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Author Topic: Non-Competitive Eligibility  (Read 10304 times)

Offline Amelia.Plant

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Non-Competitive Eligibility
« on: October 30, 2013, 03:12:49 AM »
Hey all,

People keep telling me to apply for govt jobs while I still have NCE.  Was it useful for other RPCVs?  I have heard that few RPCVs actually get a job using NCE.

Would just like to hear any feedback about it.

Thanks!

Amelia
RPCV, Botswana 2011-2013
Amelia
RPCV, Botswana 2011-2013

Offline Marion

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Re: Non-Competitive Eligibility
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2013, 08:47:29 AM »
I heard a lot about NCE as well.  I heard some amazing stories of people being hired on the spot when they told them they had NCE.  That hasn't been my experience as of yet.  I have talked to a few people in the Social Security Administration and also in the CFPB who were interested but they weren't hiring, they took my info for future openings.  All of the budget stuff going on has been a problem.  Another problem is the way their fiscal year goes.  They hire mostly during the beginning of the fiscal year I think and we are near the end of it now. 

Having said all of that, if you are interested in a government job I encourage you to go to USAJOBS.GOV and set up your profile and start applying.  It takes a long time from when apply online until they would call you in for an interview.  Also, as you know your NCE lapses a year from when you COS.
Marion
RPCV, Botswana (2011-2013)

Jeff

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Re: Non-Competitive Eligibility
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2013, 09:54:02 AM »
NCE actually did help me get my job, but in a sort of roundabout way.

I applied for the position at a job fair hosted by the agency I now work at where they were doing on-the-spot interviews and job offers.  I think something like 10,000+ people showed up (the fire marshal actually shut down admittance to the fair at one point!).

The problem was that the federal hiring laws are so stringent and screwy that they had to pretty much rescind all of the offers afterwards when they were accused of 'not competing' applicants.  When I received notice of that, I emailed the manager that offered me the job and sent her a copy of the NCE letter Peace Corps gave me, and through that process they were able to bring me onboard anyway.

So while I didn't actually apply through the NCE process, I did actually end up getting the job because of it.

As for the fiscal year, it actually started Oct 1, but a lot of agencies (mine included) are being very cautious about hiring, as we don't actually know what our budgets will be for the year.  Based solely on what I am hearing where I work, they intend to ramp up hiring after Jan 15 as that is when the current CR either runs out, or we get some more money.

I would definitely apply to as many jobs as you can through USAJOBS, and make sure you select the option that says, "Special Hiring Authority" when actually filling out the application for a specific job (which is what I forgot to do when I applied at the job fair), then attach the PC NCE letter to your applicant file.  Additionally, when searching for jobs or setting up a job search agent, remember to select "yes" under Applicant Eligibility for the "A person with noncompetitive appointment eligibility?" question - this usually brings up a lot more positions.

And remember, you can apply for ANY grade position with the NCE, as long as you can articulate how you meet the requirements/KSAs.  At our CoS conference one of the panel members they had told me that someone right out of college could probably justify a GS-9 position after 2 years of PC (counting the 1st year of PC as a GS-5, and the second as a GS-7), and that's what I was able to do when I was selected.

Right now the secret to getting a government job is probably mass applying, as due to the budget situations (sequestration among others), hiring is significantly down in general.

Jeff
RPCV, Ghana 03-05


Offline Amelia.Plant

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Re: Non-Competitive Eligibility
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2013, 07:06:28 AM »
Thanks for the info.  So I have to apply for the job within a year of COS or I have to have gotten the job by that point?

Amelia
RPCV, Botswana 2011-2013
Amelia
RPCV, Botswana 2011-2013

Offline brittanymeredith

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Re: Non-Competitive Eligibility
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2013, 02:08:24 PM »
Hi Amelia,

I believe that you have a year from your COS date during which you may submit an application for non-competitive eligibility. The federal hiring process takes quite a long time even with NCE. I did manage to use NCE to get my current job, which is with USCIS. My office hired a lot of RPCVs that way actually. I think that it made the hiring process quite simple compared to the usual federal process. I never heard anything back about the positions I applied to on USAjobs. My agency periodically puts postings up on the Peace Corps website, but they don't always stay up for very long. I think the trick is to keep checking the site for NCE positions that interest you. The agencies that post on the PC site are looking specifically to hire RPCVs through noncompetitive eligibility. Let me know if you have any more questions!

Brittany
RPCV, Liberia 2010-2012

Offline Amelia.Plant

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Re: Non-Competitive Eligibility
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2013, 12:14:12 AM »
Thanks everyone!
Amelia
RPCV, Botswana 2011-2013

Offline shawn

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Re: Non-Competitive Eligibility
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2013, 02:28:31 AM »
I don't remember the exact details, but I know there are certain things that can extend your NCE status past 1 year (or at least defer it). I think doing a fellows program might.

Also, if I remember right, a federal agency looking to hire you can choose to honor your NCE even after the 1 year mark, although they obviously don't have to.
PCVL - Rwanda 2010-2013
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Offline Amelia.Plant

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Re: Non-Competitive Eligibility
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2013, 06:31:07 AM »
Good to know!
Amelia
RPCV, Botswana 2011-2013

Offline shawn

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Re: Non-Competitive Eligibility
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2013, 04:04:34 AM »
Here is the official language regarding NCE as per the current Description of Service:

Pursuant to section 5(f) of the Peace Corps Act 22 U.S.C 2504 (f) as amended, any former volunteer employed by the United States Government following [HIS/HER] Peace Corps Volunteer service is entitled to have any period of satisfactory Peace Corps Volunteer service credited for purposes of retirement, seniority, reduction in force, leave and other privileges based on length of federal government service. Peace Corps service shall not be credited toward completion of the probationary or trial period or completion of any service requirement for career appointment.

This is to certify in accordance with Executive Order 11103 of April 10, 1963 that [NAME NAME] served successfully as a Peace Corps Volunteer.  [HIS/HER] service ended on [COS DATE].  [HE/SHE] is therefore eligible to be appointed as a career-conditional employee in the competitive civil service on a non-competitive basis.  This benefit under the Executive Order extends for a period of one year after the termination of Volunteer service, except that the employing agency may extend the period for up to three years for a former Volunteer who enters military service, pursues studies at a recognized institution of higher learning, or engages in other activities that, in the view of the appointing agency, warrant extension of that period.

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Offline RPCVro

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Re: Non-Competitive Eligibility
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2014, 09:34:21 PM »
When I've asked, those "other activities" have typically been described as some other major, full-time volunteer commitment like AmeriCorps or nationally-recognized programs like Teach for America.

Edit: And I forgot to include that I've had multiple interviews with federal agencies looking to hire an RPCV with NCE, and recently received/accepted an offer. Some of these, though...I submitted my resume back in late August/early September, and only started getting calls/emails in late-January/early-February.

Offline pcteacher68

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Re: Non-Competitive Eligibility
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2014, 07:01:58 PM »
Do PC response volunteers have nce?

Offline RetiredFed

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Re: Non-Competitive Eligibility
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2014, 08:37:30 PM »
yes.  In my opinion, you should definitely take advantage of it.  I just retired after 31 years as a fed employee and the benefits while employed, and the retirement afterwards cannot be beat.

Offline PeaceCorps1

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Re: Non-Competitive Eligibility
« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2014, 02:49:03 AM »
There are MANY ways to teach overseas, I chose Peace Corps as it was the only one to offer NCE.
"If it were not for the reporters, I'd tell you the truth"', President Chester A. Arthur

Offline shawn

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Re: Non-Competitive Eligibility
« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2014, 05:33:15 AM »
If you're looking to use NCE to get a job post Peace Corps. here is my 1 thought:

START EARLY.

Like the moment you have that signed DOS, submit it everywhere. It takes forever and a day to get anything done hiring-wise in the gov't, so the sooner the start, the more likely you'll be to get something.

Just remember there is NO guarantee with NCE, and there are plenty of awesome jobs that do not require it. But if you want to get in using it, go for it. The PC's career page as a RPCV job portal that is pretty much all NCE, but I would also just troll individual agencies by sending them 'hire me' letters directly, and DO NOT forget to mention your NCE in your cover letter/resume.

Also, as always, the best way to use NCE: network the crap out of your contacts.
PCVL - Rwanda 2010-2013
NPCA Serving Volunteer Advisory Council