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keeblerkev  
#1 Posted : Friday, June 19, 2009 10:33:10 AM(UTC)
keeblerkev

Rank: Groupie

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Joined: 6/19/2009(UTC)
Posts: 79

Hello everyone,

I am fairly new to the Federal Job Hunting, but I have a few questions. I have applied for several positions within the NIH's HR Department (HR assistant, secretary, etc). On 3 applications so far, I have been marked as "referred for selection consideration." My first time seeing this, I was all excited then I learned about the Category Rating which definitely knocked me off of cloud 9. It has now been 2 months for one post, and 1 and 2 weeks for the other posts since their status changed. I don't want to keep bugging the HR Specialist about my status or even if I am "truly" in the running for the job. So my question basically is how many people actually qualify for the "Best Qualified" Category and if the vacancy has "multiple openings," does that give me a realistic shot for the position?

I am still waiting for an interview call and honestly I am going nuts checking my status multiple times a day to see any kind of update. I just wish I had a realistic idea of what time frame I am looking at and where I fall in the pile. Confused

A little about me, I have no vet pref or special consideration claim. I am a recent college grad applying for the GS 5/6 positions. I have a BA in Social Work, AA in Deaf Interpreting/Deaf Studies and have 7 years of office automation and customer service experience.

Any advice or information would be of great help!

Thanks! Smile

[This message was edited by Keebler on June 20, 2009 at 09:13 PM.]
jtrink  
#2 Posted : Friday, June 19, 2009 12:46:34 PM(UTC)
jtrink

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When your resume is "referred" it is sent to the hiring official for the specific agency you are applying. The hiring official then reviews the list of potential candidates on the referral list and contacts who he/she wants to interview. The wait time can vary...it's the federal government.

In my own experience I've waited a month before being contacted after being referred. Results may vary.
keeblerkev  
#3 Posted : Saturday, June 20, 2009 9:06:36 AM(UTC)
keeblerkev

Rank: Groupie

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Joined: 6/19/2009(UTC)
Posts: 79

I know the volume the HR department has must be overwhelming which I am sure slows down the process. I guess what I am wondering if how many people approx. get referred during a category rating type process with GS 5 entry level positions?

I am not sure if I should get my hopes up yet for an interview or if I am pretty much in the same boat I was before I was even referred?

[This message was edited by Keebler on June 21, 2009 at 07:10 PM.]
keeblerkev  
#4 Posted : Monday, June 22, 2009 6:11:10 AM(UTC)
keeblerkev

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Joined: 6/19/2009(UTC)
Posts: 79

Any HR Specialist or HR knowledgeable people out there that can give me a little insight on what is reasonable to expect for me at this point?

Again I was referred for a few position, all category rating positions. I am just not should how many people I am competing with and how hopeful I should get about my chances of getting an interview. Can anyone give me a realistic expectation I can use on this type of process?

Thanks so much!
Cole25  
#5 Posted : Thursday, June 25, 2009 7:24:23 AM(UTC)
Cole25

Rank: Rookie

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Joined: 5/14/2009(UTC)
Posts: 37

It is very difficult to get a federal job right now. Checking on your status multiple times a day is probably not realistic. Many of the jobs on usajobs are not real (they already know who they are going to hire, but nevertheless the law requires them to go through the motions) and competing against vets for anything GS7 and above can be insurmountable. That said, there is a thread on this forum dedicated to success stories you may want to read to cheer you up. Still, approaching trying to get a federal job right now might best be done as accepting that the chances you will get the job are very small, but be delighted if you do.
InfoSecAuditor  
#6 Posted : Thursday, June 25, 2009 7:44:57 AM(UTC)
InfoSecAuditor

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Joined: 9/8/2008(UTC)
Posts: 98

Keebler, I know your pain. Someone just posted a pretty funny, but spot-on, list of points on applying for fed positions. Here's the link:

http://community.federalsoup.com/4/OpenTopic?a=tpc&s=4944011921&f=2024011031&m=8431083191

I will add that, in my own experience, since March of last year I've applied for scores of positions. I've been "referred for selection" for dozens of those. Out of those, I've received no notification from probably half and the others I just received the "you were not selected" email. I've only had 2 interviews after all of that. Both of which I received offers for, only one of which was acceptable (in process for a clearance on that one the last 6 months).

In the meantime, I get one or two calls a week from headhunters wanting to discuss "great opportunities."

So, in a nutshell, there is hope for working in the fed (without prior service)...but it takes a lot of effort and patience (of which I can honestly say I'm running out of).

Your mileage may vary (YMMV).

-ISA
computerscott2  
#7 Posted : Thursday, June 25, 2009 11:37:02 PM(UTC)
computerscott2

Rank: Senior Member

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Joined: 6/24/2009(UTC)
Posts: 1,835

Candidates are whittled down to groups:
Not Qualified (for whatever reason - no experience, incomplete package, not in the area of consideration, etc)
Qualified - (sometimes seen as qualifed but not referred)
Highly Qualified - (also known as 2nd best (lol)Usually these people did not make the cutoff, but in a few cases they are also referred - if there are not enough of the Best qualified candidates or if there are a lot of openings
the "Best" Qualified candidates - The people who scored the highest and make the cutoff (the cutoff point can vary from position to position depending on scores)
Once the candidates/applicants have been grouped then the letters/website updates go out (remember this: the government can tell you really quickly if you are not qualified!). A piece of paper is generated (sometimes electronically for pickup on a website) that is called the "Certificate of Eligibles". This is also called "being referred", "making the cert", "referred to the selecting official", etc.
Your goal in this process is to make "the Cert" or "get referred". The cert is where they will most likely pick the person for the job if they can find a suitable candidate on that list. It is entirely up to the selecting official if they want to conduct interviews, re-rank the applicants (from the cert only) using whatever method they want, throw a dart at the list, flip a coin, pick Billy-Bob's brother, etc.

In most instances the selection is not grievable (overturnable). Meaning you can't ask for a do-over, UNLESS:
1) the selected candidate does not have something that was required by the job announcement (a degree was required and you have proof that the selected applicant does not have it)
2) the selection process was biased in some way and you have proof (an HR specialist "looked over and proofread" the resume/application for the selected person, but didn't do it for other applicants
3) a spouse was involved in the hiring decision of their significant other, etc. or other neopotism conflict (neopotism means hiring family members)
4) someone applied for a GS-14 position who was currently a GS-5 and had never held any experience higher than GS-5
You can count on usually there being 3-5 names sent for every job opening. There can be more, for example, if 12 people's scores are tied (they all scored a 98 and the cutoff point for this announcement was 98). Let a month go by, if you haven't heard then you probably didn't get it (unless you had to have a background check, those can take months..)
Hope this helps.
silence  
#8 Posted : Friday, June 26, 2009 12:08:02 AM(UTC)
silence

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Joined: 5/11/2009(UTC)
Posts: 92

Being deemed "best qualified" is good, however it is always prudent to keep looking at other positions as they arise and keep applying... there are so many variables in the federal hiring process, everyone seems to have a different story about how they gotten hired.
Best of Luck!
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