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  1. #1
    bill5 is offline Registered User
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    USAJobs.com: not awarding veterans' pref points - wth?

    Anyone else have this problem? On several occasions now I have selected the 5 pt pref for being a veteran when applying for a job, but they reply back and say it wasn't awarded and my app was basically chucked (words to that effect). When I tried to contact them about it, I got no response. And yes I attached a copy of my DD214. What the bleep?

  2. #2
    GeneralSnus is offline Registered User
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    You haven't provided much information, but it is entirely possible that even being a 5 point preference eligible veteran, you do not rank high enough to be referred to the selecting official.

  3. #3
    bill5 is offline Registered User
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    Sorry not following. It isn't that they didnt' consider want for the job, it was like my app. was considered "invalid." Pardon not having the exact wording; next time I get one I will post....or maybe a miracle will occur and they'll get back to me...

  4. #4
    TEKMAN is offline Semper Fi!
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    Quote Originally Posted by bill5 View Post
    Sorry not following. It isn't that they didnt' consider want for the job, it was like my app. was considered "invalid." Pardon not having the exact wording; next time I get one I will post....or maybe a miracle will occur and they'll get back to me...
    Are you currently a Federal Government employee? Also what GS position you're applying for? According to the system I get 10 points, but I was rejected for one position with DFAS in Indianapolis for Information Technologies GS13 because I have never been in the GS position before. If I am not mistaken, you cannot apply for GS12 and above without prior holding any GS position. That assumes, the highest fresh Government employee can start at GS11.
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  5. #5
    lawrenceq is offline Registered User
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    I noticed they changed the requirements for veteran preference. In the past you just needed to be a veteran with at least 3 years military service and a honorable discharge, now it depends on when you served.
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  6. #6
    Rich Douglas is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by TEKMAN View Post
    Are you currently a Federal Government employee? Also what GS position you're applying for? According to the system I get 10 points, but I was rejected for one position with DFAS in Indianapolis for Information Technologies GS13 because I have never been in the GS position before. If I am not mistaken, you cannot apply for GS12 and above without prior holding any GS position. That assumes, the highest fresh Government employee can start at GS11.
    No and no.

    The points are gone with President Obama's hiring reform. Now, HR departments sort applicants into four categories:

    --Best Qualified
    --Very Qualified
    --Qualified
    --Not Qualified

    First, the "Not Qualified" are weeded out by HR . The hiring manager doesn't get this list. If a veteran is considered to be not qualified, it is because he/she (in the eyes of HR ) doesn't meet the job requirements. Veteran status is irrelevant.

    The other lists are given to the hiring manager (the person filling the position, likely the new candidate's supervisor, but not always). They are not sorted according to scoring.

    Regular veterans (the old 5-point people) can appear on any of the lists. If they do, they go to the top of the list and must be hired before any non-veterans on that list. Example: a veteran applies for a job and is judged "Very Qualified." He/she would be placed at the top of that list, but would be behind the entire "Best Qualified" list.

    Disabled veterans, the old 10-point veterans, are a different matter. If they are considered at least "Qualified" they shoot to the top of the "Best Qualified" list, ahead of more qualified people. The hiring manager must hire this person, or challenge the candidate's qualifications to be considered "Qualified" for the job. (This happens; HR doesn't get it right all the time.)

    So how can a veteran be pushed out? Not being qualified for the job, getting beat out by another candidate, or by not completing the application and supporting documentation are three reasons. I don't know what happened to the OP, but I bet it was one of these two. I'm not saying the OP was or was not qualified; I can't know that. But a decision to leave a candidate off the list can be challenged by the hiring manager, who can ask for a particular candidate to be re-assessed. I don't know if the candidate him/herself can ask for that, though.

    Regarding hiring at initial grade levels, this is also incorrect. Anyone can be hired at any grade level without prior government service. However, using education alone as a qualifier can only get you to the GS-11 grade--anything higher has to involve work experience, too. Specifically, one must have 52 weeks of work experience equivalent to the next-lowest level. Thus, someone without government experience could apply for and get a GS-14 job if that person has at least 1 year of experience either at the GS-13 level or work outside of the federal government that is judged at a comparable level.

    My first federal job was as a GS-15, Step 10, which is at the highest level (grade and step) on the General Schedule. I qualified for the position due to a combination of my prior work and education .

    Bottom line: the OP should follow up and ask what excluded him/her. But the reasons quoted here are not the ones.

  7. #7
    TEKMAN is offline Semper Fi!
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    Rich,

    That what I received from the HR . Thank you for applying for the position, but sorry you are not qualifying for the position as you have never had any GS position. I looked up the position, I qualified for it from experiences to education .
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  9. #8
    bill5 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Douglas View Post
    No and no.

    The points are gone with President Obama's hiring reform. Now, HR departments sort applicants into four categories:

    --Best Qualified
    --Very Qualified
    --Qualified
    --Not Qualified

    First, the "Not Qualified" are weeded out by HR . The hiring manager doesn't get this list. If a veteran is considered to be not qualified, it is because he/she (in the eyes of HR ) doesn't meet the job requirements. Veteran status is irrelevant.

    The other lists are given to the hiring manager (the person filling the position, likely the new candidate's supervisor, but not always). They are not sorted according to scoring.

    Regular veterans (the old 5-point people) can appear on any of the lists. If they do, they go to the top of the list and must be hired before any non-veterans on that list. Example: a veteran applies for a job and is judged "Very Qualified." He/she would be placed at the top of that list, but would be behind the entire "Best Qualified" list.

    Disabled veterans, the old 10-point veterans, are a different matter. If they are considered at least "Qualified" they shoot to the top of the "Best Qualified" list, ahead of more qualified people. The hiring manager must hire this person, or challenge the candidate's qualifications to be considered "Qualified" for the job. (This happens; HR doesn't get it right all the time.)

    So how can a veteran be pushed out? Not being qualified for the job, getting beat out by another candidate, or by not completing the application and supporting documentation are three reasons. I don't know what happened to the OP, but I bet it was one of these two. I'm not saying the OP was or was not qualified; I can't know that. But a decision to leave a candidate off the list can be challenged by the hiring manager, who can ask for a particular candidate to be re-assessed. I don't know if the candidate him/herself can ask for that, though.

    Regarding hiring at initial grade levels, this is also incorrect. Anyone can be hired at any grade level without prior government service. However, using education alone as a qualifier can only get you to the GS-11 grade--anything higher has to involve work experience, too. Specifically, one must have 52 weeks of work experience equivalent to the next-lowest level. Thus, someone without government experience could apply for and get a GS-14 job if that person has at least 1 year of experience either at the GS-13 level or work outside of the federal government that is judged at a comparable level.

    My first federal job was as a GS-15, Step 10, which is at the highest level (grade and step) on the General Schedule. I qualified for the position due to a combination of my prior work and education .

    Bottom line: the OP should follow up and ask what excluded him/her. But the reasons quoted here are not the ones.
    Thx for all that info; odd, because when I applied it did mention how I would get a "5 pt preference" or something similar (could be that they just haven't caught up w/the new laws to change the app's wording though). Again pardon not having the exact wording, but it was couched such that it sounded very much like I didn't qualify for the vet preference, not simply that I wasn't chosen for the job. And I have asked (several times), to no avail. Ah gov't efficiency.

  10. #9
    Rich Douglas is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by TEKMAN View Post
    Rich,

    That what I received from the HR. Thank you for applying for the position, but sorry you are not qualifying for the position as you have never had any GS position. I looked up the position, I qualified for it from experiences to education.
    Sorry, but that's just wrong. I'm not challenging you, but them. It is routine to recruit people into upper grades even if they have no prior federal service. Seriously. Either they got it wrong or something else happened.

  11. #10
    rmm0484 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Douglas View Post
    Sorry, but that's just wrong. I'm not challenging you, but them. It is routine to recruit people into upper grades even if they have no prior federal service. Seriously. Either they got it wrong or something else happened.
    Normally, the area of consideration is posted. If the position is open to all citizens, it will say so. Some positions are for people already in the government, and these will state this as well. It is no different from a company announcing a position for internal employees only. The position would say something like this: "Status Candidates (Merit Promotion and VEOA Eligibles), or "Current Federal employees serving under a career or career-conditional appointment." Although the recruitment process has been streamlined considerably, there is still some remaining vestige of government mumbo-jumbo in the terminology of the hiring process.
    Last edited by rmm0484; 02-13-2013 at 04:15 AM.
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  12. #11
    Rich Douglas is offline Registered User
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    As a veteran, the OP would be eligible to apply for jobs reserved for Status candidates through VEOA. As such, the OP would not have been rejected in the fashion he/she was.

    (For everyone else: The Veterans Equal Opportunity Act of 1998 allows veterans with no prior federal civilian service to apply for jobs restricted for civil service employees with "career" status--one or more years of service. It was designed to even the playing field for veterans. When applying for "status only" (career status) jobs, the veteran gets considered, but doesn't get the additional veterans' preference. Fair because the preference was designed to give veterans consideration, which they get under VEOA. Bottom line: veterans get treated like career civil servants. I entered public service under VEOA.)

  13. #12
    bill5 is offline Registered User
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    Thx all for info/replies. Got back to this and the app says "...applicants applying at the GS-13 grade level must possess a minimum of one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-12 grade level by the closing date of this announcement. Specialized experience may not be substituted education at this grade level."

    If that means "you had to have been a GS-12 for at least one year," I wish they'd just say so instead of "experience equivalent to the GS-12..." But if that's the case, then that is why I wasn't considered and pardon not seeing that earlier. If it's not, I'm back to going what the bleep over.

  14. #13
    smokey2011 is offline Registered User
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    My boss showed a chart at one of the meetings we hold every week and it broke down military rank versus civil service pay grades. Iirc, most enlisted folks top out at GS-9 positions. So there is equivalent experience in the military, it just depends on the rank you held prior to retirement. This is of course if you do not have any previous federal experience. I can try and post the chart next week if anyone is interested.

  15. #14
    bill5 is offline Registered User
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    Wow - if that's true, that's one screwed up chart IMO. A GS-9, generally speaking, I think is more like about an E-5 or 6. Modest/mid-level experience but not "top end" and not typically managerial. Senior NCOs, however, are more experienced and are at a "managerial level," or at least are supposed to be. If they're saying a CMSgt is rougly equivalent to a GS-9, they're wrong. And really if you're Guard or Reserve, that's not what you should be judged on as your primary qualifier anyway, as it's just your part-time or "on the side" job, functionally speaking... you should be judged on your civilian experience etc.

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  17. #15
    Rich Douglas is offline Registered User
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    I had a colleague retire as an E-8 and start his civil service career as a GS-14. Another, an E-7, began as a GS-13. Another, an E-7, began as a GS-14. I retired as an O-3 but started as a GS-15.

    Those "equivalencies" are for protocol purposes (who sits where--sometimes--and who stays in what quarters)--when traveling. Oh, and if civilians supervise military personnel, the civilian grade equivalency really does matter. (But not necessarily the other way; as a 2nd Lieutenant I supervised a GS-11.)

    I would use them lightly or not at all.

  18. #16
    smokey2011 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Douglas View Post
    I had a colleague retire as an E-8 and start his civil service career as a GS-14. Another, an E-7, began as a GS-13. Another, an E-7, began as a GS-14. I retired as an O-3 but started as a GS-15.

    Those "equivalencies" are for protocol purposes (who sits where--sometimes--and who stays in what quarters)--when traveling. Oh, and if civilians supervise military personnel, the civilian grade equivalency really does matter. (But not necessarily the other way; as a 2nd Lieutenant I supervised a GS-11.)

    I would use them lightly or not at all.
    Rich that's good information to know and I understand the protocol aspect of it. I am curious to know if some hiring manager somewhere would use it to determine "prior experience" and it wouldn't surprise me if they did.

    Quote Originally Posted by bill5 View Post
    Wow - if that's true, that's one screwed up chart IMO. A GS-9, generally speaking, I think is more like about an E-5 or 6. Modest/mid-level experience but not "top end" and not typically managerial. Senior NCOs, however, are more experienced and are at a "managerial level," or at least are supposed to be. If they're saying a CMSgt is rougly equivalent to a GS-9, they're wrong. And really if you're Guard or Reserve, that's not what you should be judged on as your primary qualifier anyway, as it's just your part-time or "on the side" job, functionally speaking... you should be judged on your civilian experience etc.
    Again, I may have my GS levels wrong, but there was a top out point for the enlisted side of the house. I think the still-held belief that a four year degree holds more weight than years of experience in the military can work against enlisted folks when competing for jobs against officers. I'm not trying to offend anyone who has been or is an officer, but a Captain who separated at 8 years shouldn't be more qualified (hypothetically) than a CMSgt (E-9) for a GS-12 job just because of an equivalency table and/or a degree (if the degree isn't a requirement).

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