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What Ever Happened To Your Federal Application

What Ever Happened To Your Federal Application

Kathryn Troutman

What You Can Do to Research What Happened to Your Application
Recommendations from Federal Human Resources Specialist

Look for a Point of Contact on the back of the announcement

If there is a point of contact on the back of the vacancy announcement it would be HR. If things haven’t changed since The Merit System Protection Board (MSPB) did its study, Help Wanted for Vacancy Announcements on the quality of vacancy announcements, many of the numbers given on vacancy announcements are not answered by humans, a potential dead end. Research a contact within the office where the position is being advertised I believe that at this time of high unemployment, an applicant can’t really afford to be calling just HR. Finding and talking with someone in the office where the vacancy is, or preferably talking with the selecting official, would be more fruitful. MSPB studies have found, again and again, that employees in the office and the selecting officials are main source of information for people who get hired. How does one find someone in the office or who the selecting official is when it’s not given at all on vacancy announcements? Here the applicant has to be resourceful. The vacancy announcement gives a lot of clues as to the office doing the hiring: for example, the geographic location is a giveaway and so are the duties. Sometimes, the name of the hiring office is given on vacancy announcements. Allelujah! An internet search or a look in the phone book can give a good indication of which office to call. Ligaya Fernandez, Retired Senior Personnel Policy Analyst,

I always recommend to clients that they develop a tracking system – either using Excel or Word to track the vacancy info (position title, series, grade), opening and closing dates, agency and point of contact – this saves time and they can get back to the POC after the vacancy comes off USAJOBS – it also gives them a better sense of what they have applied for and if they are seeing any response. Susan Custard, Human Resources Manager, Federal Agency

I would add that they should keep a copy of the announcement, especially the duties and KSAs, so they have that info if called for an interview. Since the announcements disappear after the job is closed, it is difficult to do the proper preparation for an interview if you don’t have the announcement… Nancy H. Segal, Retired Human Resources Manager
Research the agency’s website and get hold of contact information and organizational structure of that agency to “network” your contacts. Make contact with program managers within the organization you are applying to and ask about the particular announcement that you have applied for. Be enthusiastic and demonstrate that you are very interested in working for the agency. Maybe they will write back to you. New Federal Employee, Jeff Clopein, U.S. Department of Education/RSA

Whether the news is good or bad, you need to find out what happened to your federal application. Especially the applications you put your heart and soul into writing and spent hours answering questions, faxing information and painstakingly following the directions. If you find out what happened, you can either keep applying with that great application, or you can improve the application and change it for future announcements. Without RESULTS information, you could waste valuable time and great opportunities.

Kathryn Troutman, Author, Ten Steps to a Federal Job, 2nd Ed.

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