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How Would YOU Change USAJOBS?

How Would YOU Change USAJOBS?

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Chris McConnell | GovCentral

Last month, the Office of Personnel Management published a draft of their strategic plan for 2010-2015 seeking to update, streamline, and modernize how the federal government recruits, hires, trains, and rewards its civilian workforce.

John Berry, Director of OPM, stated in a speech entitled A New Day for the Civil Service, that they have set a lofty goal to make the federal government the model employer for the American in the 21st Century.

OPM is seeking public comment on their strategic plan, which happens in a lot of federal documents, but typically it’s a little hard to understand how to submit them. The OPM has made this a lot easier and more transparent, as the public comments can be instantly accessed by visitors to the site.

You can see OPM’s draft strategic plan and submit your own public comment here

Of the four strategic goals mentioned in the document, one in particular will have a large impact in attracting and recruiting top talent to work for Uncle Sam. This is of course the blessed and cursed USAJOBS.gov website.

Any applicant that submits an application for a position on USAJOBS understands that they are stepping into a potential black hole. Currently, it can be hard to discern if you qualified or not, or if a poorly formated application put to an end the little resume that could. Kudos in advance to OPM if that can make the process easier.

Other goals in the strategic plan focus on the life-cycle of federal employment, from assisting veterans in the transition to the federal workplace, improving the work-life balance, and recognizing high-performing employees and federal agencies for a job well done.

The Obama Administration has made it a stated goal to “make government cool again”, which was greeted with optimistic intrigue by Vanity Fair in their early profile of new Administration in February earlier this year. The Politico has even reported on an even more enthusiastic group of interns coming to DC to work. However, instead of just seeking an internship on Capitol Hill, they are finding the appeal of the executive branch and the plethora of options within federal agencies.

It’s important that the OPM finds an efficient way to seek for and hire the influx of enthusiastic workers young and old clamoring for a spot in the government. However, it’s simply too early to judge whether the OPM can change a government culture the public views as inefficient and full of red-tape. The release of the draft strategic plan is the first step in making it a reality.

Lofty goals indeed.


Download and read the Office of Personnel Management Draft 2010-2015 Strategic Plan at: http://www.opm.gov/strategicplan/ The deadline for public comments is August 30th, 2009.


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  • Photo_user_blank_big

    megawalrus

    about 5 years ago

    2 comments

    Xynyx, totally see your point and ran into the same issues when I was trying to apply to some of these ridiculous things. They want you to have had THE job you are seeking, like the person retired or quit from it and they are trying to get that one person back. "How have you applied your experience in government administration of Solar solutions programs to forming relationships with solar cell producers, furthered progress toward public acceptance of solar energy solutions, and in what capacity has your own body become solar powered?" 8000 words maximum...

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    LAM

    about 5 years ago

    2 comments

    Absolutely, USAJOBS must change its hiring process. I'm a 22-year Air Force veteran with many years of experience in multiple career fields. I also have two associate's, one bachelor's, and nearly finished with my MBA. I applied extensively through the old air force hiring system, then they joined USAJOBS. My luck went from bad to worse.
    1. One thing they need to get right is the KSAs
    2. The next thing: the locations (especially overseas).
    KSAs take up too much time to complete and get right. Your locations don't list the bases right.
    List the locations/bases where the jobs actually list rather than a catch-all location/country.
    For instance: 1) When one searches for Equipment Specialist specifically in the UK, the search comes up with Germany first then the UK base underneath it. I've even seen jobs for London, England, which show the location as Germany, London, UK. That's just one annoying aspect, but it's the little things that count. If you can't even get the locations right, who knows what else you can't get right. Your strategic plan should start with the small stuff and work upwards. Send out surveys, don't ask for coments, there is not enough space to list what needs to be changed.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    JamesT

    about 5 years ago

    2 comments

    Has anyone ever heard of jobs being filled before the closeout date? If so then USAJOBS need to remove the jobs from its website.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Xynyx

    about 5 years ago

    2 comments

    Here's one major issue: The one application I completed was written by someone who very clearly had an overinflated opinion of the nature of the specific job for which I was applying. I applied for a position offered by the DOE: Energy Project Specialist - Solar. The application asked about my skills, like project management skills, teamwork, etc. But it wasn't enough to just ask about such basic skills... no... I had to relate how I acquired the skills and my experience with such skills "as they relate to solar energy". WTF?! Project Management is an advanced skill, but it is a fundamental skill that can be applied to many areas of expertise. The application process was virtually humiliating, despite my 20 years of engineering experience. I have a fairly impressive résumé and can bring all of that to any job I find... but the DOE is not likely to take advantage of that, because I probably look like a complete zero on that application. Now, I am reluctant to bother applying again.

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    ras527

    about 5 years ago

    4 comments

    One suggestion would be for ALL government agencies and departments to use one central resume repository. It just doesn't make sense to go to USA JOBS to find a position, then post your resume and information there, only to find out the hiring agency refers you to another site where you enter the exact same information, resume and supporting documents. And, it seems like each agency/department has its own process.

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    kdavis19

    about 5 years ago

    2 comments

    To change the US job situation, we should keep jobs in the US instead of overseas. Give some of the stimulas to the people instead of the banks and car industries.

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    yolandasturgis

    about 5 years ago

    18 comments

    I've had success in applying for a job from usajobs.gov so, wouldn't request much be changed about the site excepting to update the software. Additionally, I'd request that the application manager software also be updated to allow deletion of applications more than 12 months old, thereby eliminating the look of failure since many applications are listed even those not responded to.

  • Vb

    Cyclone70

    about 5 years ago

    20 comments

    Does anyone really read the resume. Maybe I do not have a MBA but I do have more than 30 years working in my field, I fought in a very unpopular war, was injured ,but doubt anyone really considers the "POINTS"( I feel it really sets me up to be turned down). The whole process appears to be automated. Or maybe just another cover for the famous good ole boy system. I don't care where you go you will find the "GOBS"

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    mbrill

    about 5 years ago

    2 comments

    I agree with the previous comments. The job descriptions on USAjobs are so nebulous that almost anyone qualifies for the positions advertised. Then they send you to the job site of the agency posting the which has different requirements than the traditional business resume, if you don't know the secret handshake you don't even get a look. I'm told that not best qualified is code for 'We have someone we want to fill the job but the law says we have to post it'. I have 20 years of military experience and as much in business, I have an MBA and have run my own business, but according to agencies like CPOL I qualify as an intern. From what I've seen of the system, they use every excuse in the book to disqualify you unless you know someone. When I have gotten to speak to someone, they have a set of questions prepared, there's no flow, no conversation. In other cases when you are referred the answer is that it's now up to the hiring authority but since you don't know who or where there's no way to follow up. I understand that they use Resumix to screen the resumes, perhaps they should find a better way to screen resumes

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    glyoung

    about 5 years ago

    2 comments

    It doesn't take Vulcan (Mr. Spock) logic to analyze the current hiring system as a failure. The application process in general is designed to fail or disqualify anyone without federal government hiring experience. The information required on an federal application should be streamlined to fit the job. For example, the first page or two of the application should reflect the applicant's general information. The information required after this should be in a template format requesting the applicants experience and education that's relating to the job. Every federal job should have it's on template requesting information related to the job. After this template, then the applicant should be allow to attach a resume. This would speed up the time wasted analyzing applications by the current system. For example, if I needed to hire a pilot, I would have a pilot template that requested information about a pilot ; year received pilot's license, type of aircraft flow, number of hours per aircraft, airports operated out of, cargo flown, FAA fines, ect. . . . . A template system would be a logical step for federal hiring because it could be amended to reflect the changing needs of the job. A template system would also make the federal black hole smaller and decrease the wasting of valuable resources.

    Jedi

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Account Removed

    about 5 years ago

    The comments expressed by everyone preceding me were on point. The Federal application process should be streamlined immediately. I believe DFAS has the best system to date, because create an online resume and I can submit myself for whatever I'm interested in. I think KSAs are a waste of everyone’s time and at the end of the day, those questions should be addressed during an interview. When I apply in the private sector, they don't ask me for KSAs. They look at my resume and if my experience and education fit the requirements I’ll get a call. I am a retired disabled combat veteran that has served 9 years as an enlisted soldier and 11 as an officer. I have an MPA and I'm currently pursuing an MBA and despite nine months of applying for federal jobs, I have yet to score an interview under the current system. I went to graduate school for public administration, because I wanted to work for the federal government when I retired from the military. After nine months of filling out KSAs, updating passwords, filling out questionnaires, and who know how many other worthless tools I’ve been subjected too, I still cannot get past a referral.

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    lovebigley

    about 5 years ago

    10 comments

    I think that USA Jobs should be focused on the qualified. Priority with those who have served in the past, currently serving should be top of the list or in a category of their own. It is very hard to compare someone with just a Bachelors degree to someone with a Bachelors degree and willing to die for the freedom of this country. Someone that is sacrificing family and friends to defend our freedom.

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    hunter2

    about 5 years ago

    2 comments

    Make applying easier by requiring one common application.

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    vision20

    about 5 years ago

    24 comments

    Let qualified climb and create changes,and incentive by proportioning wages to works.

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    skhutchinson

    about 5 years ago

    2 comments

    My biggest frustration is after having input all my information into USAjobs, I still find that I have to create an account, input my information again and again for agencies that choose to use different servers. It's exhausting, and can take up hours of my time, usually leaving unfinished applications.
    The KSA seems to be designed for someone who already has experience with the federal government and knows the KSA formula.
    Glad you guys know there's a problem and are addressing it!

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