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Government Job Applications Tangled in Red Tape

With nearly 300,000 jobs listed in USA.gov, many job applicants feel lost in an abyss of bureacracy.

With nearly 300,000 jobs listed in USA.gov, many job applicants feel lost in an abyss of bureaucracy.

The U.S. government has hefty hiring plans between now and 2012, but its job-application process is hobbled by obscure, government-specific requirements and a barely functioning notification process, according to The Wall Street Journal. Changes are being made that are expected to improve the application requirements and notification process, but a number of job seekers and public-policy organizations find the government jobs process grueling.

As an example of the challenges facing applicants, the article profiles Steven Erickson, 25, who has been trying to obtain a federal job for 10 months. Erickson, who has a government internship, volunteer work and a master’s degree under his belt, depicted the application process as “an abyss.”

Mr. Erickson has spent hours on USAJobs, filling out separate applications for program analysis positions in different agencies. His applications generally include both multiple-choice questions and a variety of knowledge, skills and abilities essays that usually need to be tailored specifically to each application.

Standard essays for Mr. Erickson asked him about budgeting and accountability. One application asked applicants to describe their experience with statutes such as the “Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-130″ and “National Institute of Standards and Technology guideline and standards.”

The government needs to hire 273,000 workers over the next three years, estimates the Partnership for Public Service. A newer hiring model is being used that aims to fill vacancies within 80 days or less, but the government acknowledged it should be faster, said the article.

(Image by Rozanne_ via Flickr cc 3.0)

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