Public Affairs Specialist (Recent Graduate)

Arlington, Virginia
Mar 20, 2018
Mar 20, 2018
Full Time

Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.

Relocation expenses reimbursed No


  • Must be a U. S. Citizens
  • May be required to successfully complete a probationary period.
  • Suitable for Federal employment, determined by a background investigation.
  • Male born after 12-31-1959 must be registered for Selective Service.

1. A Recent Graduate is an individual who obtained a qualifying associates, bachelors, master's, professional, doctorate, vocational or technical degree or certificate from a qualifying educational institution, within the previous 2 years or other applicable period provided below.

2. Individuals may apply for a position in the Recent Graduates Program only if the individual's application is received not later than 2 years after the date the individual completed all requirements of an academic course of study leading to a qualifying associates, bachelor's, master's, professional, doctorate, vocational or technical degree or certificate from a qualifying educational institution.

3. A veteran, as defined in 5 U.S.C. 2108, who, due to a military service obligation, was precluded from applying to the Recent Graduates Program during any portion of the 2-year eligibility period described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section shall have a full 2-year period of eligibility upon his or her release or discharge from active duty. In no event, however, may the individual's eligibility period extend beyond 6 years from the date on which the individual completed the requirements of an academic course of study.

The Recent Graduates Program provides an entry-level developmental experience designed to lead to a civil service career in the Federal Government after successfully completing 1 year under the Program, unless the training requirements of the position warrant a longer and more structured training program. Employment under the Recent Graduates Program may not exceed 2 years plus any agency approved extension of up to an additional 120 days. Individuals appointed under this authority are referred to as Recent Graduates.

Participates in the Recent Graduates Program must:
  1. Will be assigned a mentor who is an employee outside the Recent Graduates' chain of command
  2. Complete an Individual Development Plan (IDP) that is approved by his or her supervisor.
  3. Complete at least 40 hours of formal interactive training per year that advances the goals and competencies outlined in each Recent Graduate's IDP. Mandatory annual training is a requirement.

In addition to meeting the Pathways Recent Graduate Requirements above, applicants must meet the following specialized experience below:

For GS- 07
- I have completed one (1) year of work experience equivalent to a GS-05 applying knowledge and skill in public awareness and communication methods and adaptation of approaches in developing new information materials and formats aimed at enhancing the public's understanding of significant agency programs and issues. Skill working with standard office automated applications such as photo composition, technical competence with miscellaneous equipment.


Completed one (1) full academic year of graduate education or superior academic achievement.

For GS- 09 - I have completed one (1) full years or more equivalent to a GS-07 of specialized experience utilizing methods and techniques to the solution of complex public affairs problems such as developing and presenting informational material to achieve understanding of various points of view or concepts from publics with varying levels of understanding and different interests and perspectives on the subjects; employing a number of information gathering techniques in collecting and analyzing public reaction to information programs; and developing recommendations for management in improving the agency's communication with the general public and specialized groups.


I possess a master's degree OR I have completed 2 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree or LL.B. or J.D.

Superior Academic Achievement Definitions:

OPM's Group Coverage Qualification Standards for Administrative and Management Positions. One year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the next lower grade level.

The qualification requirements listed below must be met within 30 days of the closing date of the announcement.

ARE YOU USING YOUR EDUCATION TO QUALIFY? You must provide transcripts or other documentation to support your educational claims. Unless otherwise stated: (1) official or unofficial transcripts are acceptable, or (2) you may submit a list with all of your courses, grades, semester, year, and credit for the course. All materials must be submitted by the closing date of the announcement.

GRADUATE EDUCATION: One academic year of graduate education is considered to be the number of credits hours that your graduate school has determined to represent one academic year of full-time study. Such study may have been performed on a full-time or part-time basis. If you cannot obtain your graduate school's definition of one year of graduate study, 18 semester hours (or 27 quarter hours) should be considered as satisfying the requirement for one year of full-time graduate study.

FOREIGN EDUCATION: If you are using education completed in foreign colleges or universities to meet the qualification requirements, you must show that the education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign education programs and such education has been deemed equivalent to that gained in an accredited U.S. education program; or full credit has been given for the courses at a U.S. accredited college or university. For further information, visit:

* You must also possess the qualifying specialized experience and/or education as described in OPM's occupational requirements.

If you are a veteran with preference eligibility and you are claiming 5-points veterans' preference, you must submit a copy of your DD-214 or other proof of eligibility. If you are claiming 10-point veterans' preference, you must also submit an SF-15, "Application for 10-Point Veterans' Preference" plus the proof required by that form.

For more information on veterans' preference (see

Males born after 12-31-59 must be registered or exempt from Selective Service (see

Career Transition Assistance Programs: These programs apply to employees who have been involuntarily separated from a Federal service position within the competitive service or Federal service employees whose positions have been deemed surplus or no longer needed. To receive selection priority for this position, you must: 1) meet CTAP or ICTAP eligibility criteria; 2) be rated well-qualified for the position with a score of 70 or above; and 3) submit the appropriate documentation to support your CTAP or ICTAP eligibility. For more information:

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You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

A review of your resume and supporting documentation will be made and compared against your responses to the Occupational Questionnaire to determine if you are qualified for this job. If your resume is incomplete or does not support the responses provided in the Occupational Questionnaire, or if you fail to submit all required documentation, you will be rated 'ineligible', 'not qualified', or your score may be adjusted accordingly. If a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications or experience, you may lose consideration for this position.

Candidates will be rated and ranked using Category Rating procedures. These procedures place candidates with veteran's preference above non-preference eligibles within each category. Veterans with a service connected disability of at least 10 percent are listed in the highest quality category, except when the position being filled is scientific or professional at the GS-09 grade level or higher. Under Category Rating, candidates will be rated and ranked into one of three categories:

Best Qualified - applicants possessing experience that substantially exceeds the minimum qualifications of the position including all selective factors and are highly proficient in all requirements of the job and can perform effectively in the position

Well Qualified - applicants possessing experience that exceeds the minimum qualifications of the position including all selective factors and are proficient in most of the requirements of the job.

Qualified - applicants possessing experience that meets the minimum qualifications of the position including all selective factors and are proficient in some, but not all of the requirements of the job.

Your qualifications will be evaluated on the following competencies (knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics):

  1. Communication and Media: Knowledge of the production, communication and dissemination of information and ideas to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
  2. Information Management: Identifies a need for and knows where or how to gather information; organizes and maintains information or information management systems.
  3. Oral Communication: Expresses information (for example, ideas or facts) to individuals or groups effectively, taking into account the audience and nature of the information (for example, technical, sensitive, controversial); makes clear and convincing oral presentations; listens to others, attends to nonverbal cues, and responds appropriately.
  4. Writing: Recognizes or uses correct English grammar, punctuation, and spelling; communicates information (for example, facts, ideas, or messages) in a succinct and organized manner; produces written information, which may include technical material that is appropriate for the intended audience.
  5. External Awareness: Identifies and understands economic, political, and social trends that affect the organization. Influencing/Negotiating: Persuades others to accept recommendations, cooperate, or change their behavior; works with others towards an agreement; negotiates to find mutually acceptable solutions.
  6. Organization Awareness: Knows the organization's mission and functions, and how its social, political, and technological systems work and operates effectively within them.
To preview the assessment questionnaire, click the following link:

Read more Security clearance Public Trust - Background Investigation

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