As a Veteran, no matter what level of disability you have two routes that you can apply through.
The are two routes you apply – directly to the facility and through the Delegated Examining Unit (DEU). The way that the two types of announcements can be discerned; is the contact information for that announcement. Facility announcements are only for Status positions. Status means that the announcement is only eligible for veterans, current or former employees of the federal government (that have reinstatement rights – which don’t trump veterans preference). Facilities generally cannot announce positions to the general public. Facility announcements will have a person’s name and contact information while DEU announcements will not. If you are found ‘qualified’ from a facility announcement; you will be placed on a separate veterans hiring certificate. Depending on how many applicants for a position there are and local HR office custom is the factor pushing how far the different types of applicants are broken down and how many hiring certificates are prepared. The veterans preference hiring authority (VRA/VEOA, etc) is cited for the certificate; but not the 5 or 10 point preference.
When you find a job that sounds good, make a early decision on your qualifications. Use the link on one of the attached documents and look up the qualifications for the occupational specialty on the OPM web site. It may take a little drilling through the OPM site; but will prevent you from wasting time applying for a job that you don’t meet the minimum requirements for. Most announcements will also require/desire evidence of a years experience commensurate with a year’s work at the next lowest grade level. Your resume should reflect those kind of duties.
The point preference system is used by the DEU’s in scoring their applicants. The point preference system was created during the times that everyone took a written exam for all civil service positions. That gave veterans five or ten points on top of their score. Since then there have The five or ten points are added on to the score. Qualification for DEU announcements is primarily by the score value to the occupational questionnaire that has replaced the Knowledge, Skills, Abilities essay exam from hell. A multiple choice questionnaire that can be as many as 85 questions has replaced it. If a questionnaire goes over 35, it’s one of the longer ones. Generally to be qualified an applicant will have to score 70 or better. The hiring certificate that is sent to the facility will be broken down into the categories of Best Qualified, Well Qualified, and Qualified. Veterans will float to the top in each of these categories. Veterans cannot be bypassed (except for another veteran on the list) without approval from the Office of Personnel Management.
While USAJobs will allow you to save 5 different resume’s; the resume you submit as part of your application packet needs to be targeted specifically to that particular job. Check the announcement for duties and other narrative information and insure that your resume reflect the skills listed there. While in the civilian sector applicants are told to keep their resume’s short – don’t do that with civil service. The HR Specialist that reviews your packet may or probably not have technical expertise or be a SME on a specific field like IT. Short resume narratives while listing all your IT certifications could find you not qualified.
USAJobs will also allow you to keep five separate search’s running. These are set up along the parameters of location, civil service grade/pay, occupational specialty code (read as MOS), and hiring agency. A collection of links to the jobs, that meet your search parameters, have opened in the previous 24 hours will be emailed to your daily.
For those in technical fields like IT, ensure your resume narratives are descriptive without a lot of acronyms. Don’t depend on a list of certifications to substitute for that. Your resume has to match the answers in the occupation questionnaire. The initial review of your application will probably NOT be by someone in your technical field. You can geek-speak yourself into disqualification very easily.
That’s pretty much it in a nutshell… I have glossed over a LOT of small boring details. Those are covered in more detail in the attached documents.
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