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How competitive am I for 1811 grade positions?

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  • How competitive am I for 1811 grade positions?

    I'd like some help from you all who have been through the application process for Federal GS/GL 1811 positions. I have been searching around for the various criminal investigator positions on usajobs, applied for the FBI opening (which I doubt I'll even make the first round after seeing the qualifications others have), and have considered posting for several other openings (USSS, DHHS, OIG, State Dept).

    Here is my background....

    23 yr old W/M
    Associate of Arts - General Studies
    Bachelor of Arts - Criminology (Cum Laude - 3.25 GPA)
    2 Year Internship - Sheriff's Department
    2 Years Experience - Insurance Fraud Investigator

    excellent credit, no arrests/criminal history, 3 or 4 non-parking violation tickets (missing front plate, speeding, rolling though stop sign - whoops!) experimented with pot ONCE when I was like 15, never touched it again, drank some in high school and college, dont drink now at all, never been a smoker.

    Can anyone give me some insight on how attractive of a candidate I would be for a federal law enforcement/criminal investigator position? I am not sure if I am good with what I have so far, or if I will need more experience with either what I am doing now, more college, or go into basic law enforcement....

    To give some background on what I do for a living, Im not a trunk monkey who sits in the back of a van for 15 hours and videotapes a 90 year old lady who is trying to collect an insurance settlement bending down to pick up a penny. I work for a fortune 500 insurance company, I work the fraud cases from start to finish conducting face to face interviews, in depth background checks, medical file reviews, scene inspections / accident reconstruction, depositions, preparing the cases for prosecution once I have concluded my investigation, etc., and most of my cases involve medical fraud rings that go as high as organized crime, and spend a lot of time working with outside law enforcement agencies, both local, state and federal. Basically I receive the case as a sentence from an adjuster with a few "indicators" in the claim, and turn it into something the DA can take into a courtroom. Even though I don't have any "sworn law enforcement" experience, I think I have as much going for me as a street cop with two years of experience does (speaking in an investigative capacity).
    Last edited by SBartlett; 07-04-2010, 12:58 AM.

  • #2
    I know marijuana at one point was an automatic DQ for Secret Service, I don't know if it still is. You should look into it.

    I think your big problem is going to be the lack of sworn experience. The degrees and internship is great but it doesn't really help you that much. If your fraud investigator job been a government job it would have helped you out, but since it's in the private sector it doesn't help much. I worked with a couple people who had similar backgrounds to you and had applied for numerous federal jobs and never had an interview. They put in about a year at the state liquor enforcement agency (Beverage Control in FL) as officers/investigators and a year later they were 1811 at the federal level. The only thing that changed in their resume is they now had sworn law enforcement experience.

    Comment


    • #3
      I work with a few 1811's who had no prior LE experience, but they are a small minority. Most have backgrounds like yours (private sector, various fields). I think your biggest obstacle is your age. Not many people get an SA job at 23 without doing a co-op. USSS and DS seem to hire the most young people, the travel and overseas work make the job more attractive to the young and unattached.

      Your resume and background sound pretty good for a 23 y/o. I definitely recommend applying for local/state LE positions to get some experience. Also, use your contacts at federal agencies to get inside info on upcoming openings and tips for the selection process.
      Before science, it was believed that autumn was caused by Chuck Norris simultaneously roundhouse kicking every tree on the planet.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by wildlife97 View Post
        I know marijuana at one point was an automatic DQ for Secret Service, I don't know if it still is. You should look into it.

        I think your big problem is going to be the lack of sworn experience. The degrees and internship is great but it doesn't really help you that much. If your fraud investigator job been a government job it would have helped you out, but since it's in the private sector it doesn't help much. I worked with a couple people who had similar backgrounds to you and had applied for numerous federal jobs and never had an interview. They put in about a year at the state liquor enforcement agency (Beverage Control in FL) as officers/investigators and a year later they were 1811 at the federal level. The only thing that changed in their resume is they now had sworn law enforcement experience.
        See, I don't get it... why is there such a HUGE difference to them between a sworn investigator position and a private sector investigator position? I can tell you from my experience my investigative steps and events will practically parallel the investigations of the Florida Division of Insurance Fraud, which is a sworn position doing the exact same thing (minus arresting at the end)?

        But yes, I do completely agree, and I see that trend as well.. I guess my issue is I really don't understand why there is such an emphasis placed on it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by ICEAGENT View Post
          I work with a few 1811's who had no prior LE experience, but they are a small minority. Most have backgrounds like yours (private sector, various fields). I think your biggest obstacle is your age. Not many people get an SA job at 23 without doing a co-op. USSS and DS seem to hire the most young people, the travel and overseas work make the job more attractive to the young and unattached.

          Your resume and background sound pretty good for a 23 y/o. I definitely recommend applying for local/state LE positions to get some experience. Also, use your contacts at federal agencies to get inside info on upcoming openings and tips for the selection process.
          Thank you for the positive words!

          Yes it is looking like that might be my best option, and I know a few local agencies around me are hiring as well. Im not seeing much open as far as state LE positions. I with that DIF had openings, I'd be doing the exact same thing so I wouldn't have to re-learn a bunch of stuff, and I would be state LE. Hell, I'd probably bring my same case files with me! haha.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by SBartlett View Post
            See, I don't get it... why is there such a HUGE difference to them between a sworn investigator position and a private sector investigator position? I can tell you from my experience my investigative steps and events will practically parallel the investigations of the Florida Division of Insurance Fraud, which is a sworn position doing the exact same thing (minus arresting at the end)?

            But yes, I do completely agree, and I see that trend as well.. I guess my issue is I really don't understand why there is such an emphasis placed on it.
            I honestly have no answer and I will say that there are some private investigators that do the same or even better jobs then government investigators. It might simply be that seeing “State of X” is better on a resume then “X Insurance Company” it’s a total guess, I don’t really know. I will say that one of those officers I mentioned was in training for 5 months (FTO and academy) so he really only had about 7 months of solo sworn experience, but yet those 7 months were able to get him an interview and a 1811 job with the feds…

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by wildlife97 View Post
              I honestly have no answer and I will say that there are some private investigators that do the same or even better jobs then government investigators. It might simply be that seeing “State of X” is better on a resume then “X Insurance Company” it’s a total guess, I don’t really know. I will say that one of those officers I mentioned was in training for 5 months (FTO and academy) so he really only had about 7 months of solo sworn experience, but yet those 7 months were able to get him an interview and a 1811 job with the feds…
              lol, that is just wild... but hey, he knew how to play the game!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by SBartlett View Post
                See, I don't get it... why is there such a HUGE difference to them between a sworn investigator position and a private sector investigator position? I can tell you from my experience my investigative steps and events will practically parallel the investigations of the Florida Division of Insurance Fraud, which is a sworn position doing the exact same thing (minus arresting at the end)?
                Basic investigative practices aside, have you (as a private sector fraud investigator), made an arrest, conducted a search for evidence using a warrant or other legal authority, served a subpoena, or written an affidavit for a warrant? Don't get offended, no one is saying being a sworn LEO investigator makes someone "better" than a non-LE investigator, but there are some pretty clear-cut differences between the two.
                sigpic

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Kimble View Post
                  Basic investigative practices aside, have you (as a private sector fraud investigator), made an arrest, conducted a search for evidence using a warrant or other legal authority, served a subpoena, or written an affidavit for a warrant? Don't get offended, no one is saying being a sworn LEO investigator makes someone "better" than a non-LE investigator, but there are some pretty clear-cut differences between the two.
                  Very good point; I think I am underestimating the importances then of that part of the LE investigative experience. The only skill above that you mentioned which I do often (like it is going out of business) is writing affidavits.

                  Only question is, do regular patrol officers have that experience? The reason I ask that is many applications ask for any law enforcement experience and dont specific criminal investigation experience.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SBartlett View Post
                    I'd like some help from you all who have been through the application process for Federal GS/GL 1811 positions. I have been searching around for the various criminal investigator positions on usajobs, applied for the FBI opening (which I doubt I'll even make the first round after seeing the qualifications others have), and have considered posting for several other openings (USSS, DHHS, OIG, State Dept).

                    Here is my background....



                    23 yr old W/M
                    Associate of Arts - General Studies
                    Bachelor of Arts - Criminology (Cum Laude - 3.25 GPA)
                    2 Year Internship - Sheriff's Department
                    2 Years Experience - Insurance Fraud Investigator

                    excellent credit, no arrests/criminal history, 3 or 4 non-parking violation tickets (missing front plate, speeding, rolling though stop sign - whoops!) experimented with pot ONCE when I was like 15, never touched it again, drank some in high school and college, dont drink now at all, never been a smoker.

                    Can anyone give me some insight on how attractive of a candidate I would be for a federal law enforcement/criminal investigator position? I am not sure if I am good with what I have so far, or if I will need more experience with either what I am doing now, more college, or go into basic law enforcement....

                    To give some background on what I do for a living, Im not a trunk monkey who sits in the back of a van for 15 hours and videotapes a 90 year old lady who is trying to collect an insurance settlement bending down to pick up a penny. I work for a fortune 500 insurance company, I work the fraud cases from start to finish conducting face to face interviews, in depth background checks, medical file reviews, scene inspections / accident reconstruction, depositions, preparing the cases for prosecution once I have concluded my investigation, etc., and most of my cases involve medical fraud rings that go as high as organized crime, and spend a lot of time working with outside law enforcement agencies, both local, state and federal. Basically I receive the case as a sentence from an adjuster with a few "indicators" in the claim, and turn it into something the DA can take into a courtroom. Even though I don't have any "sworn law enforcement" experience, I think I have as much going for me as a street cop with two years of experience does (speaking in an investigative capacity).
                    To be honest, I dont think you're competitive at all right now. You're only 23, so maturity might come into question. The AA degree means nothing, and the BA is the minimum you need for most SA positions. The 2 year internship would had meant more if it was with a Federal LE Agency, and only 2 years as a fraud investigator isnt alot of work experience. You got to think that most individuals applying for these positions, or either prior military, prior LE, have Masters/Law Degrees, or an extensive work history. Right now I would just get on with a local PD and see where that takes you in the next 3-5 years, and work on getting an advanced degree at the same time. Good Luck youngster, im sure you will do well
                    God Bless America

                    101st Airborne Division, Rakassans Air Assaultttttttt
                    3rd Infantry Division, 2BCT

                    ICE 1811
                    Applied: 6/22/09
                    Exam: 7/24/2009
                    SI/WA: 3/2/2010
                    The Call: October 26, 2010
                    PRESIDIO BOUND!!!!!!!!!!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jlac20 View Post
                      To be honest, I dont think you're competitive at all right now. You're only 23, so maturity might come into question. The AA degree means nothing, and the BA is the minimum you need for most SA positions. The 2 year internship would had meant more if it was with a Federal LE Agency, and only 2 years as a fraud investigator isnt alot of work experience. You got to think that most individuals applying for these positions, or either prior military, prior LE, have Masters/Law Degrees, or an extensive work history. Right now I would just get on with a local PD and see where that takes you in the next 3-5 years, and work on getting an advanced degree at the same time. Good Luck youngster, im sure you will do well
                      Should I continue to stay with the fraud investigator position for a couple more years, just so it looks good on my resume, then switch over the LE? I completely agree with you; everything I keep reading really seems like I need at least some LE experience...


                      I think that since I have the normal working hours (M-F 8-4:30) right now, it might be a good time to get my Master's degree under my belt. I think with that, a year or two more experience in the private sector, then switching over to local law enforcement, I would be much more attractive as a candidate for a Federal position.

                      I guess I am getting a little ahead of myself and trying to jump to the top too quickly.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jb5722
                        i got picked up as a fed when i was your age and i think the only reason they were willing to give me a shot was that i worked as a local police officer full time while attending college full time my junior and senior year, which kind of let them know i wasn't your typical immature 23 year old. you might be competitive for HHS OIG if thats what type of insurance your dealing with. I think your best bet would be to try and get hired on as a reserve officer somewhere. I know in my state they had a night school academy that ran a few days a week so people who needed to work full time during academy. if you could go through the academy and work as a reserve that would give you an opportunity to gain some street level LE experience while still working at your current employer. I'm not sure if that option is available for you in florida but if it is I would definitely take it. experience working the street as a leo is a big deal to a lot of guys, it kind of proves to them that if something goes bad on the job your not going to wet your pants or get them killed. thats my .02 on the situation.

                        http://dept.sfcollege.edu/ips/pdf/PT_LE.pdf

                        thats one part time academy in florida so there are definitely others who will offer the program somewhere relatively close to your area.
                        You know what, now that I think about it, I spoke with a local Sheriffs Office recruiter about a year ago and said they'd gladly pick me up for a sworn reserve position (but I would have to pay my way through the Academy). I looked at the local Academy, and it was a year long for M-Th 6:30 to 10:30pm, and I am really considering it. My only fear is if I get caught up at a deposition, or have to travel for an investigation like Palm Beach or Ft Myers like I have been doing a lot lately, I might not make the class... I'll have to strongly consisder it though and I'll contact the Academy director and explain to them my situation.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by SBartlett View Post
                          Should I continue to stay with the fraud investigator position for a couple more years, just so it looks good on my resume, then switch over the LE? I completely agree with you; everything I keep reading really seems like I need at least some LE experience...
                          I'm a federal agent who worked as a local cop prior to working for the G, and in the private sector prior to being a cop. I don't know you or how you operate, but here's my suggestion: look at reserve/part-time police positions to test the waters. I knew I wanted to be a fed, but also knew I'd take a pretty significant pay cut leaving my corporate management job to become a cop, so I became a volunteer (non-paid) reserve deputy sheriff. Found that I loved it not long after signing up (reserves in my home state have the same training and authority on duty as regular officers), and it helped me realize that making a transition to law enforcement - other than just federal - was right for me.

                          Also, not that you won't become a fed, but there's no certainties in life. What if you never become a fed, what could you see yourself doing for the rest of your life? If you like being a corporate fraud investigator, it might be best to know local/state LE is a good fit for you before you jump ship.

                          One of my good friends in my office was a corporate fraud investigator before becoming a fed, though he had 15 years experience and a master's degree to boost past the bachelor's degree minimum requirement. Not saying you have to have all that on the table, but the competition out there for federal jobs is fierce, particularly in this drying job market. Don't make a career change without making an informed change. Have your eyes on the prize if you want to be a fed, but do it smartly. I think knowing whether local/state LE is a good fit for you is a smart move, and the best way to do so is do a couple years in a part-time capacity before jumping in the deep end head first.

                          Just my $0.02.
                          sigpic

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I have to agree with the reserve deputy suggestion. I too was a reserve deputy sheriff as I tested the waters in law enforcement. Keep your eyes open to ALL law enforcement opportunities, federal or otherwise. I know there are several states who have very good state police investigators, and there are a lot of opportunities for investigations on the local level, and that includes for patrol officers who may handle lower level investigations. Being a fed is good, but don't pass over other opportunities as well.
                            What is Perseverance?
                            -Perseverance is commitment, hard work, patience, endurance.
                            -Perseverance is being able to bear difficulties calmly and without complaint.
                            -PERSEVERANCE IS TRYING AGAIN AND AGAIN.


                            BOP - BPA - ICE

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by SBartlett View Post
                              Should I continue to stay with the fraud investigator position for a couple more years, just so it looks good on my resume, then switch over the LE? I completely agree with you; everything I keep reading really seems like I need at least some LE experience...


                              I think that since I have the normal working hours (M-F 8-4:30) right now, it might be a good time to get my Master's degree under my belt. I think with that, a year or two more experience in the private sector, then switching over to local law enforcement, I would be much more attractive as a candidate for a Federal position.

                              I guess I am getting a little ahead of myself and trying to jump to the top too quickly.
                              Personally, I dont think you need LE experience to land a 1811 position. One only have to display during the interview what you bring to the table as an individual. Just keep a good working history, and get an advanced degree, and you will be very competitive. Just remember, its all how you word your resume to fit the requirements of the job you are applying to. A stocker at piggly wiggly could be competitive if he possessed the minimum degree required, only if he can relate his work history of stocking to the requirements of the job.
                              God Bless America

                              101st Airborne Division, Rakassans Air Assaultttttttt
                              3rd Infantry Division, 2BCT

                              ICE 1811
                              Applied: 6/22/09
                              Exam: 7/24/2009
                              SI/WA: 3/2/2010
                              The Call: October 26, 2010
                              PRESIDIO BOUND!!!!!!!!!!

                              Comment

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