- I'm a current
federal worker wanting to switch agencies so
what does "status",
"competitive", etc. mean. You replied
that I must already be a federal
employee under a career or
career-conditional appointment? So what does
career or career-conditional mean? I work
for an agency where my job is considered
excepted service. If this is different
than the agencies run by OPM, does that mean I'm
eligible to apply for jobs that specify
status, competitive, etc? Is there any
resource out there that tells people what
all this means? This should be explained when
people get hired - it seems absurd to me
that I should be in a position where I
don't know what kind of job I have or what
kind I'm eligible to apply for - no wonder the
government has difficulty attracting people!
Unfortunately, Excepted Service positions
don't automatically give you competitive status,
no matter how long you've been in the federal
government. The exception to the rule is
this: if your agency has an interchange
agreement with OPM, you can apply for jobs that
are restricted to federal employees with
"status" as long as you haven't had a
break in pay from the agency with the
Agencies are given an interchange
agreement only if they follow the same
"merit system principles" as OPM.
Meaning, they rate your application using the
same basic qualification structure as OPM. This
lets OPM know that you've already been rated,
and are qualified for a specific
occupation/series, at a specific grade level.
Here's the definition of Career,
Career-conditional and Status:
Career Appointment: Permanent appointment in the competitive service conveyed automatically after successfully completing the required term of service in a career-conditional appointment. This is typically a three year period.
Career-Conditional Appointment: Permanent appointment in the competitive service of a person who has not yet completed the required period of creditable, substantially continuous federal
Status, Competitive: Referring to current federal competitive service employees or former employees with competitive service reinstatement eligibility
here to learn more about the Excepted Service.
am inquiring about the 5 point veterans
preference. I was involved in the conflict
in Kosovo and have a "Kosovo Campaign
Medal" which isn't listed on the web page.
Would I be qualified for the preference?
you have been awarded a campaign medal from
Kosovo, then you should be entitled to 5-point
veterans preference. Read on for more
information about 5-point veterans preference:
When the government is examining outside applicants (non-status candidates), preference is given to qualified veterans who are disabled or who served during certain time periods or in military campaigns. This preference takes the form of having points added to the veterans examination or evaluation score.
Military retirees at the rank of major, lieutenant commander, or higher are not eligible for this preference unless they are disabled
To receive a 5-point preference, you must have:
Medal holders and Gulf War veterans, who enlisted after September 7, 1980 or entered
active duty after October 14, 1982, must have served continuously for 24 months or the full period called to active duty.
- Served during any war
- Or, served during 4/28/52-7/1/55
- Or, for more than 180 consecutive days, any part of which occurred between 1/31/55 and 10/15/76;
- Or, during the Gulf War from 8/2/90-1/2/92;
- Or, in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign medal has been authorized including El Salvador, Grenada, Haiti,
Kosovo, Lebanon, Panama, Somalia
& Southeast Asia.
here for more programs available for veterans.
does one get a federal job? Do you take a test
first (where) or fill out an application for a
Bailey, Riverside County CA.
first step in obtaining federal employment is to
find a job opening that you are qualified
for. Once you find a job, you MUST obtain
the jobs vacancy announcement. This
document contains all the necessary information
you will need in order to determine whether you
are qualified for the position based on your
education & experience, what the duties of
the position are, if testing is required and the
information on how to apply for the position.
"Civil Service" test is no longer
required prior to starting your federal job
search. However, there are some positions
that will require testing and in most cases the
test dates and locations will be included in the
vacancy announcement or you'll be directed to
contact the hiring office for additional
Research Service publishes the website, FedJobs
Career Central which on any given day lists
over 17,000 current federal job openings.
also publish several books on the employment
process, from writing the required KSAs
(Knowledges, Skills & Abilities) to Interviewing
for Job Openings to answering questions
personnel issues. More information on our
publications can be found at http://www.fedjobs.com/howto/
- What is "Form C" and how do I get a copy of it?
There are two versions of the Form C (Qualification and Availability Form).
One (the AW version) is a "scan-tron" form requiring use of a #2
pencil and a particular paper! This Office of Personnel Management form must
be obtained by calling 478-757-3188 and requesting it be mailed to you. The
other version (1203FX) may be printed and is available in the Member's Library
for FedJobs subscribers.
- I am trying to find out whether or not there are federal regulations
on hiring. Is this information available on-line? Can I find out before
I apply what jobs I actually qualify for?
Regulations are available on CD-ROM and can be purchased through
the Government Printing Office: 202-512-1800. Or, if you are near a large
regional library, or a federal building that has a federal library, you
can ask to see the "Qualification Standards for General Schedule Positions",
formally known as the X-118.
FRS also publishes an annual publication entitled "Federal
Employment from A to Z" which answers many questions concerning
federal hiring regulations.
- I am interested in any federal employment information that you could
provide me on the Academic Achiever's program.
We're not familiar with a program called "Academic Achievers."
You may be talking about the Outstanding Scholar Program (OSP).
If you mean OSP: College graduates with a GPA of 3.45 or higher, or in
the upper 10% of their class, may apply for federal jobs at a GS-5 or GS-7
level. There is no register or special application; you simply need to
locate an available job in your field that is open at GS-5/7 and submit
your application (along with any additional attachments listed on the vacancy
Always include a copy of your transcript, and we suggest a cover letter
stating that you are applying as an Outstanding Scholar. It is always best
to request a copy of the announcement and follow the application instructions.
- I work in a human resources office and wanted to know how to get our job
vacancies published in Federal
Career Opportunities and FedJobs...Career
We would love to receive your job vacancies. There are several options
available to get your vacancies to us:
You can call us at 703-281-0200 and we can take the information over the
You can e-mail them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can fax them to us at 703-281-7639 or
You can mail them to FRS, PO Box 1708, Annandale VA 22003
- When is the best time to start looking for summer job openings?
The best time to look for summer job openings is January through
June, however, some positions are advertised year round. Federal
Career Opportunities has a summer jobs section which is updated
every two weeks.
- Please advise on how to retrieve a vacancy announcement via the internet
when I know the specific vacancy announcement number.
Not all vacancy announcements are available on the Internet. However,
subscribers to our service (FedJobs...Career Central) have
access to more than 98% of the full text vacancies. Those who subscribe
to our printed publication (Federal Career Opportunities) are able to retrieve
the full text of vacancies they are interested in from our web site at
no additional charge. And, of course anyone who has a FedJobs Membership has
access to the vacancies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from.
If we don't have the full text available, and you know the name of
the agency which issued the vacancy announcement, you can see if the agency
has a site which includes the announcement you are looking for. Try one
of the Internet search engines (such as http://www.yahoo.com).
- Where can I find information on the Foreign Service and how can I apply?
Contact the U.S. Department of State at (703) 875-4910 to receive
information on the Foreign Service Exam. Or, write to: U.S. Dept of State,
Recruitment Division, Box 9317, Arlington, VA 22219-0317. You may also
choose "Careers" from their WEB site at www.state.gov.
- Am I considered a previous federal employee if I was active duty military,
I'm afraid not. You must hold a competitive service position for
three years to acquire career status.
- I think you provide a great service, but believe it is a little overpriced.
Are there any discounts for us 'soon to be retired' military guys?
Thanks for the compliment on our service. Our people work hard every
day to stay on top of the federal hiring scene and, at the same time, we
try to keep the costs down. We're not subsidized by taxpayers and must
cover our costs--hence no discounts beyond our specials that we announce
each week under Special
Deals . Some people think our service is cheap compared to the costs
they experience looking on their own. And the subscribers who get jobs
and up their salaries by thousands think our service is a fantastic deal!
- Do federal jobs really have good benefits?
Quoting from a resource book (Find a Federal Job Fast!) that can
be purchased from FRS, "Government benefits are good to excellent,
including healthcare and a generous pension plan. Federal workers with
30 years of service can retire at age 55 ... 20 years, at 60 ... even just
5 years of experience can retire at age 62 and receive benefits."
You might also note that earned annual leave is 13-26 days each year,
depending on length of service; also 13 days of sick leave are earned by
FRS publishes a 208-page annual publication entitled "Federal
Employment from A to Z" which has an extensive section on benefits for
- Does your federal jobs database include congressional staff jobs on
Yes! Unlike any other service, the FedJobs...Career
Central database contains civil service and excepted
service positions, as well as judicial and congressional openings and select
- I'm a federal employee with extensive internet access. However, your
service is the most up-to-date service I have seen. The jobs that you have
listed are sometimes not listed on OPM's web site. Keep up the
Thank you... thank you... it gets easier to keep up the good work
when nice folks like you pat us on the back!
- I just stumbled onto your homepage. I'd like to learn more about how
it works. Can I do my own search? Specifically, I'm looking for a position
in the Buffalo, NY area in Public Affairs...GS-1035 or equivalent.
You can search our Federal Career Opportunities database by subscribing
to FedJobs...Career Central. You specify the kind of job you want. To
look for the position you described you would enter "1035" and
"NY". Our jobs database is updated daily.
- Once I find a vacancy listing in your database that I'm interested
in applying for, what do I do next?
Each listing provides you with an application mailing address and,
in most cases, a name and phone number at the hiring agency. We strongly
recommend that you take a look at the full text vacancy announcement. (If
it's not available through our web site, you'll have to call the hiring
agency and ask that it be mailed to you. Once you have it, tailor your
application (either the OF-612, a federal-style resume or the SF-171) to
meet the criteria set forth in the announcement. For expert assistance
in developing your application, you'll want to use our 'KSA' publications
(see How-To Resources).
- How confident are you that your service "finds" all of the
available vacancies that are advertised at any given time? How do you ensure
complete coverage? Do federal Human Resources Offices contact you, or do
you contact them?
Federal Research Service has been providing comprehensive federal
vacancy coverage for 29 years and has built a reputation for reliable,
accurate and timely service. We update our federal jobs database every
day with new openings and remove the closed ones.
We do not release our database to re-sellers; it is exclusive to
our operation. We do not sit around passively waiting for agencies to tell
us about their openings. Our staff contacts more than 1800 federal hiring
offices each and every week to ferret out their current and anticipated
This is our business. It is not a sideline or a government bulletin
board. We earn our income by providing the most comprehensive federal job
information available anywhere!
- I'm looking for a job overseas. Can you help?
Our federal jobs database contains hundreds of overseas positions.
By subscribing to either the printed report, Federal Career Opportunities
or FedJobs...Career Central, you'll have the opportunity
to respond to these numerous vacancies.
- Do you generally need to be a US citizen to become a federal employee?
Nearly all federal jobs require US citizenship. On rare occasions,
for example, a job that may require special linguistic skills may be filled
on a temporary basis by non-citizens.
- I am curious about how your grade is determined. I am an engineer with
a few years experience. When I see a job announcement, I wonder if I qualify
for say a GS-12 or higher. Do you have any advice?
Good question! There is a manual, cleverly titled OPERATING MANUAL
FOR QUALIFICATION STANDARDS FOR GENERAL SCHEDULE POSITIONS (formerly known
as the X-118) which specifies skills, education and experience at each
GS level for each occupation. You should be able to locate a copy of the
manual at a main library or a federal personnel office in your area. It's
also available on our home page under "What Jobs Do I Qualify
- In the past six months, I've applied for five government jobs and have
never heard a word. In fact, I don't know if my applications even got there.
Don't federal agencies ever say thanks but you didn't get the job?
Federal human resources officials are probably just as polite as the next
guy, but the typical job opening draws so many applications that they couldn't
possibly respond to all of them. So unless you've been interviewed for
a job, you probably won't be notified when someone else is selected.
If you'd just like to confirm that your application has been received,
there is something you can try.
Clip or staple a stamped, self-addressed postcard to the front of
your application. On the blank side, note the agency, position, and vacancy
announcement number of the job you're applying for. Then include a polite
statement asking the person who received your application to initial or
sign and date the card and mail it back to you as acknowledgement that
your application was received. You might also leave a small area labeled
COMMENTS in case the personnel official wants to jot down any additional
- I wonder what happens to an application when the person who is applying
for the position does not include his/her age. Asking for an applicant's
age on an application form is a violation of the person's privacy. I am
curious as to why this question is included on application forms.
While the SF-171 asked applicants to provide a date of birth, the
requirement has been dropped from the OF-612. This eliminates the possibility
that a review panel or hiring official could have a conscious or unconscious
prejudice against older applicants. However, job hunters will have to provide
age information when completing the OF-306, Declaration for Federal Employment.
This form is usually not required until the applicant has been selected
for the job.
- About two months ago I took a test for all federal jobs through the
Office of Personnel Management in Houston. I received good scores on the
test, but have not heard anything about any federal jobs. What can I do
to make it known that I am still interested in Federal government employment?
Do you know who I should contact?
The days when a federal job hunter could take a test or fill out
an application and then wait for an agency to contact him or her about
an opening are long gone. We don't know what kind of test you took at the
OPM office, but it's not likely that this is going to lead to a job offer.
You are probably going to have to locate the job vacancy yourself and make
direct application to the hiring agency. There are several ways to learn
about government job openings, but one of the most effective is through
use of our federal jobs database.
- I am currently a federal employee who works at an Army installation
that is undergoing a BRAC exercise. I am a GS-230-12. I have a great deal
of graduate education (Masters in Psychology and working on a PhD). How
can your service be of optimal use to me, if at all?
If you believe your job is in jeopardy, now is the time to apply
for other job opportunities! And you may want to broaden your job search
beyond the Employee Relations field to capitalize on your graduate education
program. If you are uncertain about how to explore and qualify for other
GS series within federal service, you will be interested in our booklet
entitled How to Change Careers Within Government
- I am concerned about just how secure federal jobs are in times
When you talk about job security, you're expressing concern about
a nationwide situation that reaches far beyond the federal government.
Current Labor Department studies show that each American worker will change
employers at least seven times during a career. Gone are the days of making
a 20+ year career with one employer.
Outsourcing has been on the top of the Bush
Administrations list for federal agencies over the past year. We agree
that outsourcing makes people wonder about
job security in government. But, employment in another sector isn't the
answer. In fact, there is no simple answer for the situation. The bottom
line: Today it's important to evaluate each job offer in terms of its probable
security -- whether you're looking at government or private industry --
and use your good judgment before you jump from one employer to another.