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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Public Affairs Specialist, GS-1035-12 (DEU)
Department:  Department Of Commerce
Agency:  Office of the Secretary
Job Announcement Number:  OS/IO-2014-0002

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$74,872.00 to $97,333.00 / Per Year
Wednesday, November 27, 2013 to Tuesday, December 03, 2013
Career or Career Conditional appointment in the Competitive Service - Full-time/Permanent
Few vacancies in the following location(s):
District of Columbia, DC View Map
Washington DC, DC View Map
All qualified U.S. citizens


The Office of the Secretary of the Department of Commerce is looking for bright, innovative, and results-oriented individuals to join our fasted-paced organization. Make a difference by joining our team! This position is perfect for an experienced professional who is looking for excellent benefits, including the potential for ongoing medical benefits after retirement. Alternative work schedules are available. The physical fitness center and the child care center are located on site. The work site is adjacent to the Ronald Reagan Building and the Federal Triangle Metro Rail Station.

The incumbent serves as a Public Affairs Specialist in the U.S. Department of Secretary, Office of Public Affairs. Incumbent has primary responsibility for developing, writing, and editing speeches, opinion essays, talking points and other written materials for the Office of the Secretary. The office of Public Affairs directs communications activities of the Department of commerce and public affairs programs of the Department's operating agencies. The incumbent will provide specialized services tot he Secretary and Deputy Secretary in their roles as chief spokesperson for the Department of Commerce. As a speechwriter, the incumbent performs specialized professional services and is responsible for a number of editorial, advisory and research services. This position helps establish and maintain effective communication with the general public and various other pertinent publics including internal and external, foreign and domestic audiences.
A one-year probationary/trial period may be required. 


  • U.S. citizens.
  • Suitable for Federal employment.
  • Registered for Selective Service if applicable (
  • Relocation expenses are NOT authorized.
  • Investigations or clearances must be completed prior to appointment.


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  • The speechwriter will research, draft, edit, and collaborate on speeches, testimony, op-eds, social media messages, talking points, and other external and internal communications for the Commerce Department's top leadership. Audiences will include U.S. and international industry leaders, media, government officials, other stakeholders, employees, and the public at-large.
  • For all speeches, the incumbent will define strategic goal(s), research subject matter, coordinate with internal and external stakeholders, ensure proper reviews and fact-checking, and craft creative and compelling narratives.
  • Process and distill large amounts of information in relatively short periods of time.
  • Stay abreast of economic data and published reports from the business community, the Commerce Department, other federal agencies, the White House, and other important stakeholders.
  • Stay abrest of Commerce Department priorities, news, and other developments that could influence speaking engagements and other executive communications.
  • Provide and solicit feedback on the effectiveness of speeches and speaking engagements.
  • Develop and maintain cooperative working relationships with senior level officials at the Commerce Department, as well as among leading national business and academic institutions.
  • Assists with public affairs-related efforts including but not limited to: briefing papers, backgrounders, fact sheets, news releases, presentations, position papers, reports, outreach events/activities, etc...


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You must possess 1 year or 52 weeks of specialized experience at the GS-11 or equivalent, and at the level of difficulty and responsibility that has equipped you with the necessary knowledge skills and abilities/competencies to perform the duties of the position successfully. Specialized experience includes experience writing, drafting, and or editing speeches for senior level officials.

Applicants must meet ALL application requirements, to include a complete online resume, by 11:59 p.m. EASTERN TIME ZONE (ETZ) on the closing date of this announcement. Applicants must meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of this announcement. Qualification requirements in the 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 the Office of Personnel Management's website located at


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:
1. Knowledge of mass communications techniques and application of them for communicating Commerce Department policies and initiatives.
2. Knowledge of Commerce agencies, programs and objectives in order to explain them to Government and private sector constituencies.
3. Knowledge of communications principles, methods, practices, and techniques as well as Commerce Department communication policies sufficient to assist OPA Management in evaluating and developing department-wide communications strategies and materials.
4. Skill in developing written materials designed to encourage affected public to adopt position on a variety of issues as a result of individual or group interests or decision making.
5. Skill in analyzing and developing recommendations from a wide variety of conflicting and divergent input and arriving at a position acceptable to most participants.
For more information on category rating, please go to:
To preview questions please click here.


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


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.  Information about ICTAP eligibility is on the Office of Personnel Management’s Career Transition Resources website at:
ICTAP applicants MUST submit the following documents:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. A copy of your latest performance appraisal including your rating; and
  4. Any documentation from your agency that shoes your current promotion potential.

The following links provide information on how you may be eligible for various hiring authorities:


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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 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: Sherry Cox, Human Resources Assistant at 202-482-4278 or email at


  • 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 scored occupational questionnaire.
  • 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:
  • Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) documentation, if applicable (see other information).


Sherry Cox
Phone: 202-482-4278
Fax: 571-258-4052
Agency Information:
1401 Constitution Ave. NW
Rm 7412
Attn: Human Resources
Washington, DC
Fax: 571-258-4052


We will notify you of the outcome after each step of the recruitment process has been completed. You can check the status of your application by accessing the USAJOBS website at and clicking on "Track Your Online Application." 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.).

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