilian Resume

Military personnel have many jobs while on active and reserve duty. Military personnel are often discharged from the military with little to no information on the process of converting military experience into civilian sector terminology. Military experience is not easily understood by the civilian sector. There are easy ways to convert military experience into civilian verbiage using job description templates found on the Internet.

It is important for military personnel to write out experience as it relates to civilian jobs. This is done utilizing job descriptions sites such as O*Net, Indeed and Career Builder. These sites provide job description information civilian sectors are using to hire applicants. Job experience should be broken down into bullets, which is the basic resume structure. A helpful book when completing this task is “Job Search, Marketing Your Military Experience By David G. Henderson.” This book provides excellent information on how to convert your military experience into civilian experience. It is an easy to understand book that provides examples and tips for converting military experience and is useful for all military forces.

Do some research on military specialties, then get detailed about what the specialty entails. Explain the experience in layman terms, and remember to keep it simple. Conduct Internet searches on “Job Descriptions” to find examples of pre-written job descriptions. Copy and paste the desired job description example and use it as a template to assist with converting military experience into civilian experience.

Create 3 resumes, a short, medium and long resume. The short resume provides a brief overview of position held and tasks. The medium adds tools and technologies of the positions. Finally, the long resume is a combination of all of experience from the first position held to present position. This includes job summary, tasks, knowledge, skills and abilities, tools and technologies of the position. Remember to create the long resume first, use the long resume to create the medium and the short resume.

Happy job hunting,

Jenice

How to Get Updates on Government Job Applications

Once you have submitted your government application on www.usajob.gov there are specific ways to keep up with your application status. There are free tools that can be utilized on www.usajobs.gov. There are a few ways to get the status of your government application and you should check the status at least weekly.

After you have submitted your government application, wait until the job announcement closes to check the status of your application. Log into your www.usajobs.gov profile and click on the title “Application Status.” Find the announcement you wish to check on. Some government agencies link the application status the agency site. If so, you will be redirected to the agency website where you submitted your original application. You will be able to view the status of your application here.

If the agency does not use this hyperlink, it will say “no application status available” this is okay. Don’t be discouraged. Click on the job announcement title and a second window will open up. Scroll down to the bottom of the job announcement and find the point of contact. You will see contact phone number or an email address (if supplied). Contact this person and request the “Applicant Status.”

There are times the contact gives you a vague answer about the job announcement status. If this happens, ask a more specific question like “Has their been a selection for the position? Or Have I been found qualified for the position?” This will ensure you get a more detailed answer. I recommend always contacting the point of contact via email to ensure you have written documentation in case you have any issues with the job announcement in the future.

Happy Job Hunting,

Jenice

Tips for Writing a Government Resume

First, you need to create a word document and type your “basic” resume in your desired format. Once you have your basic resume, make a folder for other more specific resumes you may need to create for job announcements you apply for. Now that you have your basic resume completed you will be able to edit the basic resume and tailor it toward government job announcements based on your qualifications and KSAs.

Second, tailor your resume. Copy and paste the “major duties” section of the job announcement into your basic resume and explain in detail how you meet the “minimum qualifications” of the job announcement. You can do this in bullet format, or in a standard resume format. Either way, you need to custom your resume. Often, applicant’s whom are selected for an interview have the qualifications posted verbatim from the job announcements.

Often, federal applications are reviewed using a “data mining” human resources information system, which assists human resources specialists with large application workload. Job announcements may have a contact number or an email address, this is public information for you to use to ensure your application was received and submitted successfully.

Custom your resume toward the job announcement in order to ensure your application receives the attention it deserves. Keep in mind, if you over state your qualifications your application can be discarded. Be honest, detailed and exact.

Happy Job Hunting,
Jenice

How to Write Government Application KSAs (Knowledge, Skill and Ability’s)

Federal government applications evaluated by a human resources specialists. They will review your responses to the User Information, Core Questions, and Vacancy Questions. The job specific questions will relate to the knowledge, skills and abilities required of the position. Many applications are “thrown out” because of a lack of KSAs addressed by the applicant.

IMPORTANT NOTE: ALL federal positions are advertised on www.usajobs.gov. DON’T be fooled by “other” websites that promise to advertise federal jobs for a “small cost.” Many of these “other” websites charge applicants to view federal positions and merely re-route the job links, but rest assure that these “other” websites are “pulling” information from www.usajobs.gov to get information about advertised federal positions.

No matter what agency you are applying to, the advertised job will have KSAs or Knowledge, Skills and Abilities. You need to read the entire job announcement. At times, federal agencies require applicants to submit addition information about specific job announcement KSAs. (Go to the PRINT PREVIEW button to view the entire announcement requirements)

Example job announcement KSAs:
• Knowledge of the laws and regulations governing the realty program and the ability to use sound professional judgment to resolve conflicts with other resources.
• Skilled in understanding laws and regulation and analyzing realty programs
• Ability to evaluate and process realty applications and proposals and conduct compliance examinations on authorized actions.

This statement is ALWAYS in federal job announcements:
ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS MUST BE SUPPORTED IN YOUR RESUME. If your answer(s) are not supported in your resume, or you fail to follow the instructions for the question(s), you will have your answer(s) adjusted to reflect what is provided, for failure to follow instructions.

This means if your resume does not “match” the required KSAs within the advertised job announcement, the agency may manually lower your application score. Federal applications are scored from 0 points to 100 points. Your goal is to receive as many points as possible. Human resources specialists review applications with the highest scores first.

Overall, KSAs are important and you will be evaluated based the information submitted to the job announcement. The key to writing government KSAs is to put the EXACT KSAs which are found in the job announcement within your resume or application WORD-FOR-WORD. Then go into detail about how your qualifications meet the KSAs.

Happy Job Hunting,
Jenice

How to Apply for Government Jobs

There are many benefits to applying and earning a government position. In this economy people are looking for job stability and benefits. The government has job security, benefits and more.

In this economy, the government sector is hiring all types of positions. Many government agencies are still receiving stimulus money to create new jobs in all career fields. Government agencies are having problems finding the people to apply for the positions. That’s right, agencies are having problems finding people, because the public isn’t applying for government jobs as they did in the past. There are positions that need to be filled such as: Grounds Keepers, Administration Assistants, Administrative Secretaries, Engineers, Forest Rangers, Information Technicians, Clerks, Legal Assistants and the list goes on and on and on and on.

There are some keys factors to completing government job applications. First of all, you need to create or update a personal profile on the main free government website: www.usajobs.gov. This is a “free” website that all government jobs are posted on, no matter what government department it is. There are a ton of scams that “say” they need a payment in order for you to gain access to federal positions. This is false! It is completely FREE to search and apply for government jobs. Although, many federal agencies fill jobs using private sector personnel, USAJOBs allows applicants looking for specific positions to “searches” tailored to the seeking candidates needs.

One of the main factors is to review “eligible and qualified” factors of a job announcement you want to apply for. This part can be a bit tricky; the key is to go to the “Who May Apply” and “Requirements” tab at the top of the job announcement. Review the information. There is where the details of “Who May Apply” for the position and what the “Requirements” are for the position. If you feel you meet the requirements move on to the next step and “Apply” for the position.

Remember, when using USAJOBS your profile information is “attached” to your application when you submit it. Make sure to complete your USAJOBS profile before applying for any positions on USAJOBS. Supplemental documents are also “attached” to any application you submit via USAJOBS. Make sure that all your documents i.e. DD214, SF 50, unofficial transcripts, cover letter or training certifications are all attached to the document section of your profile.

Happy USAJOB Hunting
Jenice

How to Answer Key Interview Questions: Education

We all know that education is vital in today’s job market. The fact is education comes in all arrays of quality and may be obtain in a variety of ways. You don’t have to have a degree to be considered educated, but you do have to have proof that you completed an educational program for which you are claiming you acquired the knowledge from.

During your interviews selecting officials may want to know: What courses you liked most while attending school? What courses did you like least? These questions are steered toward the selecting official finding out more about you and what types topics interests you. This could be a mode of examining your personality traits or rating your ability to be trained on the job you are interviewing for.

The next possible question: Why did you choose your course of study? This question is geared toward the selecting official gaining a deeper understanding of your professional agenda. This question is asked with the intentions of understanding the applicant’s passion for the field. Be honest and be short. Don’t give a long answer; the selecting official doesn’t want to know your entire educational background, only what pertains to the position you are applying for. Keep it short and sweet unless asked additional questions. Examples of experiences with training programs should show what you learned and how you applied the knowledge.

Selecting officials want to know if you prepared for the interview. Make sure to practice answering these questions on your own or with a friend. It is helpful to use an audio device for you to review and critique yourself. This will improve you interviewing skills.

Happy Job Hunting,
Jenice

How to Answer Key Interview Questions: Training Information

Training and education are core elements of the job force. Without training and education work experience will only get you so far. With training, education and experience you will practically be handed more opportunities than you will know what to do with. But, inflating education and training accomplishments on your resume will hurt you in the long run. Be honest and factual with what you have been trained on and what you need training in. Always include On the Job Training (OJT), this is as valuable as formal education.

Some questions you will be asked: What training have you had including grade school or college? Many applicants are finding that they need additional education and training, but experience goes hand and hand with education and training. With this question you need to elaborate on any certifications you many have as well as any courses online you have taken as well. Online courses from an accredited school are important to discuss. There are ways of obtain knowledge if you have not obtained formal education

Interviewers will also ask you: What workshops, OJT or other training do you have? This is an open-ended question targeted toward learning more about ability to be trained. If you are human resources professional, they will want to know if you have been to any staffing or employee relations workshops. If you are information technology professional they will want to know if you have been to any fiber optic, customer service or trouble shooting workshops. If you haven’t been to any workshops or OJT, state that and also state your interest in developing your skills for the benefit of the company. The new job market wants to understand your ability to want to learn and grow as well has your past training background.

One of the last questions you WILL be asked is: Do you have any skills that are not listed on your resume or in your application? This is a great opportunity for you to “talk yourself up.” This means that you have an opportunity to talk as much about you and your skills and how unique you are. This is your time to shine, so don’t put every single detail on your resume. Give yourself some “room” to talk about yourself.

Happy Job Hunting
Jenice

How to Answer Key Interview Questions: Work Experience

We all have had an interview at one time or another in our professional careers. Interviews are hard enough as it is with getting through the first cuts of other qualified applicants, now that you have the interview all set up there are some questions that will be asked of you during the interview. The key to an interview is not one single thing, yet many items that you will be evaluated on.

Work Experience

Your work experience will be the first items up for “conversation” after the small talk with a selecting official. They will want to know: Why are you interested in the job? This isn’t a trick question; it’s a question the selecting official really wants to know. Are you looking for a career change? Are you looking for a new position because you were laid off? The key to answering this question is to be honest, don’t give your whole life story – but be honest.
Many government agencies like to know that the applicants have done some research on the organization. So, the next question will likely be: Why are you interested in working for this organization? This is an open ended question that can be short and sweet. You should make some kind of reference to the research you have done on the organization. For example, if you are interviewing for a Fire Fighter position – you could answer with something to the reference of “I am interested in working for this organization because I agree with the mission statement of saving lives and preserving the wild life.” Yes, it is cheesy, but if it’s true you should say it. Again, you need to be as professionally honest as possible. This will also come into handy with the next question: What do you know about the company? You will be able to elaborate on the previous answer you gave about the previous question.

The next question is vitally important: What do you feel you can contribute to this organization? This is a question that you MUST answer with YOU in mind for what YOU can contribute to the company. For many selecting officials this question is a “make or break” factor. If an applicant starts with what they feel they need from a company instead of what they CAN and WILL contribute to a company, the interview will be cut short. The key is to stay focused on what YOU can BRING to the COMPANY, not what you want from the company.

There are a series of questions that are often asked in conjunction with each other: Why did you leave you last job? What would your last employer say about you? Would your last employer re-hire you? And Give me an example of a situation where you had to make a decision? What was the situation? What was the decision? And what was the result? Now, these questions are called “character questions.” These are designed to “weed out” the real applicants from those whom have not been so honest during the interview. The best advice I can give is to be honest, have professional examples in mind before the interview and take your time answering the questions. You can ask the selecting official to re-state the questions, you can write the questions down and you have all the time in the world. REMEMBER: YOU are there because they saw something in your resume, phone interview or overall application that they liked.

Happy Job Hunting,

Jenice Armstead

Monday Morning Mindset – Human Capital Worth

This week focuses on knowing and understanding your human capital worth. In this difficult job economy, it’s important to understand and notate your knowledge, skills and abilities to your field of development. You are your best marketing manager. You have the ability to annotate everything that you “bring to the table.” Without you, an organization or company would be crippled in the ability to be successful. Make sure to notate all the projects, collateral duties and other contributions you make throughout the year. Employees are typically reviewed on an annual basis. The annual evaluation process is a form of documenting your human capital worth within the organization. The annual evaluation displays what you “brought to the table” for the entire year. It is your responsibility to dictate and annotate all contributing factors, which shows your human capital worth within the organization. When you start keeping track of your professional significance, your professional productivity will show your actual annual growth. The growth may come from personal accomplishments or professional accomplishments. Either way you will grow your human capital worth.

Wisdom Wednesday: Documents Required for Applying to Government Jobs

Merit Promotion (Current & Past Federal Employees or Eligible Veteran Status)

There are many documents that are required by government agencies for applications. It is important you understand the difference in required documents for a Merit announcement you are applying to, and a DEU announcement.  I have listed the required documents and if you all have any additional questions, pls email or comment and I will ensure you get an answer. I am HERE for YOU.

– If you are applying for consideration as a Veteran under the Veterans’ Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA) or Veterans’ Recruitment Appointment (VRA), you MUST submit evidence of eligibility, such as: DD-214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, or Standard Form 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference, and the proof requested on the form.

– If you are applying for consideration under a special hiring authority such as a person with a disability, Peace Corp or Vista volunteer, you MUST submit the appropriate supporting documentation to be considered by the closing date of this vacancy announcement; e.g. “certification” statement (contact your Vocational Rehabilitation Office) that identifies you as a person with a disability and that describes your ability to perform the essential duties of this position, Standard Form-50, etc.

– If you applying for consideration as a Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) eligible, you MUST submit the appropriate supporting documentation as proof of program eligibility.

– If you are applying and are a current or former federal employee with Career or Career-Conditional status, submit your most recent SF-50, “Notification of Personnel Action”, (NOT an award SF-50) which shows your status.

– If you are qualifying with education, you must submit a copy of your college transcripts.

– If the position you are applying for requires specific NWCG red card qualifications or training, you must provide a copy of your IQCS report.

Delegating Examining Unit (Open to ALL Public Candidates)

– If you are applying for Veteran Preference, you MUST submit evidence of eligibility, such as; DD-214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, or Standard Form 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference, and the proof requested on the form. You must clearly identify your claim for veterans preference on your application.

KEEP IN MIND: ANSWERS TO YOUR JOB QUESTIONS MUST BE SUPPORTED IN YOUR RESUME. If your answer(s) are not supported in your resume, or you fail to follow the instructions for the question(s), agencies will lower your answer(s) to reflect what was provided, for failure to follow instructions.  Stay motivated and GO GET YOUR GOVERNMENT JOB.

For more information: USAJOBS FAQs