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How are applications to Federal Law Enforcement Agencies scored?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by wolal View Post
    Good Advice. Thanks! I will revise my resume accordingly. Anyone have an opinion on to what extent completion of some law enforcement training courses will help one's resume?
    What do you mean by "law enforcement training courses?" Do you mean a police academy? If so, that's nice and all, but actual working experience in LE instead of just training alone would be preferred. If you're talking about college courses (like CJ classes) I wouldn't recommend getting in more tuition debt by taking CJ courses as they won't help much for someone like yourself who already has a degree.

    Originally posted by Zach Smith View Post
    The degree is good and what stood out to me was the intermediate proficiency in Spanish. This leads me into advising you to consider DHS/TSA. TSA is currently hiring what seems to be only/mostly part-time agents. Apply, test, and try to get onto a local airport part-time. This gives you some security experience and also has you working for DHS. It's not law enforcement, but its something.
    Nothing personal against you, Zach Smith, I'm sure you mean well, but I couldn't not disagree more with the above if you're advising someone interested in working in federal law enforcement to apply and work as a TSA screener. It is "something" but not something that would develop skills that would increase their overall competitiveness for a LE job in another federal agency. I do know several federal agents, a number with my own agency, who worked previously with TSA as air marshals, but that's a totally different job from being a screener and is an actual law enforcement position. Being a screener is honest work and I'm not knocking those who do this job, but one would be better served being a local or state cop prior to going federal than going to TSA as a screener.
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    • #17
      As others have said, you have a real mix and it all depends on the agency, and the hiring authority used at the time of announcement.

      You can be scored based on KSA's, keywords (resumix), and pre-employment testing. Some agencies will use more than one of these tools and some have other tools that OPM allows them to use.

      Simply put, there is no one easy way to apply for all FLEO positions using one resume or skill set. You need to know what the agency does, what it's priorities are, and how best to sell yourself to the mission. Perhaps the simplest way to do this is to read the announcement. This will tell you if KSA's or pre-employment testing will be used or required. If so, follow the instructions in the announcement. If not, assume resumix will be used unless you see something saying "hiring done under excepted service hiring authorities." Resumix is a real beast to attempt to explain, but a good start is to read the announcement, and make sure you put in your resume all keywords and phrases in the announcement qualifications and background sections.

      Now take all that, and add the rule of three, vet-preference, disability, and more and you have reached the lobby of what is the empire state building of Federal HR policy.

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      • #18
        Edit......
        Last edited by Zach Smith; 12-31-2012, 04:25 AM.

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        • #19
          Just to reiterate (and make sure I have my facts straight ...

          The following qualifications are regarded as most important:
          -Military Service
          -Education
          -Relevant Job Experience (should match with agency's mission or the KSA's provided in the job announcement):
          *Usually, law Enforcement experience is best with security experience probably a distant second.
          -Language Skills (could be valued even more when language is a key aspect of the job like with Border Patrol, maybe ICE?)

          I know the above summary is an extreme oversimplification, but the hiring process for federal lea's appears to be quite random. Is this about right?
          “If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.”
          -St. John of the Cross

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          • #20
            Your graduate degree along qualifies you for a GS9. That will get your foot in the door with almost any agency with exception fo those that require a specific skill set, i.e. FBI currently. If you want an 1811 position I suggest not putting all your eggs in one basket. Fine the agencies that you could uphold their mission statement and do a little research. For example, if you don't want to travel the world and live in foreign countries don't apply for DSS. In my opinion the paper resume gets you in the door, your test score gets you to the next step if it's good (sometimes good enough), and it's during your structured interview/writing assessment where your package starts comign together as an applicant. If I could offer anything it would be this: apply as a GS9 with your graduate degree (should not be any problem getting a conditional offer), take the test and do well, and practice your interviewing skills. Unsure why all the debate about TSA, border patrol, etc. If you want an 1811 position, and your graduate degree makes you more than qualified to apply as a GS9, then do it and do it well. Best of luck.

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            • #21
              I believe a Master's degree gets you GS7, not GS9.

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              • #22
                Yep a masters will only get you a GS-7 according to OPM and a PHD or equivalent doctoral degree will get you a GS-9...
                "An excuse is worse and more terrible than a lie, for an excuse is a lie guarded."

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by wolal View Post
                  *Usually, law Enforcement experience is best with security experience probably a distant second.
                  Depends on what you mean by "security." If you mean being a private security guard with no LE skill sets gained, I'd say you're more than a bit off the mark.

                  Originally posted by irishlad2nv
                  Yep a masters will only get you a GS-7 according to OPM and a PHD or equivalent doctoral degree will get you a GS-9...
                  Is that a recent change by OPM? I ask because when I was hired over 3 years ago I was given GS-09 because I had a MS (also seems to contradict what's listed on OPM's USAJobs website, unless for some reason it hasn't been properly updated: http://www.usajobs.opm.gov/EI/qualif...quirements.asp).
                  Last edited by Kimble; 01-07-2011, 08:44 PM.
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