This is a Pathways Recent Graduate position located in the Communications Section. The Recent Graduates Program affords developmental experiences to individuals who have recently graduated from qualifying educational institutions or programs. The employee performs a range of web communications duties that are designed to enhance his/her professional knowledge as a Public Affairs Specialist. This is a one year appointment in the excepted service which may lead, at the agency's discretion, to a time-limited or permanent appointment in the competitive service. The full performance level of this position is GS-12.Learn more about this agency
- Support communication and outreach activities through writing, editing and disseminating content on a variety of web/digital media.
- Assist in the development of promotional materials, publications, blog posts, social media content, and press releases.
- Manage the content of NIFA’s Internet, Intranet and Web-based services and sites.
- Assist in the creation and implementation of initiatives, policies, and outreach strategies to ensure high quality web content.
- Assist in the development of communications plans for agency public outreach initiatives and special projects.
Who May Apply
This job is open to…US Citizens and Nationals; no prior Federal experience is required.
Recent graduates from a qualifying educational institution having completed an academic program within the preceding two years.
Note: Veterans who were precluded by their military service obligation from meeting this requirement will have up to six years to apply.
Job family (Series)
Conditions of Employment
- US Citizenship is required.
- Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.
- Suitable for Federal employment determined by a background investigation.
- A signed participant agreement is required for employment under Pathways.
Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by 11:59 pm Eastern Time on the closing date of the announcement including the following specialized experience and/or education, as identified by grade level.
Pathways Recent Graduate Requirements
Completion of all requirements for a qualifying associates, bachelors or higher degree or have obtained a Vocational, Technical degree, or certificate from a qualifying institution, within the previous 2 years (or will complete no later than June 2016). You will be required to provide documentation to support your eligibility for the program. See the "How to Apply" section for details. NOTE: Veterans who were precluded by their military service obligation from meeting this requirement will have a full 2-year period of eligibility upon release or discharge from active duty.
GS-9: You may qualify based on specialized experience, education OR a combination of education and experience.
To qualify on Experience, you must have at least one year of equal or equivalent experience, it must include: drafting materials for public distribution; web site content writing and editing; working knowledge of editorial style guides and standards; updating web pages according to specific detailed guidelines.
To qualify on Education, you must have:
- A Masters or equivalent graduate degree OR Two full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree
- A LL.B. or J.D., if related
(NOTE: You must attach a copy of your transcripts for verification).
Education requirements must be completed no later than June 30, 2016.
All academic degrees or course work must be completed in an educational institution that has obtained accreditation from an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. For a list of schools that meet this criteria, see http://www.edu.gov/.
A post-secondary certificate program must have been completed at a qualified educational institution equivalent to at least 1 academic year or full-time study that is part of an accredited college-level, technical, trade, vocational, or business school curriculum.
Recent Graduates are on a trial period for the duration of the program. If you are selected for a position with further promotion potential, you will be placed under a career development plan, and may be non-competitively promoted if you successfully complete the requirements and if recommended by management. However, promotion is neither implied nor guaranteed.
This position requires 40 hours of formal, interactive training per year. An Individual Development Plan (IDP) must be completed and approved by the supervisor within 45 days of appointment. A mentor must be assigned within 90 days of appointment. Recent Graduates may be non-competitively converted to a term or permanent position in the competitive service after the successful completion of one year of continuous service. To be eligible for conversion, the Recent Graduate must:
- Be a U.S. Citizen;
- Have successfully completed all requirements of the Recent Graduates program;
- Have demonstrated successful job performance; and
- Meet the OPM Qualification Standards for the position to which the Recent Graduate may be converted. Conversion is not guaranteed and is based on the needs of the agency.
• 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.
• Have your salary sent to a financial institution of your choice by Direct Deposit/Electronic Funds Transfer.
• If you are newly hired, the documentation you present for purposes of completing the Department Homeland Security (DHS) Form I-9 on your entry-on-duty date will be verified through the DHS "E-VERIFY" system. Federal law requires the use of E-VERIFY to confirm the employment eligibility of all new hires. Under this system, the new hire is required to resolve any identified discrepancies as a condition of continued employment.
• Career Transition Assistance Plan(CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): If you are claiming CTAP/ICTAP eligibility, provide proof of eligibility to include your most recent performance appraisal, SF-50, and proof of eligibility such as a RIF separation notice or letter from OPM/your agency. CTAP/ICTAP eligibles will be considered well-qualified if achieving a rating of 85 or above. Information about CTAP/ICTAP eligibility is on OPMs Career Transition Resources website at http://www.opm.gov/ctap/index.asp.
• Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc) should contact: USDAs TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD).
• More than one selection may be made if another vacancy occurs within 90 days of the issuance of the certification of eligibles.
Additional helpful hints can be found regarding information on:
• Federal Jobs by College Major and Internship/Recent Graduate Opportunities: (https://www.usajobs.gov/studentjobs)
• Federal Benefits (http://www.opm.gov/insure)
EEO Policy Statement: http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/diversity-and-inclusion/reports/#url=Federal-Equal-Opportunity-and-Recruitment-Program
Reasonable Accommodation Policy Statement: http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/disability-employment/reasonable-accommodations/
Veterans Information: http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/hiring-authorities/veterans-authorities/#url=Overview
How You Will Be Evaluated
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
- 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.
- 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:
Planning and Evaluating
- 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.
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: https://nifa.usda.ntis.gov/cp/?event=jobs.previewApplication&jobid=6036D01B-B00E-4475-9F1B-A5E200CF62C6
Background checks and security clearance
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 used as a substitute for specialized experience. An unofficial copy is sufficient however, if selected; an official college transcript will be required prior to entering on duty. Education must have been successfully completed and obtained from an accredited school, college, or university. Foreign education must be evaluated by an approved organization. For additional information, refer to the U.S. Department of Education web site at http://www.ed.gov. All transcripts must be in English or include an English translation.
- 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.
- Workers 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 Agencys staffing system as there is a limitation to the number of documents that can be transferred. However, once in the Agencys 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).
Conditions of Employment:
- Selection for this position is contingent upon completion of OF-306, Declaration for Federal Employment during the pre-employment process.
- Selection for this position is contingent upon proof of U.S. citizenship or, for noncitizens, proof of authorization to work in the United States plus proof of entitlement to receive compensation. Additional information and guidance on the employment of non-citizens can be found at: http://www.usajobs.gov/ResourceCenter/Index/Interactive/NonCitizensEmployment#icc. For a list of documents that may be used to provide proof of citizenship or authorization to work in the United States, please refer to Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, available at http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-9.pdf.
If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:
Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.
A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Learn more about federal benefits.
Recent Graduates hired under the USDA Pathways Recent Graduate Program are eligible for full benefits and are entitled to other benefits such as:
- Commuter Transit Subsidy (pending the availability of budgeted funds/allocations)
- Telework and/or Flexible work schedule (upon supervisor approval)
Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.
How to Apply
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 www.usajobs.gov. 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).
Agency contact information
5601 Sunnyside Ave
Beltsville, MD, 20705
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.
Fair & Transparent
The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.
Equal Employment Opportunity Policy
The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.
Reasonable Accommodation Policy
Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process should follow the instructions in the job opportunity announcement. For any part of the remaining hiring process, applicants should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.
A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.
Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:
- An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
- An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
- An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.
You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.
Legal and regulatory guidance
This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/435782100. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.