Fed Jobs and Non-Competitive Status

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webbylu87
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Fed Jobs and Non-Competitive Status

Postby webbylu87 » Wed May 19, 2010 10:42 pm

I'm in the process of completing an AmeriCorps VISTA assignment and I'll receive three years of non-competitive status when applying for jobs with the federal government. This would mean that my non-competitive status would continue until August 2013. I will (hopefully) graduate LS in May 2013. I'd really like to look into jobs with the feds after graduation.

Has anyone had any experience applying for legal jobs with the federal government while having non-competitive status? Has it been beneficial or has it not seemed to make a difference?

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thesealocust
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Re: Fed Jobs and Non-Competitive Status

Postby thesealocust » Wed May 19, 2010 11:58 pm

oops
Last edited by thesealocust on Tue Jun 29, 2010 8:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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webbylu87
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Re: Fed Jobs and Non-Competitive Status

Postby webbylu87 » Wed May 26, 2010 2:42 pm

*bump*

I realize there might not be a lot of info out there on this. Just thought I'd try one last time.

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hi_im_josh
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Re: Fed Jobs and Non-Competitive Status

Postby hi_im_josh » Thu May 27, 2010 8:33 pm

Attorney jobs with the feds are excepted status-not competitive status. Any experience working in the feds will be a plus.

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webbylu87
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Re: Fed Jobs and Non-Competitive Status

Postby webbylu87 » Thu May 27, 2010 8:35 pm

hi_im_josh wrote:Attorney jobs with the feds are excepted status-not competitive status. Any experience working in the feds will be a plus.


Ah, okay. So non-competitive status won't be any sort of plus for me?

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hi_im_josh
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Re: Fed Jobs and Non-Competitive Status

Postby hi_im_josh » Thu May 27, 2010 8:42 pm

webbylu87 wrote:
hi_im_josh wrote:Attorney jobs with the feds are excepted status-not competitive status. Any experience working in the feds will be a plus.


Ah, okay. So non-competitive status won't be any sort of plus for me?


It will look good during interviews. Also, you might be able to prove that the 3 years of uncompetitive service entitles you to being classified as a federal employee. Once you're classified as a federal employee, you're golden (i.e., have tenure, can sue govt. if they try to fire you, etc.) (it's easier to get classified as a federal employee in a competitive position rather than an excepted position, though). With that many years of service, you'd have an argument you are a federal employee.

edit: check this federal statute: 5 U.S.C. 7511--it will help you to determine whether or not your service will help you to get classified as a federal employee (which is what you want)

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webbylu87
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Re: Fed Jobs and Non-Competitive Status

Postby webbylu87 » Thu May 27, 2010 9:10 pm

hi_im_josh wrote:
webbylu87 wrote:
hi_im_josh wrote:Attorney jobs with the feds are excepted status-not competitive status. Any experience working in the feds will be a plus.


Ah, okay. So non-competitive status won't be any sort of plus for me?


It will look good during interviews. Also, you might be able to prove that the 3 years of uncompetitive service entitles you to being classified as a federal employee. Once you're classified as a federal employee, you're golden (i.e., have tenure, can sue govt. if they try to fire you, etc.) (it's easier to get classified as a federal employee in a competitive position rather than an excepted position, though). With that many years of service, you'd have an argument you are a federal employee.

edit: check this federal statute: 5 U.S.C. 7511--it will help you to determine whether or not your service will help you to get classified as a federal employee (which is what you want)


Brilliant. Thanks! Also, for clarification: I only was in the VISTA position for a year. Once you complete your VISTA position you receive one year of non-competitive status. But if you enter full-time education you can get a two year extension (so a total of three years of non-competitive status; the three years immediately proceeding VISTA service). So I won't have technically been working for the federal government during those three years as I will have been in school. Do you think it would still be possible to persuade them to classify me as a federal employee? Also, are summer programs with the federal government hired competitively?

Thanks for the help and info you can share!

thatsnotmyname
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Re: Fed Jobs and Non-Competitive Status

Postby thatsnotmyname » Thu May 27, 2010 9:27 pm

I never knew Non-Competitive status existed. After google searching it, it sounds pretty helpful. Do you know how helpful it is for a federal position? Also, just out of curiosity, how competitive is it to be accepted to AmeriCorps? I've heard that PeaceCorps is extremely competitive, is AmeriCorps the same way?

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webbylu87
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Re: Fed Jobs and Non-Competitive Status

Postby webbylu87 » Fri May 28, 2010 11:29 am

thatsnotmyname wrote:I never knew Non-Competitive status existed. After google searching it, it sounds pretty helpful. Do you know how helpful it is for a federal position? Also, just out of curiosity, how competitive is it to be accepted to AmeriCorps? I've heard that PeaceCorps is extremely competitive, is AmeriCorps the same way?


I personally can't speak to how useful it is considering I haven't tried using it yet. I most definitely will though once I graduate LS. I plan on applying for jobs with the federal government so I'll get back to you in three years. :)

There a couple different AmeriCorps: state and national, NCCC, and VISTA. The nature of each program is a bit different. NCCC does more disaster recovery, community building, etc. They tend to do the more physical stuff (i.e. building, painting, planting, etc.). State and national do a mix of things. They do some direct service (i.e. working directly with people while tutoring, teaching, etc.) but also indirect (working for an organization but not directly with clients). VISTA is entirely indirect. We do capacity building for our organization (fundraising/grant writing, developing literature, research, translations, building websites, marketing, etc.). VISTA and state and national AmeriCorps are hosted by and in different organizations which apply and write a grant to receive an AmeriCorps. NCCC are based out of different campuses across the country and operate in groups. The application process and competitiveness for each program is a bit different. VISTA applications are done online. You can search online for available positions based on the state, type of organization, starting date of the position, etc. The requirements to enter each program are very different too. I believe all VISTA positions require a four year degree. I don't think the other two programs do, but individual organizations which host the AmeriCorps position might. I'm not entirely sure how you would apply for the other two as I don't have that experience, but check out http://www.americorps.gov for more info.

As far as how competitive it is, it's hard to say. Having only been through the VISTA process, you certainly aren't automatically given any position and all of the positions I applied for had at least 3 people who had applied. I applied for probably 8 or 9, had interviews for 3, and was offered 2. It helps if you're flexible on the location and are willing to move. They do give you a pretty sweet relocation allowance (.55/mile if you're moving more than 50 miles + .25/mile in shipping costs if you're moving more than 50 miles + a one time $550 payment to help with rental deposits). You also get the shipping and mileage reimbursement at the end of your year of service to return to your home location. I will say this, when I had my VISTA orientation last August, we were told that that year was the most competitive application cycle VISTA had ever seen, undoubtedly due to the economy. I'm sure the other programs were equally competitive. I would feel safe saying they are probably a lot less competitive than the PeaceCorps simply because the process isn't as complicated and you don't have the added draw/difficulty of moving abroad. I say this, but I haven't had any experience with the PeaceCorps so it's really hard for me to say for certain.

fiftyonefifty
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Re: Fed Jobs and Non-Competitive Status

Postby fiftyonefifty » Fri May 28, 2010 12:41 pm

webbylu87 wrote:
hi_im_josh wrote:
webbylu87 wrote:
hi_im_josh wrote:Attorney jobs with the feds are excepted status-not competitive status. Any experience working in the feds will be a plus.


Ah, okay. So non-competitive status won't be any sort of plus for me?


It will look good during interviews. Also, you might be able to prove that the 3 years of uncompetitive service entitles you to being classified as a federal employee. Once you're classified as a federal employee, you're golden (i.e., have tenure, can sue govt. if they try to fire you, etc.) (it's easier to get classified as a federal employee in a competitive position rather than an excepted position, though). With that many years of service, you'd have an argument you are a federal employee.

edit: check this federal statute: 5 U.S.C. 7511--it will help you to determine whether or not your service will help you to get classified as a federal employee (which is what you want)


Brilliant. Thanks! Also, for clarification: I only was in the VISTA position for a year. Once you complete your VISTA position you receive one year of non-competitive status. But if you enter full-time education you can get a two year extension (so a total of three years of non-competitive status; the three years immediately proceeding VISTA service). So I won't have technically been working for the federal government during those three years as I will have been in school. Do you think it would still be possible to persuade them to classify me as a federal employee? Also, are summer programs with the federal government hired competitively?

Thanks for the help and info you can share!


Competitive status means an individual’s basic eligibility for noncompetitive assignment to a competitive position. Competitive status is acquired by completion of a probationary period under a career-conditional or career appointment, or under a career executive assignment system, following open competitive examination, or by statue, Executive order, or by Civil Service rules without open competitive examination.

An individual with competitive status may be without open competitive examination, reinstated, transferred, promoted, reassigned, or demoted.

You will not be able to persuade your employer to classify you as a federal employee with career tenure if thats what you're asking. Your SF-50, if you have one, will show that you did not serve a probationary period of one year in a career or career conditional appointment which means you do not have competitive status. You need to have competitive status before you can have career tenure.

Summer programs or long term student programs are in the excepted service and they do not hire competitively. For the student programs, you are eligible to be converted non-competitively to a career-conditional/career position (term or perm) after completion of the program.

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webbylu87
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Re: Fed Jobs and Non-Competitive Status

Postby webbylu87 » Fri May 28, 2010 1:04 pm

fiftyonefifty wrote:Competitive status means an individual’s basic eligibility for noncompetitive assignment to a competitive position. Competitive status is acquired by completion of a probationary period under a career-conditional or career appointment, or under a career executive assignment system, following open competitive examination, or by statue, Executive order, or by Civil Service rules without open competitive examination.

An individual with competitive status may be without open competitive examination, reinstated, transferred, promoted, reassigned, or demoted.

You will not be able to persuade your employer to classify you as a federal employee with career tenure if thats what you're asking. Your SF-50, if you have one, will show that you did not serve a probationary period of one year in a career or career conditional appointment which means you do not have competitive status. You need to have competitive status before you can have career tenure.

Summer programs or long term student programs are in the excepted service and they do not hire competitively. For the student programs, you are eligible to be converted non-competitively to a career-conditional/career position (term or perm) after completion of the program.


To clarify: There are three levels in hiring for federal positions: the lowest tier is those who are applying from outside of the federal government, the second tier is those with non-competitive status exemptions, and the first tier is those with competitive status who are currently working within the federal government. Hiring proceeds from the first to the third tier until a suitable candidate has been found. Competitive status can only be awarded after you have been in a position with the federal government and performed in a satisfactory manner for a given length of time. Also, competitive status is the only way in which to be classified as a federal employee with career tenure. In other words, there is no way in which I would be classified as someone with competitive status/career tenure given my three years of non-competitive status. Is that correct?

To take this a step further, my non-competitive status will not help me in any way to secure summer, student or permanent legal employment with the federal government (although it may help secure non-legal employment). At best, it is a mild soft factor. However, if I complete a student/summer program with the federal government, this will provide some sort of easier “in” with federal jobs versus those who apply for the same job which have not completed a student/summer program. Is that right?

Thanks again!

fiftyonefifty
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Re: Fed Jobs and Non-Competitive Status

Postby fiftyonefifty » Fri May 28, 2010 1:20 pm

1) Correct, 100% positive that you do not have competitive status, career tenure or can be classified as a federal employee based on the information you given.

2) No, your 3 years of non-competitive status is a plus since it's basically federal experience and your resume will look better than anyone that does not have this experience. Your 3 years of experience may very well beat out a person with 20 years of federal service. Who knows anything can happen. My main point is that you do not have the option of being selected non-competitively for positions unless you are a career employee or apply and complete a student program or a federal career internship type program.

I'm speaking with federal HR experience.




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