Public Affairs Specialist
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The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has been serving the economic interests of America for more than 200 years. We are responsible for granting US intellectual property rights for patents and trademarks. Our efforts have provided inventors exclusive rights over their discoveries. It's an effort that continues to contribute to a strong global economy, to encourage investment in innovation and to cultivate an entrepreneurial spirit for the 21st century. The USPTO is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, and has over 12,000 employees, including engineers, scientists, attorneys, analysts, IT specialists, etc. all dedicated to accomplishing the USPTO’s mission, vision, strategic goals and guiding principles. For more information about the USPTO, please visit the USPTO Careers Website.
This position is located in the Office of the Chief Communications Officer (OCCO), United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The OCCO is responsible for all aspects of the agency’s public affairs and communication outreach activities. This position is established to provide information to the public and the media on a variety of services and programs offered by the USPTO. The incumbent serves as a junior Public Affairs Specialist.
- A probationary period may be required
The following links provide information on various hiring authorities that do not fall under competitive examining procedures as this announcement; however, they may enable you to apply through merit assignment procedures, or be eligible for a non-competitive appointment.
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Relocation expenses reimbursed No
.You must meet the following United States Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) qualification requirements for the advertised position. OPM's prescribed Group Coverage Qualification Standard for Administrative and Management Positions can be found at OPM Qualification Standards. You must meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of the job announcement.
Specialized Experience: is experience that has equipped you with the particular knowledge, skills and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position, and that is typically in or related to the position to be filled. To be creditable, specialized experience must have been equivalent to at least the next lower grade level in the federal service.
Candidates for the GS-09 grade level must have at least 52 weeks of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-07 grade level in the Federal service.
Specialized experience for this position includes the following skill sets:
Skill Set 1: Writing content in Plain English to support a public/media relations program for a major organization/agency, such as press releases, talking points, blog posts, etc. which promote policies, positions, individuals, and organizations to a variety of audiences;
Skill Set 2: Interacting with members of the media, providing them information derived from approved sources, and managing interviews of organization/agency principals;
Skill Set 3: Organizing input from many sources within an organization and developing coordinated messaging drawn from those sources;
Skill Set 4: Engaging in public relations related to an ongoing news development in a timely fashion to ensure proper message crafting and distribution.
Education: Education may be substituted for specialized experience. Please see Educaiton section for details.
Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.
Education: Education may be substituted for specialized experience if one of the follow is met:
Master's or equivalent graduate degree;
2 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree;
LL.B. or J.D., if related
Special Instructions for Foreign Education: Qualifying education from colleges and universities in foreign countries must be evaluated in terms of equivalency to that acquired in U.S. colleges and universities. Applicants educated in whole or in part in foreign countries must submit sufficient evidence, including transcripts, to an accredited private organization for an equivalency evaluation of course work and degree. A listing of these accredited organizations can be found on the Department of Education's website - US Department of Education. Another listing of services that an perform this evaluation is available at the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). You must provide a copy of the letter containing the results of the equivalency evaluation with a course by course listing along with your application. Failure to provide such documentation when requested will result in lost consideration.
NOTE: Only education and experience acquired before the filing deadline will be considered. Report only attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Applicants applying for this position must be a United States Citizen.
If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, you must certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System. If you are exempt from registration under Selective Service Law, you must provide appropriate proof of exemption. Please visit the Selective Service System website for more information.
This is a Non-Bargaining Unit position.
This is a Public Trust position and has a risk level designation of “moderate”.
Background Investigation - If selected for this position, you may be required to complete a Declaration for Federal Employment (OF-306), which includes a fingerprint and credit check, to determine your suitability for Federal employment and to authorize a background investigation.
The USPTO participates in E-Verify. For more information on E-Verify, please visit the Department of Homeland Security Website.
Probationary Period- If selected, you may be required to complete an initial one-year probationary period.
All Federal employees are required to have Federal salary payments made by direct deposit to a financial institution of their choice.
Relocation Expenses are not authorized and will not be paid.
CTAP and ICTAP candidates will be eligible for selection priority if it is determined that they have exceeded the minimum qualifications for the position by attaining at least a rating of 85 out of 100. Information about CTAP and ICTAP eligibility is on the Office of Personnel Management’s Career Transition Resources website at: http://www.opm.gov/ctap. CTAP/ICTAP documentation requirements are listed in the "Required Documents" section of this announcement.
More than one selection may be made from this announcement if additional identical vacancies in the same title, series, grade, and unit occur within 90 days from the date the certificate was issued.
All application materials become the property of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factors. If you believe that you have been discriminated against and would like to file an EEO complaint, you must do so within 45 days of the date of the alleged discriminatory act. Claims of employment discrimination must be submitted to the attention of the USPTO’s Office of Equal Employment Opportunity & Diversity via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (571-272-8292).
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
Your resume, optional cover letter and supporting documentation will be reviewed to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications for the position. If you meet the minimum qualifications stated in the job opportunity announcement, we will compare your resume, optional cover letter and supporting documentation to your responses on the self-assessment questions (True/False, Yes/ No, Multiple Choice questions) and place you in one of three pre-defined categories. These categories are “gold,” “silver,” and “bronze.” Your resume and/or optional cover letter must support your responses to the scored occupational questionnaire, or your score may be lowered. Candidates placed in the “gold” category will be identified for referral to the hiring manager and may be invited for an interview.
If you are invited for an interview, you may be required to provide a writing sample.
How you will be evaluated for preference eligibility: Within each category, those entitled to veterans’ preference will be listed at the top of the pre-defined category for which they are placed.
Preference eligibles with a service-connected disability of 10% or more will be listed at the top of the highest quality category (gold).
The scored self assessment questions in the job announcement will evaluate you on the following competencies; please do not provide a separate written response:
KSA 1 - Skill in planning, writing and editing news releases and blog posts on routine matters.
KSA 2 - Skill in communicating the agency's routine programs, objectives and policies to various audiences, including target campaigns.
KSA 3 - Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with groups interested in or affected by agency programs or policies.
For more information on category rating, please go to: http://hr.commerce.gov/s/groups/public/@doc/@cfoasa/@ohrm/documents/content/prod01_009474.pdf
Please note that a complete application is required for consideration. (Please review the “Required Documents” section of this job announcement to see what must be included in a complete application).
To preview questions please click here.