Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Public Affairs Specialist ZA-1035-3/4 (DE/CR)
Department:  Department Of Commerce
Agency:  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Job Announcement Number:  NESDIS-AA-2013-0003

This position is closed and no longer accepting online applications through USAJOBS.

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$62,467.00 to $136,771.00 / Per Year
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 to Thursday, November 29, 2012
Career/Career-Conditional - Permanent
1 vacancy in the following location:
Lanham, MDView Map

*All qualified United States citizens



Unlock secrets in deep oceans, track rapidly moving storms, operate state-of-the-art environmental satellites, chart the Nation's waterways, formulate models to forecast climate trends, protect and preserve our living marine's all in a day's work at the  NOAA!  Join a dedicated workforce committed to a vital mission: safeguarding the public, protecting natural resources, strengthening the economy.  A career that makes a world of difference!

This position is located in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Environmental Satellite, Data & Information Service (NESDIS).  NESDIS is looking for good people to manage our world-class operations.  Our Satellites monitor US and global weather conditions, and we also have three world-class data centers.  The data from NESDIS satellites help save lives and resources.

The candidate needs to be an outgoing, confident individual who can work well with people from all levels of an organization.  They should work well under pressure and be able to produce materials in short order during a crisis situation.  Come be a part of NESDIS.

This position is covered by the Commerce Alternative Personnel System. This position will be filled under the DOC Alternative Personnel System (CAPS). This system replaced the Federal GS pay plan and structure. Under this system positions are classified by career path, pay plan, and pay band. This position is advertised at the ZA-03/04 pay band levels, which is equivalent to the GS-11/12 and GS-13/14 on the Federal General Schedule salary table.

Salary Range: ZA-3: $62,467 - $97,333

                   ZA-4: $89,033 - $136,771

This position is also being advertised under announcement NESDIS-AA-2013-0002 (status candidates).  You must apply separately to each announcement to be considered for both.

A one-year probationary period may be required.

Relocation expenses are not authorized.

This is a non-bargaining position.


  • Must be a U.S. citizen
  • Must be suitable for Federal employment
  • Registered for Selective Service if applicable (
  • All requirements must be met by the closing date of this announcement.


Back to top

The individual selected for this position will:

- Implement communications and outreach activities for major environmental satellite acquisition programs, managed by NOAA and run in partnership with NASA. 

-Implement communications via web, social media, events, and direct outreach. 

-Interface with NASA communications activities as well as NOAA and DOC communications and outreach at multiple levels. 

-Collaborate with NOAA and NASA legislative, external affairs, and public affairs liaisons as necessary.

-Serve as adviser to senior leadership, offering insight on how to respond to the media during a crisis situation or how to proactively communicate about a non-crisis issue.


Back to top

Qualification requirements in vacancy announcements are based on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Qualification Standards Handbook, which contains federal qualification standards.  This handbook is available on OPM's website at:

There is no education requirement required for this position. 

NOTE:  Equivalent combinations of education and experience are qualifying for all grade levels for which both education and experience are acceptable.

Applicants must possess one year of specialized experience equivalent in difficulty and responsibility to the next lower grade level in the Federal service.  Specialized experience is experience that has equipped the applicant with the particular competencies/knowledge, skills and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position.  This experience need not have been in the federal government.

For the ZA-3 level:  Specialized experience is defined as experience implementing communications and outreach strategies for large programs; multi-agency communications activities with multiple audiences, including employees, external stakeholders, and other government agencies (Executive Branch and Congress); utilizing web and social media in communications; developing a variety of materials to provide information to the public on specific issues; managing multiple projects at the same time. 

You may also qualify at the ZA-3 (GS-11 equivalent): Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree or 3 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree or LL.M., if related

For the ZA-4 level: In addition to above, specialized experience includes: leading and managing multiple projects at the same time. 

You cannot substitute education at the ZA-4 level.

Your resume must document specialized experience and support your responses to the vacancy questions.

For more information about the qualifications requirements for this position:


We will review your resume, optional cover letter and supporting documentation to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications for the position.  If you meet the minimum qualifications stated in the vacancy announcement, we will compare your resume, optional cover letter and supporting documentation to your responses on the scored occupational questionnaire (True/False, Yes/ No, Multiple Choice questions) and place you in one of three pre-defined categories.  These categories are "gold," "silver," and "bronze."  However, your resume and/or optional cover letter must support your responses to the scored occupational questionnaire, or your score may be lowered.  Candidates placed in the "gold" category will be identified for referral to the hiring manager and may be invited for an interview.

How you will be evaluated for preference eligibility: Within each category, those entitled to veterans' preference will be listed at the top of the pre-defined category for which they are placed.  Preference eligibles with a service-connected disability of 10% or more will be listed at the top of the highest quality category (gold) depending on the position and grade level of the job.

The scored occupational questionnaire will evaluate you on the following competencies; please do not provide a separate written response:

  • Ability to plan, coordinate, and implement public outreach programs and events.
  • Knowledge of communication styles and techniques.
  • Knowledge of public relations principles and methods.
  • Ability to lead and manage multiple communications projects simultaneously.
  • Ability to communicate.
  • Ability to work with external agencies and the public.
  • Ability to represent the department on multi organizational teams as leader, member, or facilitator.
  • For more information on category rating, please go to:

    To preview questions please click here.


    Back to top
    The Department of Commerce offers a comprehensive benefits package.  Explore the benefits offered to most Federal employees at


    Additional vacancies may be filled from this announcement.

    ICTAP candidates will be eligible if it is determined that they have exceeded the minimum qualifications for the position by attaining at least a rating of 85 out of 100 (Silver).  Information about ICTAP eligibility is on the Office of Personnel Management's Career Transition Resources website at:
    ICTAP applicants MUST submit the following documents:
    *A copy of your RIF separation notice, notice of proposed removal for failure to relocate, notice of disability annuity termination, or certification from the National Guard Bureau or Military Department that you are eligible for disability retirement.
    *A copy of your SF-50 "Notification of Personnel Action", documenting your RIF separation, noting your positions, grade level, and duty location, and/or Agency certification of inability to place you through RPL, etc.;
    *A copy of your latest performance appraisal including your rating; and
    *Any documentation from your agency that show your current promotion potential.
    The following links provide information on how you may be eligible for various hiring authorities:
    VRA -
    30% or more disabled veteran -
    Persons with disabilities -
    CTAP -
    ICTAP -


    Back to top
    Your complete application, including required documents, must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement.

    To apply on-line, you must complete and submit an application by accessing the USAJOBS website at  To begin, click the Apply Online button near the bottom of this screen and follow the prompts to register into your USAJOBS account, answer the questions, and submit all required documents.

    To return to your saved application, log in to your USAJOBS account at and click on "Application Status."  Click on the position title, and then select Apply Online to continue.

    If you have problems completing your on-line application, including problems submitting your supporting documents, please contact the Help Desk by e-mail at or by phone at 866.656.6831.  The help desk is available Monday-Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET.

    For instructions on submitting your application in another format, please contact:  Florine Wood, Human Resource Specialist at 301-713-6317 or email at between 07:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET no less than 24 hours before the posted announcement closing date.


    A complete application consists of the following:
    * Resume showing relevant experience; cover letter optional. Your resume must indicate your citizenship and if you are registered for Selective Service if you are a male born after 12/31/59. Your resume should also list your educational and work experience including the dates (mm/dd/yy) of each employment along with the number of hours worked per week. Your resume may be used to validate your responses to the assessment tool(s).  
    * Veterans' Preference documentation. Please indicate on your resume the type of veterans' preference you are claiming and provide the appropriate supporting documentation (DD-214 stating disposition of discharge or character of service, VA letter, SF-15, etc.) to validate your claim. For more information regarding eligibility requirements, please go to: Veterans
    * Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) documentation, if applicable (see other information).
    *Education. If this position requires proof of higher education, you must submit an unofficial transcript or a list of courses that includes the following information: name of accredited institution, grades earned, completion dates, and quarter and semester hours earned. Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet the requirements. Please refer to Qualifications for more information.

    Note: You are not required to submit official documents at this time; copies are sufficient. You must provide all the required documents by the closing date of the announcement or you may lose consideration for this vacancy.

    Special Instructions for Foreign Education: Qualifying education from colleges and universities in foreign countries must be evaluated in terms of equivalency to that acquired in U.S. colleges and universities.  Applicants educated in whole or in part in foreign countries must submit sufficient evidence, including transcripts, to an accredited private organization for an equivalency evaluation of course work and degree.  A listing of these accredited organizations can be found on the Department of Education's website Qualifications. You must provide a copy of the letter containing the results of the equivalency evaluation with a course by course listing along with your application.  Failure to provide such documentation by the closing date of the announcement will result in lost consideration. 


    Tonya Johnston
    Phone: 816-426-5017
    Fax: 000-000-0000
    Agency Information:
    WFMO/Kansas City Staffing Division
    601 E. 12th Street
    Kansas City , MO
    Fax: 000-000-0000


    You will be notified of your application status through UASJOBS at four points during the hiring process, as applicable.  You can check the status of your application by accessing the USAJOBS website at: USAJOBS and clicking on "Track Your Online Application." The four points of notification are:
    1. Application Received or Application Incomplete;
    2. Minimum Qualification Requirement Met or Minimum Qualification Requirement Not Met;
    3. Eligible (Application Referred to the Selecting Official) or Eligible (Application Not Referred to the Selecting Official)' and
    4.  Selected or Not Selected.
    By submitting your application, you are certifying the accuracy of the information contained in your application. If you make a false statement in any part of your application, you may not be hired; you may be terminated after you begin work; or, you may be fined or jailed. After making a tentative job offer, we will conduct a suitability/security background investigation.
    You will be required to submit official documentation prior to appointment. The agency will then verify the information provided on your application (i.e., degree, veterans' preference, disability, etc.).

    Back to top
    EEO Policy Statement | Reasonable Accommodation Policy Statement | Veterans Information | Legal and Regulatory Guidance