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Interviewing for Positions with the Federal Government and Advice on Promoting your Professional Career Presented by Doris Newton a and Kenrett Y. Jefferson-Moore.

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Presentation on theme: "Interviewing for Positions with the Federal Government and Advice on Promoting your Professional Career Presented by Doris Newton a and Kenrett Y. Jefferson-Moore."— Presentation transcript:

1 Interviewing for Positions with the Federal Government and Advice on Promoting your Professional Career Presented by Doris Newton a and Kenrett Y. Jefferson-Moore b a Economist, U.S. Department of Agriculture – Economic Research Service, Washington, DC b Assistant Professor, North Carolina A&T State University – Department of Agribusiness, Applied Economics and Agriscience Education, Greensboro, NC Organized Symposium Presentation for the Graduate Student Section of the American Agricultural Economics Association at the Annual Meetings of the American Agricultural Economics Association, Long Beach, CA, July 23 – 26, 2006.

2 Presentation Outline I.Balancing School with Real World Experiences: Interning with the Federal Government II.Navigating through USA Jobs: Applying for Positions with the Federal Government III.Marketing Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs): Applying for Positions with the Federal Government IV.Interviewing and Accepting the Job: Accepting the Right Position with the Federal Government V.Developing Professionally: Participating in Professional Development Programs

3 I: Balancing School with Real World Experiences Take Advantage of Summer and Academic Year Breaks –Research Cooperatives or Internships –Area of Interest Begin the Search for Opportunities –U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) or Other Federal Agencies (USA Jobs) –Network Opportunities (Council on Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics, C-FARE and other professional interest groups) –Research Presentations at Association Meetings (AAEA, AEA – ASSA, and other meetings) –Job Fairs (Employment Center – AAEA) Submit Applications before Deadlines –Applications are generally due between February and April each year.

4 II. Navigating through USA Jobs Search Jobs (www.usajobs.gov)www.usajobs.gov –Keyword, Location, Job Category, or Salary Understand the Agency –U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Office of Budget & Program Analysis Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) Rural Development Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) –U.S. Department of Homeland Security –U.S. Department of Energy –U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission –U.S. Department of Human and Health Services –U.S. Department of Commerce - Bureau of Economic Analysis

5 II. Navigating through USA Jobs (cont.) Organize Job Announcements –Opening/Closing Date –Qualifications –Duties –Application Requirements –Required Documents Transcripts –Develop a Matrix Who, where, what of the job announcements Make sure to include a follow-up/thank you section Electronic Resume Builder versus Paper Submission Develop and Submit Numerous Packets

6 III. Marketing Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs) Understanding the Requirements for KSAs –Professional Experience –Education –Training/Skills –Related Recognition Writing KSAs –Should be written separately –Address “specifically” what is asked –Follow length and format requirements –Make sure it is easy to read and understand –Keep a file of KSA submissions

7 III. Marketing Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs) (Cont.) Example KSAs –U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Budget & Program Analysis Economist Position (GS – 0110 – 9/12) –KSAs MUST follow “Major Duties” of the position advertised –Refer to some (but not limited to) the following: –Course work (course papers, projects) –Knowledge of statistical packages (applications) –Leadership/teamwork efforts

8 III. Marketing Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs) (Cont.) KSA#1 – Knowledge of economic principles, theories, concepts, methods, and techniques to evaluate programmatic, regulatory, budgetary, and legislative proposals. KSA#2 – Knowledge and ability to assemble and analyze program information, facts, and other data to identify policy and program issues, draw conclusions based on analysis, and devise alternative solutions for consideration by policy officials.

9 III. Marketing Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs) (Cont.) KSA#3 – Demonstrated skill in communicating orally and in writing in order to convey complex ideas and concepts and provide recommendations. Describe your interactions and exchanges of substantive information and presentation of data and findings. Applicants may be asked to provide writing samples.

10 IV. Interviewing and Accepting the Job Interview –Similar to Private Industry (Phone, one-on-one at job site, one-on-one at location near applicant, group, behavioral) Understand Terms of Employment –Citizenship –Location –Grade series (www.opm.gov)www.opm.gov –Salary (www.opm.gov)www.opm.gov –Locality adjustments (www.opm.gov)www.opm.gov –Probationary periods –Promotion potential –Relocation Understand the Final Goal

11 V. Developing Professionally Participation in Leadership Development Programs –U.S. Department of Agriculture – Executive Leadership Program A USDA graduate school 1-yr comprehensive leadership development program for federal employees

12 V. Developing Professionally (Cont.) Executive Leadership Program (GS11-13) The Executive Leadership Program (ELP) is a 9-month nationwide program open to individuals who have little or no supervisory experience. ELP provides residential training, developmental work experiences, needs assessment and career planning, which gives participants the skills, experience and exposure to move into positions of more responsibility.Executive Leadership Program (GS11-13) Executive Potential Program(GS13-14) The Executive Potential Program is a year-long competency- based leadership program designed to develop senior-level public service employees into more effective leaders. The Program is based on the Office of Personnel Management.Executive Potential Program(GS13-14)

13 V. Developing Professionally (Cont.) Four residential training sessions Learning teams/team Projects A 30-day & 60-day developmental assignment Five leadership interviews Three leadership book reviews A one week shadow assignment ELP Features

14 Conclusion Prepare for your future in the federal government by –Getting involved with cooperatives and internships during summer/academic year breaks –Using good “how to” resources (See Resources) –Talking to AAEA employment service –Networking with professionals at AAEA and other meetings –Participating in career development programs such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Executive Leadership Program

15 Resources Review other good “how to” resources: “How to get a job in the Federal Government” by Olivia Crosby Olivia Crosby is a contributing editor to the OOQ, (202) Occupational Outlook Quarterly Summer 2004 Source:

16 Questions?


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