ALA ASCLA 2011 Virtual Convergence Careers in Federal Libraries on How to Find a Federal Job (Helen Sherman)
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ALA ASCLA 2011 Virtual Convergence Careers in Federal Libraries on How to Find a Federal Job (Helen Sherman)

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Helen Sherman (FLICC Education Working Group Chair) slides on How to Find a Federal Job

Helen Sherman (FLICC Education Working Group Chair) slides on How to Find a Federal Job

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ALA ASCLA 2011 Virtual Convergence Careers in Federal Libraries on How to Find a Federal Job (Helen Sherman) Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Careers in Federal Libraries How to Find a Federal Job Ms. Helen Q. Sherman 2011 Association of Specialized & Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) Virtual Conference January 19, 2011 Webinar: 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
  • 2. Do you want to be a Fed?
    • Welcome! You are on the right path!
    • Federal libraries & information centers need talented, enthusiastic librarians.
    • Prediction that 1/3 of federal employees are eligible to retire by 2012. http://www.gao.gov/products/A81927
    • Average annual salary of $84,796, March 2009, for librarians in federal nonsupervisory, supervisory, and managerial positions http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos068.htm
    For background: Federal Civilian Workforce Statistics: The Fact Book, 2007 ed. http://www.opm.gov/feddata/factbook/2007/2007FACTBOOK. pdf
  • 3. Roles of Federal Librarians
    • Reference
    • Instruction and Database Training
    • Database Development and Testing
    • Acquisitions
    • Cataloging
    • Indexing
    • Web Page Development
    • Wiki Content Development
    • Systems
    • Library Services for Agency Personnel
    • Marketing
    • Management and Administration
    • … and that’s just at one agency!
    • (Defense Technical Information Center)
  • 4. Types of Federal Libraries
    • Academic Libraries
    • Family “Public” Type Libraries
    • School Libraries
    • Special Libraries
  • 5. Variety of Federal Locations
    • Academic Libraries
      • Academies (4-year Degrees)
      • Service Universities (Graduate Degrees)
    • Family Libraries
      • E.g., Air Force, Army, Navy, Marine Corps
    • School Libraries (Department of Defense)
      • Overseas and limited areas in U.S.
    • Special Libraries
      • Agency and Foreign Service Libraries
      • Medical Libraries
      • Law Libraries
      • Museums & Historical Centers
      • Scientific & Technical Libraries & Information Centers
  • 6. Goal of Federal Job Process Federal Employee Employer Applicant
  • 7. Agency’s Typical Path to Federal Recruitment
    • Establishment of Appropriate Series for Job
    • Analysis of Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs) Required for Job
    • Determination of Position Level and Salary Range
    • Recruitment with Public Announcement of Position
    • Screening of Applications
    • Referral List to Selecting Official
    • Interviews
    • Queries to References
    • Selection
    • Patience!
  • 8. Establishment of Appropriate Series for Job
    • Job Analysis: Description of work to be done
    • Series: Four-digit code that represents a particular job function
    • Grade: Level of employment that determines the salary
    • General Services (GS) Examples:
      • GS-1410-09 (straight 09)
      • GS-1410-09/11 (promotion potential)
      • GS-1412-15 (highest GS level)
  • 9. Position Classification Standards for Each Series
    • GS Examples:
    • *1410 – Librarian Series
    • 1411 – Library Technician Series
    • 1412 – Technical Information Specialist Series
    • 1420 – Archivist Series
    • 1421 – Archives Technician Series
    • 1499 – Library & Archives Student Trainee
    • Other possibilities, depending on individual’s related education and work experience for a series, e.g., 0301, 1720, 1082
    Tip: Review the job requirements to determine if you are qualified before applying.
  • 10. Position Classification Standard: Librarian Series, GS-1410 Tip: Each series has specific guidelines. * Note: Classified refers to determination of qualification standards for a position in an occupational series – NOT to information with controlled access.
  • 11. Librarian, Supervisory Librarian, Reference Librarian, etc. Tip: Titles may be added for specific functional areas.
  • 12. Position Description (PD) Tip: The Position Description (PD) summarized in a job announcement is based on factor levels for the position.
  • 13. Differences in Factor Levels from Entry Level to Experienced Librarian
    • Factor 1, Knowledge Required by Position
    • Level 1-6 950 Points:
      • “ The librarian provides reference services where needs are relatively easy to determine from client interviews or written requests, and the bibliographic source materials are readily accessible…”
    • Level 1-8 1550 Points
      • “ The librarian serves as an expert…;”
      • “… an interagency or federal expert…”
      • “… a senior staff librarian for a library system…”
    Tip: Be aware that each position has specific factor levels.
  • 14. Differences in Levels for Supervisory Experience
    • Factor 2, Supervisory Controls
    • Level 2-3 275 Points:
      • “ The supervisor defines the librarian's scope of responsibility and the objectives, priorities, and deadlines.”
    • Level 2-5 650 Points
      • “ The supervisor and higher-level authorities consider the work as technically authoritative and normally accept the librarian’s recommendations without significant change.”
    Tip: Do not submit your resume for all job applications. Review each announcement carefully; prepare your application to highlight your qualifications for the job.
  • 15. Understanding KSAs as the Foundation of a Position
    • KSAs
    • K nowledge: Organized body of information, usually of factual or procedural nature, which, if applied, makes adequate performance on the job possible.
    • S kills: Proficient manual, verbal, or mental manipulation of data, people, or things. Observable, quantifiable, measurable .
    • A bilities: Power to perform an activity at the present time.
    Tip: An employer will expect you to have specific knowledge, skills, and abilities to do the job.
  • 16. KSA Essay or Narrative Requirement Eliminated in 2010
    • Sample Essay Questions of Prior KSA Requirement
      • “ Knowledge of principles, concepts, and techniques of library science.”
      • “ Ability to plan and manage a program for a library’s _______ (Reference Services, Document Delivery, Cataloging, etc.)
      • “ Ability to lead and supervise a diverse workforce.”
      • “ Ability to communicate effectively in writing.”
      • “ Ability to communicate effectively other than in writing.”
    Tip: Although you may not be required to submit well-written essays on these or similar topics, you should be prepared to include specific, relevant, and truthful examples of your knowledge, skills, and abilities in your application and be prepared to discuss them during your interview.
  • 17. Occupational Questionnaires Included with Applications
    • Multiple Choice Questions
      • E.g., ‘I have performed the job of ______________
        • Never
        • Occasionally
        • As a regular part of my job with supervision
        • As a major part of my job, usually independently and without review by supervisor
        • To review the work of personnel under my supervision
        • As a recognized expert in the field, to train other divisions or the federal community
    • Yes/No Questions
    • Combination of Questions & Essays
    Tip: Answer questions honestly. They may be used as the basis for your interview or queries to your references.
  • 18. Required KSAs Included in Job Announcement
    • Expected Coverage of KSAs in Application & Resume
      • Note Job Description & Specific Duties in Announcement
      • Note Qualifications and Evaluations
        • Education Requirement
        • Specialized Experience
        • Sample from Announcement: “Specialized experience is experience in information management/sciences; evaluation of technologies to acquire, apply, search, communicate, generate, and utilize information resources; and program/project management and supervisory experience.”
    Tip: Use relevant terminology in your resume. It will be reviewed by a personnel specialist or computer.
  • 19. Guidelines for Including KSAs in Your Application
    • Possibilities:
    • Highlight relevant accomplishments in a cover letter.
    • Include your competencies and major accomplishments in your resume.
    • Develop talking points about your KSAs for the position and be prepared to use them as appropriate when responding to questions during the interview.
    Tip: Use the combination of methods to prove that you have the KSAs to do a good job.
  • 20. KSA Guidelines
    • Suggested Method for Including KSAs:
    • Context: Describe the situation.
    • Challenge: Describe what needed to be done.
    • Action: Describe your role & specifically what you did.
    • Results: Describe outcome in concrete, verifiable terms.
    • Tips:
    • Use concrete, action verbs, and specific nouns.
    • Use numbers, statistics, and specific time periods.
    • Quote relevant phrases from awards.
    • Use relevant terms from job announcement.
  • 21. Determination of Position Level and Salary Range
    • General Schedule (GS)
      • E.g., GS -1412-09/11, GS -1410-11
    • Majority of federal workforce paid according to GS pay scale
    • Each position given a specific rating based on amount of education and experience required for the job
  • 22. General Schedule (GS) and Locality Pay Tables http://www.opm.gov/oca/11tables/index.asp
  • 23. Annual GS Base Pay Showing Steps for Each Grade Tip: The GS-09 annual salary is the typical entry level for a 1410 Librarian.
  • 24. Pay Plan, Series & Grade: GS-1410-09 Librarian
  • 25. GS Salary Table with Locality Pay for Geographic Area Tip: Locality pay increases the annual salary.
  • 26. GS Steps
    • Within-Grade Increases (WGIs) or Step Increases
      • Periodic increases in General Schedule (GS) employee's rate of basic pay from one step of the grade of the position to the next higher step of that grade; e.g., GS-11-01 to GS-11-02
    • Required Waiting Period for WGI
      • WGI is effective on the first day of the first pay period beginning on or after the completion of the required waiting period.
      • Steps Waiting Period
      • 2, 3 and 4 52 calendar weeks (one year)
      • 5, 6 and 7 104 calendar weeks (two years)
      • 8, 9 and 10 156 calendar weeks (three years)
  • 27. Future Possibility for Federal Employee
    • Quality Step Increase (QSI)
      • Faster-than-normal WGI may be used to reward GS employees who demonstrate sustained performance of highest quality
      • Management decision per employee; not a standard award
      • Does not apply to incoming personnel
  • 28. Determination of Position Level and Salary Range
    • General Schedule (GS)
      • E.g., GS -1412-09/11, GS -1410-11
    • Pay Banding or Performance Based Systems
      • Government Accountability Office (GAO)
      • E.g., PT -2210-03/03 Information Technology Specialist (ITS)
      • National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST)
      • E.g.,   ZP -2210-01/05 ITS
      • Department of Defense (DoD): National Security Personnel System (NSPS) – being phased out
      • E.g., YC -1410-02/02 Supervisory Librarian and
      • YA -1410-02/02 Librarian
  • 29. Agency Recruitment with Public Announcement of Positions
    • Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Sites:
    • * USAJOBS http://www. usajobs . opm . gov /
    • * StudentJobs http://www. studentjobs . gov
    • Agency Sites (Examples):
    • Army: http://www. cpol .army.mil/
    • DOT: http://careers.dot. gov / js _apply.html
    • DTIC: (Includes link to DTIC vacancy announcements on USAJOBS)
    • http:// www.dtic.mil/dtic/aboutus/employment.html
    • FBI: (Includes link to FBI vacancy announcements on USAJOBS)
      • https://jobs1.quickhire.com/scripts/fbi.exe
    • GAO: http://www. gao . gov /careers/apply.html
    • GPO: (Includes link to GPO vacancy announcements on USAJOBS)
    • http://www. gpo . gov /careers/jobs. htm
    • Library of Congress: http://www.loc.gov/hr/employment/index.php
    TIP: Bookmark OPM & agency sites for announcements.
  • 30. USAJOBS: Official Job Site of U.S. Federal Government http://www. usajobs . opm . gov /
  • 31. USAJOBS Steps: Create an Account, Get Informed, Search for Jobs, and Apply to Federal Agencies
  • 32. StudentJobs.gov http://www.studentjobs.gov
  • 33. Postings in College Bulletins or Listserv Announcements
    • -----Original Message-----
    • Sent: Wednesday, December 15, 2010 12:10 PM
    • To: Military Librarians Division
    • Subject: [sla-dmil] Position opening: Head of Information Services, Italy
    • Looking for a change? Here's a great career opportunity, interesting work with excellent benefits in a lovely part of Italy!
    • The NATO Undersea Research Centre (NURC) is seeking applicants for the position of Head, Information Services within the Technical Support Division. The post holder manages and provides information services in support of the scientific, technical and administrative functions at NURC. He/She also manages the intellectual property of the Centre, printing and publishing operations, and facilitates the distribution of information/products between NURC and NATO commands and agencies, as well as national distribution centres.
    • Details at http://www.nurc.nato.int/employment/vacancies.htm
  • 34. FEDLIB List http://www.loc.gov/flicc/about/listservs.html
    • FEDLIB: Federal Librarians Discussion List
    • Moderated mailing list for staff of libraries and information centers in US federal government
    • Other subscribers welcome to join
    • Postings include FLICC/FEDLINK* news, meeting announcements, discussion on federal library topics, and job announcements from the federal community
    • *Federal Library and Information Center Committee/Federal Library and Information Network
    Tip: Join FEDLIB for a heads-up on federal job openings posted by members. Do NOT reply to the list; use URL or Point of Contact provided in the message.
  • 35. Key Requirements of Federal Position
    • U.S. Citizenship
      • Required for most federal jobs
      • Specified on announcement
    • Proof of Education
      • Required official transcript – sometimes as attachment, mailed separately, or requested later
      • Announcement will specify level of degree required for series and instructions for submission of proof
  • 36. Other Requirements of Federal Position
    • Other Possible Requirements (depending on agency and position)
      • Security Investigation
      • Secret or Top Secret Clearance
      • Drug Test
      • Polygraph
      • Mandatory Emergency Essential Status
      • Travel
  • 37. Location of Position
    • Important Information for Job Seeker
      • Announcement usually includes location of job.
      • Moving expenses are usually NOT provided.
      • Announcement states if Permanent Change of Station (PCS) costs are covered.
    Tip: If you can be flexible and mobile, you can expand your opportunities and have an interesting career.
  • 38. Eligibility of Applicant
    • Review Eligibility for Position
      • Are you a current or former Federal civilian employee who holds or held a non-temporary appointment?
    • Announcement Designations
      • Status (current or former career or career-conditional Federal employees)
      • Public
      • U.S. Citizens and Status
      • All Sources
    Tip: If you have no prior federal service, look for Public, U.S. Citizen, or All Sources.
  • 39. Keyword Search: Refine Results by Changing Applicant Eligibility TIP: The basic Keyword Search allows you to change your search for Public OR All (Public and Status) search results.
  • 40. Advanced Search: Select Your Applicant Eligibility at the Beginning TIP: The question located at the bottom of the Advanced & International Search page affects the results of your search.
  • 41. Questions about Terminology
    • Competitive vs Excepted?
    • Competitive Service: classified service, classified competitive service, or classified civil service
      • Competitive service includes all civilian positions in the Federal Government that are not specifically excepted from the civil service laws and are not in the Senior Executive Service.
    • Excepted Service: Unclassified service, unclassified civil service, or positions outside the competitive service
      • E.g., Career fields with unique skills, i.e., lawyers, doctors, or engineers
    • See more information about terms on USAJOBS. http://www.usajobs.gov/EI/howjobsarefilled.asp
    Tip: Download the PDF reference guide, “How Federal Jobs Are Filled.”
  • 42. Status Candidate Defined
  • 43. Other Terms
    • WHO MAY BE CONSIDERED:   Federal Career/Career-Conditional employees, Transfer, Reinstatement Eligibles, 30% Disabled Veterans, Veterans Employment Opportunities Act (VEOA) and other individuals eligible under special appointment authorities
    • See more information on USAJOBS.
  • 44. Career & Career-Conditional http://www.usajobs.gov/ei/careerappointments.asp (PDF Fact Sheet available)
  • 45. Transfer http://www.usajobs.gov/ei/transfers.asp (PDF Fact Sheet available)
  • 46. Reinstatement http://www.usajobs.gov/ei/reinstatementeligibility.asp (PDF Fact Sheet available)
  • 47. Veterans’ Preference http://www.usajobs.gov/ei/VetPreference.asp http://www.fedshirevets. gov
  • 48. Detailed View with Job Summary Shows “Who May Apply”
  • 49. Who May Apply? Status AND Public? TIP: The position might have two listings to show that it is open to both Public and Status candidates.
  • 50. Summary Includes Reference for Concurrent Announcements TIP: If eligible for both announcements, you should apply to both announcement numbers separately.
  • 51. Full Time Permanent Note: Promotion Potential
  • 52. Multiple: Pool of Applicants (Grade level and salary range; various locations and work schedules)
  • 53. Ongoing Recruitment for Potential Vacancies
  • 54. Open Period (Important!) Tip: Observe the closing date (Eastern time) and allow extra time for system problems with the online resume.
  • 55. Screening of Applications
    • Evaluation of your application against the position’s qualification requirements
    • Review by Agency Human Resources Specialist and/or Automated System (NOT a Career Librarian)
    • Ranking relative to the other candidates (for some agencies)
    Tip: Use specific, relevant language to explain your KSAs. Avoid acronyms, abbreviations, special characters, and library jargon. Do not assume a person (or machine) will understand your experiences.
  • 56. Referral List to Selecting Official
    • List of Highly Qualified Candidates or Most Highly Qualified Candidates issued by Human Resources Office to Selecting Official
    • Agency Review by Panel or Selecting Official
    TIP: Remember that there is competition for the position. Being Qualified does not guarantee that you will be interviewed or selected for the job.
  • 57. Interview
    • Most agencies conduct interviews of top candidates only
    • Interview by panel or selecting official
    • Interview in person or by telephone (Trip not provided)
    • One or two rounds of interviews
    • Writing samples of relevant work may be required
    • Same questions for ALL applicants - to be fair & equal
    • Maybe a thought-provoking or situational question
    • Officials take notes and evaluate the responses
    • Usually, opportunity provided for candidate to ask question(s) about the job at the end
  • 58. Queries to References
    • Usually by telephone and/or email
    • Standard questions for all final candidates from the group
    • Reference sometimes offers to send additional material
    TIP: Do not submit an application without references, title, and current contact information. Inform former supervisors and ask references in advance so that they are expecting a call.
  • 59. Selection
    • Selecting official submits first (and possibly alternate choice) to Human Resources.
    • Human Resources (NOT Selecting Official) contacts selectee with job offer and salary.
    • Specific time designated for response.
    • Many positions dependent upon Security Clearance.
    • Report date determined by agency and HR.
    Tip: Do not quit your other job while waiting for a clearance. A Security Clearance can take a year (or more).
  • 60. Patience!
    • Agency is also waiting for the selectee’s report date.
    • Agency position might be vacant for months during the recruitment process.
    • Duties and responsibilities for the position continue.
    TIP: If a security clearance is required, complete your paperwork promptly.
  • 61. Applicant’s Road Map to Federal Job
    • Agency Job Announcements
    • Eligibility for Position
    • Qualifications for Targeted Position
    • Winning Application and Resume
    • Verifiable Education and Experience
    • Successful Interview
    • Positive References
    • Job Offer
    • Patience!
  • 62. Agency Job Announcements
    • Search USAJOBS and agency Web sites.
    • Set up email alerts for new jobs.
    • Join professional organizations (at student rate).
    • Join professional listservs (as allowed).
    • Check campus bulletins.
    • Investigate intern programs.
    • Consider positions with contractors.
    • Network with librarians & other federal employees.
    • Join Careers in Federal Libraries Google Group
    • http://groups. google .com/group/careers-in-federal-libraries
    TIP: PRINT each job announcement to file with your application for future reference. The online announcement will disappear after the deadline.
  • 63. USAJOBS: Advanced & International Search with Keyword, Title, Series, Location, Agency, Salary, and Grade
  • 64. USAJOBS: Browse Jobs by Agency, U.S. Location, OR Occupation
  • 65. Search Results: 1410 Series Librarian
  • 66. Search Results: 1412 Series Technical Information Specialist
  • 67. Experiment and Search a Related Series or Career Field Tip: Consider your undergraduate degree and/or past work experience when searching jobs in a related series.
  • 68. Eligibility for Position
    • Review complete announcement.
    • Determine if Status, Public, Veteran, etc.
    • Consider mobility for a different location.
    • Contact the Human Resource person listed on the job announcement if you have questions about your eligibility.
    Tip: When you are eligible for a series, start applying. You should expect to apply for more than one job.
  • 69. Qualifications for Targeted Position
    • Complete your degree; relate your education and projects to the qualifications.
    • Consider an internship or practicum for practical experience in a library or information center.
    • Take additional training or attend seminars in your field when possible.
    • Join professional organizations; attend their programs or view the online presentations.
    • Read current literature about librarianship.
    • Determine and explain which skills from your former job(s) pertain to the library position; e.g., teaching, managing projects, writing, etc.
    • Be marketable.
  • 70. Winning Application and Resume
    • Create an account on USAJOBS and build your resume.
    • Write information in advance and save separate text files according to required sections for future editing.
    • Check the word count before copying and pasting sections to your resume.
    • Include awards, certifications, and special skills that pertain to this career field.
    • Be specific about computer training, systems, and databases. (Do NOT use a generic statement, such as “Proficient in computer skills.”)
  • 71. Required Personal Information
  • 72. Required Work Experience
  • 73. Multiple Applications & Resumes
    • Target each application for the specific announcement.
    • Always update your information as appropriate and use relevant details when creating a new resume.
    • Include ALL required information, e.g., dates, degrees, references, etc.
    • Save each resume according to the application you submitted.
    • Edit saved text to create applications for other online systems.
    Tip: Track your deadlines and allow lots of time to prepare an online application! Your time ends at midnight (Eastern) prior to the closing date.
  • 74. USAJOBS Account for Your Online Resumes, Saved Documents, Applications, and Saved Searches for Job Alerts Tip: Create a USAJOBS account and receive automated job alerts.
  • 75. Job Summary - Details Are Important TIP: Review each job summary carefully and apply for positions based on your eligibility, education, and experience.
  • 76. Tabs for Navigation Through Announcement (Print!) TIP: Print the entire job announcement for future reference before the deadline.
  • 77. Verifiable Education and Experience
    • Proof of Education and Experience
    • Required official transcript – sometimes as attachment, mailed separately, or requested later
    • Applicant’s responsibility to submit
    • Specific instructions on announcement
    Tip: Do NOT send attachments unless specified. The announcement will specify if documentation should be submitted with resume or if applicants will be contacted for additional documentation. Additional documents may be required later by Human Resources or the agency.
  • 78. Successful Interview
    • Prepare!
    • Review your printed copy of the job announcement and your submitted application.
    • Write down building, room #, and time.
    • Check directions to the location in advance.
    • Be on time.
    • Have the contact number with you in case of an emergency.
    • Dress professionally.
    • Relax! You are considered a highly qualified candidate.
    • Send brief thank-you message - nice gesture & memorable.
  • 79. Positive References
    • Notify your references in advance so that they will expect queries about you.
    • You may request that agencies should not notify your current employer unless you are a final candidate.
    • Before final selection, your current employer should be contacted.
  • 80. Job Offer: Example Procedure
    • Call received from agency’s HR office
    • Job offer with salary and starting date
    • Acceptance
    • Security Clearance Check (Process explained & started if necessary. Delays reporting date.)
    • Submission of proof of current salary
    • Permanent Change of Station (PCS) paid by new employee (unless advertised otherwise)
    • Position subject to probationary period (usually 1 year)
    Tip: If starting salary is lower than existing salary, you may request consideration of a higher step prior to acceptance. (Not guaranteed. Agency must follow regulations. Any variation requires justification & approval by agency.)
  • 81. Patience!
    • Don’t give up.
    • Apply for more than one job.
    • Process may take months.
    • There are many opportunities for qualified librarians.
    • Good luck with your job search!
  • 82. Reminder
    • This overview is only meant to provide a starting point for your job search and cannot include all of the details about the recruitment process for a federal position. Personnel systems vary by agency, and some are in the process of changing.
    • Always read each job announcement carefully and print it for future reference. The information will NOT be available after the closing date.
    • Call the Point of Contact listed on the job announcement if you have any questions about the application process.
  • 83. Careers in Federal Libraries: How to Find a Federal Job
    • Questions?
    • Helen Q. Sherman
    • [email_address]
  • 84. Disclaimer
    • Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government.
    • The views and opinions of the author expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government. This presentation should not be considered official or sanctioned by the author’s employer and shall not be used for advertising or endorsement purposes.