Challenged, Frustrated, You’re in the RIGHT PLACE
I started this website mainly because I wanted to empower others looking into federal employment to be successful. The process isn’t easy. If you listen to all the negativity about getting a federal job it can be overwhelming.
“They only hire Veterans, minorities, friends of friends…”
That list could grow long, very long. But I’m hear to tell you that the federal government expects the applicant to be knowledgable, educated for the position, and highly qualified. At this very moment there are over 3,964 jobs for VETERANS only.. That’s almost half of all the jobs available currently within the USAJOBS.GOV portal. HALF and people still say they can’t get a position. Well someones got to be getting them.
The federal government is not the good ole boys club. Now I’m not going to say that within the contracting realm that isn’t so. I know quite a few contractors for the government that knew somebody, who knew somebody, and they essentially had a job handed to them. However, if we think about it, they were probably qualified, could pass the background check (as they were already vetted from a friend, acquaintance etc..), and they more than likely were doing the job in a prior capacity. So don’t let that distract you, you want the contracting job, network, get your name out there, and badger the hell out of people.
What I can tell you is this. The information provided within this website is half the key to getting the job. You’ve got to be willing to do the work to get there. It takes a while to craft the kind of resume I preach about here, but it’s worth it. Currently I’ve got a client that I’m working with who’s applying for a position in which they don’t have many of the requested experiences in a working capacity. However, I pointed out that they were an Eagle Scout. That’s not easy to achieve. Within that challenge you have to do numerous things and for this particular position, a lot entails work within the natural resources. They don’t have the work experience, but they DO have the volunteer experience from their many years in scouting. What they are now able to do is provide a good amount of experience under the heading of Eagle Scout that may be an advantage, but you don’t get that option with a single page resume. NOT A CHANCE.
Not only is the resume process hard, but you have to be thorough. Targeted resumes are great for the civilian sector (private companies), but you can build and I specialize in creating a holistic federal resume that provides a depth that could work for any number of positions. The choice is yours, do you keep plugging away at any job in the federal government or do you tactically build the resume that gets the door open?
Let’s also look at why people want federal jobs. The BENEFITs are ridiculous. 14 paid vacation days aka Federal holidays. Excellent 401k program. Prior Honorable service gets you more paid time off. Within reason, most workdays are 0800-1630, M-F.. Hot DAMN! What I’m getting at is theres a ton of people also knocking on that door of opportunity, you’re not the only applicant, I’m sorry. Here’s a funny question: why do they say not to include a picture?? I can tell you why, some knucklehead thought that may get the decision changed for their betterment, reminds me of how the warning on a frozen pizza says “cook before eating.” There is no chance that you will achieve your professional goals in the federal government if you try to be a special snowflake and hyper inflate your accomplishments, they will discard you like a bad apple.
Recently on a forum that I stick my nose into here and there, someone suggested writing things like Harvard University, NAVY SEAL, or even directly copying requirements directly from the announcement into their resume. Changing the font to 1 and then coloring the font white. Good try! But you will get caught and go into the discard pile immediately as those shading variations show up when the HR official prints out your resume. DON’T DO THIS!
Many people don’t understand what is required for their experiences. Review the announcement and understand what it’s saying. You can’t apply for a GS-9 position if there is the TIG (Time-in-Grade) component if you’ve only been a GS-7. No matter how amazing you are, you still need that year in the level below to even be considered for the position. In fact, you’ve wasted time applying for the position as the answers on the questionnaire that you’ve been truthful about states that you haven’t held that TIG before, EVER.
Not everyone is a SME (subject matter expert). You can still get the position without answering the questionnaire as being the SME. That’s not to say if you can’t accurately state that maybe you’re the SME for half or more of the questions that you will get the position, or even the chance to interview. The federal government has strict standards to use to generate a CERT LIST. It lists all of the candidates that are qualified for a position in a ranking status. From Highly qualified on down to just qualified. Perhaps that list has only three candidates and you are only Qualified, you get the interview, it goes well because you read up on the process, and then you wait. HR goes on to provide offers to the candidates who are more qualified than you. Candidate one can’t accept the position because they want a higher step to come in with their salary. Candidate two has certain obligations that excludes them from the position. That leaves you, the Qualified person to get the offer, you accept because you’re happy as hell and there you go.
It’s sadly a numbers game. But you don’t even get to be a number unless you spend the time to make sure you’re as highly qualified as you can be. Also, people don’t take positions quite often because of salary issues. I’ve seen people try to negotiate step increases, really a matter of a couple of dollars a month to hundreds a month, but had they read the announcement correctly, there is typically the highest salary point set for that position based on more crazy government calculations and that’s not going to change. I’m not going to say it’s not a possibility to try to negotiate a higher salary from the getgo, but more often than not, I’ve known quite a few people to not get what they hoped for.
If you’re ready to take the next step, I’m always available to do the hard work for you. Email me and we can talk. IT’s free to have a conversation. OR… get at it yourself using what’s worked for me.
Thanks for reading today. Tell your friends about the site. Share the links if you want. Don’t give up, EVER…