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LongBall  
#1 Posted : Friday, April 13, 2012 12:13:19 PM(UTC)
LongBall

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Hello,

I'm looking at joining the NAIP as contract specialist. However, I have a few concerns. I have applied to six positions so far on USAJobs with this program. I have been rejected by one location (Mississippi) and haven't heard from anywhere else yet. 

Now, I've switched from looking for sports jobs to this. I graduated with Sports Administration BA in 2010. So, I have no experience related to Contracting. I believe I have enough (24) business credits as listed in each job announcement. 

The notification letter I received from the command in Mississippi said I was qualified but not among the MOST HIGHLY qualified candidates. So, I'm assuming I do meet the requirements, but there is a lot of competition like in the sports field. I hope I don't get rejected by the rest. I do live in the DC area. Is there any way i could get experience doing contract specialist stuff?


spence  
#2 Posted : Friday, April 13, 2012 12:54:56 PM(UTC)
spence

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You could try to get a job as a Purchasing Agent (public or private sector; Purchasing Agent job series is GS-1105 in the federal government), which would expose you to somewhat related things.  Also look at all agencies and locations, not just try to get into NAIP -- civilian agencies like GSA, DOI, the VA, and DHS, not just DoD.

Another thing you could do is get your foot in the door in any job in the federal government, maybe financial or accounting-related, then transfer in a few years. 

Or you could try to get a more business-focused degree / degree in federal procurement.

Good luck!  I was just hired a few months ago as a Contract Specialist without any related experience, although I had been working for the IRS for a few years.  Now, whether or not it's actually the right field for me -- the jury's still out ...








spence2012-04-13 21:39:48
LongBall  
#3 Posted : Saturday, April 14, 2012 1:32:10 AM(UTC)
LongBall

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spence wrote:





You could try to get a job as a Purchasing Agent (public or private sector; Purchasing Agent job series is GS-1105 in the federal government), which would expose you to somewhat related things.  Also look at all agencies and locations, not just try to get into NAIP -- civilian agencies like GSA, DOI, the VA, and DHS, not just DoD.

Another thing you could do is get your foot in the door in any job in the federal government, maybe financial or accounting-related, then transfer in a few years. 

Or you could try to get a more business-focused degree / degree in federal procurement.

Good luck!  I was just hired a few months ago as a Contract Specialist without any related experience, although I had been working for the IRS for a few years.  Now, whether or not it's actually the right field for me -- the jury's still out ...









Thanks for the response. I had been doing internships ever since I graduated from college. I couldn't find anything full time in the sports world so I was discouraged from it. I have been thinking about going back to school for a business degree because I have nothing business related but I don't have the money. 

LongBall2012-04-14 09:37:48
LongBall  
#4 Posted : Sunday, April 15, 2012 12:06:32 PM(UTC)
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What does the assessment mean? Is a score in the mid-80s a good number for those viewing my application?
coderunner  
#5 Posted : Sunday, April 15, 2012 12:09:58 PM(UTC)
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LongBall wrote:
Hello,

I'm looking at joining the NAIP as contract specialist. However, I have a few concerns. I have applied to six positions so far on USAJobs with this program. I have been rejected by one location (Mississippi) and haven't heard from anywhere else yet. 

Now, I've switched from looking for sports jobs to this. I graduated with Sports Administration BA in 2010. So, I have no experience related to Contracting. I believe I have enough (24) business credits as listed in each job announcement. 

The notification letter I received from the command in Mississippi said I was qualified but not among the MOST HIGHLY qualified candidates. So, I'm assuming I do meet the requirements, but there is a lot of competition like in the sports field. I hope I don't get rejected by the rest. I do live in the DC area. Is there any way i could get experience doing contract specialist stuff?


 
Have you thot about start off as a intern?  Since you have no other real experence intern would be good. 
spence  
#6 Posted : Sunday, April 15, 2012 2:01:20 PM(UTC)
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GS-1106, Procurement Technician, is another related job series.

Fed1969  
#7 Posted : Sunday, April 15, 2012 5:01:14 PM(UTC)
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You need to apply for various intern  positions.  DOD has some great programs.

You may want to consider applying for other positions such as Program Analyst or Budget Analyst to get your foot in the door.  It may be easier to become a Contract Specialist, once you are on the federal payroll.
LongBall  
#8 Posted : Sunday, April 15, 2012 11:40:10 PM(UTC)
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coderunner wrote:
Have you thot about start off as a intern?  Since you have no other real experence intern would be good. 

That's why I applied to these Contract Specialist positions. I searched "NADP" and those were found. What do you mean by starting as an intern? Are saying like an unpaid intern?

I'm just asking because I have done two unpaid internships from previous experience in the sports industry. 
TS65  
#9 Posted : Monday, April 16, 2012 12:17:31 AM(UTC)
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Based on what I've seen, most intern positions are ladder positions which start at a 5 or 7 and go up to an 11, 12 or 13 (sometimes, up to 15).  You need a bachelors degree with a very high GPA OR you need to be a veteran. 

I have a law degree, contracting experience (albeit real estate contracts) and have scored anywhere from 95-100 and have only been referred on a couple.  Almost every time, I'm passed over because so many vets are applying (which is fine, there's other jobs I apply for where I'm not). 

If you aren't a vet or don't have a high GPA, you may want to re-evaluate the type of position you are applying for.

Amazombie  
#10 Posted : Monday, April 16, 2012 1:48:46 AM(UTC)
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TS65 wrote:


Based on what I've seen, most intern positions are ladder positions which start at a 5 or 7 and go up to an 11, 12 or 13 (sometimes, up to 15).  You need a bachelors degree with a very high GPA OR you need to be a veteran. 

I have a law degree, contracting experience (albeit real estate contracts) and have scored anywhere from 95-100 and have only been referred on a couple.  Almost every time, I'm passed over because so many vets are applying (which is fine, there's other jobs I apply for where I'm not). 

If you aren't a vet or don't have a high GPA, you may want to re-evaluate the type of position you are applying for.


Same here (JD, 10 years non-legal work experience) but no contracts experience.  I have lots of referrals and 0 interviews in 1.5 years of trying.  
LongBall  
#11 Posted : Monday, April 16, 2012 10:05:22 AM(UTC)
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wow very discouraging. I would really like to do something like this.
konstelas  
#12 Posted : Monday, April 16, 2012 10:10:48 AM(UTC)
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I have no contract experience. Just three years of experience in admin support.  BS in Business and Masters in Finance but I have gotten 6-7 interviews for contract specialist.  DOD seems to be so tough to get into and I suggest trying with other departments such DOL, DOI, or DOJ. 
Rikaku  
#13 Posted : Monday, April 16, 2012 10:26:56 AM(UTC)
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I concur with the intern route. Though I know a few direct hires, how they got hired is anyone's guess. Most of the direct hires were brought on as GS-12s; some with prior contract experience, some I couldn't tell if they have never seen a contract in their life. It seems to be a gamble applying on USAJobs, literally. If you are the lucky one to get picked on any given day then you get a shot, if not...well.
spence  
#14 Posted : Monday, April 16, 2012 10:30:38 AM(UTC)
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I agree with getting your foot in the door in the federal government, although Program Analyst and Budget Analyst are probably as hard or harder to get into as Contract Specialist, LOL.  It really does make a difference being a status candidate; you are much more likely to be referred because veterans preference doesn't apply, and as a current fed you can submit your annual evaluation as an indicator of past performance.  This is really considered, or at least it was by the person who hired me.  Even if the job is in a different field, as mine was, it's valuable.  Maybe you can write a cover letter to emphasize the relevance to business or contracting of anything you have studied or worked at.  There are job series that are directly related too, such as GS-1105 and GS-1106 which I posted.

Fed1969 wrote:
You may want to consider applying for other positions such as Program Analyst or Budget Analyst to get your foot in the door.  It may be easier to become a Contract Specialist, once you are on the federal payroll.






spence2012-04-16 19:32:07
LongBall  
#15 Posted : Wednesday, April 18, 2012 1:21:41 PM(UTC)
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Well, I just got another rejection because i didn't meet the Selective Placement Factor, which is the stupidest thing I have ever heard of. This just sets up the domino effect for all the other ones i applied for with selective placement factor, rejection. 

Does anybody know where i could get experience in this stuff because I have no related experience just a degree in sports management and sports internships. I don't know where to turn now, I'm just *****ed.

LongBall2012-04-18 21:27:09
MDVet  
#16 Posted : Wednesday, April 18, 2012 9:35:19 PM(UTC)
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This is the route I have taken.  I started law school back when there was still legal jobs to be had and the pay was good; I was half way done when the legal job market tanked.  I worked at a law firm during law school so I was fortunate and had a job waiting for me after I graduated and passed the bar, but I learned within a few months of becoming an attorney that the job really sucks.  I applied for between 20 and 25 contract specialist positions over a 12 month period, interviewed 4 or 5 times, and was recently selected for one.  I will be starting as a GS-9 for the DOD, which is a pay cut, but I think it's the better decision in the long run.  Some of my education and work experience translated to what a contract specialist does, so it just worked out for me.

TS65  
#17 Posted : Wednesday, April 18, 2012 9:39:43 PM(UTC)
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If you only have a degree in sports management and sports internships, you may want to look into the MWR jobs just to get your foot in the door.  Then, gain some experience, meet some people and try to move around a bit. 

Selective Placement Factor determines whether someone is qualified for a job or not.  It's not exactly a stupid concept.  What if you were interested in being a Nuclear Physicist - but only had a sports degree and sports internships?  Should they hire you just because you are interested in it?  No.  You've got to show that you know what you're doing - or at least have a LITTLE knowledge on the subject! 

In the contracting arena, you are competing with people with law degrees, finance degrees, MBA's, CPA's, etc.  There are so many other fields to add to your search, don't set your heart on something near impossible for even the most educated to get. 

I can't believe I'm saying this, but if you're young enough, have you thought about military (since you're looking to go govt. anyway?) It would be a great way to get experience and end up with military preference in 3 years.

LongBall  
#18 Posted : Thursday, April 19, 2012 1:20:26 AM(UTC)
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TS65 wrote:


If you only have a degree in sports management and sports internships, you may want to look into the MWR jobs just to get your foot in the door.  Then, gain some experience, meet some people and try to move around a bit. 

Selective Placement Factor determines whether someone is qualified for a job or not.  It's not exactly a stupid concept.  What if you were interested in being a Nuclear Physicist - but only had a sports degree and sports internships?  Should they hire you just because you are interested in it?  No.  You've got to show that you know what you're doing - or at least have a LITTLE knowledge on the subject! 

In the contracting arena, you are competing with people with law degrees, finance degrees, MBA's, CPA's, etc.  There are so many other fields to add to your search, don't set your heart on something near impossible for even the most educated to get. 

I can't believe I'm saying this, but if you're young enough, have you thought about military (since you're looking to go govt. anyway?) It would be a great way to get experience and end up with military preference in 3 years.


Unfortunately, I cannot join the military because I have a hard of hearing disability.
TS65  
#19 Posted : Thursday, April 19, 2012 1:22:41 AM(UTC)
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LongBall wrote:
TS65 wrote:


If you only have a degree in sports management and sports internships, you may want to look into the MWR jobs just to get your foot in the door.  Then, gain some experience, meet some people and try to move around a bit. 

Selective Placement Factor determines whether someone is qualified for a job or not.  It's not exactly a stupid concept.  What if you were interested in being a Nuclear Physicist - but only had a sports degree and sports internships?  Should they hire you just because you are interested in it?  No.  You've got to show that you know what you're doing - or at least have a LITTLE knowledge on the subject! 

In the contracting arena, you are competing with people with law degrees, finance degrees, MBA's, CPA's, etc.  There are so many other fields to add to your search, don't set your heart on something near impossible for even the most educated to get. 

I can't believe I'm saying this, but if you're young enough, have you thought about military (since you're looking to go govt. anyway?) It would be a great way to get experience and end up with military preference in 3 years.


Unfortunately, I cannot join the military because I have a hard of hearing disability.

You may want to double check that. My friend's husband has hearing aids and was in both the marines and navy.   Not sure if he got a waiver or what, but his hard of hearing disability didn't keep him from getting in either one.

spence  
#20 Posted : Thursday, April 19, 2012 1:59:21 PM(UTC)
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The disability raises another issue actually.  You may be able to apply to status announcements under "Schedule A" hiring authority.  You would be more easily referred even on external announcements, as it is a noncompetitive eligibility.  You need something like a letter from a state disability agency, and you need to identify that you are applying under that authority.

spence2012-04-19 22:09:40
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