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Mr. Maye thank you for the question,

Students like yourself are the exact reason why we are creating the Pathways Programs.

Our goal is to create multiple ways that students and recent graduates can have careers in Federal service. If you are graduating soon, you may want to consider the Recent Graduates program, which will be brand new. Use this time to meet with managers and conduct informational interviews to determine where your best fit might be. Although agencies are not requires to participate, we anticipate that most will.

Best of luck on your search.


Posted 10:48 AM by
I have been a government employee since 2006 on multiple STEP appointments since then with no luck of getting converted into a SCEP or succesfully getting hired for an entry level position. What advantage will the new Pathways Program provide so that students like me who want civil service careers aren't stuck in the same boat year after year. In addition, will all agencies be required to participate in the program? Thank You :-)

Thank you Ms. Marsh for the question.

We are hopeful that the final regulations for the Pathways Program will be final Spring 2012.


Ms. Duren,

Thank you for the blog entry.  

We encourage you to continue to apply for the positions that you feel you qualify for, and to ensure the record is clear: veteran's preference is the only hiring preference allowed in federal hiring law.

But if you have 15 years as a civil servant (tenure), you are eligible for reinstatement. It is important to note that reinstatement eligibility is not a guarantee for a job.  

Please visit this USAJOBS information page for all the details you'll need: http://www.usajobs.gov/resourcecenter/index/interactive/reinstatementeligibility  

I hope this is helpful.


Posted 1:15 PM by
What is the status on the Pathways Program? I've heard that something is supposed to come out in May 2012.

Why is it so difficult to come back to the government? One would think that with prior experience and then additional senior level experience on the outside, it would be easy to come back to Federal Govt. Instead, it is almost impossible unless 'you know someone'! I am a former senior GS-15, with more than 15years with the Govt; never rec'd less than an exceptional rating. I left for a senior position with industry (7years), but the company was bought, so given the economy - thought it would be easy to come back. Instead I find out that my seniority means nothing, my senior level degrees and training mean nothing, experience on the outside means nothing. There is no preference for prior Govt, instead, it is 'who' you know. This is terrible as USAJOBs positions have upward of 300 applicants and you are lucky to even make the list. Why is this and why doesn't all of the previous time and effort put into the government count? It seems that it is a case of 'who you know' and most of the success is male. Why is there no prior federal service preference? Who do we talk to in order to be considered? Why does 15 prior successful years in the Federal service not count in selection?

Mr. Hasbrouck thank you for the blog question, a good one.

Agencies can merge the highest quality category with the next lower quality category when there are fewer than three eligible candidates assigned to the highest quality category regardless of the number of vacancies to be filled.

In your example, the agency is allowed to merge the highest quality category of 35 eligibles only when there are 2 remaining elgibles available in the highest category and vacancies need to be filled.

I hope this is helpful


The merging categories rules seems to imply that the intent of hiring reform is to have a minimum of 3 times as many candidates as open positions, where if less than 3 elgible candidates appear in the highest quality category, the next lower category may be merged. When a job announcement is posted for hiring multiple openings (i.e. Greater than 1 opening). Is the agency allowed to merge categories when they do not have greater than 3 times as many eligible candidates? Example: An agency posts an announcement to fill 20 positions under the same announcement. If the highest quality category only has 35 candidates, is the agency allowed to merge the categories to obtain a larger field of candidates?

Mr. Parrott thank you for your blog entry,

The Presidential Memorandum – "Improving the Federal Recruitment and Hiring Process", does not mandate 80 days as the time to hire, what it does prescribe is; “improve the quality and speed of agency hiring by: (i) reducing substantially the time it takes to hire mission-critical and commonly filled positions…”

Agencies have and continue to reduce the time it takes to hire mission-critical and commonly filled positions, and are making great strides toward the (non-mandated) goal of 80 days.

Also, the Presidential Memorandum instructs Agencies to “notify individuals applying for Federal employment through USAJOBS, an OPM-approved Federal web-based employment search portal, about the status of their application at key stages of the application process”.

It would be appropriate for you to contact the Agency you've applied with about their applicant notification policy.


Thank you Ms. Harris for your blog entry,

While I can't speak to the specifics of your various 'debriefs', I can tell you that gaining employment in the federal government is not predicated on the applicant's possession of performance awards, nor do the standards used to qualify federal positions include performance awards as a requirement.

A 91 score is an outstanding score, but if there is an applicant with a score of 92 or higher, that person would of course have a higher ranking.

I hope this information has been helpful.


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