Communications Program Specialist

Washington D.C.
Nov 14, 2018
Nov 14, 2018
Full Time

Occasional travel - Some international travel may also be required

Relocation expenses reimbursed No

  • US Citizenship is required
  • Subject to satisfactory completion of one year probationary period.
  • Special Conditions:

    • Selection and retention in this position is contingent on a successfully adjudicated FBI National Criminal History Check (fingerprint check) and a background investigation
    • Successful completion of a 1 year probationary or trial period (if new hire to the Federal service)
    • Travel, transportation, and relocation expenses will not be paid. Any travel, transportation, and relocation expense associated with reporting for duty to this position will be the responsibility of the selected employee 
    • This position is eligible for telework within the local commuting area of the duty location of the position. Employee participation in telework is at the discretion of the supervisor 

    Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of the announcement including the following specialized experience and/or education, as identified by grade level.

     FOR THE GS-11 LEVEL: Applicants must have one year of specialized experience (equivalent to the GS-09 level) that demonstrates:

    • Experience performing activities in the implementation of an organization’s communication and outreach strategies, plans, and procedures;
    • Experience in assisting in the evaluation of an organization’s communication and outreach activities and providing input on ways to improve such activities;
    • Experience using a variety of computer software to maintain and place information on websites; and
    • Experience writing and editing parts or all of communication material used to represent the organization.
    Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree 
    OR 3 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree 
    OR LL.M., if related.

    FOR THE GS-12 LEVEL: Applicants must have one year of specialized experience (equivalent to the GS-11 level) that may have been obtained in the private or public (local, county, state, Federal) sectors which demonstrates:

    • Experience participating in the development of communication and outreach strategies, plans, and procedures and implementing them for an organization;
    • Experience monitoring an organization’s communication and outreach strategies/procedures/activities and making recommendations on approaches or techniques to improve them;
    • Experience maintaining a website for an organization, including making recommendations for improvements, as needed;
    • Experience independently implementing crisis communication plans;
    • Experience being a contributing writer and editor for the development of professional communication material; and
    • Experience being a member of a team that worked across organizational levels in a communications management capacity.

    FOR THE GS-13 LEVEL: Applicants must have one year of specialized experience (equivalent to the GS-12 level) that may have been obtained in the private or public (local, county, state, Federal) sectors which demonstrates:

    • Experience developing, managing, monitoring, and evaluating communications and outreach strategies, plans, and procedures for an organization;
    • Experience developing risk communication techniques needed in order to address challenges posed by internal/external customers and public and stakeholder perceptions in regard to organizational strategies and delivery of services;
    • Experience researching and analyzing new communication approaches and techniques in order to develop communication strategies and policies/procedures to improve internal and external communications;
    • Experience developing website pages, monitoring  the content and placement of materials on an organization’s website, and recommending modifications for website improvements;
    • Experience developing crisis communication plans and recommending and monitoring crisis communication initiatives and activities;
    • Experience writing and editing professional communication material; and
    • Experience working strategically across organizations to extract high level material to be used in various forms of communication mediums.

    (Note: There is no education substitution for grades GS-12 or GS-13.)

    TRANSCRIPTS are required if:

    • You are qualifying for the position based on education.
    • You are qualifying for this position based on a combination of experience and education.
    • This education must have been successfully completed and obtained from an accredited school, college, or university.

    COMBINATION OF EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE AT THE GS-11 GRADE LEVEL: Applicants may have combinations of successfully completed education and specialized experience to meet total qualification requirements. The total percentages must equal at least 100 percent to qualify for that grade level. To learn more about combining education and experience for this series, click the following:  Combining Education and Experience for Administrative and Management Positions 

    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.

    Please see above for the GS-11 education qualification requirement information.

    The GS-12 and GS-13 levels do not have an education qualification requirement.

    • This position is subject to unscheduled overnight details of undetermined lengths in the event of animal health emergencies or other conditions requiring immediate response, as required by the Agency. (Extensive periods of time may be designated for overnight details.)
    • Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP), Reemployment Priority List (RPL), or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): For information on how to apply as a CTAP, RPL, or ICTAP eligible see To exercise selection priority for this vacancy, CTAP/RPL/ICTAP candidates must meet the basic eligibility requirements and all selective factors. CTAP/ICTAP candidates must be rated and determined to be well qualified (or above) based on an evaluation of the competencies listed in the How You Will Be Evaluated section. When assessed through a score-based category rating method, CTAP/ICTAP applicants must receive a rating of at least 85 out of a possible 100.
    • Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc) should contact: USDAs TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD).
    • Salary Information: First time hires to the Federal government normally start at the lowest rate of the salary range for the grade selected.

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

    Applications will be evaluated in accordance with Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) Delegated Examining Procedures using category rating. The category rating procedure is used to rank and select eligible candidates. Applicants who meet basic minimum qualifications will be placed in one of three categories:  Best Qualified, Well Qualified, or Qualified.  Within these categories, applicants eligible for veterans preference will receive selection priority over non-veterans.  Category placement will be determined on applicants' quality of experience and the extend they possess the following knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA) or competencies:

    • Ability to independently coordinate development, implementation, and evaluation of comprehensive communications plans that include information and telecommunications technologies and techniques necessary for effective dissemination of complex information using a variety of media to a diverse audience
    • Ability to communicate information about controversial issues and regulatory requirements and respond to information requests from the general public, the regulated community, stakeholders, Agency staff, other Federal agencies, State and local governments
    • Ability to effectively work within multidisciplinary teams
    • Skill in oral and written communications
    Your application, including the online Assessment Questionnaire, will be reviewed to determine if you meet (a) minimum qualification requirements and (b) the resume supports the answers provided to the job-specific questions.  Your resume must clearly support your responses to all the questions addressing experience and education relevant to this position.  Those determined to be in the best qualified category will be referred to the selecting official for consideration.

    Note: If, after reviewing your resume and/or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and or experience, your rating may be lowered to more accurately reflect the submitted documentation. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating. Providing inaccurate information on Federal documents could be grounds for non-selection or disciplinary action up to and including removal from the Federal Service.

    To view the application form, visit:

    Read more Security clearance Public Trust - Background Investigation

    Drug test required No

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