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Thinking creatively about the Federal job search 2011 Obtaining legal experience and training in the Federal Government.

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Presentation on theme: "Thinking creatively about the Federal job search 2011 Obtaining legal experience and training in the Federal Government."— Presentation transcript:

1 Thinking creatively about the Federal job search 2011 Obtaining legal experience and training in the Federal Government

2 Overview Advantages of working for the Federal Government Advantages of working for the Federal Government Where to look for Federal Government jobs Where to look for Federal Government jobs The types of jobs that a recent law school graduate might consider The types of jobs that a recent law school graduate might consider How to use USAjobs.gov How to use USAjobs.gov Tips for a federal resume Tips for a federal resume

3 Advantages of working for the Federal Government Jobs Jobs Training Training Experience and responsibility Experience and responsibility Portability of skills Portability of skills Opportunity for career growth and development Opportunity for career growth and development Benefits; retirement, health insurance, flexible work schedule etc… Benefits; retirement, health insurance, flexible work schedule etc…

4 Where to look for Federal Jobs Typical entry legal jobs- Honors programs (deadlines in late summer/fall of 3L year) Typical entry legal jobs- Honors programs (deadlines in late summer/fall of 3L year) Policy Fellowships with numerous Federal Agencies are filled through the Presidential Management Fellowship (deadline in fall of 3L year). Policy Fellowships with numerous Federal Agencies are filled through the Presidential Management Fellowship (deadline in fall of 3L year). The majority of Federal hiring is managed through the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). OPM runs the USAjobs.gov, a website with postings of many federal jobs. The majority of Federal hiring is managed through the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). OPM runs the USAjobs.gov, a website with postings of many federal jobs. Important: Attorney positions are ‘exempt’ and do not need to be posted on USAjobs, therefore it is critical when looking for attorney positions that you also go directly to the Agency’s website. Important: Attorney positions are ‘exempt’ and do not need to be posted on USAjobs, therefore it is critical when looking for attorney positions that you also go directly to the Agency’s website.

5 Moving Beyond Honors Programs- Types of positions to consider General: General: Hearings and Appeals Specialist (series 0930) Hearings and Appeals Specialist (series 0930) Contract Specialist (series 1102) Contract Specialist (series 1102) Labor Relations Specialist (series 0201) Labor Relations Specialist (series 0201) Estate Tax Examiner (series 0920) Estate Tax Examiner (series 0920)

6 Specific examples of available jobs (J.D. preferred, not required) Benefits Advisor (DOL- EBSA) Benefits Advisor (DOL- EBSA) Investigator (DOL- EBSA) Investigator (DOL- EBSA) Hearing Officer (Social Security Administration) Hearing Officer (Social Security Administration) Investigative Operations Analyst (FBI) Investigative Operations Analyst (FBI) Officer Corps- DHS Officer Corps- DHS Examination Officer Examination Officer Adjudication Officer Adjudication Officer Immigration Service Officer Immigration Service Officer

7 How to Use USAjobs.gov Search Jobs Search Jobs Advanced Search Advanced Search Occupational series Occupational series Contract Administrator Contract Administrator Equal Employment Opportunity Specialist Equal Employment Opportunity Specialist License Examining Officer License Examining Officer FBI has their own vacancy website, FBI has their own vacancy website,

8 Qualifying Education or Training The following shows the amount and level of education typically required for each grade for which education alone can be qualifying. At GS-13 and above, appropriate specialized experience is required for all positions. GRADE QUALIFYING GS-9Master's (or equivalent graduate degree such as LL.B. or J.D. as specified in qualification standards or individual occupational requirements), or 2 academic years of progressively higher level graduate education GS-9Master's (or equivalent graduate degree such as LL.B. or J.D. as specified in qualification standards or individual occupational requirements), or 2 academic years of progressively higher level graduate education GS-11 Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree, or 3 academic years of progressively higher level graduate education, or For research positions only, completion of all requirements for a master's or equivalent degree GS-11 Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree, or 3 academic years of progressively higher level graduate education, or For research positions only, completion of all requirements for a master's or equivalent degree GS-12 For research positions only, completion of all requirements for a doctoral or equivalent degree GS-12 For research positions only, completion of all requirements for a doctoral or equivalent degree

9 Examples of current open positions on USAjobs.gov Equal Employment Specialist, Department: Department Of Agriculture Equal Employment Specialist, Department: Department Of Agriculture PERM-OCR EEO-DP PERM-OCR EEO-DP Appeals Officer, Department Of Agriculture Appeals Officer, Department Of Agriculture WA WA CRIMINAL INVESTIGATOR, Department Of The Army CRIMINAL INVESTIGATOR, Department Of The Army NCAS D NCAS D Investigative Analyst, Department Of State Investigative Analyst, Department Of State Job Announcement Number: DS Job Announcement Number: DS

10 Federal Government Resume and Competencies/KSA Tips adapted from the Office of Personnel Management 1. Pay Attention to Keywords Whether you're writing your first federal resume, updating an existing one, or answering a position's competencies/Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSA's), use keywords from the job description and duties. Whether you're writing your first federal resume, updating an existing one, or answering a position's competencies/Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSA's), use keywords from the job description and duties. You might be the most qualified person for the position, but without using keywords, you could be overlooked. You might be the most qualified person for the position, but without using keywords, you could be overlooked.

11 2. Single Key Word Communicates Multiple Skills and Qualifications Consider the list of action verbs in the Job Search Handbook. A single word can convey both skills and qualifications. Consider the list of action verbs in the Job Search Handbook. A single word can convey both skills and qualifications. 3. Study Job Announcements Read the job announcement carefully. Consider your resume and your answers to questions. Make certain that your answers accurately reflect the skills, experience, education and other required credentials important to this position. Look for “buzzwords” and use them in your resume and questions/KSAs. Read the job announcement carefully. Consider your resume and your answers to questions. Make certain that your answers accurately reflect the skills, experience, education and other required credentials important to this position. Look for “buzzwords” and use them in your resume and questions/KSAs.

12 4. Be Concise Consider using bullets on your resume so that a recruiter can easily identify your skills and experience. Consider using bullets on your resume so that a recruiter can easily identify your skills and experience. If a recruiter is skimming your resume, are they able to see your qualifications in just a few seconds? If a recruiter is skimming your resume, are they able to see your qualifications in just a few seconds? Although being concise is important, don’t eliminate relevant experience to save space- it is important to include ALL relevant experience, in an easily accessible manner. Although being concise is important, don’t eliminate relevant experience to save space- it is important to include ALL relevant experience, in an easily accessible manner. 5. The Sales Pitch Applications are read quickly, make certain you answer the KSA in a clear and direct manner. Use the same language (read keywords/ buzzwords) that were used in the KSA. Applications are read quickly, make certain you answer the KSA in a clear and direct manner. Use the same language (read keywords/ buzzwords) that were used in the KSA. For any questions about qualifications/degrees, state in the first line that you have the required degree/ qualification and then go into more detail. For any questions about qualifications/degrees, state in the first line that you have the required degree/ qualification and then go into more detail. If there is a question about writing ability, begin the answer by stating your writing experience. Examples include; writing memos and briefs, legal writing courses, and internships with Judges. If there is a question about writing ability, begin the answer by stating your writing experience. Examples include; writing memos and briefs, legal writing courses, and internships with Judges.

13 6. Use an Editor’s Eye KSA's should only address the question asked. Do not try to include other skills or talents in your answer. KSA's should only address the question asked. Do not try to include other skills or talents in your answer. Have someone else read your answers and review your resume to ensure that you have answered the question being asked. Have no typos or grammatical errors. Have someone else read your answers and review your resume to ensure that you have answered the question being asked. Have no typos or grammatical errors. 7. Use Numbers to Highlight Your Accomplishments Numbers can help to quantify an accomplishment and can give context that helps the reader gain perspective of the tasks. Numbers can help to quantify an accomplishment and can give context that helps the reader gain perspective of the tasks. Numbers can also be an effective way to quantify your successes Numbers can also be an effective way to quantify your successes Numbers can also be used to show an ability to work on a team (if this is a skill for the job) e.g.. “Worked with a team of 5 attorneys and 2 paralegals….” Numbers can also be used to show an ability to work on a team (if this is a skill for the job) e.g.. “Worked with a team of 5 attorneys and 2 paralegals….”

14 8. Think Money Similar to numbers, using amounts of money can help to quantify and give perspective to your accomplishments. Similar to numbers, using amounts of money can help to quantify and give perspective to your accomplishments. Before formatting your resume or answering KSAs, think about the ways that you’ve made money (perhaps through grant writing or increasing donations), saved money (researched, identified and recommended a new vendor to save the organization 10 percent) or managed money (managed a budget of $20, 000). Before formatting your resume or answering KSAs, think about the ways that you’ve made money (perhaps through grant writing or increasing donations), saved money (researched, identified and recommended a new vendor to save the organization 10 percent) or managed money (managed a budget of $20, 000). 9. Think Time When formatting a federal resume or answering KSAs, consider including the amount of time you spent on projects and accomplishments as a way to quantify your examples. When formatting a federal resume or answering KSAs, consider including the amount of time you spent on projects and accomplishments as a way to quantify your examples. Specifically think about how you routinely manage your time to meet deadlines. Make statements that you met your deadlines- they might be internal deadlines for a judge or a supervisor, or an external deadline such as filings with a court. Specifically think about how you routinely manage your time to meet deadlines. Make statements that you met your deadlines- they might be internal deadlines for a judge or a supervisor, or an external deadline such as filings with a court. Adapted from usajobs.gov, a United States Office of Personnel Management website

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