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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Information Technology Specialist (Customer Support)
Department:  Department Of Agriculture
Agency:  Agricultural Research Service
Job Announcement Number:  CK-14-973423-TW

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$38,790.00 to $61,678.00 / Per Year
Monday, October 28, 2013 to Friday, November 08, 2013
Full Time - Permanent
1 vacancy in the following location:
Manhattan, KS View Map
United States Citizens


Find Solutions to Agricultural Problems that Affect Americans Every Day, From Field to Table

This position is in the Northern Plains Area, Center for Grain and Animal Research Center (CGAHR) office, Manhattan, Kansas. In combination with the function of the IT Computer Specialist, it provides computer support to administrative units at CGAHR and the 5 CGAHR research units.

This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.


  • Must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this position
  • Suitable for Federal employment, determined by a background investigation
  • Males born after 12/31/59 must be registered with Selective Service


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The incumbent:

  • Instructs CGAHR ARS employees on ARS Personal Computer (PC) operations, commercial software (Microsoft Professional Suites, Windows 95/98/2000/XP, Adobe, Versapath 3270/3780, Cisco VPN Client, etc.), and agency developed administrative software/systems.
  • Troubleshoots operational problems and works with users to isolate, identify, and document problems.
  • Advises users on technical aspects and problems related to ARS-PC hardware and peripheral equipment.
  • Reviews manufacturers' specifications and documentation to develop methods or solutions to meet users' requirements.
  • Makes necessary arrangements and secures approval to accomplish actions in situations where equipment needs to be ordered, repaired, replaced, modified, and serviced.


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Basic Requirements:

GS-7: Must have information technology related experience demonstrating each of the four required competencies: Attention to Detail, Customer Service, Oral Communication, and Problem Solving. My experience includes but is not limited to: working with hardware configuration, program design and module development and ensuring it is completed accurately and timely; assisting customers in navigating and accessing databases/programs using various interface methods; making recommendations in standard customer support procedures; analyzing program specifications; testing and debugging completed applications; and maintaining user instructions for programs. (Note: This experience must be demonstrated on your resume/supporting documents.)


Must have at least one (1) year of successfully completed graduate level education in a major study of computer science, information science, information systems management, mathematics, statistics, operations research, engineering, or course work that required the development or adaptation of computer programs and systems and provided knowledge equivalent to a major in the computer field. (You must submit a transcript to verify this education)


Must have Superior Academic Achievement (SAA) Superior Academic Achievement is based on (1) class standing, (2) grade-point average, or (3) honor society membership. (1) Class standing--Applicants must be in the upper third of the graduating class in the college, university, or major subdivision, such as the College of Liberal Arts or the School of Business Administration, based on completed courses; or (2) Grade-point average (G.P.A.)--Applicants must have a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher out of a possible 4.0 ("B" or better) as recorded on their official transcript, or as computed based on 4 years of education, or as computed based on courses completed during the final 2 years of the curriculum; or 3.5 or higher out of a possible 4.0 ("B+" or better) based on the average of the required courses completed in the major field or the required courses in the major field completed during the final 2 years of the curriculum; or (3) Election to membership in a National Scholastic Honor Society. Applicants can be considered eligible based on membership in one of the National Scholastic Honor Societies. In order to be creditable under this provision, superior academic achievement must have been gained in a curriculum that is qualifying for the position to be filled. (You must submit a transcript to verify this education.)

GS-9: Must have information technology related experience that demonstrates possession of each of the four required competencies. ATTENTION TO DETAIL: Reviews moderately complex data from multiple sources and determine relevant information to a given situation. Drafts, edits, and disseminates written reports and status updates that are factual, timely and relatively error free.
CUSTOMER SERVICE: Maintains relationships with customers with diverse needs. Provides moderately technical or complex information about products and services. Assesses customers' needs and identifies products and/or services to meet their needs. Resolves fairly complex or non-routine problems, questions, or complaints; directs the most complex problems, questions, or complaints to the appropriate person. ORAL COMMUNICATION: Communicates, explains or defends complex information technology ideas and information clearly and adapts to the audiences level of knowledge. Thoughts are well organized. Listens to others, and recognizes potential miscommunications. PROBLEM SOLVING: Uses logic to identify alternatives to solve complex or sensitive technological problems; anticipates problems and identifies and evaluates potential sources of information and generates alternatives to solve problems where precedents do not exist. (Note: This experience must be demonstrated on your resume/supporting documents.)


Must have a Master's or equivalent graduate degree or 2 full years of progressively higher graduate level education leading to a Master's or equivalent degree. (Note: You must submit copies of your transcripts if using education to qualify.)

Minimum Qualifications:

GS-7: Must have at least one full year (12-months) of specialized work experience equivalent to the GS-5 grade level in the Federal service. Qualifying experience includes but is not limited to: (1) knowledge of computer systems and operations as they relate to IT security, operation, and maintenance of local area networks, servers and websites, (2) skill in configuring, troubleshooting, and making minor repairs to shareware and/or software, and (3) skill in using a personal computer and software related to database management, web-authoring, e-mail or presentation software, (4) ability to communicate effectively to resolve problems, present recommendations and training, and answer questions from customers.

GS-9: Must have at least one full year (12-months) of specialized work experience equivalent to the GS-7 grade level in the Federal service. Qualifying experience includes but is not limited to: applying customer support concepts and methods sufficient to install, configure, and test software on customer workstations; documenting resolutions, maintaining problem resolution databases, and troubleshooting and analyzing data related to IT problem resolution; preventing problematic recurrences of Help Desk inquiries; and coordinating customer support activities sufficient to receive, respond to and ensure complete resolution of complex Help Desk calls and tickets. (Note: This experience must be demonstrated on your resume/supporting documents.)

All qualification requirements must be met by the closing date of this vacancy announcement.

Applicants must be available to report for duty at the time a selection is made. Selections are typically made within 30 days of the closing date of the announcement.

This position is open to all US Citizens and Nationals, and Noncompetitive and Special Hiring Authority eligibles. You may apply under open-competitive, and noncompetitive procedures, however; you must meet the requirements for one of the following categories to apply as a noncompetitive eligible.

  1. A current permanent competitive service employee; former Federal employee who achieved career status in the competitive service; or former Federal employee who served on a career conditional appointment without achieving career status in the competitive service who was separated less than three years ago. This includes applicants who have previously held, or currently hold this position and grade with the same promotion potential as announced for this announcement. You must submit the SF-50 that shows competitive service eligibility to be considered.
  2. A Veteran applying for a Veterans' Recruitment Appointment (VRA), must submit a copy of your DD-214 showing an honorable discharge to be considered. Eligibility for VRA appointments includes Disabled veterans; Veterans who served on active duty in the Armed Forces during a war declared by Congress, or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized; Veterans who, while serving on active duty in the Armed Forces, participated in a military operation for which the Armed Forces Service Medal was awarded; and Veterans separated from active duty within the past 3 years. Disabled veterans must provide the SF-15 and supporting documentation from the VA along with DD-214. NOTE: VRA only applies to positions at the GS-11 level and below.
  3. A 30% or more Disabled Veteran. You must submit your DD214, a completed SF-15, and letter from the VA dated 1991 or later as proof to be considered.
  4. A military spouse. Military spouses are eligible if their active duty military spouse: 1) receives a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) move; 2) has a 100% disability rating; or 3) died while on active duty. Please submit supporting documentation as proof to be considered.
  5. A Severely Physically Handicapped Schedule 'A' Appointment. Please submit documentation from a State or Federal Vocational Rehabilitation Service as proof to be considered.
  6. A Former Peace Corps or VISTA Volunteers Appointment. Please submit documentation as proof to be considered.
  7. Interchange Agreements and Miscellaneous Authorities. Please submit documentation as proof to be considered.


Your application will be evaluated and rated under Category Rating Procedures. Qualified candidates will be placed for selection consideration into three categories: Best Qualified, Well Qualified or Qualified. Within these categories, applicants eligible for veterans' preference will receive selection priority over non-veterans. Your resume will be reviewed and compared against your responses to the online questionnaire. We strongly encourage you to answer every question that accompanies this vacancy, as your responses will better highlight your specific qualifications.

Your qualifications will be evaluated on the following competencies:

  • Knowledge of IT security and customer support concepts, standards, technologies, and troubleshooting methods.
  • Ability to provide comprehensive software and IT systems or equipment guidance to all IT stakeholders.
  • Ability to communicate technical requirements and resolve computer-related issues.
  • Ability to utilize methods to enhance IT customer support productivity across assistance groups.

Please note that your resume must thoroughly support your responses to the assessment questionnaire. High self-assessment in the applicant questions that is not supported by information in your resume may eliminate you from best-qualified status and subsequent referral to the selecting official.

Displaced/Surplus Employees: Individuals eligible under the USDA Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) must be well qualified for the position to receive consideration for special priority selection. CTAP and ICTAP eligibles within the local commuting area will be considered well qualified if the applicant meets the basic eligibility requirements and all selective factors, and is rated in the Well Qualified Category as described in the How You Will Be Evaluated section. Employees seeking CTAP/ICTAP eligibility must submit a copy of the agency notice, a copy of their most recent performance rating and a copy of their most recent SF-50 noting current position, grade level and duty location. Please annotate your application to reflect that you are applying as a CTAP or ICTAP eligible. CLICK HERE for additional information on CTAP and ICTAP.


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The Federal government offers a number of exceptional benefits to its employees. The following link provides an overview of the benefits currently offered to Federal employees:


Financial Disclosure Requirement:The Research, Education and Economics (REE) agencies inspire public confidence in our missions by maintaining high ethical principles. Employees are subject to Federal government-wide regulations and statutes as described on the REE Ethics Webpage. You may be required to submit a financial disclosure report if hired for this position.

False Statements: If you make a false statement in any part of your application, you may not be hired; may be fired after beginning work; or may be fined or jailed.

Reasonable Accommodation: Reasonable accommodation is provided to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, or have questions regarding reasonable accommodation and/or accessibility for any part of the application and hiring process, please contact the Disability Program Manager on 202-720-6161 or through the DC Relay Service on (202) 855-1234 (TDD). The decision to grant reasonable accommodation is made on a case-by-case basis.


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Your application package must be complete by 11:59 p.m. (EST) on Friday, November 08, 2013. You must apply online or by fax (see below for details). Applications sent by mail (including e-mail) or hand-delivered will not be accepted. Certain individuals are entitled to file a late application and must contact the Agency Contact listed below for details and application instructions.

Choose either Option A or Option B to apply for this position:


Option A: Online Application

Click the Apply Online button to create an account or log in to your existing USAJOBS account. Follow the prompts to complete the occupational questionnaire and upload (or reuse) supporting documents. You must click the Submit My Answers button at the end of the process.

Note: To verify your application is complete, log into your USAJOBS account,, select the Application Status link and then select the more information link for this position. The Details page will display the status of your application, the documentation received and processed, and any correspondence the agency has sent related to this application. Your uploaded documents may take several hours to clear the virus scan process.

To return to an incomplete application, log into your USAJOBS account and click Update Application in the vacancy announcement. You must re-select your resume and/or other documents from your USAJOBS account or your application will be incomplete.

To fax supporting documents that you are unable to upload:

  1. Click here to print a fax cover page.
  2. Complete all blocks on the cover page using Vacancy ID 973423. Documents will not be processed if information is missing.
  3. Fax the completed cover page and your documents to 1-478-757-3144.


Option B: Fax

If you cannot apply online, follow these steps to fax your complete application package.

  1. Click the following link to print the occupational questionnaire View Occupational Questionnaire;
  2. Click here to print the 1203FX form, which you will use to provide your responses to the occupational questionnaire; and
  3. Fax the completed 1203FX (all 6 pages), your resume, and supporting documents (including those specified in the Required Documents section below) to 1-478-757-3144. The 1203FX will serve as the cover page for your fax transmission and must be placed on top of all other documents.


The following documents are required:

  • Assessment questionnaire (completed online or submitted by fax using the 1203FX)
  • Resume

In addition, you may need to submit supplemental documentation (as outlined below). Failure to submit supplemental information by the closing date of this announcement will result in the loss of the particular consideration you are requesting.

Veterans' Preference: To claim 5-point veterans' preference, submit a Member 4 copy of your DD-214 or other proof of eligibility. To claim 10-point veterans' preference, submit an SF-15, Application for 10-Point Veterans' Preference, plus the documentation required by that form.

Active Duty Service Members must submit a statement of discharge/certification of release or an official written document from the armed forces that certifies you are expected to be discharged or released from active duty service in the armed forces under honorable conditions no later than 120 days from the date the certification is signed. Enlisted Record Briefs and military identification do NOT qualify as official documentation.

Transcripts: If you indicate that you possess any form of post-secondary education, you must submit transcripts detailing your coursework and/or degree(s). At the time your education was obtained, the entire institution, applicable school within the institution, or the applicable curriculum must have been appropriately accredited by an accrediting organization recognized by the Secretary, U.S. Department of Education. You may lose consideration for this position if you fail to provide this information.

Foreign Education: Education outside the U.S. must be specially documented, please CLICK HERE for more information.


Midwest Services Branch
Phone: (816)426-5706
Agency Information:
Recruitment Effort for OPM and FSA
Call or e-mail us with your questions
Thank You, MO


Once your complete application package (including all required documents) is received, we will conduct an evaluation of your qualifications and determine your ranking.  The best qualified candidates will be referred for further consideration and possible interview.  You will be notified of the outcome.

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