how to find a federal job from helen sherman

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Careers in Federal Libraries event at 2011 ALA Annual featured this presentation by Helen Sherman, chair FLICC Education Working group on How to find a federal job


  • 1. Careers in Federal Libraries Applying for a Federal Job Ms. Helen Q. Sherman 2011 ALA Annual Conference New Orleans, LA June 24, 2011

2. Do you want to be a Fed?

  • Welcome!You are on the right path!
  • Federal libraries & information centers need talented, enthusiastic librarians.
  • Prediction that 1/3 of federal employees are eligible to retire by 2012.
  • Average annual salary of $84,796, March 2009, for librarians in federal nonsupervisory, supervisory, and managerial positions

For background:Federal Civilian Workforce Statistics: The Fact Book, 2007 ed. 3. Roles of Federal Librarians

  • Reference
  • Instruction and Database Training
  • Database Development and Testing
  • Acquisitions
  • Cataloging
  • Indexing
  • Web Page Development
  • Wiki Content Development
  • Systems
  • Library Services for Agency Personnel
  • Marketing
  • Management and Administration
  • and thats just at one agency!
  • (Defense Technical Information Center)

4. Types of Federal Libraries

  • Academic Libraries
  • Family Public Type Libraries
  • School Libraries
  • Special Libraries

5. Variety of Federal Locations

  • Academic Libraries
    • Academies(4-year Degrees)
    • Service Universities(Graduate Degrees)
  • Family Libraries
    • E.g., Air Force, Army, Navy, Marine Corps
  • School Libraries(Department of Defense)
    • Overseas and limited areas in U.S.
  • Special Libraries
    • Agency and Foreign Service Libraries
    • Medical Libraries
    • Law Libraries
    • Museums & Historical Centers
    • Scientific & Technical Libraries & Information Centers

6. Goal of Federal Job Process Federal Employee Employer Applicant 7. Agencys Typical Path to Federal Recruitment

  • Establishment of Appropriate Series for Job
  • Analysis of Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs) Required for Job
  • Determination of Position Level and Salary Range
  • Recruitment with Public Announcement of Position
  • Screening of Applications
  • Referral List to Selecting Official
  • Interviews
  • Queries to References
  • Selection
  • Patience!

8. Establishment of Appropriate Series for Job

  • Job Analysis:Description of work to be done
  • Series:Four-digit code that represents a particular job function
  • Grade:Level of employment that determines the salary
  • General Services (GS) Examples:
    • GS-1410-09(straight 09)
    • GS-1410-09/11 (promotion potential)
    • GS-1412-15 (highest GS level)

9. Position Classification Standards for Each Series

  • GS Examples:
  • *1410 Librarian Series
  • 1411 Library Technician Series
  • 1412 Technical Information Specialist Series
  • 1420 Archivist Series
  • 1421 Archives Technician Series
  • 1499 Library & Archives Student Trainee
  • Other possibilities, depending on individuals related education and work experience for a series, e.g., 0301, 1720, 1082

Tip:Review the job requirements to determine if you are qualified before applying. 10. Position Classification Standard:Librarian Series, GS-1410 Tip:Each series has specific guidelines. * Note: Classified refers to determination of qualification standards for a position in an occupational series NOT to information with controlled access. 11. Librarian, Supervisory Librarian, Reference Librarian, etc. Tip:Titles may be added for specific functional areas. 12. Position Description (PD) Tip:The Position Description (PD) summarized in a job announcement is based on factor levels for the position. 13. Differences in Factor Levels from Entry Level to Experienced Librarian

  • Factor 1, Knowledge Required by Position
  • Level 1-6 950 Points:
    • The librarian provides reference services where needs are relatively easy to determine from client interviews or written requests, and the bibliographic source materials are readily accessible
  • Level 1-8 1550 Points
    • The librarian serves as an expert;
    • an interagency or federal expert
    • a senior staff librarian for a library system

Tip:Be aware that each position has specific factor levels. 14. Differences in Levels for Supervisory Experience

  • Factor 2, Supervisory Controls
  • Level 2-3 275 Points:
    • The supervisor defines the librarian's scope of responsibility and the objectives, priorities, and deadlines.
  • Level 2-5 650 Points
    • The supervisor and higher-level authorities consider the work as technically authoritative and normally accept the librarians recommendations without significant change.

Tip: Do not submit your resume for all job applications.Review each announcement carefully; prepare yourapplication to highlight your qualifications for the job. 15. Understanding KSAs as theFoundation of a Position

  • KSAs
  • K nowledge:Organized body of information, usually offactual or procedural nature, which, if applied, makes adequate performance on the job possible.
  • S kills:Proficient manual, verbal, or mental manipulation of data, people, or things.Observable, quantifiable, measurable .
  • A bilities:Power to perform an activity at the present time.

Tip: An employer will expect you to have specific knowledge, skills, and abilities to do the job. 16. KSA Essay or Narrative Requirement Eliminated in 2010

  • Sample Essay Questions of Prior KSA Requirement
    • Knowledge of principles, concepts, and techniques of library science.
    • Ability to plan and manage a program for a librarys _______ (Reference Services, Document Delivery, Cataloging, etc.)
    • Ability to lead and supervise a diverse workforce.
    • Ability to communicate effectively in writing.
    • Ability to communicate effectively other than in writing.

Tip:Although you may not be required to submit well-written essays on these or similar topics, you should be prepared to include specific, relevant, and truthful examples of your knowledge, skills, and abilities in your application and be prepared to discuss them during your interview. 17. Occupational Questionnaires Included with Applications

  • Multiple Choice Questions
    • E.g., I have performed the job of ______________
      • Never
      • Occasionally
      • As a regular part of my job with supervision
      • As a major part of my job, usually independently and without review by supervisor
      • To review the work of personnel under my supervision
      • As a recognized expert in the field, to train other divisions or the federal community
  • Yes/No Questions
  • Combinationof Questions & Essays

Tip:Answer questions honestly.They may be used as the basis for your interview or queries to your references. 18. Required KSAs Included in Job Announcement

  • Expected Coverage of KSAs in Application & Resume
    • Note Job Description & Specific Duties in Announcement
    • Note Qualifications and Evaluations
      • Education Requirement
      • Specialized Experience
      • Sample from Announcement:Specialized experience is experience in information management/sciences; evaluation of technologies to acquire, apply, search, communicate, generate, and utilize information resources; and program/project management and supervisory experience.

Tip:Use relevant terminology in your resume.It will be reviewed by a personnel specialist or computer. 19. Guidelines for Including KSAs in Your Application

  • Possibilities:
  • Highlight relevant accomplishments in a cover letter.
  • Include your