Saturday, February 24, 2018

Federal Workforce of the Future

Last year, one goal of the new administration was to decrease the size of the Federal workforce. But in 2017, when agency buyouts and staffing cuts were the focus in the news, the total size of the federal workforce didn’t changed much. What do the numbers look like? 

2017 – 2,653,247 full time executive branch employees

2018 – 2,667,447 (expected) full time executive branch employees

What will the future bring? According to OMB, a number of Federal agencies will add staff in 2019. Seven agencies are expected to increase hiring between 2018 and 2019, including the departments of Commerce, Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs. This is welcome news considering that there are a plethora of vacancies in many agencies, especially at the executive management levels. When federal agencies are getting their feet held to the fire to produce even more results for the American people, it is an impossible victory when there are no bodies to lead the workforce.  

Monday, November 6, 2017

What is the “Real Deal” about the 180-day DOD Civilian Hiring Restriction?

Military retirees who want to enter civil service in the Department of Defense (DoD) now require a waiver if they are within 180 days following their official date of retirement. The 180 day time period begins the day following the official date of the service member’s retirement (terminal leave time does not count towards the 180 day time period as the service member is not considered retired during the period of terminal leave). Exemptions include personnel who fall under a special salary table (air traffic controllers, information technology managers, etc.) and members of the military who are separating but not entitled to receive retirement pay from the armed services.
This DoD requirement took effect in December 2016 when the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of FY 2017 was signed into law, effectively eliminating the language in the law that allowed for previous hiring flexibility. Following 9-11, a retiree could be appointed immediately after retirement (without a waiver) if a state of emergency existed and this was common practice until a few months ago.
All retiring military members CAN apply to federal civilian DoD jobs within the 180 day time period following retirement. Full consideration must be given to eligible and qualified applicants (this includes retirees) as they have the right to seek and be considered for federal civilian employment. The selection process needs to be equitable and in compliance with merit system principles (based on knowledge, skills, and abilities after fair and open competition). If it is determined that the retiree is clearly superior to other referred candidates, a waiver may be sought.  Do not let the waiver requirement deter you from applying if you are well-qualified for the position! 
Keep in mind that departments and agencies outside of DoD are not affected by any part of the waiver process. For information on developing your Federal or corporate job search strategy, visit us on the web at

Friday, July 21, 2017

Networking Your Way to a New Job Through the Summer Season

Use the summer flutter to network your way to a hiring official. What is networking and can it work for you? Networking is the ability to leverage your constellation of friends, professional colleagues, neighbors and people you know to obtain advice, information and referrals. Can it work in the Federal arena? Of course it can! It can be beneficial to have someone on the inside looking for your application to come through the system, but there are several steps that you want to master first:

-Research - learn about the field (agency) / company and how you fit in 

-Targeting - determine who to target and with whom you should meet (start at modest level and move up)

-Presentation - learn about agency's /company's needs and how you could fit in. 

Once you're confident in your approach, practice what you say so that it is clear and concise. Set a goal for the number of contacts you'll make each week and follow through. Determine a specific time of day during which you can make your networking calls. If the phone seems overwhelming, start face-to-face with those you know, then move to the phone with some practice under your belt. 

Most importantly, have your 30 second commercial ready and rehearsed

- What can you can tell someone about yourself in 30-60 seconds?
- What differentiates you from others? 
- Think of a unique perspective that they will remember.

As a gift to you we are offering  FREE access 
to our NETWORKING webinar through 8/31/17

FJR Academy has packaged the Federal contractor/private sector hiring processes into easy- to- understand training modules.

For more information on developing your job search strategy to attract the attention of the HR hiring team, visit us on the web at

Monday, October 10, 2016




Federal Job Results is committed to providing the most knowledgeable, experience-based, and results-driven guidance through the entire Federal and Federal Contractor application process to current Federal employees and to civilian and military professionals seeking new careers in the public sector.


Federal Job Results (FJR) is recognized as the nation’s leading organization in public sector career support and job placement. Through the services provided by FJR, current Federal employees and civilian and military professionals seeking federal government positions are successful in developing the requisite knowledge, skills and strategies to identify, pursue, and secure the positions best suited to their abilities and goals.  


The mission and vision of Federal Job Results are based on the following values:

          The staff of Federal Job Results is committed to building a trust-based, highly collaborative relationship with every client. We believe that the success of the process of constructing a resume and securing a position that is ideally aligned with an individual’s strengths is based in large part on the mutual respect and cooperation of client and staff. We strive to build long-term partnerships with our clients so that they see us as a trusted advisor throughout their search process.


          The staff of Federal Job Results is committed to establishing and maintaining a professional relationship with their clients. We recognize that initiating a job search can be a stressful and complex process. Therefore, we strive to be simultaneously supportive and instructive throughout the job search life-cycle, while maintaining total confidentiality of all information shared with us. We present no information to potential employers without consent, and we thoroughly safeguard all client data. 


          The Federal Job Results team brings more than 45 combined years of experience to the federal job search process. We leverage this first-hand knowledge in every step of our clients’ experience to ensure that they secure interviews with the agencies and positions most compatible with their strengths.


          The staff of Federal Job Results is committed to enabling our clients to develop the strategies to move from unemployment to employment; from private sector to federal sector; and/or from one position level to another. We strive to enable our clients to emerge from the job search process in a place better than the one in which they began.

Friday, September 30, 2016

What is the Federal Application Process?

The Federal application process can overwhelm even the most aggressive job seeker.   Here is a summary of the process:

  1. Apply using
  2. HR Rates and Ranks Applications
    • They are looking for Self-Assessment Questionnaire responses, Key Words,  and a well-written Federal Resume
    • They will put you into one of three categories: Not Qualified, Minimally Qualified, Best Qualified.  You want to be in the Best Qualified category.  
  3. Top Applicants Referred
    • The top applicants (in the Best Qualified category) will move forward to the next step, which is to be “referred” to the hiring official for consideration.
  4. Panel / Behavioral Interview
    • Applicants whom the hiring manager wants to interview will be contacted.  Generally, the interview will be a panel with three to six individuals asking behavioral-based interview questions.  It is a test – and very competitive – so be prepared!
  5. Contingent Job Offer Made
    • Once you are interviewed and they decide they love you, the federal HR team will generally extend a tentative job offer.  You will have to complete a background check and possibly go through a security clearance, depending on the position.  The extent and type of check will depend on the level of security of the job.  This is the one and only time you can negotiate your salary and your vacation time.
For more information on developing your federal job search strategy to attract the attention of the HR hiring team, visit us on the web at

Friday, September 16, 2016

Six Keys to Cracking the Federal Job Code

Understand the federal qualification requirementsFederal applications must convey that the applicant already has the skills required to do the job. Many people apply to jobs that they could easily do, but for which they do not already possess the specific skills. The minimum requirement is that you must have 12 months of experience doing that same or similar work. Identify the best jobs for your background: Many people apply to jobs that are not a good fit for them. Use a technique we call the “80% Rule.” Carefully review the vacancy announcement language, particularly under the “Duties” tab. Look for an 80% match between the duties listed and your skills. This is a great technique to use to determine if the job in the vacancy announcement is a good fit for you.

Create a Federal resume: Do not try to apply for a Federal government job with a private sector resume. It is too short and does not include the information required to score the most points during the rating and ranking process. Make your Federal resume lengthy: The average Federal resume is 3 to 5 pages and extremely detailed. A Federal resume addresses your skills and competencies, whereas a private sector resume focuses on results and accomplishments – two very different objectives. Many Federal application packages focus on accomplishments and do not include the “nitty gritty” details, which result in the highest possible score. The more detailed the information you provide, the more points your application is likely to score during the rating and ranking process.

Ensure you have the right content in your Federal resume: Federal resumes need to be extremely detailed and written with descriptive adjectives. Words like “complex” and “routinely” are meaningful to the Federal HR Specialist.

Answer the self assessment questions liberally: Most online applications ask applicants to rate their professional experience by using a series of questions. The applicant needs to receive the highest rating in order to move forward in the rating process. Review the answers to the question and select the one that represents the most senior experience level - that is the one that is worth the most points. Give yourself credit! Do not be dishonest - but boast, brag, market yourself, rationalize, justify - whatever you want to call it. Then make sure your resume supports your responses. Remember it is called a "self assessment questionnaire" for a reason!

Include KSAs (Knowledge, Skill and Ability statements)  in your Federal resume: With Hiring Reform, HR Specialists are looking for the KSAs to be incorporated into the resume. Since Hiring Reform changes took effect on November 1, 2010, most Federal agencies no longer require you to write narrative essays when you initially apply to a job. However, it is totally your responsibility to make sure you possess the required KSAs and that they are incorporated into your resume. Otherwise, you will be deemed not qualified for the position, not because you don’t have the skills but because you didn’t tell them you have the skills by incorporating the KSAs into your resume.

Be persistent: You have to be persistent and consistent about applying for Federal jobs on a regular basis and following up on your applications. It can take dozens (or more) of applications and from three to 18 months to get a Federal interview with a hiring manager. (This is a bureaucracy, after all!). If you are getting results that show you are eligible - not referred, it is still good. It means you are applying to the right jobs for your background but you might need to work more on your application package. We have found that it takes about 70 to 100 applications to yield 10 referrals, and these 10 referrals will result in 1 to 2 interviews. 

For more information on developing your federal job search strategy to attract the attention of the HR hiring team, visit us on the web at

Friday, July 22, 2016

How Can I Ace the Federal Interview?

What is the purpose of a Federal interview?  It is a two-way communication test.  It is a confirmation of your technical skills and a test of your personality to ensure a good fit into the Agency’s environment.  It is also an opportunity for you as the interviewee to test the job requirements, the interviewer’s personality and the presentation of potential employment. 

There are a few ways that a Federal job interview differs from that in the private sector. 

  • You will probably be faced with a panel interview (generally a panel of three or more).  Be prepared for three sets of eyeballs as opposed to one staring at you.  The interview is a test and it will most likely be formally scored, especially if you are interviewed by a panel.

  • You may encounter behavior interview questions.  These are questions that start with the phrase, “Describe a time when…”.  The panel will attempt to determine if you are a good fit for the agency, based on your responses.  These questions allow the interviewer to explore your past behavior and probe into your responses.  The interviewer is looking for a story with “Goldilocks” detail (just enough, but not too much). 

The best way to ace the interview is to be prepared. 

  • Research the Department/Agency, its mission, and the unit in which you are interviewing.  Find out what they do and how they do it.  All the information you need is on the web.

  • Find out as much information as you can about the interviewers.  How will you know who will interview you? When an interview is extended to you, ask who will be interviewing you.  Go to your social network and find out about them.  Remember, you have a short amount of time to build report with the interviewers.  Do your research before the interview and use your findings to leverage relationship-building in the actual interview.   

  • Prepare your responses in advance.  Some typical questions might be:

“Describe a time or a situation when you…
…were faced with a stressful situation.”
…used good judgment in solving a problem.”
…showed initiative to contain costs.”
…motivated others (team or direct reports).”
…effectively handled a difficult customer.”
…tried to accomplish something and failed.”

For more information on developing your federal job search strategy to attract the attention of the HR hiring team, visit us on the web at