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DHS

The Department of Homeland Security has a vital mission: to secure the nation from the many threats we face. This requires the dedication of more than 230,000 employees in jobs that range from aviation and border security to emergency response, from cybersecurity analyst to chemical facility inspector. [Their] duties are wide-ranging, but [their] goal is clear: keeping America safe. (source: www.dhs.gov)

Perhaps you are working for the DHS or interested in working for the DHS. Here is a forum to share your experience with the DHS.

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jackbauer24  
#1 Posted : Wednesday, April 11, 2012 12:22:54 PM(UTC)
jackbauer24

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Posts: 226

Hi everyone!

I just applied to the paralegal specialist with Customs and Border Protection in Chicago. I am currently a Legal Assistant (GS -0986) and currently a at GS-5, GS-6 in September. I do not have a specific question but just wondering how many of you have applied for this position.

What kind of experience do you have? Just wondering how I will compare to other applicants. I only have 1 1/2 years of legal type work so not sure how far my application will get along. My career goal is to work for a federal law enforcement agency and Chicago is one of my favorite cities.  Big smile

Good luck to everyone and hope to hear from you all.


renegade812012  
#2 Posted : Thursday, April 12, 2012 6:48:27 AM(UTC)
renegade812012

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Hello, I was wondering if you could help me answer a question. In turn, I will try to help answer yours.

I was recently offered a Paralegal Specialist position with CBP. I accepted the tentative offer and am currently in the background investigation stage. Although this seems like it is a good position, I really don't know anything about it. The job announcement had really vague information, and I was only interviewed for about 10 minutes, so I couldn't get much info there either. My question is, since you are currently a fed, do you know anything about this position? Do you know anyone who currently holds this position? If so, do they like it? I really want to get into the federal service, but CBP isn't my first choice as the agency that I would like to work for. Plus, I have a really good private-sector job now, so I want to be as sure as possible that this is a good gig.

To answer your question, at the time of my interview, I had a whopping 3 months experience as a Legal Assistant at a private law firm. However, I am a 10 point-preference vet, hold a B.A., and hold an ABA approved Paralegal Certificate. So maybe that helped my chances.

Thanks.
jackbauer24  
#3 Posted : Saturday, April 14, 2012 10:28:05 AM(UTC)
jackbauer24

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Hey renegade,

Sorry it has taken me a few days to reply. Just been busy with work.

"My question is, since you are currently a fed, do you know anything about this position?"
Unfortunately I do not. I do not know anyone who holds this position either. The job description is very vague, you are right on that.

Congrats on being offered the position! You are a very fortunate person. Big smile  The thing I do not know is whether CBP is a good federal agency or not. At the place I'm at, SSA, i get treated EXTREMELY GOOD. If I were offered a position with CBP or any other agency, I would definitely find out from people how they like working there. If any of you have worked for CBP and like it let us know.



jackbauer242012-04-14 18:43:52
jackbauer24  
#4 Posted : Saturday, April 14, 2012 10:34:36 AM(UTC)
jackbauer24

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"My question is, since you are currently a fed, do you know anything about this position?"

The paralegal specialist (GS-0950) and the one I currently hold, the legal assistant (GS-0986, I think) are a bit different. The paralegal specialist position involves more research type duties I believe.
jackbauer24  
#5 Posted : Saturday, April 14, 2012 10:44:00 AM(UTC)
jackbauer24

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"To answer your question, at the time of my interview, I had a whopping 3
months experience as a Legal Assistant at a private law firm. However, I
am a 10 point-preference vet, hold a B.A., and hold an ABA approved Paralegal Certificate. So maybe that helped my chances."

Thank you for serving our country! Clap


fosho  
#6 Posted : Wednesday, April 18, 2012 9:27:35 AM(UTC)
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Go for Entry Specialist!

 

lockjaw  
#7 Posted : Thursday, April 19, 2012 6:14:40 AM(UTC)
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I am a non-uniformed CBP employee in Chicago and find the agency good to work for.  The paralegal specialist position is located at the Customhouse near the Blue Line and Union Station, so it is easy to get to and you can have your public transportation costs reimbursed.  I saw a mention for entry specialist--this position is located in Rosemont, if you choose to stay in Chicago.  I do not work as a paralegal specialist, but those I know who work in Chicago find the job rewarding.  The work is steady, and you will be processing the fines, penalties, seizures, and other customs enforcement action.  Hope this helps.
jackbauer24  
#8 Posted : Thursday, April 19, 2012 9:14:06 AM(UTC)
jackbauer24

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Lockjaw,

Mind if I send you a private message?
jackbauer242012-04-20 15:37:38
mrimmigration  
#9 Posted : Friday, April 20, 2012 12:53:35 AM(UTC)
mrimmigration

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Did you apply to the status announcement or the general public announcement. I applied to the status one as I'm a GS-1895-12 and have not received an email yet. I talked to the hiring office today and they said they haven't sent out emails for the status candidates yet.
jackbauer24  
#10 Posted : Friday, April 20, 2012 7:30:59 AM(UTC)
jackbauer24

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Mrimmigration,

Check your inbox. I'm about to send you a message.


lockjaw  
#11 Posted : Wednesday, April 25, 2012 9:11:00 AM(UTC)
lockjaw

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jackbauer24,

you can send me a message.  
Stuprice3000  
#12 Posted : Thursday, April 26, 2012 10:45:47 PM(UTC)
Stuprice3000

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I recently had the interview for CBP.  HR contacted a reference and then followed up with me asking if their were any employment conflicts related to the position.   I hope this is a good sign, do you guys know if this is part of the selection process or what steps come next and how long the process took?  Thanks!
renegade812012  
#13 Posted : Friday, April 27, 2012 2:24:13 AM(UTC)
renegade812012

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I would say that is a very good sign. For the Paralegal Specialist position, one of my references was contacted a month and a half before I received my tentative offer, so I don't think they contact your references if they are not seriously considering you for the position.

The next step will probably be a tentative offer. If you accept the offer, you will begin the background investigation stage. This is a looooong part of the process; I'm currently entering my fifth month of this stage, and am anticipating waiting much longer. It appears that CBP does not mess around with the background of their applicants.

What CBP position was the interview for, if you don't mind me asking?
Stuprice3000  
#14 Posted : Friday, April 27, 2012 5:09:45 AM(UTC)
Stuprice3000

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Thanks a lot for your insight! It's for the Para specialist position as well.  I feel that the Int went great and found out 1 Ref was contacted a week later, then shortly after that was asked the CBP conflict question.  Since then have not heard back and hope it's not just an internal process they have to do for everybody.   Was HR in contact with you anyway between the time your ref. was contacted and you received a tentative offer? Wow 5 months, congrats on having the patience! 
jackbauer24  
#15 Posted : Sunday, April 29, 2012 3:58:15 AM(UTC)
jackbauer24

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Stuprice3000 wrote:
Thanks a lot for your insight! It's for the Para specialist position as well.  I feel that the Int went great and found out 1 Ref was contacted a week later, then shortly after that was asked the CBP conflict question.  Since then have not heard back and hope it's not just an internal process they have to do for everybody.   Was HR in contact with you anyway between the time your ref. was contacted and you received a tentative offer? Wow 5 months, congrats on having the patience! 


Good for you man! :)

I have not been contacted as of yet. :(
Iamout4  
#16 Posted : Monday, April 30, 2012 10:45:55 AM(UTC)
Iamout4

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Renegade,

What level of security clearance or public trust does you position require?  Did you complete an SF85 or 86...this is an indication?

I believe CBP does their own investigations.  I've been waiting for the main security office to complete my adjudication.  It has been a few months now and I already have a current clearance.  It's very slow going.


renegade812012  
#17 Posted : Tuesday, May 01, 2012 12:18:03 AM(UTC)
renegade812012

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Hey,

No, HR was not in contact with me at any point between my interview and tentative offer. I heard nothing from anyone except my personal reference who told me that they had been contacted.At my interview, the hiring manager did tell me that it would be at least 3 months until they would make a decision, and it ended up being just short of three months. So don't worry if you don't hear anything right away.

Thanks for the support. To tell you the truth, I'm kinda running out of patience with CBP. But you gotta do what you gotta do.
renegade812012  
#18 Posted : Tuesday, May 01, 2012 12:28:23 AM(UTC)
renegade812012

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Iamout4,

I believe that my position is a public trust position. I completed an SF-85P for my background investigation. What was weird was that when the field invesitgator contacted me, he asked for all kinds of additional information that was not requested on the SF-85P, and he also wanted way more character references and contacts to interview. He also told my references that my position was for a security clearance, so I'm not even sure myself.

It is definetly going slow! I'm about to enter month #3 of adjudication (I think), which from the information that I've gathered from other posts on this forum isn't even that long of time. Do you know if there is anyone we can contact to get an update on our adjudcations? My HR Representative has no information and always just tells me that my case is pending with Internal Affairs.
mrimmigration  
#19 Posted : Wednesday, May 09, 2012 1:50:20 AM(UTC)
mrimmigration

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I was just notified my application was referred to the hiring official as a non competitive applicant
jackbauer24  
#20 Posted : Thursday, May 10, 2012 2:04:32 AM(UTC)
jackbauer24

Rank: Senior Member

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Posts: 226

mrimmigration wrote:
I was just notified my application was referred to the hiring official as a non competitive applicant
 
Same here. I was referred on a non-competitive basis. Went to usajobs.gov and noticed that my status changed to "Eligible - Referred to Selecting Official" on Monday.
 
Can anyone give me a time line of how long it takes for them to contact you for an interview? I heard a couple of weeks from someone who sent me a private message. Just curious. Hope I'm fortunate enough to get interviewed!  :)
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