The Federal Government is hiring. If you haven’t read it in your favorite newspaper, blog, or other media, then you have seen it here first.
But there is more to getting a job with Uncle than just submitting a resume`. For starters, take a look at http://www.usajobs.opm.gov/. You will find over 30,000 jobs looking for people. The work sites for those positions will be all over the world, but especially located in the Metropolitan Washington, DC area. Some of those jobs will involve travel, and if they do, the job announcement itself will indicate a percentage of travel — actually, the frequency with which you could expect to be on the road.
All U.S. Government jobs require U.S. citizenship. That’s not just because it is a “hire American” thing; rather, it is because at some point, the candidate (you) will be required to obtain a security clearance. Only U.S. citizens are eligible for access to classified information (with rare exceptions). This means that you will be required to undergo a Background Investigation. Depending upon the agency and the position, you will be told “Hiring and retention are based upon a favorable background investigation.”
If the position you seek requires a clearance, you will be asked to complete a Form SF 86: this is the Questionnaire for National Security Positions (www.opm.gov/Forms/pdf_fill/sf86.pdf). It is, in effect, a statement of personal history. It is used by the investigators and adjudicators to verify information that you provide about your background. (More about investigations later.)
Shotgunning Does Not Work
You cannot just “apply for any available position” with the Federal Government. Each department or agency has its own HR shop, and each has different hiring requirements. Just one set of examples would be an analyst position. Are you looking for a position as Security Specialist GS 080, or Intelligence Analyst job series GS 132? Or perhaps a Program Analyst/management analyst job series GS 343 (GS 345)? Each series has a number of different requirements, depending upon the hiring agency, and even the various divisions within those agencies.
Oh, and by the way, a program analyst position may require only a secret clearance, while (nearly all) intel analyst positions require not only a top secret (TS) clearance, but additional special tickets (access) as well. If you apply at any of the intelligence organizations, you will probably need TS, no matter what your job may be.
This word applies to status as a Federal employee (www.usajobs.gov/EI38.asp). The detailed explanation is rather complex, but basically if the vacancy announcement says “Status Candidates Only”, and you have never worked for the US Government, then do not bother applying. If you want more details, send me a comment.
There are fifteen points to an SSBI. By points, I mean verification of your use of Alcohol or Drugs (that’s 2); Criminal Activity, Emotional Health, Physical Health, Finances, Foreign Travel, Foreign Contacts, Organizational Affiliations, Unauthorized Release of Information, Computer Misuse, Media Contacts, Character, Loyalty, and vulnerability to Blackmail/Coercion/Compromise. Take a look at http://www.opm.gov/extra/investigate/Fin-1997/fin9702.asp
In the next article, I will start to talk about how these are handled. I plan to be updating this blog every Saturday. I will answer comments as I receive them.
Have a great Fourth of July!
ON JULY 4, 2009 AT 10:10 PM LEAVE A COMMENT
TAGS: GOVERNMENT JOBS, HIRING AND RETENTION, SECURITY CLEARANCE, SF 86, U.S. GOVERNMENT JOBS