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Help me become a Fed
March 16, 2009 7:19 AM   Subscribe

How do I best utilize my Non-Competitive Eligibility from AmeriCorps to secure a job in the Federal government?

After reading some of the other posts on AskMe about applying for Federal jobs, I'm pretty scared that my usajobs.gov resume isn't keywordy enough, or not descriptive enough, or too descriptive or whatnot to get past the first vetting. Is there a resume service that is extremely knowledgeable in editing Federal job applications? Exactly what kinds of questions and what kinds of cold contacts am I allowed to make as someone with the equivalent NCE of a current federal employee to leverage my current networking? For instance, do I have a little more leverage with the NCE status to send my resume and cover letter directly to the hiring manager and bypass all the keyword fiddling altogether?

My dream job would be just about anything with the Corporation for National and Community Service. My other goal right now is to move to the mid-Atlantic coast. My NCE expires in August and I'd also like to look into any Census 2010 jobs or other jobs that might at least get me an entry level or better job to land in with or without relocation help.
posted by Skwirl to Work & Money (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'm not sure how you use your NCE but I remember there being a box to check on the USAJobs website for it (? maybe). Perhaps you could expand your search that way.

If you want a census job, you should contact the census office in the city nearest you. The exam to become a census-taker only tests basic literacy and chart-reading skills
posted by thewestinggame at 8:53 AM on March 16, 2009


do I have a little more leverage with the NCE status to send my resume and cover letter directly to the hiring manager and bypass all the keyword fiddling altogether?

It's not at all clear to me that you have any way of actually finding out who the hiring manager actually is. Or that a hiring manager would have any authority to interview anyone except those whose names were on a list that came through an HR office.

Also, I really doubt that the basic census-taking jobs give anyone any leg up in terms of becoming a permanent civil servant; there are simply far too many (temporary) positions for the system to be structured this way.

Please note that I don't want to discourage you from applying via USA Jobs; in fact, the sooner the better, and the more jobs, the better. But don't expect shortcuts; the advice in the Ask MeFi posting that you linked to seems quite applicable.
posted by WestCoaster at 2:24 PM on March 16, 2009


It's not at all clear to me that you have any way of actually finding out who the hiring manager actually is.
During my time in AmeriCorps I got to know the org chart pretty well, and even met some people on it. I have a lot of anxiety about networking in general, though, and the thought of accidentally tripping on, or creating a bad perception is adding to that anxiety.
posted by Skwirl at 3:23 PM on March 16, 2009


Thanks for the answers so far. NCE seems to be somewhat poorly understood in general. My understanding is that it gives former VISTA and Peace Corps volunteers a window of opportunity to apply for Federal jobs as if they were a current Federal employee. To narrow down my question a little bit: What would I want to be doing if I was a current Federal employee looking to apply in a totally different department than the one that I'm currently in?
posted by Skwirl at 3:34 PM on March 16, 2009


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