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Six Common Myths of Federal Job Hunting

Six Common Myths of Federal Job Hunting

Most federal job seekers spend a majority of their time hunting for positions online, using websites such as USAJOBS.

Shannon Kelly & Dan DeMaio | Monster.com


















Myth 2: “I Can Breeze Through These Screening Questions”

The federal government’s hiring process is highly regulated in order to ensure both of the following: that ineligible candidates are disqualified before advancing to the next stage of the application process, and that all hiring processes are conducted fairly.

Learn more about basic eligibility requirements for federal jobs.

When you apply for a job, you should expect the agency will ask you to answer some hard essay questions in your application. How you respond will significantly impact your candidacy. Pay attention to the who may apply section of a job listing you are considering (pictured below):
<img src= “http://govcentral.monster.com/nfs/govcentral/photos/0001/7621/who_apply.jpg”>

Remember: Your responses should be concrete and tailored to the announcement’s wording. Federal agencies often evaluate a candidate’s relevant experience based specifically on matching keywords in the job announcement to keywords in the candidate’s resume and essay. For example, don’t assume they will deduce you have experience answering phones by simply saying you worked in customer service; explicitly state that you have answered phones in your past positions.


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Myth 1 Myth 3

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  • 001_max50

    msvicky

    over 4 years ago

    6 comments

    This is something that I definitely believed. I know better now.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    wbeal

    over 4 years ago

    2 comments

    Most Federal job descriptions appear to expect candidates to walk on water, yet I've met alot of morons in Federal Service. Really feel that many are hired under the table and don't measure up to the official job and qualification statements published in the official record.

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    chuck6050

    about 5 years ago

    4 comments

    Here are my comments: 1. Redefine position requirements so that all postioions do not required PHD"s. 2. Redefine positions so that those working in civilian sector do not have to guess what it means to "have at least one year experience in the next lower grade"....3. ALL federal jobs need to advertise on ONE platform, use ONE format, use ONE format for submitting required documentation (which also needs ot be listed in the advertisement). 4. How about listing positions by hiring agency and associate all position requirements, responsibilities, and all associated day to day activities so that applicants can accurately match skills to activites.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    JoV

    over 5 years ago

    4 comments

    I agree that while USAjobs has improved, there are still a lot of things that could be done to make it easier on both ends.

    Why can't you submit your transcripts electronically- when you fax them, it's not like you're getting an original in the first place, and a fax isn't less likely to be falsified (if that's the concern). Doing things like making the whole process digital would more than likely make it a cleaner process for the recruiter as well as the applicant.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    cmays59

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    The revamping of the USA jobs website are very nicely done, and work well. The one thing I miss having available is the ability to sort by grade.... that doesn't work properly anymore. As for what else can be done, make all federal agencies post all open positions, from agency-only to public on usajobs.gov, (I know for a fact that the VA doesn't do it); get an affidavit form for electronic signatures set up so we don't have to print out, sign and scan in all these papers, thus making it paperless on our end also. Fix application manager too, so it will let us view the docs, emails and submissions... an .asp error is not on our end, that is a programming error on application manager's side - plus, there is no valid email address or link to contact any tech support in the help area there either - using what is in the help file equals a 404 error. Thank you.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    bridgestx

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    Allow resumes in all formats or cut/paste for a specific application. Hiring someone besides a Phd for positions that only pay$30 to $50,000 a year. Use someone that understands what a college degree actually is, the computer constantly states not qualified on Education, however I do have a Bachelors Degree from a accredited college..

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    srlucas

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    Use one standardardized application such as Application Manager for all government agencies and sub agencies which would be routed directly through OPM.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    mrsafetyman

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    Mandate that all agencies recruit through the same site........NO EXCEPTIONS.

    Conduct the entire application process on one site with no secondary sites, such as Application Manager..............................................................................,again, NO EXCEPTIONS

    Limit the application process to resumes only.

    Hold the need for supporting documents, such as veterans documents to a later phase of the selection process.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Train777

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    What a convoluted process that is a total waste of time. There sholud be a much more abbreviated process with minimum requirements before someone is asked to divulge their life history ---usually in vain!!! A minor missing detail can mean disqualification before the process is even started. The rules are way over the top to try and please everyone. If a candidiate is ALREADY identified, then don't waste people's time fishing for extra "dead bait". It just pisses somebody off when an announcement is only good for a week. It is very confusing when electronic applications AREN'T ACCEPTED, yet you expect someone to Overnight an application (at $10+/pop) that may or may not get viewed. It is a big turn off to see a job description the size of a small novel that is mostly exaggerated with infinitesmal KSA's.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    SSWEEDEN

    over 5 years ago

    4 comments

    J HAVE TRIED OVER A YEAR TO GET A JOB WITH TSA. I WAITED AND WAITED AND WAITED --- FINALLY I RECEIVED AN OK TO TAKE THE TEST BUT UNFORTUNATELY THERE WERE NOT ENOUGH SPACES TO TAKE THE TEST. I HAD FIRST SAID THAT I WOULD LIKE TO WORK A MCCARRAN AIRPORT IN LAS VEGAS --- KNOWING THAT THERE WAS LITTLE CHANCE, I CALLED TSA H ELP DESK AND WAS TOLD THAT I WOULD HAVE TO SUBMIT ANOTHER APPLICATION. I DID THIS AND EACH TIME I CALLED THE HELP DESK THEY SAID THAT I ONLY HAVE THE APPLICATION FOR MCCARRAN AND THAT THEY REALLY DON'T KNOW WHERE THE 2ND APPLICATION WENT. ONE TIME I WAS TOLD IT WAS OUT THERE SOMEWHERE. O DID FINALLY GET ANOTHER APPLICATION THRU AND THEN THE REP ASKED ME IF I HAD PRINTED A RELEASE OF INFO AND AN OK FOR A CREDIT CHECK. TO CLEAR UP ALL OF THIS "BULL SHIT" WE KNOW THAT THE POSTAL SYSTEM IS VERY ANCIENT AND OCCUPYING BUILDINGS THAT OVER BUILT, UNDERUSED AND FALLING APART. MAINTAIN SMALLER AREAS FOR THE POST OFFICES AND MAINTAIN A LARGER AREA FOR GOVERNMENT HELP CENTERS FOR EMPLOYEMENT. LET US SPEAK TO PEOPLE DIRECTLY AND RECEIVE HELP TO FILL OUT THESE OVER HIDEOUS APPLICATION. LET US EITHER FILL OUT APPLLICATIOLNS VIA COMPUTER OR HANDWRITE ON A PAPER APPLICATION AND SCAN IT INTO THE SYSTEM. ALSO, IF WE FILE A N ACCEPTABLE APPLICATION WE SHOULD BE NOTIFIED AND IS ADDED INFO IS NEEDED HELP WITH THE COMPLETION. ALSO, SOME OF THESE JOBS HAVE SECURITY CLEARANCE AND YOU CANNOT APPLY ON LINE AND YOU HAVE TO DO IT A CERTAIN WAY AND IF YOU DON'T DO IT EXACTLY YOU WOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED FOR THE POSITION. IT SEEMS LIKE THE GOVERNMENT ARE SETTING PEOPLE UP TO FAIL AND BELIEVE ME, IF I HAD GOT A JOB THE LAST TIME THAT MCCARRAN AIRPORT HAD HIRED PEOPLE I WOULD NOT BE FILING BANKRUPTCY. I WOULD LOVE TO BE PART OF THE GROUP THAT REINVENTS THE POST OFFICES I NTO A VIABLE GOVERNMENT SITE DESIGNED FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND ENCOURAGE SUCCESS AND STOP PROMOTING DEPRESSION, ANXIETY, FEELING OF LOST HOPE. GIVE US A CHANCE TO BE EMPLOYED --- BEING ABLE TO ONCE AGAIN ENJOY LIFE, BECOMING A GREAT AMERICAN AND THE ABILITY TO SPEND AND SUPPORT THE ECONOMY. HELP US HELP OURSELVES. I LOVE MY COUNTRY, HELP ME TO HELP MYSELF AND TO ONCE AGAIN LOVE MY COUNTRY TO THE DEGREE I USED TO.

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    dsmith7256

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    Have all Federal agencies use the same application format. It is irritating to use different processes from the BLM, NPS ot the Dept of Defence. Unifying thing could even sve millions of dollars.

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    sextonmarc

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    You know a lot has been written here and my conviction is that it wont do or make a single difference to those who control the process. In fact it has been my experience that most of Gov attempts at streamlining change, systematicly increace the amount of time it takes to get something done. The excuse is always the same "well, don't we need to know this, that and the other thing, oh, right we need that too, but if we have that we're going to need the other thing and so on!" Look, post the job, post the requirements, take the resumes, review them, make selections, interview, hire, one week! Pretty simple. Impliment it and be done! Its a wonder anything gets done in Gov!

  • P1000606_max50

    PARATROOPER

    over 5 years ago

    14 comments

    I am a 40% disabled vet. I served 6 years int the army with 1/75 Rangers, 2nd ID, and 82nd Airborne, and am a Gulf War vet. This past May I graduated with an AAS degree in Electronics and Computer Technology. I have applied to a few jobs on USA jobs and haven't heard anything. I really don't like wondering if they hired someone or if they are just too slow, or if I am being discriminated. If they decided to hire someone else that's fine. I just wish I would get a response back saying I was declined for the job. What happened to HIRE VETS FIRST!!!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    orting589

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    Why can't we come with a buget to get all of thse over qualified 1sg,sgm's that retired and can't
    find jobs not only there hard worker's which have so much leadership being wasted. Let us get in the fight . PASS TO OBAMA ,GATE'S. WE WANT TO HELP. OLD SOLDIERS NEVER DIE.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    lsrubi

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    USA Jobs...LOTS of BLAH, BLAH, BLAH. And yet, nothing 'hard and fast' about getting the job, any job. Points of contact, diversity contacts, older employee contacts. It seems that the only people getting jobs these days, are whites and blacks and the heck with everyone else. The Hispanic population is once again, overlooked, even though we comprise more population than both the white and black population combined. Just another BS site...........................

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