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

Job Title:  SECRETARY (OA)
Department:  Department Of Agriculture
Agency:  Agricultural Research Service
Job Announcement Number:  UK879347-ARS-VB

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$31,315.00 to $45,376.00 / Per Year
Monday, April 22, 2013 to Monday, May 06, 2013
Full Time - Permanent
1 vacancy in the following location:
Grand Forks, ND United StatesView Map
US Citizens and Status Candidates




NOTE: For status applicants, this position is being filled using the Alternative Merit Promotion System.

The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) works to ensure that Americans have reliable, adequate supplies of high-quality food and other agricultural products. ARS accomplishes its goals through scientific discoveries that help solve problems in crop and livestock production and protection, human nutrition, and the interaction of agriculture and the environment.


  • You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply.
  • Required to pass a background investigation and fingerprint check.
  • Registered for Selective Service, if applicable.
  • Meet education and/or experience requirements. Must type 40 wpm.
  • Complete the Occupational Questionnaire/submit resume/supporting documents.
  • This announcement may be used to fill more than one position.


Back to top

This position is assigned to USDA-ARS, Northern Plains Area, Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center, located in Grand Forks, ND. This position provides secretarial support to the Research Leader of the Healthy Body Research Unit.  This position requires the skills of a qualified typist to perform word processing and other office automation duties.


Major responsibilities include:

  • Maintains calendar and schedules appointments for the supervisor.
  • Receives telephone calls, greets visitors, and directs to staff members.
  • Receives and reads all incoming correspondence and reviews outgoing correspondence for procedural and grammatical accuracy.
  • Maintains time and Attendance reports. Prepares and transmits time and attendance records.
  • Uses office automation software packages and equipment to type, i.e., edit and format letters, memoranda, reports etc.
  • Types documents from rough draft into final form, ensuring accuracy with regard to format, spelling, grammar, punctuation, and distribution of copies.
  • Establishes and maintains the office filing system(s) to meet program needs for information storage and retrieval.
  • Coordinates office activities with secretaries of other offices/organizations to ensure products are completed in a timely manner.
  • Determines supplies needed for the office and arranges for office equipment repairs.
  • Sets up meetings, planning sessions and prepares and disseminates research plans, reports and other information to participants.
  • Makes necessary arrangements for travel, including arranging schedule of visits, making reservations, notifying organizations and officials to be visited and submitting travel vouchers and reports.


Back to top

Applicants must meet all qualification requirements by Monday, May 06, 2013.   


You may start at the GS-5 if you have one of the following qualifications:

  • Successfully completed four full years of education above the high school level in any field for which high school graduation or the equivalent is the normal prerequisite; OR
  • At least one full-time year (12 months) of secretarial experience equivalent to the GS-4 grade level of the Federal service.  This experience is in or related to the line of work of the position and demonstrates the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties of this position. This experience involved applying office methods and procedures to provide clerical and administrative support to an office. In addition, this experience must demonstrate knowledge of grammar, punctuation, format and style to prepare correspondence, memorandums, and other documents utilizing word processing and other automated systems.
  • A combination of the education and specialized experience.

You may start at the GS-6 if you have one of the following qualifications:

  • At least one full-time year (12 months) of secretarial experience equivalent to the GS-5 grade level of the Federal service. This experience is in or related to the line of work of this position and demonstrates the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities to apply administrative rules and regulations to coordinate and perform all the clerical and administrative functions of an office. In addition, this experience demonstrates knowledge of grammar, punctuation, format and style to prepare correspondence, memorandums, and other documents utilizing word processing and other automated systems.




FOR STATUS CANDIDATES ONLY -TIME-IN-GRADE REQUIREMENTS:  Applicants who have held a General Schedule (GS) position within the last 52 weeks must meet the time-in-grade restriction.

BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION AND FINGERPRINT CHECK: Selection and retention in this position is contingent on a successfully adjudicated FBI National Criminal History Check (fingerprint check) and a background investigation.




You will be evaluated on the basis of your level of competency (knowledge, skills, and abilities) in the following areas:

·         Typing speed.

·         Ability to communicate verbally and in writing with public and peer groups.

·         Ability to exercise initiative in organizing work and setting priorities.

·         Ability to plan, coordinate and execute office activities.

·         Knowledge of the functions, organizations and programs of an office.

·         Ability to research, interpret and apply administrative regulations, procedures, directives and instructions.

·         Administrative support tasks.

We will review your application, including an online assessment questionnaire, to ensure you meet the job requirements and assess your ability to perform this job. Before any certificate can be issued to the selecting official, the resume and supporting documents are reviewed by an HR Specialist to ensure that (a) minimum qualification requirements are met and (b) the resume supports the answers provided to the job-specific questions. Your answers will be verified against information provided in your online resume and application. Be sure that your resume clearly supports your responses to all the questions addressing experience and education relevant to this position.


For Competitive Applicants/All US Citizens - If you meet the qualification requirements based on the extent and quality of experience, education and training relevant to the duties of the position and your responses to the automated scoring system, your application will be placed in one of the two categories: Best Qualified, Well Qualified or Qualified. Within these categories, applicants eligible for veteran's preference will receive selection priority over non-veterans.


For Merit Promotion Applicants - If you meet the qualification requirements, you will be rated on the extent and quality of experience, education and training relevant to the duties of the position. An automated scoring system, based on your responses to the online application process is used to determine the Best Qualified applicants.


Note: If a determination is made that you have rated yourself higher than is supported by your description of experience and/or education OR that your application is incomplete may result in receipt of a lower or ineligible rating.


Back to top

Permanent employees are eligible to elect life and health insurance coverage and will be covered by a Retirement System. Employees will earn annual and sick leave.  For additional information on benefits, click here. 

DIRECT DEPOSIT:  All federal employees are required by P.L. 104-134 to have federal payments made  by direct deposit.  click here.


Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) or Career Transition Assistance Plan(CTAP):   If you are claiming CTAP/ICTAP eligibility, provide a copy of your most recent annual performance appraisal (at least "fully successful" or equivalent), and proof of eligibility, i.e., a RIF separation notice or Certification of Expected Separation, and SF-50 noting current position, grade level, and duty location. CTAP/ICTAP eligibles will be considered well-qualified if achieving a rating of 80 or above excluding veteran's preference points.

Selective Service:  If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, you must certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System, or are exempt from having to do so under the Selective Service Law.  See


Back to top

Please read all the instructions before you begin.


To apply for this position, you must submit a complete Application Package, which includes the following:

1.  Resume. You may either use USAJOBS Resume Builder to create a resume or create your own; however, your resume must contain the following information: 1) job information for which you are applying; 2) personal information; 3) education; 4) work experience; and, 5) other qualifications.
A complete Occupational Questionnaire.
3. Additional Required Documents i.e., college transcripts, Veterans documents, etc (see Required Documents section below).

To begin this process, click the "Apply Online" button to create an account or log into your existing USAJOBS account. Follow the prompts to complete the occupational questionnaire. Please ensure that you click the Submit My Answers button at the end of the process.

Please print your "Confirmation of your Submission to Application Manager" for your records. The online Occupational Questionnaire must be completed and submitted by 11:59 p.m. EDT on Monday, May 06, 2013.  Applications are not screened for required documents before determining minimum qualifications. It is your responsibility to ensure that all required documents are received in the office by the close of business on or before the closing date of this announcement. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, illegible fax transmissions, delays in the mail service etc.

Alternative Method for Submitting Your Application Materials:


If you are unable to apply online, you may fax your application materials to 1-478-757-3144.

If applying online or faxing your application materials poses a hardship, please contact the servicing human resources office during core business hours (8:00am to 4:30 pm central time) prior to the closing date. Requests for hardship will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Make requests in a timely manner to allow enough time to obtain documents and return the completed information to our office.


In addition to your Occupational Questionnaire and Online Resume, other documents may be required.
1) If this vacancy announcement has a basic education requirement and/or you are substituting education for specialized experience, you must submit a copy of your college transcripts.  Failure to do so will result in an ineligible rating.

2) If you are applying for Veteran Preference, submit evidence of eligibility, such as DD-214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, or Application for 10-point Veteran Preference (Standard Form 15), and the proof requested on the form. 

3) If you are a current or former Federal employee, you must provide the most current Notification of Personnel Action (Form SF-50) that verifies career-conditional/career status, position title, series and grade (do not submit an Award SF-50). Also provide the SF-50 that reflects the highest grade level held on a permanent basis or the full performance level of your current position, whichever is higher. Failure to do so will result in an ineligible rating.

4) If you are a current Federal employee, you must submit your most recently completed annual performance appraisal (dated within 18 months) which identifies the employee's official rating of record, signed by the supervisor, or a statement advising why the performance appraisal is unavailable. Do not submit a performance plan. Failure to do so will result in an ineligible rating.

5) If you are eligible for appointment based on a disability under the Schedule A hiring authority, you must provide a certification of disability. The certification of disability can be documented in one of several ways; by a counselor at either the State Vocational Rehabilitation Agency or the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Service of the Department of Veterans Affairs; by a statement or letter on a physician/medical professionals letterhead stationary; or by statements, records or letters from a Federal Government agency that issues or provides disability benefits. The certification must verify the applicant has a severe disability and is therefore eligible under a Schedule A appointment authority, and he or she is able to perform the essential duties of the position. The certification must also describe any needed reasonable accommodation.

6) If you are eligible for appointment based on Veterans Recruitment Appointment (VRA), or 30% Disabled Veterans, service in the Peace Corps, Vista, Action Cooperative, or another special authority, submit proof of eligibility.



Vera M. Byers
Phone: (816)926-6781
TDD: 800-735-2966
Agency Information:
Farm Service Agency
Please do not send mail
Apply On-Line
Thank You, MO


Once your online Occupational Questionnaire and resume has been received, you will receive an acknowledgement email that your submission was successful. After a qualification review of your complete application package has been made, you will be notified as to the status of your application. If further evaluation or interviews are required, you will be contacted.  You can track the progress of your application package in Application Manager at  

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