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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Staff Assistant
Department:  Department Of Agriculture
Agency:  Department of Agriculture - Agency Wide
Job Announcement Number:  AG-01-2014-0074 DE

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$42,631.00 to $55,421.00 / Per Year
Thursday, July 17, 2014 to Thursday, July 31, 2014
Full-Time - Permanent
1 vacancy - Washington DC, DC   View Map

United States Citizens

Current and former federal employees may also apply to Merit Promotion announcement AG-01-2014-0073.

Public Trust - Background Investigation


USDA provides leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, nutrition, and related issues based on sound public policy, the best available science, and efficient management. Our vision is to expand economic opportunity through innovation, helping rural America to thrive; to promote agriculture production sustainability that better nourishes Americans while also helping feed others throughout the world; and to preserve and conserve our Nation's natural resources through restored forests, improved watersheds, and healthy private working lands.

This position is located in the Office of the Secretary, Office of Tribal Relations (OTR).  The Office of Tribal Relations (OTR), located within the Office of the Secretary (OSEC), works to ensure that relevant programs and policies are efficient, easy to understand, accessible, and developed in consultation with the Native American Indians and Alaskan Native constituents they impact.

OTR is the primary point of contact for Tribal issues within USDA, and is responsible for government-to-government relations between USDA and tribal governments, advising the Secretary on Tribal issues and concerns, Tribal consultation, Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA), and issues impacting Tribes and Tribal members. OTR is responsible for working cooperatively and collaboratively across USDA and other Federal offices to build an integrated approach to issues, programs, and services that address the needs of American Indians and Alaskan Natives, and works with the Council on Native American Farming and Ranching and the White House Council on Native American Affairs.


  • Not Required


  • No


  • US Citizenship is required.
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.
  • A 1-year probationary period is required.


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This position is located in the Office of the Secretary, Officie of Tribal Relations.


The incumbent is responsible for:

  • Assisting with a variety of administrative and general office support for the Director and other staff. Receives telephone calls and visitors to the office. Reviews and distributes all incoming correspondence to the Director and other staff as appropriate and drafts replies to general inquiries and routine actions. Maintains office files within applicable guidance. Maintains office publications and directives, including web materials, and ensures they are current and periodically updated.
  • Assisting in developing office program objectives; identifying required resources, measures office program progress and quality service and devises actions to resolve office program problems in meeting goals and objectives.
  • Maintains the Director’s calendar. Coordinates and arranges various meetings and conference events and prepares agendas as directed. Tracks and provides follow-up on commitments made for or by the Director and/or other staff and ensures that information is clear, complete, and concise prior to submission and/or discussion. Prepares reports on various activities in which the Director is involved and analyzes the impact of certain aspects of the information in order that the Director is kept appraised of material prior to use.
  • Coordinates with travel staff for authorization of travel requests and vouchers for the Director and at times other identified individuals.
  • With supervision from the Director, composes and prepares a variety of correspondence, reports, briefing materials, and statistical and narrative material required to support the Director and/or other staff. Uses office automation applications to produce a wide range of documents into final form from own composition, brief instructions, or rough draft from the Director and other staff. Ensures clarity, completeness of reply, grammatical and procedural correctness, and conformance to Departmental standards for outgoing correspondence.
  • Coordinates and arranges various meetings and conference events as directed. Prepares agendas for meetings and conferences, and accurately documents and publishes summary of minutes from meetings and conferences as directed.
  • Assists the Director with a variety of special projects and initiatives and coordinates with other USDA offices, mission areas, and US Government Agencies to implement and follow up on those projects and initiatives in a timely manner and in accordance with the Director’s guidance. analyzes and extracts pertinent data from various sources within and outside the Department. Assignments entail determining the scope of the task, consulting with designated contacts or originators of tasks to verify requirements and interpret relevant guidelines, contacting personnel who should provide input and coordinating their input as needed, consolidating and reviewing the final product, and/or describing and recommending alternatives to the Director.


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TIME-IN-GRADE must be met by closing date of announcement


Specialized Experience: One year of specialized experience, equivalent to the next lower grade level in the Federal service or equivalent responsibility in the private sector/pay systems that has equipped me with the particular competencies to successfully perform as a Staff Assistant.


AT THE GS-07 LEVELSpecialized experience which includes a wide range of methods for the assessment and improvement of operational effectiveness, the improvement of complex processes and systems; identifying operational problems and issues requiring attention and support; and executing operational activities to respond to existing or emerging priorities and issues.

EDUCATION (Undergraduate and/or Graduate) A bachelor's degree in any field OR

GRADUATE EDUCATION: One full year of graduate level study, or master's or higher degree, e.g., LL.B., J.D., related to business administration, finance, or public administrations may qualify for a GS-7.

Combinations of successfully completed graduate level education and specialized experience may be used to meet total experience requirements. Only graduate level education in excess of the amount required for the next lower grade level may be combined with experience.


•  May be subject to satisfactory completion of one year probationary or trial period.


  1. The category rating procedure is used to rank and select eligible candidates. Under category rating, applicants who meet basic minimum qualification requirements established for the position and whose job related competencies have been assessed are ranked by being placed in one of the following categories: Best Qualified, Well Qualified, and Qualified. Preference eligibles are listed ahead of non-preference eligibles within each category.
  2. You will be evaluated based on your qualifications for this position as evidenced by the education, experience, and training you described in your application package, as well as the responses to the Occupational Questionnaire to determine the degree to which you possess the knowledge, skills, abilities and competencies listed below:We will review your application, including the online Occupational 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.
  •   Knowledge of administrative processes and procedures in the area of travel, budget, procurement, personnel and time and attendance
  • Ability to research and collect data for inclusion in  reports
  • Skill in using various automated systems for written and/or oral communication to create, update, retrieve, and prepare various documents
  • Knowledge of English grammar, spelling, and punctuation to correct errors in written material submitted for review
  • Skill in advising and instructing support staff in subordinate divisions concerning such matters as directives, reports, correspondence and telephone procedures.

Note: If, after reviewing your resume and / or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and or experience, your score can / will be lowered to more accurately reflect the submitted documentation. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating. Deliberate attempts to falsify information may be grounds for not selecting you.

To view the application form, visit:


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The Federal Government offers a comprehensive benefits package.  Explore the major benefits offered to most Federal employees at:


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


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Please read the entire announcement and all the instructions before you begin.
The following instructions outline our application process.

  • You must complete this application process and submit all required documents electronically by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement. 
  • We are available to assist you during business hours (normally 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Monday - Friday). Applying online is highly encouraged. If applying online poses a hardship, please contact our office during business hours well before the closing date for an alternate method. All hardship application packages with supporting documents must be submitted no later than noon on the closing date of the announcement in order to be entered into the system prior to its closing.
  • This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities on a case-by-case basis; contact us if you are requesting this.

Step 1: Create a USAJOBS account (if you do not have one) at It is recommended that as part of your profile you set up automatic email notification to be informed when the status of your application changes. If you choose not to set up this automatic notification, then you will have to log into your USAJOBS account to check on the status of your application.

Step 2: Create a resume with USAJOBS or upload a resume into your USAJOBS account. Customize your resume to ensure it documents duties and accomplishments you have gained that are directly related to this position in order to verify that qualifications are met. Your resume must support your responses to the online questionnaire (you may preview the online questionnaire by clicking on the link at the end of the How You Will Be Evaluated section of the job announcement).

Step 3: Click "Apply Online" and follow the prompts to complete the Occupational Questionnaire and attach any additional documents that may be required.
You can update your application or documents anytime while the announcement is open. Log into your USAJOBS account and click on "Application Status." Click on the position title, and then select "Update Application” to continue.
NOTE: Verify that uploaded documents from USAJOBs transfer into the Agency's staffing system. Once in the Agency's staffing system you will have the opportunity to upload additional documents. Uploaded documents must be less than 3MB and in one of the following document formats: GIF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, RTF, PDF, or Word (DOC or DOCX).


You must submit a complete Application Package, prior to 11:59, ET, on the closing date of this announcement.  The following documents must be submitted for your application package to be considered complete. It is your responsibility to ensure all required documents are received within the required timeframes. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, illegible fax transmissions, delays in the mail service, system failure or downtime, etc. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration.

  • Resume that includes the following information: 1) job information for which you are applying; 2) personal information; 3) education; 4) work experience including the work schedule and hours worked per week as well as dates of employment; and title, series and grade if applicable; 5) supervisors phone number and e-mail address for each work period listed and whether or not we may contact them for reference checks; and, 6) other qualifications.
  • College Transcripts if education is required for meeting basic qualifications and/or you are substituting education for specialized experience and/or if you are using education to meet the criteria for the quality category. An unofficial copy is sufficient with the application; however, if selected, an official college transcript will be required prior to entering on duty.
  • DD-214 (Member 4 Copy) if claiming Veterans’ Preference. Veterans claiming 10 point preference must also submit a VA Letter and an SF-15 Application for 10-point Veteran Preference. Current Active Duty members must submit a certification of expected discharge or release from active duty under honorable conditions dated within the last 120 days.
  • Other required documents may include:
    • CTAP/ICTAP Required Documentation Reduction-In-Force: Certification of Expected Separation, Reduction-In-Force Separation Notice, or Notice of Proposed Removal; AND most recent performance evaluation; AND SF-50 demonstrating your separation or the position you will be separated from. 
    • Worker's Compensation Separation: Agency certification of inability to place employee AND Notification of Separation OR Separation SF-50.
    • Disability Annuity Termination: Notification from OPM of disability annuity termination AND Separation SF-50 of the last position held. Military Reserve or National Guard Technician Special Disability Retirement Annuity under 5 U.S.C. 8337(h) or 8456: Certification of special disability retirement annuity from a military department or National Guard Bureau AND Separation SF-50 of the last position held.

NOTE: If a document is resubmitted, it replaces the previous submission, which means the previous document is no longer available to the Human Resources Office. If you are adding to, rather than replacing a previous submission, you must upload both the old document and the new document. Please verify that documents you are uploading from USAJOBs transfer into the Agency's staffing system as there is a limitation to the number of documents that can be transferred. However, once in the Agency's staffing system, you will have the opportunity to upload additional documents. Uploaded resumes must be less than 3MB and in one of the following document formats: GIF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, RTF, PDF, or Word (DOC or DOCX).


Tonique Coley
Phone: 202-720-0027
Fax: 202-720-2774
Agency Information:
1400 Independence Ave SW
Washington, DC,
Fax: 202-720-2774


If you set up your USAJOBS account to send automatic email notifications, you will receive an email acknowledging: 1) the submission of your online Occupational Questionnaire and resume was successful,  2) if you were referred to the selecting official for consideration, and  3) if you were selected or not selected. If you choose not to set up automatic email notifications, you must check your USAJOBS account for the latest status of your application. Your application may be reviewed to verify that you meet the qualifications and eligibility requirements for the position prior to issuing lists to a selecting official. If further evaluation or interviews are required, you will be contacted. Normally, a final job offer to the selected candidate is made within 30-60 days after the issuance of the certificate.

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