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What is the best way to Qualify? - USAJOBS

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  • What is the best way to Qualify? - USAJOBS

    Hey guys,

    What is the best way to qualify for Federal Law Enforcement Officer jobs? Superior Academic Achievement or Specialized Work experience? It's always hard to decide if I should try to qualify based on academics or my work experience. There is never a choice for superior academic achievement and specialized work experience, which is what I have. I can't decide which skill set holds more value. I often over analyze stuff so It may not be important, but if you could give me your opinion I'd greatly appreciate it.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Balance in all things; a combination of education and work experience will usually do the trick. The 'specialized work experience' may or may not be the be-all-end-all. Of the feds I have worked directly with (USSS & USMS) most had military, college and some work experience.

    Then again, it can be specific to the agency you are applying to. There is not really a good generic answer to your question.

    “Truth is not what you want it to be; it is what it is, and you must bend to its power or live a lie.”

    Miyamoto Musashi

    “Life Is Hard, But It's Harder When You're Stupid”

    George V. Higgins (from The Friends of Eddie Coyle)

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    • #3
      Here is my take on this issue. Keep in mind that I am not HR, but I have discussed this with some hiring managers:

      SAA and experience are both avenues to qualify, one does not hold more weight than the other. Think of that question as a go, no go type criteria. Either you qualify or you do not.

      After the initial qualification "gate" your resume will be forwarded to the HR person for review (if you are rated highly on the other questions that is). At that point you made the qualification hurdle and they will compare your resume against all other applicants to develop the BQ list.

      I answer SAA, because that is an easy metric to verify. Qualifying under experience is more open to interpretation. With SAA, you either have the GPA or you do not, there really is no room for the HR person to make a judgement call.

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      • #4
        Keep in mind, my answer was relating to the USAJobs system (the check box on the actual application). Obviously being competitive is another issue altogether.

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        • #5
          Thanks for the quick response!

          slamdunc, your definitely right a good balance is probably the best bet.

          saone, that's a good way to look at it! If I'm applying for a job where my experience may be lacking I'm definitely going to choose the SAA route. There is so much strategy to completing these applications lol..

          Thanks for the feedback!

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          • #6
            I just completed my application on the USAJobs website.
            I agree with saone, the education qualifications are easier to determine. Either SAA or since I have have a graduate degree (JD) that is easier to determine that I meed the qualification, then having an HR person review my experience to determine if my individual jobs meet experience requirements(although i do have this also).

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Jramson View Post
              Thanks for the quick response!

              slamdunc, your definitely right a good balance is probably the best bet.

              saone, that's a good way to look at it! If I'm applying for a job where my experience may be lacking I'm definitely going to choose the SAA route. There is so much strategy to completing these applications lol..

              Thanks for the feedback!
              No problem, glad to help where I can. Federal hiring is an interesting animal, and will leave you saying WTF more often than not.

              Good luck, and remember to apply to all vacancies you are qualified for and interested in

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              • #8
                Originally posted by saone View Post
                Here is my take on this issue. Keep in mind that I am not HR, but I have discussed this with some hiring managers:

                SAA and experience are both avenues to qualify, one does not hold more weight than the other. Think of that question as a go, no go type criteria. Either you qualify or you do not.

                After the initial qualification "gate" your resume will be forwarded to the HR person for review (if you are rated highly on the other questions that is). At that point you made the qualification hurdle and they will compare your resume against all other applicants to develop the BQ list.

                I answer SAA, because that is an easy metric to verify. Qualifying under experience is more open to interpretation. With SAA, you either have the GPA or you do not, there really is no room for the HR person to make a judgement call.
                I have been preaching SAA to all young inexperienced applicants ever since I've been on this forum. If you're lucky enough to have that under your belt along with military and/or LE experience, you'd be a great candidate.
                I’ll die with blue in my veins.

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                • #9
                  Honestly, at this very moment, Veteran status is probably one of the biggest factors. Experience and education make little difference if you can't get past the 1st glance due to your lack of veteran's preference. My $.02

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 85rx-7gsl-se View Post
                    Honestly, at this very moment, Veteran status is probably one of the biggest factors. Experience and education make little difference if you can't get past the 1st glance due to your lack of veteran's preference. My $.02
                    That depends on the agency though. I have law enforcement experience, but have never been in the military. Some agencies have rated me as most qualified and processed me, while others rejected me after the initial application because I had no veterans preference points.

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                    • #11
                      I've had similar thoughts about the veteran point system having a big impact on the selection process, but I'm glad that they get some preference because it's definitely well deserved. I'm a young applicant with no LEO/Military experience, but I'm a white collar crime fraud analyst in the financial industry so I figure it may be a unique skill set to have.

                      Anyhow, qualifying with SAA is great advice. Will definitely help navigate the process easier.

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