7 Gates University
About Us
Acid Banjo
American Interests
Arizona Regional
Psionic Guards
Romulan Hockey
Site Search
Social Unrest
Universal Wholesale
Webmaster's Lounge

Cell Phone Tricks


Free Stuff

Greeting Card

Join our e-group

Link Exchange

Patent Security



There are a million books and Web sites to choose from that address federal government jobs. Why pick this one? Imagine looking at the stars on a clear, dark night. You’ll see a hundred, or maybe a thousand. This is usually the case when you go into the Office of Personnel Management Web page or a thousand others. A starry sky full of job postings, details, forms and more information than anyone can process. Ironically, the instructions found in most government forms intended to help us only complicate our thought processes and add stress to our job hunt. “Insider’s Tips” has been written to tell you specifically how to fill out government applications. Our instructions are easy to follow, straight forward, and include plenty of samples.

Thousands of new federal government jobs open up every day. The government wants and needs to hire people like us every day. The only obstacle between you and your federal job is a perfect application package. With this easy-to-read, step-by-step guidebook, we have eliminated much of the stress associated with understanding the government hiring process and filling out an application for a vacancy announcement.

In this guidebook you will find:

_ Guidelines on applying for all types of federal jobs and detailed advise on how to write an effective Optional Application for Federal Employment OF-612.

_ Step-by-step directions for each section of the OF-612 form.

_ Instructions for how to use a vacancy announcement to make your OF-612 job- specific.

_ Instructions for how to write the skills, education, and/or experience required for the positions you want, with samples.

_ Language in the Quality Ranking Factors — criteria used to determine eligibility for a job, also known as Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs) — that reviewers like to see in vacancy applications, with samples.

_ A detailed explanation of Veteran’s Preference.

_ Types of federal employment, service and pay systems.

_ Current pay table by grade and step

If you follow the instructions carefully, you will be able to easily and successfully apply for government jobs. You can be sure you have approached the application process thoroughly and accurately. This will increase your chances of being selected for interviews. The rest is up to you!

The Agencies’ Evaluation and Application Scoring Process 

The federal application evaluation process is unique. If you can complete a successful OF-612, your package will go through several offices and individuals before you receive an invitation for an interview. The process begins immediately after the announcement has been closed. Office of Personnel Management examiners will conduct the first screening of all the application packages received for a particular job announcement. Here, any package missing ANY of the requested information, such as supplemental information addressing Quality Ranking Factors, will be tossed at once. If you’ve made it through the first cut, this means you are now eligible to apply for that position.

Congratulations! You’ve made it through the first cut. Your package will now be sent to personnel specialists who will form an agency evaluation panel for the purpose of scoring your application package. Among other qualifications, this panel usually comprises three individuals familiar with the job vacancy, with similar if not the same job series, and with the same or higher pay grade as the vacancy offers. If the basics for evaluating criteria are not listed in the job vacancy, then based on their knowledge of the vacancy, the panel will come up with the evaluating criteria. The evaluation is done on a number scoring system, 100 being the highest qualified applicants and 0 being the lowest. Here is an example for a paralegal position:

Area Points

Writing 0–15

Research, Analysis & Information Gathering 0–50

Administration and Organization 0–15

Education 0–20

Total: 100 Points

Based on the experience and education listed, the panel will now score the applicant’s package. For example, when considering education:

Is the applicant a high school graduate? Yes = 5 points.

Is the applicant a college graduate? Yes, AA = 5 points; BA = 10 points.

Does the applicant posses a paralegal certificate? Yes = 5 points.

If the applicant is a high school graduate, possesses a college degree and a paralegal certificate then the applicant will receive the highest score in that area, 20 points. Once the panel has scored all the applications, a list is made of the most qualified applicants for that position. If your score is anywhere from 90 to 100, you will be at the top of the list. If your score is below 90, you might be on the second page of the list. This list of most qualified applicants is then turned over to the selecting official.

Which Form Should I Use?

Let’s assume that you have made it to the top of the list. The selecting officials will then look at the highlights of the top contender’s packages and will recommend two or three individuals for an interview with the agency.

Which application format should I use?

Unless specified in the vacancy announcement, you have several choices when you respond to federal job vacancies. Before you make a decision though, keep in mind that the content of your résumé will have to satisfy the requirements of several audiences. OPM examiners will look at your eligibility rating; personnel specialists will be looking at every detail in your application package in order to rank your qualifications; selecting officials will be looking at your “highlights,” and will select candidates for interviews; and finally, if you get hired, the personnel department will determine what your salary will be. Having said that, you can complete the Optional Application for Federal Employment Form OF-612, fill out a résumé on the Internet and e–mail it, mail your private industry résumé, or simply e–mail your résumé. Each government application form differs in how much information it requires about your education and employment history.

Federal application vs. private-industry résumé

1) If you’re responding to an employment ad in the newspaper, you’ll see the position available, a two- or three-liner describing the duties and an address to which you submit your résumé. This is not the case in the government. Federal vacancy announcements come with a very detailed description of the position an agency is seeking to fill. Armed with this information, you can take advantage of the information given and tailor your qualifications and experience to match that position.

2) There is plenty of ambiguity as to how you should prepare a private résumé. For example, should you have a one-pager or a two-pager? If your work experience is longer than five or ten years, can you really highlight everything in a single page? Should you put an objective in your résumé? Also, with the private industry, you have to be careful not to unearth every single job experience or skill. This could take several pages if you have five or more years of experience.

3) With the federal government application, there is no ambiguity. Everything is asked for in a format that allows you to maximize your qualifications through experience and education for the job for which you are applying.

While in private practice a typical recruiter spends seconds looking at the “highlights” of each résumé, federal government recruiters must spend as much time as they have scoring each application package, making sure that the applicant qualifies for the vacancy announcement

requirements in any particular position. The easier you make it for these recruiters to see that you

are highly qualified in each rating factor, the higher your resume will score. There are several things that you can do to improve your rating. First, place experience related to the rating factors at the head of the description of each of your past jobs. Second, attach a supplement listing how your education, work experience, related readings, and training meet the requirements of the rating factors.

There is no better format to describe all of your qualifications than the OF-612 form along with a great KSA (Quality Ranking Factors) response.

Areas of Evaluation:

The decision makers will focus on your work experience, education, self-development and any awards and commendations you have received. In addition to addressing these Quality Ranking Factors, (KSAs) in each vacancy announcement, you should keep these in mind throughout the application. Even the most qualified applicant can fail to make the first cut if he or she does not address these factors adequately. KSAs will be discussed in more detail on page 15.

The OF-612 is a two page application. The application’s format allows the applicant to fully describe his or her education in detail, past and present employment experience, and additional government employment requirements. The OF-612 is by far the most time-consuming application to complete, but the pay off can be your dream job in the federal government. Government recruiters look at these applications for employment descriptions and details that meet the vacancy announcement requirements. The OF-612 provides you with the best platform to describe your past experience and education. We are going to show you how to successfully fill out one of these applications. Even though the form may look rather simple, don’t be fooled by its appearance. This exercise will be time-consuming, but you’ll only have to do it once.

Let’s Get Started!

First, you should leave a number of blocks empty on your original form, these are:

1,2,3: What kind of job are you applying for? Grade and announcement number.

18: Signature and date.

You’ll want to save the original without any information in those blocks, so you may simply edit your application package for every position in which you are interested.

Completing an OF-612 

Blocks 1-3: Job title in announcement, grade and announcement number.

Make sure you have the right announcement number, grade and job title for the position for which you are applying.

Blocks 4–7: Name, social security number, street address and phone numbers.

Do not use a PO Box address for your mail. If you change your mailing address after submitting your form, make sure to send the new address to OPM.

Block 8: Describing your paid and nonpaid work experience related to the job for which you are applying.

This is by far the most important part of the OF-612. OPM recruiters will be paying close attention to every detail you outline in this block. The form itself does not provide enough space to describe your experience and background. Unless you’re using an electronic OF-612 form that will allow you additional space, we strongly recommend that you attach a supplement describing your most recent employment. This type of supplement is acceptable and expected by OPM. The length should be at least a full page describing your current job and half a page describing other past experiences. Attach these supplemental pages to your OF-612. Here is your chance to customize your experience with the job requirements as outlined in the vacancy announcement. Start with your current job and work in reverse chronological order.

<>While you are completing this section, think of your past and present duties, responsibilities and accomplishments. You should complete this section using the same language used in the job description. The more key words (similar or the same as used in the announcement) used throughout your application, the higher points you will score in your favor. Don’t forget to include examples drawn from your experience with these key words. In some instances, the language will have to be the same. For example, if the announcement calls for someone with “planning, research and editing experience” and your duties in your last job included planning, research and editing, then don’t hesitate to list them, even if they appear to be copied from the announcement. OPM personnel cannot second guess whether what you’re saying is true or not. If you worked with specific computer programs in the past, don’t just say that you produced reports for your manager, but include the type of software you used, the frequency of use and the information contained on these spreadsheets or reports. Make sure that you include any administrative duties you may have handled. For example, “typed
correspondence, maintained office filing systems, answered phones, worked with Microsoft Word, WordPerfect 8.0.”

You must:

_ Be specific.

_ Account for any periods of unemployment.

_ Go back as many years as it takes to capture a good experience.

_ Provide as much information about the your current and past salary as possible.

_ Get to the point, don’t editorialize.

_ Give good reasons for leaving past employment.

_ Use lots of examples.

Block 9: Permission to contact present employer.

This one is up to you. If you don’t want OPM to contact your present employer, this is the time to say “no.”

Blocks 10-12: Education.

Your education description is important. Be as thorough as possible in this section, even if it means attaching a supplement to this section. Include any military training, workshops, correspondence courses, and so forth, that are directly related to the announcement for which you are applying. List certifications but do not enclose the actual certificate or copy of it.

Block 13: Other Qualifications.

Here’s another opportunity for you to show the recruiters your leadership skills, initiative, honors you have received, awards, and so forth. Each item you list will score points with the reviewing official. Be as inclusive as you can, listing computer classes or training you may have acquired, any articles you have written and any organizations or societies in which you may have been a leader or officer.

Think, think, think.

Don’t forget to include any commendations, fellowships, outstanding performance evaluations, and bonuses you have received. In the hobbies section, list only hobbies that are directly related to the position for which you are applying.


Unless running is a vacancy announcement requirement, the fact that you run ten miles a day may not help you land the job you are seeking.

Blocks 14-17: Citizenship, military service and veteran status.

If you are eligible for Veteran’s Preference, make sure that you include all the information requested. If you claim a 10-point preference, you’ll need to attach an SF–15 form, Application for 10-Point Veteran’s Preference, and any documents required in that form. If you are claiming a 5-point Veteran’s Preference, include a copy of your DD–214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty or any other proof of eligibility.

How do I know if I am entitled to Veteran’s Preference?

You must have served in the military on active duty during any of these periods:

1. Any war.

2. The period of April 28, 1952, through July 1, 1955.

3. The Gulf War period beginning August 2, 1990, and ending January 2, 1992.

4. A campaign or expedition for which a medal has been authorized.

5. The period between January 31, 1955 and October 15, 1976, for more than 180 consecutive days

And you must have been honorably separated to qualify to receive a 5-point Veteran’s Preference. In order to receive a 10-point Veteran’s Preference, you must have been an honorably separated veteran who qualifies as a disabled veteran due to service in the military, or you must be a recipient of a Purple Heart. You may also qualify for a 10-point Veteran’s Preference if you meet one of these requirements:

1. You are the spouse of a veteran unable to work because of a service-connected disability.

2. You are the unmarried widow of a deceased veteran.

3. You are the mother of a veteran who died in service or is disabled because of active service.

Blocks 18: Signature, certification and release of information.

Make sure that you provide an original copy of the OF-612 with your original signature. OPM will not accept copies of your signature.

Now what?

Congratulations! You have completed your OF-612 Here are some final tips before you send it away. Look at every page and try condensing any information without giving up substance. Make sure your supplemental pages are the same size as the pages of the OF-612 and that they are attached with staples or paper clips. Don’t let your hard work go to waste: overlooking a simple signature, forgetting to complete a block or putting the wrong announcement number will immediately disqualify you from that job.

Completing Other Types of Resumes

Completing a résumé on-line

Access the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Web page at http://www.usajobs.opm.go/c.htm and fill out all of the requested information. This information will be sent directly to OPM. The most important part of this application process is to complete the on-line “Supplemental Qualifications Statement” to address the KSAs for each vacancy announcement.

Sending your résumé

If you choose to submit a résumé, keep in mind that for security reasons, the federal government requires information not commonly included in a one-page résumé, such as nationality, social security number, KSAs, highest previous grade and your federal career status. Please take a look at the Office of Personnel Management flyer OF-512 http://www.opm.gov/forms/html/of.htm for a detailed description of what your résumé or application must contain. See example on page 11 of a good résumé format in response to an announcement vacancy.

Whether you choose to send an OF-612, or a résumé — here are some DOs and DON’Ts

for federal applications.


DO read instructions carefully.

DO type the form.

DO complete all blanks.

DO emphasize your KSAs throughout the entire application package. Specifically, focus on your

accomplishments when describing your experience.

DO check the vacancy announcement carefully and customize your answers and KSAs to each

announcement for which you will apply.

DO use action verbs and the active voice.

DO write a different application for each vacancy for which you will apply.

DO be direct, well organized and communicate your strongest points first.

DO check for typos. You must appear neat, well organized and expressive with your language.

DO use good writing style; check sentence structure.

DO use bullets, underlining, all caps, italics, bolding to emphasize key points

DO make your format appealing to the eye, using white space, centered text at the top, title in

bold, and so forth.

DO have someone you trust look over your application package, for spelling, punctuation, and so


DO double check telephone numbers for references and past supervisors.

DO include any training classes that you have taken that may give you credit for the job for

which you are applying.

DO include relevant volunteer experience.


DON’T use the passive voice.

DON’T exaggerate or mislead.

DON’T seem apologetic about lack of education, experience or negative background.

DON’T include negative remarks about past employers.

DON’T use abbreviations except for your middle initial.

DON’T submit sloppy, photocopied applications.

DON’T enclose photos.

DON’T change tense of verbs.

DON’T submit certificates of training you have taken.

DON’T make your résumé crowded with text; it should be pleasing to the eye.

DON’T attach position descriptions.

DON’T make statements you can’t document.

DON’T use long sentences or descriptions.

DON’T include information that does not apply to the position.

Sample Federal, Scannable Résumé

George Smith

Fredericksburg, VA 23233

Home: (540)546-9873 Work: (540)433-9887

Social Security Number: 065-85-2331 Veteran’s Status: N/A

Federal Civilian Status: Research Specialist, GS12

Citizenship: U.S.

OBJECTIVE Historian, National Park Service GS13/15

PROFILE Historical research professional with five years of experience demonstrating organizational, writing and research skills. Possesses outstanding ability to communicate with all types of people and to maintain positive relationships with government employees. Recent assignment included the development of a brochure outlining historical parks in Veracruz, Mexico, and La Paz, Bolivia. Adept at reviewing, analyzing and maintaining government and private-industry programs, budgets and relationships with international contacts.


· Facilitated international meetings between members of the Department of Interior’s National Park Service office in Washington, D.C., and national park service representatives from Mexico and Bolivia. Prepared briefing materials, organized the scheduling and arranged materials to hand out at the various meetings.

· Researched and designed a full color brochure outlining historical places of interest in Veracruz, Mexico, and La Paz, Bolivia. Wrote and incorporated text describing the highlights in each country and distributed materials to media representatives.

· Submitted papers to the Historical Society of South American Studies on the natural resource utilization on Indian lands in Manzanillo, Mexico, and isolated parts of Santa Cruz, Bolivia. This work involved international travel to Mexico and Bolivia, and the establishment of positive relationships with international park officials.


DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR January 1995 to Present

313 4th Street, N.W. 40 hrs/week

Washington, DC 20005 Starting Salary: $23,150

Supervisor: Dr. Richard Butowsky (202)514-9898 Current Salary: $51,553

You may contact present employer

Research Specialist, GS11 March 1998 to Present

<>Report to chief historian of National Park Service. Independently researched and designed brochure for National Park Service, which was approved and implemented by Department of Interior. This same brochure was subsequently adapted by the Natural Museum of History in Washington, D.C. At the request of the Chief Historian, reviewed and analyzed the National Park Service Historic Sites program, focusing on issues related to early colonial structures in Virginia. 

Prepare reports and recommend candidate sites for nominations to be included in our National Park Service Historic Sites program. Research government documents, regulations, serials, archives,

secondary sources. Compile, abstract, and analyze raw data and perform title searches in county and federal records.

Research Assistant, GS7/9 January 1995 to March 1998

Native American South-West Division 40 hrs/week

Supervisor: Dr. John Mullins (202)514-9884 Starting Salary: $23,150

Ending Salary: $31,440

Researched and wrote a summary on the origins of the River Sioux Nation Tribe. Participated in a thorough research project to establish a curriculum for the George Mason University department of History. Researched and analyzed more than 3000 public comments on the proposal to build a federal dam on tribal property. Conducted numerous telephone inquiries and library research to identify relevant issues dealing with the construction of federal property on tribal lands. Conducted library research to keep abreast of how journalists were covering the government project.

Wrote reports on Native American land and water utilization and rights for litigation use. Assembled annotated bibliographies for economic and resource study. Composed and maintained correspondence with government agencies and private groups. Worked closely with local, state, federal agencies and private groups. Initiated development of cooperative programs with government agencies and community organizations. Traveled extensively throughout South Dakota and Arizona to arrange meetings with tribal members and government officials.

Hilton Hawaiian Village October 1993 to January 1995

Honolulu, Hawaii 40 hrs/week

Supervisor: Joan Mcgregory Starting Salary: $21, 500

Ending Salary: $28,000

Front Desk Clerk

Welcomed arriving guests and thanked departing ones. Coordinated amenities for VIPs. Utilized computerized and manual registry systems. Developed 10-day occupancy forecasts. Wrote housekeeping reports. Ordered tickets for artistic events and sporting events. Placed and confirmed airline reservations. Reserved rental cars and limousines for guests. Made restaurant reservations. Arranged temporary child-care services. Fulfilled a wide variety of guest requests.

University of Hawaii June 1991 to October 1993

Honolulu, Hawaii 30 hrs/week

Supervisor: Mack Strom Starting Salary: $17,225

Ending Salary: $20,500

Maintenance Worker

Coordinated workload and selected projects for a staff of 15 workers. Installed, replaced and repaired water mains, meters, fire hydrants and related water services equipment. Read and prepared detailed maps and


drawings of several university fire systems. Interpreted technical manuals, read schematics and blueprints. Maintained university grounds, roads, waste water facility and equipment.


MA Degree, History December 1994

University of Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii

BA Degree, History

University of Hawaii June 1992

Honolulu, Hawaii

Diploma, Graham High June 1988

Los Angeles, California


University of Hawaii 19931994

Native American Culture Program

Mentor: Terry Monrow (808)256-5663

Successfully completed developmental assignments emphasizing Native American culture in the west. Classroom training included open discussions, intense research training and cultural diversity studies throughout South and North America.

Other Professional Courses:

History related courses

U.S.D.A. Continuing Education Program

Early American Culture (1998)

Native American Folklore (1998)

Studies in History (1999)

Research-related courses

Department of Interior

Introduction to research for the professional historian (1997)

Research and writing (1997)

Communications courses

Department of Interior

Public Speaking (1998)

The Learning Center

McLean, Virginia

Effective Communication Skills for Management (2000)


Author and designer of brochures titled, Native American Structures in South America, Department of Interior, 1999; Natural Resource Utilization on Indian Lands, Historical Society of South American Studies, Spring 1999.

E–Mailing a Résumé

Even though most agencies will ask you for the same information, each agency will give you specific directions as to how the format of your e–mail should look. Pay particular attention to the Dos and Don’ts following this sample.

Donald Sheckell

123 William Street

Arlington, Virginia 22393

Home: (703)-544-4329

Work: (202)-980-0054

Social Security Number: 454-89-8435

Veteran’s Status: N/A

Federal Civilian Status: Grant Coordinator Specialist, GS-12

Citizenship: U.S.

OBJECTIVE: Grant Coordinator Specialist, GS-13

PROFILE: Eight years of experience in grant coordination and management including three years as Grant Coordinator Specialist with the Federal Student Loan Division.


Coordinated Federal Student Loan Division’s end of the year review in response to an inquiry by the Office of Inspector General.

Reviewed 1998 and 1999 federal grant proposals submitted to the Federal Student Loan Division.

Coordinated the federal approval process for grant proposals submitted by more than 100,000 students and state-funded schools.




Federal Student Loan Division

2558 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20003

January 1996 to Present

Grant Coordinator Specialist, GS-11

December 1998 to Present

40 hrs./week

Starting Salary: 33,600

Current Salary: 46,455

Supervisor: Thomas Smith (202)543-0998

You may contact present employer

Assisted in development and refinement of federal policies and procedures regarding tuition rates in privately funded institutions and state-funded schools.


DO type your résumé.

DO use 10 or 12 pitch.

DO use plain fonts, like courier.

DO use a one-inch margin.

DO use laser printer quality.

DO use black ink only.

DO use standard 8.5 X 11 white paper.

DO limit résumé to two pages.

DO use capital letters to differentiate headings.

DO proofread and spell-check for errors.


DON’T use fancy fonts.

DON’T punch holes, staple, paper clip or fold résumé.

DON’T use vertical or horizontal lines, graphics, boxes, borders, and so forth.

DON’T submit your résumé as an attachment to e–mail.

DON’T use colored paper.

DON’T use colored ink.

Quality Ranking Factors (KSAs)

What are the KSAs?

This acronym stands for Knowledge, Skills and Abilities, also referred to as Quality Ranking Factors. This means that you must possess Knowledge (K) — a foundation upon which abilities and skills can be built, Skills (S) — be capable to perform a job with relatively ease and Ability (A) — have the capability to perform a job function.

Most vacancy announcements will include a set of KSAs that you must address with your application package. If you don’t include a supplement describing how you possess these KSAs your application package will be incomplete, and you will be disqualified. The personnel specialist looking over your application will score your package according to your OF-612 and your KSA responses. The percentage of points allocated to the OF-612 and KSAs varies depending on the vacancy announcement.

Why are KSAs so important?

The personnel specialist or ranking official has to make sure that the applicant has specific experience for the job for which he or she is applying. The better the descriptions in the KSAs, the more chances you have for your application to go from the ranking official to the selecting official for consideration. Chances that the ranking official will make the connections from your experience to the required KSAs are slim. You need to make it clear. Why take a chance?

What should I include in the KSAs?  Detail, detail, detail.

Start with your education and experience that is directly related to the position for which you are applying. Then move on to any volunteer work you have done. Then describe your work experience, and be as detailed as possible. Don’t overlook self-development. Some KSAs will require the applicant to have knowledge of a particular law or statute. You can acquire this knowledge by researching the topic at the library, and then you can be better prepared to address this issue in your KSAs. Look at your experience from every angle, and extract the best information to connect to each Quality Ranking Factor. For example, if you wrote a newsletter for a World Wide Web site, don’t just say “Responsible for writing newsletter on the Web.” Think of details: “Responsibilities included: planning, research, writing, editing and proofreading a monthly newsletter publication titled “How to find your dream government job in a week,” to a readership of 80,000 Internet subscribers.”

Some KSAs will always be the same. “Ability to communicate orally,” “Ability to communicate in writing,” “Ability to meet and deal effectively with others.” These type of KSAs are common in just about every vacancy announcement you will see. Take your time addressing the KSAs. The payoff will be evident when you get a call for an interview. Once you have written several

KSAs, you will not have to do it all over again, just save them, and use them for other jobs

requiring the same KSAs.

Sample KSAs

Position Title: Investigator, Criminal GS–1811-09


Ability to plan, coordinate and conduct investigations of criminal wrongdoing through use of standard and specialized investigative standards.

Completed 24 semester hours of criminal justice course work with special emphasis on criminal investigations. Served as an intern with law firm specializing in bank fraud investigations. Attended seminar in May 1993 titled “Basic Investigation Techniques.” Attended seminar in 1996 titled “Bank Fraud Investigations.” I have demonstrated and continue to excel in the area of planning, organizing and conducting investigations of Potential Responsible Parties (PRPs). In March 1995 I planned, coordinated and executed an investigation of a suspected financial institution. My investigation led to the prosecution of the vice president of the company. From January 1997 through June 1997, working without supervision, I successfully identified, located, interviewed and secured declarations from government witnesses in massive national investigation. These declarations established whether allegations against a particular defendant were accurate or not. In October 1998, I successfully located and developed informants that

assisted our department in finding additional information and locating new evidence. This evidence was used in June 1999 trial.

Position Title: Environmental Specialist GS–1223–11/14


Ability to communicate orally.

My job constantly requires me to interact professionally, both over the telephone and in person with Department of Justice trial attorneys, U.S. Attorneys, investigators, support staff, and potential witnesses. As a Paralegal Specialist I have been required to participate in daily meetings with staff in which I present technical information in a variety of settings. I participate in meetings with other agencies during which I am responsible for presenting new procedures and policies to a number of attorneys on issues to be decided, ongoing projects, and present facts and arguments in a logical and concise manner. I conduct interviews in person and over the telephone with potential government witnesses; these interviews can take place in Spanish or English and are conducted in formal and stressful settings. In March 1998, I organized and conducted a presentation on the legal and investigative uses of the Internet and the World Wide Web.

Position Title: Computer Specialist GS–3443–9/11


Ability to communicate in writing in a clear, concise and organized manner.

One of the most important parts of my present job is to be able to produce written technical materials that describe in great detail any changes in financial-related software. As Project Specialist with the Department of Agriculture, I have been required to prepare, edit, and proofread technical reports to be presented to top managers and immediate supervisors. In May1998, I created two procedural manuals and three technical booklets for the department managers. In April 1999, I wrote a manual titled “Prepared for Y2K,” which outlined, in great detail, all of the measures that the agency has taken in order to be ready for the new millennium. The manual was distributed to more than 5,000 readers. Throughout the course of my academic career, I have written a number of papers dealing with significant computer events. As an undergraduate student at George Mason University, I wrote and presented several research papers dealing with computer viruses.

Position Title: Secretary GS–443–4


Demonstrated experience utilizing automated office equipment.

As an Office Manager, Administrative Assistant and Secretary for more than 5 years, I have been trained on, and used a variety of automated office equipment. From March

1997 through April 1999, I worked regularly with Microsoft Word 7.0, Microsoft Works, and WordPerfect 8.1 to compile, type, revise, edit, print and store legal briefs, correspondence, and press releases. From April 1999 until present I have been working with Windows 98, Microsoft Outlook e–mail, D–Base II, Lotus 1-2-3, and Westmate for Windows 6.3.

I regularly reproduce documents using the Xerox 5100 and 8530 machines, fax documents using the Canon Laser Class 7500, use the Pitney–Bowes 5LX mail metering machine, use a Macintosh computer and a SII Seiko Smart Label printer accessed through Windows 98.

Position Title: Legal Information Computer Specialist GS-06-1225


Knowledge of management information systems used to develop, track, analyze, and report legal, performance, and financial information.

My current job as a Paralegal Specialist GS-11 for the Department of Justice (1993-present) requires a basic knowledge of management information systems as these systems are used in a variety of complex environmental litigation. I am proficient with Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT Workstation and have pursued extensive continuing education. I am familiar with C++ and have taken various in-house classes related to automation databases. In October 2000, I took a refresher class on the uses of the latest version Concordance software. Other classes I have attended include Access, Quattro Pro Spreadsheets and Lotus Notebook which have refined my ability to support environmental civil litigation by showing me how to create databases in different formats and trained me to convert other types of databases, such as Microsoft’s Excel into a Quattro Pro format and Optical Disk spread sheets into WordPerfect charts. I am entrusted with vast responsibility related to maintaining, tracking and analyzing large databases containing discovery materials, pleadings, correspondence and trial exhibits. As a Paralegal Specialist I provide a wide array of administrative, informational and document intensive services to the Environmental Enforcement Section. For example, I have assisted in building databases in U.S. v. Chrysler, where I have through the use of Zyndex software, developed a searchable database of each deposition that we have received from the defendants. This database is now being used to track, analyze, and to extract pertinent information from each deponent. In U.S. v. Asarco , I assisted in building a management information system by inputting discovery and pleading collections into an Access database and managing the information through the JFS Litigator’s Notebook, specifically copying information from the Indexer, moving through the database, searching, retrieving, and printing documents; In U.S. v. Borden I used Concordance to manage, retrieve and analyze information in large environmental litigation case. I have extensive experience using Microsoft’s Excel and Corel’s Quattro Pro spreadsheet programs. Using these programs, I have constructed several databases by converting large collections of electronic and hard copy data into searchable, easy-to-use spreadsheets. More recently, in U.S. v. AEP I created a database where information was entered into the database, and a calculation function processed the data to give us figures useful for our discovery purposes. I have hands-on experience with Access, Lotus Notes, Quattro Pro, Concordance and Zyndex databases. In addition, I am familiar with bar code technology, electronic images of exhibits, the “ELMO” courtroom presentation system, and image scanning. I have seven years of Paralegal experience, and have coordinated the litigation support for five major trials in the Environmental Enforcement Section. I have demonstrated a broad and in depth understanding of the technical support required by the litigation taking place at the Environmental Enforcement Section. I have worked with different management information systems at several trials. In U.S. v. Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway, I assisted our expert witness with his electronic image scanned exhibits. Through my trial experience, and years of litigation, I have acquired hands-on experience conducting cost/benefit analyses of in-house versus contracted operations. This cost/benefit analysis applies to photocopying jobs, bate labeling documents, imaged scanning graphic exhibits, trial supplies and equipment.

Position Title: Chemist Specialist GS-07-0024


Ability to communicate in both formal and informal settings such as communicating effectively with coworkers and users.

In my current position as a Chemist Specialist, I have become respected for my outstanding ability to communicate both orally and in writing with scientists, supervisors, vendors, support staff and others in the process of performing my job. While involved in numerous duties related to the analysis of new drugs with respect to the operations of this agency, I apply my skill in interviewing potential witnesses, attorneys, and other agency personnel in order to obtain factual information and provide accurate written materials related to each particular assignment. I also apply my communication skills while on travel assignments, when I gather information from drug companies and seminars. The matters in which I communicate both orally and in written format are considered complex, as I must possess an expert understanding of each drug I analyze and then communicate matters related to research projects, laboratory needs, availability of contractor services and types of in-house services available. I must perform a variety of research assignments of low to high complexity which require me to utilize conventional and advance research techniques in gathering and evaluating pertinent data and articulate the results of my research both in written format and orally. In 1998, I successfully gave an oral presentation to the Food and Drug Administration, regarding the uses of Internet databases in our support for drug modeling and interaction. My effective communication skills have been of vital importance, especially in my capacity as a Chemist Specialist during the five trials in which I have assisted, which included preparing all the pre-trial documentation, negotiating with numerous national laboratories, budgeting, supervising the performance and/or work product of contractors, making recommendations and providing the day-to-day management oversight. After I review, analyze, and prepare a wide variety of documentation and paperwork, I communicate orally and in written format to assigned senior staff and support staff as well as personnel from other agencies. I communicate orally with new or junior employees while training them to utilize a variety of data systems, and in-house programs such as the Atomax 1000. As a Chemist Specialist I communicate extensively in writing in the process of reviewing, analyzing, and preparing a wide variety of research projects for the Chief Chemist in our Section. In this job, I have applied my excellent communication skills within a government agency, and I have greatly refined my ability to communicate the results of research while verbally and in writing communicating data based on computer generated records and database operations.

4) Position Title: Entry Level Programming Specialist GS-09-1752


Knowledge of computer languages (i.e., C++) and experience in graphic packages such as Micrographix or Corel Draw.

As an undergraduate student at George Mason University I took a computer course entitled Computing Fundamentals with C++. In this class I learned how to analyze problems, determine what we wanted the software to do and create fields for the user to input information so that the program would give us the desired information. In this introduction to C++ I became knowledgeable about analyzing, designing and implementing C++ programming. I used this knowledge to create a program that would take into account several class grades and create an average of these grades. While developing these C++ programs, I learned how to use and incorporate Objects, Keywords, Constants, Assignments and Comments to each program.

While working for Janus, Inc., I quickly learned the World Wide Web page-description language HTML. Through the use of this computer language, I have developed several web pages for personal and company use. It is through this process that I have gain experience in graphic packages such as Adobe PhotoShop (all), Adobe Illustrator 8, and Paint Shop Pro 5. While assisting Nurture Magazine (a local parenting magazine) with graphic design, production and application of children/family oriented graphics, I have gained valuable experience in the use of Adobe PhotoShop software.

Position Title: Air conditioning equipment mechanic, W–5306–10/11


Ability to do the work of the position with normal supervision.

I have more than 15 years of experience installing, maintaining, repairing and modifying air conditioning equipment. I have extensive knowledge of the principles of combustion and heat in the Carrier 5000 units. From January 1990 to September 1997, I made several modifications to combustion valves in all types of Carrier models. These modifications resulted in less energy spent and greater output of heat. From April 1997 to present I have been working with the power distribution of the OSSA heating system. From May 1990 to present, without the supervision of any management, I have been responding to calls that required an ability to recognize and determine the best methods for correcting malfunctions. From 1985 through 1990, I acted as lead mechanic for MetaSol Inc., and was solely responsible for the installation and repairs to a variety of heat and power producing systems, including the Carrier 2000, 5000 and 21st Century series.

Position Title: Aircraft Attendant, WG–8862–07


Ability to service specialized systems of assigned aircraft.

From January 1986 through August 1992, I acted as assistant chief mechanic for US Airways. I was responsible for all take-offs, landings, inspections, and services assigned 757 Airbus and

747 Airbus aircraft. From September 1992 through March 1995, I acted as Aircraft Ground Assistant and was responsible for marshaling the 747 Airbus aircraft out of and into predetermined parking areas and directing the aircrafts into parking position. My responsibilities included directing the aircraft in parked position, placing the installs and removing auxiliary aircraft equipment. From May 1995 through present, I have been acting as Aircraft Attendant and have been responsible for operating powered and non‑powered AGE support equipment. This equipment is necessary to prepare aircraft for departure. I have extensive experience with refueling and de-fueling the 747 Airbus aircraft, as well as checking and replenishing engine oil and hydraulic fluid reservoirs. Other daily duties include the servicing of hydraulic accumulators, landing gear struts, and pneumatic and oxygen systems. I am responsible for the set up, adjustment, and operation of liquid oxygen and pneumatic servicing carts. I lubricate all required engine parts and systems. I supervise a crew of three aircraft mechanics in charge of aircraft towing operations, brake riders and spotters. I also assist in removing and replacing aircraft parts and components and perform aircraft pre‑flight/thru‑flight/basic post‑flight inspections of the 747 Airbus aircraft. I am responsible for maintaining an inventory of all assigned tools and tool kits, and I am responsible for ordering, distributing, and recycling parts and maintaining bench stock at hand.

Types of Federal Employment, Service and Pay Systems


Types of Federal Employment

Temporary employment

10 Temporary appointments usually last for one year. If offered, this is a good way to get your foot in the door.

20 Term appointments usually last for fewer than four years. These positions are usually given to individuals working on projects that will end between one and four years. If offered, this is another way to get your foot in the door.

Permanent employment

10 Career–Conditional appointments turn into a career appointment after three years of service. The initial period serves as a probationary period.

20 Career appointments are the result of a successful probationary period and have substantial job security. In addition, the career employee earns more benefits than any other employment listed above.

Types of Service


20 Competitive civil service

Hiring is done through the Office of Personnel Management. This means that the jobs are under OPM’s jurisdictions and subject to civil service laws enacted by Congress.

2. Excepted Service or PAC (Professional Administrative Career)

Position that are filled directly through the hiring department rather than through OPM. The FBI and CIA are examples of agencies that are not under OPM’s jurisdiction.

Types of Pay Systems

10 General Schedule (GS), applies to professional, technical and other professional positions.

20 Wage Grade (WG), applies to non-professional jobs.