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Thread: Federal planning jobs - military

  1. #1
    Cyburbian kltoomians's avatar
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    Federal planning jobs - military

    Has anyone tried applying to federal positions for "Community Planners" for the military. There are positions all over and for ether the army or the navy...

    These jobs seem impossible to attain...but the pay scale is something to drool over...

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    Why do you say they are impossible?
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  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    The Air Force also hires planners.

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    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Ok.....

    Impossible to get these jobs huh?

    Challenge:

    RJ, Brocktoon, The One, Zman, Mud Princess and Tresmo will simultaneously apply for one job with the Navy and one job with the Army to determine if one of us can get an offer.

    GO!
    "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
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  5. #5
    Cyburbian chupacabra's avatar
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    The jobs exist, but the fed hiring process is horrid. Many of the jobs advertised for the feds (military, but also USFS and other agencies) state they are looking to fill multiple vacancies in multiple locations, however in those cases it is usually just applicant 'harvesting' for these massive rolling rosters. You'll have the best shot if you apply for a single, specific position with a real application deadline. By real I mean within the next four weeks or so. I would still apply for everything under the sun, though. You never know.

    If you go through an application process with a self-rating questionaire, always overestimate your qualifications (I've been told this by multiple people who do federal hiring). You have to get a certain score to qualify for the next phase and this is considered an ineffective step more likely to wean out good applicants than bad. Unfortunately it is still a required step. After the computer scoring phase is when a real live human will take a look at your actual qualifications and make an assessment.

    The feds need to revamp their hiring process, and if you have access to somebody who knows this byzantine process, you would be well served to get their help.
    You can grow ideas in the garden of your mind.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian kltoomians's avatar
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    military experience

    It seems that these positions require some sort of background in the military...you need to know military contract procedure, etc. This comes for the Community Planner position available in Monterey, CA:

    "-Knowledge of government contracting procedures, Army regulations concerning MILCON Programming & Development; NAF Construction Project Development & Approval; facilities, utilities, construction, maintenance and repair.
    -Knowledge of army funding procedures and regulations."


    There is 1 vacancy, closing Oct 8, 2009.
    http://jobview.usajobs.gov/getjob.as...&rc=3&TabNum=1

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by chupacabra View post
    The feds need to revamp their hiring process, and if you have access to somebody who knows this byzantine process, you would be well served to get their help.
    Both the Army and the Navy now have civilian job sites separate from USAJOBS that greatly ease at least the application process (I don't think the Air Force has anything along those lines, and I can't speak for any other fed department or agency). Now, with that said, it still seems like a crap shoot to even get an interview once you get through the first round of cuts, and the overall pace is still glacial. But, I wouldn't call it impossible.

    There are also a lot of firms that do federal-level consulting, including providing "contractor manpower equivalent" planning positions on-site for various federal clients - not a bad way to at least get your toe in the door for a federal job.
    I found you a new motto from a sign hanging on their wall…"Drink coffee: do stupid things faster and with more energy"

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    Cyburbian boilerplater's avatar
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    I've been wondering about those as well. They seem to have some sort of Byzantine scoring system for initial interviews. I'm an LA, and I've applied for a couple of jobs with the Corps of Engineers for wetland work, and despite working on numerous wetland construction projects when I was with the NJDOT and having taken a class in wetland construction, I was never contacted.
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  9. #9
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by The One View post
    Impossible to get these jobs huh?

    Challenge:

    RJ, Brocktoon, The One, Zman, Mud Princess and Tresmo will simultaneously apply for one job with the Navy and one job with the Army to determine if one of us can get an offer.

    GO!
    Funny, funny. I've heard that it helps to know someone "inside" where you want to work, both for help with the process and to make sure a human looks at your resume.

    It's also true that these jobs involve military-branch-specific skills that if you don't have them, they won't hire you, and it's difficult to attain them without working in these positions.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Trail Nazi's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by The One View post
    Impossible to get these jobs huh?

    Challenge:

    RJ, Brocktoon, The One, Zman, Mud Princess and Tresmo will simultaneously apply for one job with the Navy and one job with the Army to determine if one of us can get an offer.

    GO!
    Tee hee. Why not just get them to arm wrestle?

  11. #11
    Cyburbian
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    I am having a face-to-face interview for a defense contractor position on Monday doing military planning. This is the first time I have listed my prior military experience on a resume. I was a combat engineer and a construction engineer in the army national guard in college. However, the firm was concerned more about my security clearance than what I actually did in the army (my clearance expired a few years ago although I "think" I still have my active license to carry a concealed weapon...or was it to smuggle midgets? I forgot).

    The engineering branch is more closely related to planning than other branches (infantry, ADA, armor, etc.). Despite its title, the Army Corps of Engineers is primarily a civillian agency within DoD. I turned down an offer for a summer CAD internship in 2003 to work for the Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL). However, my military training as an engineer had little to nothing to do with working for ACoE.

    Keep in mind, with EVERY federal job (and most state jobs) there is also veterans preference in job selection. True, there are plenty of civillians with no military experience who become leaders in federal government (including the White House). Military management and command systems are not identical. The command structures have plenty of overlap, and the learning curve can be pretty steep in "some" positions in DoD or working for defense contractors.

    DoD, and to greater degree the CIA and FBI have their own "mysterious" requirements for job selection. I know a few friends who worked for the CIA and they had to attend the right colleges and work with the right professors to earn entry into these positions. I am sure the same would go for "some" defense and defense contractor positions.
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
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  12. #12
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Although my consulting business is actually doing OK and appears to be picking up at the moment, I was curious enough about these to apply for a position with the Navy in Spain. I do get a veteran's bonus in the scoring. We'll see what happens.
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  13. #13
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tresmo View post
    Funny, funny. I've heard that it helps to know someone "inside" where you want to work, both for help with the process and to make sure a human looks at your resume.
    If someone on the inside can get your resume to the right people, then in some cases they are allowed to do a "direct hire", and you can avoid the scoring process.

    It seems to me that USAJOBS.gov's resume system looks for key words, and if they don't see enough of them, it drops you automatically.

  14. #14

    Tried; failed

    So yeah. I applied for a number of these, which was no small feat. The number of websites and log-ins and passwords I needed to create was ridiculous. Different departments as well as different federal agencies/branches use different websites- UGH. In the end ONE sent me "a thanks, but no thanks" letter.
    ...though I am a lowly entry level planner.

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    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Ahhh.....

    A posh federal planning job.....that sounds nice.....insulated from the local whack jobs by impenetrable bureaucracy, locked doors and phone message systems and the promise of retirement in 20 years and all along knowing that if you screw up, they'll either just promote you out of the situation or just re-assign you to a better place SOME planners are just LUCKY



    Now, where's my link to USA jobs at again.....
    "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
    John Kenneth Galbraith

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by The One View post
    A posh federal planning job.....that sounds nice.....insulated from the local whack jobs by impenetrable bureaucracy, locked doors and phone message systems and the promise of retirement in 20 years and all along knowing that if you screw up, they'll either just promote you out of the situation or just re-assign you to a better place SOME planners are just LUCKY



    Now, where's my link to USA jobs at again.....
    That is perception, but NOT reality, despite the recent news report of a Fed employee surfing porn for more than 300 days.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian
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    I went through the federal hiring process a bunch of times when I was job searching and it was probably the worst thing I have ever had to do in my life. I think at the end of it I got a letter saying "We will pass you along to the hiring officer, expect to hear a response in 6-8 months." I don't think I will ever waste my time with that again, unless I have a connection on the inside.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Trail Nazi's avatar
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    I had a neighbor of mine get "fired" from a federal job. Don't know how he did it, but he did.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Trail Nazi's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Trail Nazi View post
    I had a neighbor of mine get "fired" from a federal job. Don't know how he did it, but he did.
    I should note that this person was acquisition not planning related at all.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by nrschmid View post
    I am having a face-to-face interview for a defense contractor position on Monday doing military planning. This is the first time I have listed my prior military experience on a resume. I was a combat engineer and a construction engineer in the army national guard in college. However, the firm was concerned more about my security clearance than what I actually did in the army (my clearance expired a few years ago although I "think" I still have my active license to carry a concealed weapon...or was it to smuggle midgets? I forgot).
    I worked in Marine Corps personnel and operations jobs during 6 years of active duty and one of my final responsibilities was to verify information on the Single Scope Background Investigations and Electronic Personnel Security Questionnaires of new recruits and people transferring into new jobs who required clearances above classified. The resources that go into these background checks can be quite extensive, both time and money. I know that a clearance was generally good for about 7 years, whether or not it was an active clearance so there has got to be some significant savings for a private firm (or the Federal Government) when an applicant for a position inside that window.

    Also, even if your clearance has lapsed completely, if you had it at one time, the firms will look at you as being "Secret Eligible" or "Top Secret Eligible" or "TS/SCI Eligible" etc. (dependent on your last clearance held). So even if you don't have a current clearance or relatively recent SSBI, they know that you had one in the past and most importantly, that you passed it! When two applicants with similar work experiences and educations apply for the same job, but one has never held a clearance while the other had one in the past, that is a significant advantage for that applicant.





    On a slightly related note...
    While I have applied for various Federal jobs in the past few years (hey, I've already got 6-years towards retirement!!) and had only minimal contact with a human (telephone contact twice), I had a friend apply for a very good job with the IRS in April through the USAJobs website, have a series of telephone interviews within a month and started working in D.C. in June! What's up with that? He knew nobody currently at the IRS, never met face-to-face with an actual recruiter, had not even held a steady job in the past three years! So much for that Byzantine Federal hiring process!
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  21. #21
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    I have applied for several Fed jobs and, yes, the application process is a huge pain in the a$$. The frustrating thing is that the people that initially review applications to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications, (knowledge, skills and abilities, or KSAs - one of many confusing acronyms and abbreviations referred to throughout the process with little explanation) has no knowledge of the work to be done. All they do is search the text for key words also mentioned in the application.

    So, to really be competitive, it is necessary to reword your resume to use, in as non-pandering a way as you can muster, the key words from the job description. If you are lucky, you will advance to the next round where someone from the department you are applying to will actually see your materials. Then they will choose who to interview from that list, I got past phase 1 twice, but never called for an interview. But they sent me lots of letters detailing my progress through the system!

    As a friend said to me, bureaucracy is very good at employing people.

    Its not impossible to get one of these jobs, but I expect many of planning ones are highly competitive. Many of the military planning positions will require a move, sometimes overseas, so for me, this was too big of a life change. I did apply to some at the National Park Service and also HUD, though.
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  22. #22
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Trail Nazi View post
    I should note that this person was acquisition not planning related at all.
    Yes, he was an assmunch

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