How to Apply for a Position in the Mississippi

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					         How to Apply for a Position in the Mississippi
             National Guard Technician Program
Thank you for your interest in the Mississippi National Guard (MSNG) full-time Technician program. The MSNG
Technician Program is Federal Civil Service employment. Positions are available in the General Schedule (GS) and
Wage Schedule (WG/WL/WS) areas. General Schedule positions are administrative in nature (white collar) and Wage
Schedule positions are maintenance oriented (blue collar). Most positions require military membership in the MSNG as a
condition of employment. Positions are available for both the Mississippi Army National Guard (MSARNG) and
Mississippi Air National Guard (MSANG). Federal Technician positions have qualification standards directed by the Office
of Personnel Management (OPM) and the National Guard Bureau (NGB). These standards cannot be changed. It is your
responsibility to prove to the Human Resources Office (HRO) through your application that you qualify for a job and
should receive an interview.


Who are MSNG Technicians and What Do They Do
In the context of full time work, you are considered an employee of the Department of the Army or Department of the Air
Force. However, unlike other Federal employees, the State Adjutant General is the office with the authority to effect
personnel actions. As a technician, you enjoy the same benefits, rights and privileges as other Federal employees—with
a few exceptions provided for in law. As a Federal employee, you provide the day-to-day continuity in the operation and
training of MSARNG and MSANG units.


Who Can Apply
There are two types of Federal Employment Categories in the MSNG:
  (1) Excepted Service (dual status) positions require military membership in the MSARNG or MSANG as a condition of
employment. (Note. Membership is not required to submit an application. However, you must be eligible for membership
and prior to being placed in a technician position, you must become a member of the MSNG).
  (2) Competitive Service (non-dual status) positions do not require National Guard membership as a condition of
employment.


The Application Process - Six Critical Steps
Step 1: Do your homework.
  The key to a strong package is attention to the technician vacancy announcement. Review the vacancy announcement
  carefully. The announcement summarizes the general and specialized experience, the educational, work and licensing
  requirements and lists both the general and specialized qualifications essential to the position. Individuals must meet
  these mandatory qualifications and indicate how they meet these qualifications. Failure to do so will result in the
  application being rated as non-qualified. In order to qualify you must provide information on your work experience,
  education and other qualifications. This information will be used to determine if you are qualified for a technician
  vacancy.

Step 2: Decide how you will apply.

                     * THREE APPLICATION OPTIONS (Focusing on education and experience)

  • Option 1: Use the Optional Form 612 (OF 612). The application for Federal Employment OF-612 is a two-page
    form with questions on citizenship, veteran's preference (not applicable to National Guard technicians), experience,
    education and skills.
  • Option 2: Use the Standard Form 171 (SF 171). The application for Federal Employment SF-171 is a form with
    questions on citizenship, veteran's preference (not applicable to National Guard technicians), experience, education
    and skills.
  • Option 3: Write a Resume. The resume can be in any format, but it must provide all the information requested on
    the vacancy announcement, as well as information identified in the OF 510 brochure. Applicants must sign and date
    their resume certifying to the accuracy of all information provided.
If your application or resume does not contain all the information requested in the job vacancy announcement and the
OF 510 brochure, your application will not be considered.

If you make a false statement in any part of your application or resume, you may not be hired; you may be fired after you
begin work; or you may be fined or jailed.

In addition to the basic application, applicants are requested to submit a SF-181, Ethnicity and Race Identification Form
for equal employment opportunity statistical purposes. Submission of this form is optional. The MSNG is an Equal
Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to political, religious or labor
organization affiliation or non-affiliation, marital status, race, color, sex, national origin, age, non-disqualifying physical
challenges (applicable only to competitive appointments) or any other factor not job related.


Step 3: Make sure everything is in your package.
  General and Specialized Qualification Requirements: This must be documented on your application. Each position
  requires a minimum number of months of specialized experience (paid or unpaid) in order to be qualified. The
  experience listed will be used to determine qualifications. It is important to give a complete and detailed description of
  specific duties, responsibilities, accomplishments for each position held applicable to the job. Use complete dates to
  indicate the amount of experience (e.g., 12 Jan 04 - 4 Mar 05). If you held a position and you performed more than one
  type of work, you should estimate the percentage of time you spent performing each type of work. Use your own words
  to describe your work experience rather than using past job descriptions. While it is important that you provide as much
  information about your qualifications as possible, it is equally important to keep your application free of unnecessary
  material.

      • DO NOT submit position descriptions
      • DO NOT submit letters of recommendation or achievement
      • DO NOT use appraisals or standards as proof of experience
      • DO list job related training courses (title and year)
      • DO list job related skills (other languages, computer hardware/software, tools, machinery, typing speed, possess
           valid driver's license)
      • DO list job related certificates and professional licenses (current only)
      • DO list job related honors, awards, and special accomplishments (leadership activities, public speaking, incentive
           awards). Indicate dates but do not submit documents unless requested.

  If additional space is required to complete any item on the application, a blank sheet of 8 1/2 x 11 paper can be used.
  Remember to include your name and announcement number on each sheet.

  Knowledge, Skills and/or Abilities (KSAs): In the event there are more than 10 certified applicants, KSAs will be
  used to determine the best qualified applicants from which selection will be made. Members who meet the qualification
  requirements will be further evaluated based on the Specialized Qualifications and KSAs, which are considered
  essential to perform the duties and responsibilities of this position. Each KSA must be addressed by the applicant.
  KSAs will be submitted on a separate sheet(s) of paper and attached to the application. An example KSA worksheet is
  included at the end of this guide.

  Substitution of Education for Specialized Experience: Certain positions allow for substitution of education for
  experience. Transcripts, certificate of training, etc., including number of credit/classroom hours, must be included in the
  application package when there is an educational qualifying requirement or when substituting education for specialized
  experience. Copies of transcripts, certificates of training, etc. are acceptable. However, do not include Certificates of
  Training unless specifically requested in the vacancy announcement.

  Current technicians applying for a position of equivalent or lower grade to their current position should submit a written
  request for reassignment or change to lower grade as part of their application package. The request for reassignment
  or change to lower grade must address the reason for the request and state they understand they are not entitled to
  grade or pay retention. (Moving to a position of the same grade but in a different wage area, regardless of any
  increase/decrease in rate of pay, is considered a reassignment). See MSNG HRR Chapter 2, Appendix A.

  Other Qualification Requirements: If required on the vacancy announcement, applicants for the position must also
  list and certify other characteristics required such as engineering certifications, typing speed, valid driver’s license,
  commercial driver’s license (CDL), etc.
Step 4. Get a second set of eyes to review your package.

   • The most common mistakes made when completing an application could be avoided if applicants would review the
     vacancy announcement closely before submitting their application. Examples of common mistakes are:
          Omitting the Vacancy Announcement Number
          Not complying with the Area of Consideration
          Failure to include military experience (National Guard or prior Active Service)
          Insufficient description of duties and responsibilities
          Failure to submit the required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSA) Statement

   • Utilize the checklist included in this guide.


Step 5. Make sure you mail or hand carry your application to arrive in the HRO BY THE CLOSE OF BUSINESS
(4:30 PM) ON THE CLOSING DATE as stated on the Vacancy Announcement.

   Mail application to: Mississippi Military Department
                        ATTN: JFH-MS-HRT-PS
                        P.O. Box 5027
                        Jackson, MS 39296-5027

   You can also ship your applications by USPS, Federal Express, UPS or DHL to:
                       Mississippi Military Department
                       ATTN: JFH-MS-HRT-PS
                       1410 Riverside Drive
                       Jackson, MS 39202-1271

 Feel free to contact the HRO staff at any point during the application process at the following numbers:
   • 601.313.6295, 6345 or 6386
   • DSN 293.6295, 293.6345 or 293.6386


Step 6. Understand the hiring process and conditions of employment.

  Hiring Process:
   Upon receipt, all applications will be time stamped in and placed in the position vacancy announcement file. After the
   closing date of the announcement, applications will be reviewed by the HRO Staffing Specialist to determine minimum
   qualifications. If over 10 applicants are found qualified by the staffing official, a Subject Matter Expert may be
   contacted to determine the best qualified candidates. Qualified or best qualified candidates packages will be
   forwarded to the selection official to conduct the selection process, which includes an interview of the candidates in
   accordance with the MSNG Merit Staffing Program. Applications will not be returned to the applicant, nor will the
   application be transferred to another vacancy file. A new application must be submitted for each vacancy
   announcement.

  Conditions of Employment:
   After an applicant is selected for a position and prior to the applicant being placed in an excepted technician position,
   he/she must either be or become a member of the MSNG.
     1. Excepted Service (dual status) technicians are required to wear the military uniform while performing their
          technician duties and comply with established grooming and weight control requirements.
     2. Excepted Service (dual status) technicians must hold a military assignment that is compatible with their military
          technician position and hold the military grade specified for the position.
     3. Requirement to participate in the Direct Deposit/Electronic Fund Transfer Program.
     4. The recommended applicant will not be approved for appointment until the appropriate physical examination is
          completed. Applies to Army Wage Schedule (WG/WL/WS) personnel only.
     5. Assignment to a compatible military position is mandatory.
  VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT APPLICATION CHECKLIST
Neat and carefully prepared package? No binders or covers. Check for spelling
and grammar errors.

Is the position open to your military rank or category (Officer, Warrant Officer, and
Enlisted)? Enlisted applying for officer positions must provide evidence of eligibility
of approval for commission, degree, age, and qualifications.

Are you within the area of consideration?

Is the job title and announcement number on your application? The announcement
number is located at the top center of the announcement. Example: Announcement
No. TVA 08-162 (Do not use Position Description Number).

If applicable, did you include your series and grade beside your job title in the
WORK EXPERIENCE section? (e.g., WG-8852-10, etc.)

Clear and detailed description of duties and responsibilities?

Customized application to specific jobs rather than your entire work history?

Are all acronyms and abbreviations that are not commonly known to all audiences
spelled out?

Did you address all Specialized Experience or KSAs within the application or on a
separate piece of paper with FROM and TO dates and job title?

Did you include your AFSC/MOS for drill status experience or previous military
experience?

If your experience encompassed more than one job function, did you list the
percentage of time in each function?

Did you list all colleges and universities attended?

Did you list dates for each period of experience?

Did you list other qualifications and dates? (valid licenses, certifications, etc.)

Does your resume/application have an original signature and date?

Make sure your application is received by COB on the closing date of the
announcement and make a copy for your records.
                             EXAMPLE KSA WORKSHEET
SMITH, Christie G.
SSN: 123-45-6789
Technician Announcement Number: TVA 08-001
Position Title: Human Resources Specialist, GS-0201-09


KSA # 1: Experience Managing Administrative Operations or Tasks.

Throughout my 15-year career in human resources, I have repeatedly demonstrated my talent to
manage, oversee, and supervise high-level and high-profile administrative tasks. My record shows
repeated success, resulting in progressive increased responsibilities and promotions. I have strong
organizational skills with the ability to quickly diagnose unproductive workflows and processes and re-
organize systems and workstations for maximum productivity. I appropriately delegate, so that even
the most ambitious tasks and projects are achievable through hands-on oversight and short-term
objectives including steps with time frames. I successfully analyze current processes, evaluate
alternatives and options, and implement creative solutions to meet organizational objectives.

I initiated a complete new computer system installation and conversion, a reorganization and
overhaul of the records management system, and an innovative shipping and mailing software
program and tracking system. I have designed and implemented correspondence tracking
procedures and processes, establishing new workflow processes for improved efficiency.


KSA # 2: Skilled in Oral Communications.

Throughout my 15-year career in human resources, I have used my strong communication skills to
clarify and interpret policy, gain support for proposals, present information to large and small groups,
train employees and improve performance.

I was responsible for communicating new policies, programs, initiatives and any management
disseminations to the staff. Through weekly meetings with senior management, I interpret personnel
and operational policies and relate their significance to daily work practices. Generating discussion, I
work with the team to pinpoint potential obstacles and develop smooth implementation plans. I
provide briefing points and, as necessary, attend their staff briefings to assist in implementing policy.

Introducing new human resource programs, I meet with large and small groups of the staff to explain
new benefits and enrollment processes. I also host voluntary topical training opportunities on-site for
staff to expand technology skills, research skills, time management skills and other areas of
professional development. I conduct the sessions personally or invite subject matter experts, as
appropriate. I provide expertise on the application of human resources regulations and employment
laws. Meeting one-on-one with employees and management, I advise on managing personnel issues
to ensure legal compliance and professional solutions.



                                                Don’t Forget:
                                          Each KSA must be addressed
               KSAs will be submitted on a separate sheet(s) of paper and attached to the application