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Federal jobs are listed by Federal Government agencies in vacancy announcements published in various journals, web sites, directories, databases, mailing lists and hotlines.
Each Federal job vacancy should include;
the announcement number
the description of the position
the deadline to apply
the salary range
the promotion potential
the basis for rating
application guidelines such as format (OF 612, resume, etc..), resume guidelines and KSA questions.
The Federal Government hiring process being pretty strict, not respecting the rules and deadlines listed in the vacancy will get you irremediably disqualified, even if you are the most qualified candidate.
Federal Job Sites
While it is recommended to check government agencies' websites for more information, here are a few sites that list vacancies for Federal jobs:
America's Job Bank
Finally, the Federal Government Pay scale Made Clear
The federal government pay scale is laid out in the GS (General Schedule).
The GS was designed to keep Federal government salaries on a par for all federal jobs throughout the various
The GS is divided into 15 grades and each grade has 10 levels. There used to be 3 GS "supergrades"
GS-16, GS-17 and GS-18. These were replaced by the (SES) Senior Executive Service.
The following is a BASE Pay Scale For Positions (2006)
Note: U.S. locations also receive additional pay adjustment above the base pay ranging from 12.64% to 30.34%.
The qualifications needed for each job are described in detail in the vacancy announcements that advertise job
openings. Each job also has a code that corresponds to its minimum requirements. Understanding these codes will
speed your search. Most federal positions require resumes in order to apply. They may require the OF 612, Resumix
or the SES depending on the position and the job announcement.
Gaining work experience will often qualify you for higher GS levels. A rule of thumb is, 1 year of experience
related to the job could raise your grade by one GS level in most clerical and technician positions.
In administrative, professional, and scientific positions, GS level increases in increments of two until you
reach a GS-12. After that, GS level increases one level at a time.
GS levels by education
GS-1: No high school diploma
GS-2 (GS-3 for clerk-steno positions): High school diploma
GS-3: 1 year of full-time study after high school
GS-4: Associate degree or 2 years of full-time study after high school
GS-5 or GS-7: depending on agency policy and applicant's academic credentials Bachelor's degree or
4 years of full-time study after high school
GS-7: Bachelor's degree plus 1 year of full-time graduate study
GS-9(GS-11 for some research positions): Master's degree or 2 years of full-time graduate study
GS-9: Law degree (J.D. or LL.B.)
GS-11(GS-12 for some research positions): PhD. or equivalent doctorate or advanced law deg
When applying for a federal position, you must be totally aware of what GS level is being asked for,
Know exactly what you qualify for and make sure that your resume is written in the exact format required by the agency you are applying for.
An automated scanning software used to ease and improve the Federal recruitment process both for the recruiters and the applicants, Resumix is now the hiring tool of choice for agencies such as the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Coast Guard and the Department of Commerce.
What it means for applicants is that they will have to use an online resume builder to submit their information, which will not only reduce the number of application forms but also eliminate the need for separate KSA answers, in some cases.
Whether they make the cut or not, the scanned resumes will be added to a database, giving to job seekers the option to use the same Resumix resume to apply to other openings within the agency, thanks to the easy self-nomination process.
However, applicants interested in applying to different government agencies will need to go through different online Resumix builders, as requirements slightly vary from one agency to the other: for example the Army Resumix is restricted to 3 pages while the Navy Resumix allows 5 pages.
Because Resumix matches the skills of the applicants against the skills listed in the announcement to identify the best candidates, your Federal Resumix resume must include all the relevant keywords, otherwise your application won't even be seen by the hiring manager.
Much faster than a manual ranking of candidates, Resumix only replaces human involvement in the first step of the hiring process, since resumes extracted from the database will be reviewed by supervisors before proceeding with interviews.