Thursday, November 06, 2008
More on using "Avue Central" for "Uncle Sam" jobs
Well, I went through my first submission through the Avue Central site (see this blog Oct 31), this job with the Library of Congress.
The short essay questions for the job, called "KSA's" are already posted at USAJobs for the position, and they are reproduced here again as "KSA's or competencies," with the applicant's essay answer called "supporting information." The Avue site provides more specific instructions as to answering the questions. Typically, even though the questions sound general, the applicant should list specific accomplishments along with specific hardware of software applications or areas mastered. The answers should be narrowly tailored, however, to the job sought.
I did run into some quirks. First, in the Work History, the site has added some mandatory items (including hours worked), and a highest promotable grade for federal jobs. If you save the history, it will tell you that you have some incomplete items without telling you which one. You have to reupdate every work history item manually to find it. For federal jobs, it expects you to know the grade you had, and it checks for conflicts in the highest promotion potential field (it must be filled in for every position) and also for “highest grade held on a permanent basis in the competitive service” . That’s supposedly an optional field, but it still looks for conflicts.
Furthermore the system will tell you that you have missed mandatory “red” items and it will seem that this comes from the work history, when actually it comes from basic items like confirming eligibility.
You also have to certify the application once you have fixed all mandatory errors. If you look at your list of applications, the system will say “Completed Application” when actually it still wants you to certify it. If you run the cursor over the “completed application” you see the mnemonic “apply” which starts the certification. You haven’t completed the application until you get the “Thank You” screen. AvueCentral also may send you an email warning you that you haven’t completed your profile (particularly the language mastery section and geographical areas experience section, which may seem superfluous to many jobs, but it is required that it be filled out).