Every vacancy at the FLETC has specific requirements peculiar to that particular position. But there are certain criteria which you can examine to find out if you will even be initially considered for the position. This information is contained in a section of FLETC's vacancy announcements called the Area of Consideration (AOC). There are two basic Areas of Consideration with which you need to be familiar. Following is each AOC as it would appear in a FLETC vacancy announcement and an explanation:
A. Merit Promotion: Career and career-conditional employees of the Federal government and reinstatement eligibles. This AOC limits the vacancy announcement to current and former employees of the Federal Civil Service. A person who is reinstatement eligible is one who has left the government but still maintains his status.
This AOC does have its exceptions, however. Those eligible under the Veteran's Readjustment Appointment Program (VRA) are not required to have status in order to apply for Merit Promotion positions up to and including the GS-11 level. The Office of Personnel Management's web page explains the VRA program and its requirements and limitations. Another exception to the status rule is the Direct Hire Authority to hire veterans with service-connected disabilities of 30% or more. There are also exceptions for those eligible under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Please contact Jim Bryant at (912) 280-5179 after reading the rest of this information in order to discuss the FLETC's compliance with the ADA and how it can be of benefit to you. All of these exceptions require certain documentation, so please read each announcement carefully.
B. All Sources. All Sources is defined as anyone meeting the basic eligibility requirements of the announcement, regardless of government status. It is not limited to those outside of the federal government, as some assume; it is simply a separate AOC which allows those without status as well as those with status to apply. In fact, many who apply for a Merit Promotion vacancy also apply for the same vacancy which is advertised All Sources as well--but more about that later. The point is that if you do not have status and are not eligible to apply under a special program like VRA, the 30% Veteran's Program, or ADA, then you would apply for All Sources vacancy announcements. This is a very valid way of applying and allows people a chance to "get into" the federal government.
Many people will visit the FLETC's job announcement section and see what appears to be the same position advertised twice. On closer inspection, however, the two main differences become clear: first, the positions have different announcement numbers; second, the first position's AOC is Merit Promotion and the second position's AOC is All Sources. It is the FLETC's practice to allow selecting officials to choose which AOCs their jobs will have; therefore, it is common that a manager will opt to have his position open both Merit Promotion and All Sources. Because two separate sets of applications are being received, the files are kept separately and different announcement numbers must be assigned. In most cases these are consecutive, with the Merit Promotion announcement listed first (e.g. 98-159 and 98-160). This is not always the case, however, so be careful and make certain you see an All Sources announcement as well. If you are looking for an All Sources announcement and only see Merit Promotion, contact the FLETC's Personnel Office and ask if there is an accompanying All Sources announcement for that position.
There are three forms which are accepted by the FLETC for application purposes. The first is a Standard Form (SF) 171. The second is the Optional Form (OF) 612, which is a much shorter form; it more closely resembles a private industry application, being only front and back. And finally, a resume is also acceptable. Whatever is used must contain the required information in the "How to Apply" section as well as "Attachment One: What Your Resume or Application Must Contain" which are contained in every FLETC vacancy announcement. If you are applying for a Merit Promotion announcement, an SF-50 indicating status, your most recent performance appraisal, and the Job Elements (a.k.a. K.S.A.s) must be included in your application packet.
You will find more information about applying for Federal jobs as well as job announcements at the Office of Personnel Management's USAJOBS website.
The format of FLETC vacancy announcements
FLETC job announcements are divided into several sections: Job Information, Duties, Qualifications and Evaluation Criteria, Job Elements, and How To Apply.
A. Job Information: The first part of FLETC job announcements is the Job Information section. This includes information which you need to include on your application/resume, such as the Vacancy Announcement Number, Title, Series, and Grade. The first two are self-explanatory. The series requires a bit more elaboration, however. Each position in the federal government is assigned a three- or four-digit number which indicates the type of job it is. For instance, the 303 series encompasses general clerk positions, whereas 203 is the series for a personnel clerk. This also includes information for your reference, such as the closing date of the announcement. Keep in mind that application packets must be postmarked, not received, by the closing date of the announcement.
B. Duties: [Self-Explanatory]
C. Qualifications and Evaluation Criteria: This section of FLETC vacancy announcements indicates the minimum qualifications against which your application packet will be judged to determine if you meet the basic qualifications of the position.
D. Job Elements: Job Elements are also known as K.S.A.s (Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities) by some government agencies. These are simply elements of the job of which the applicant must have a knowledge or ability. The FLETC requires for Merit Promotion positions that these be answered on a separate sheet of paper, listing the element and then addressing it. It is best to go into great detail, as it can not be assumed that because you have held a position of a certain title you have performed certain duties which might be associated with that position. The duties and responsibilities must be stated explicitly in your application packet. Some people feel that they have addressed the elements already in their resume. However, the Job Elements must still be covered separately.