Expert Profile Creation and other matters…
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You will learn in this blog post three main points.
The first is how to create your expert profile, the importance in knowing who you are (sounds funny right.), and what your profile really means to potential hiring managers.
Within the USAjobs.gov applicant portal, one of the most important things to do is to create your profile to completion. I will expressly tell you that the federal government doesn’t want to see your picture, so don’t try to upload that anywhere or attach it to your resume as it will immediately be deleted or put in the “not referred” pile. I know you wouldn’t attach a picture dear reader, but that being said, you’ve been warned.
Now let’s begin.
First, we should address the email question. Your personal email is just that, however if I was a recruiter for the federal government or really any other HR official, I would rather see first name.lastname@ yahoo or gmail or whatever.com vs email@example.com, now I am not saying at all that you will be dismissed from an application because of your silly email, but remember first impressions are always a key to success and would you really want to ever think that your email address is what took you out of the running for your dream career. So my advice is to create an email used for primarily job purposes so you can keep your ELMOLOVER@gmail.com for all of your other business, I will note here that this advice isn’t my own solely.
Obviously nothing here is difficult to understand, however I noticed that recently I needed to update my local address. Sometimes positions will be posted within a 50 mile square radius of city X. Perhaps you live within 10 miles of that city, but if you moved and never changed your address, then you could not be selected or even referred based on your address, so do yourself a favor and make sure everything is up to date and correct. Set a reminder on your computer or cell phone every 6 months – easy.
Here is where some people can get confused. This section discusses your ability to work for the Federal Government at certain capacities. I always find it funny that the Selective Service box is the second area. Even, EVEN if you served in the military failure to hit the proper button that you have registered could mean that the data on this screen won’t be saved.
Section for Veterans, Spouses of Veterans, Widows, Parents of a deceased Veteran, or spouse/parent of a Disabled Veteran.
Make sure to read all of these buttons very carefully as you could be giving up special preferences for jobs under hiring authorities.. Remember moving forward that most of the MILITARY questions will require proper documentation to be uploaded into your profile and added to Documents Requested lists. IF these documents are missing, you will wind up being one of the 80% of applicants that are automatically dropped from applicant pools because they CAN’T FOLLOW DIRECTIONS.
If you are ACTIVE DUTY, there is also a place for you to put your possible ETS or EAS date.
Section for Federal Employees
This can be a tricky section itself and once again, checking certain buttons will require you to upload your paperwork to prove your federal employee eligibility, for example your last SF-50.
There are also helpful bolded headings within a question such as Veterans’ Recruitment Appointment (VRA), which presents a whole new blogpost to be discussed at a future date.
Working in the federal government you will learn quite a new language much like working in law enforcement or the military. As a Federal Civilian Employee you are selected under a PAY PLAN, a Series, and a Grade level. These are typically reflected on your SF-50, but what happens if you’ve never been a Federal Civilian Employee, then no worries this won’t apply to you. If you have questions relating to this area, I would suggest trying a couple of google searches to see what results may come up. Otherwise, the only area I have found difficult to navigate is the occupational series. There are a ton of choices to choose from, so if you don’t know, choose well.
The good news is that unless you’re receiving a Federal annuity or have accepted a buyout in your previous federal employment, you can now save your answers and move on to Demographics.
This is all very self-explanatory. There is an option to not disclose anything about yourself. I will tell you that I have no idea if this works against you, but I can tell you that it may be to your advantage to fill out this area as there are certain federal hiring practices that stipulate employee demographic criteria. Next stop…. PREFERENCES
Probably one of the most important areas to cover…as this area is optional, Don’t Skip IT. Why you ask, well your dream posting comes up. You’ve got a perfect resume with all the correct points they are looking for and the position stipulates that you will have to travel up to 50% of the time. You are like YES!!! That’s me. But under the Travel & Relocation buttons, you still have Occasional checked. SO the hiring manager puts you in the OK pile, meaning others have checked the proper box and the hiring manager knows they are already willing to travel 50% of the time, where you, well you may be a question. See, now wouldn’t you hate to know that you weren’t selected for your dream job because of a simple mistake like that!!! I know I would.
Same thing here with Desired Work Locations, remember the 50 mile vicinity rule, if you’re applying to positions outside of where you live make sure that is reflected here under your Selected Locations.
Work type and schedule is another area to be more broad then narrow in scope. Check all that may apply to you.
Under Education this is where you must be able to understand where you are and knowing your professional limitations. Select the best title for yourself. Unique Hiring Paths are just that. If you fit into the categories mentioned, select those boxes so you can claim those preferences and possibly through the VRA Veterans Recruitment Act be able to be the sole individual to apply for a position and be able to obtain a GS-11 salary as a result.
The last point here is fairly important. Obviously there is a ton of unique opportunities for people connected to the military. However, the last box within this profile page talks about Individuals with Disabilities. I don’t need to know them, however if you have what is called a Schedule A letter from a medical professional, typically a M.D. or D.O. this is it’s own powerful hiring point and if you have certain disabilities I would talk with your provider about what it would take to get this Schedule A letter as it could provide that upper leg you need to get that dream job.
Here we are at the END.. As this post was fairly informative, please address questions below and I will try to get back to you within a reasonable timeframe. Great luck on your federal career path.
Veterans Preference Explained
Veterans Preference/Schedule A