Is it really that difficult to get hired for a federal job? I was interviewed for a GS12 job but never heard back, they still didn’t hire anyone and I didn’t get a rejection. I applied for another GS07 job, was accepted, I took it, but I believe I can do better. I have a master’s and have extra graduate research experience. I am still applying to new jobs but I was told it is impossible to move up the grade level now. Everyone is telling me to stick with the government. What are your thoughts?

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A GS12 is a seasoned professional, right below most
Leadership roles. To be onboarded as a 12, most interviewers are looking for someone who can join a team and pick up right away.

Also, this is a difficult question to answer because there are many factors that go into it. It seems that this position was cancelled, which happens often due to many different factors. Thus being why you didn’t get a rejection.

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It is difficult. It all and I mean ALL comes down to timing. Got in as a GS-07 right out of college and only took me 5 years to get a GS-13 with steps in a specialized unit. You have to be a hawk on USAJOBS and apply to everything you want at the right time. It’s definitely worth it to get in and put your time in to get the grade.

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that’s not true. I hired in at a NH-03 equivalent to a GS13 (I believe) and only have a bachelors. But I have 15 years relevant work experience.

Unfortunately, I've found that a lot of federal jobs already have someone in mind when they post the position.

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Yes , coming from a government background, this is accurate!

I know I’ll get hate for this but ppl with Masters seem to think they’re worth so much… it’s a 2yr degree, it’s not worth much more.

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Most respectable (read prestigious) MBAs are 2 yrs…. There’s obviously a difference between FT/PT but if you’re not doing a FT program at a T25 B school then an MBA is just a piece of paper.

I started as a 5 working on my masters and then got a 7 when I graduated 8 months later. The gov is tricky. It is a who you know and work the system right. In your case, once you come in as a 7 - you rarely can transfer to a 12. You can get stuck under time in grade if you are GS. GG or NH can have more flexibility. Just get in and network.

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I started as a GS 5 and it took me 6 years before I started making money. After I left the government I gain $40k after a year of leaving the agency. I say all this to say a degree won’t get you to the top. It will help some but you got people that has worked for the agency for 20 plus years. They mostly will get the jobs first before a person with a degree. The roles has change cause people with degrees won’t stay in these positions.

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Hi! I was just reviewing comments and I’m currently employed by state government looking to get out. I’m assuming you left government all together? Any tips?

I’ve experienced similar situations with the Federal government. I interviewed, wasn’t rejected for the job and haven’t heard anything else. It’s about who you know not what you know.

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Well if you were qualified at the GS-12 level in whatever career field you qualified in, you're still qualified at the GS-12 level, regardless of your current GS level. Would help to have more context about both jobs.

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You can always get a couple of years in, leave for a better position and get rehired with a higher salary as they typically match at that point

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It depends on what position you applied for. A lot of organizations have a score sheet when interviewing candidates. They get points for education, experience, certifications or continuing education in the field you applied for, how the candidates answer questions etc. You said you know they haven’t hired anyone. Could there be something wrong with their budget? It is also not uncommon for things to fall through the cracks with the Government for several reasons. I recommend applying to several organizations and not giving up. Also try to do some networking with people in your field. That really helps.

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It’s easier to get to the GS-12 level if you already work in government. I’d stay for a couple of years and if you don’t move up quick enough, start looking for a private sector job. With the experience you gain you’ll more than make up for the pay you “missed” out on.

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What exactly do you do? That will inform your options

Right but the thing is if you are doing personnel security a Masters of Fine Arts in Art Administration wont matter in the same way a Masters in Intelligence Studies isnt going to help you get a position at the Smithsonian.

Also, some agencies pay better than others. Back to personnel security, I have seethe same position as a Program Security Officer be a GS11 with one part of the government and a GS15 at another. Just depends on where they decided to put their budget.

Masters usually can enter at GS 9.

The level of difficulty to obtain the position is just as varied as to how long it takes to reach a higher pay grade. It all comes down to which government agency and division you are applying.

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