Employment with the National Park Service can be difficult to achieve. For example, a single vacancy can result in over two hundred applications. Most vacancies are for temporary summer appointments, making employment opportunities for these types of jobs extremely competitive. In order to give yourself the best opportunity for consideration, please follow these important job application and occupational questionnaire tips.
Understanding and Correctly Answering Assessment Questions – Occupational Questionnaires serve as a tool to determine the skillset that you have to offer at the closing day of the job announcement. The Key to responding to each question is twofold:
1) You must find a balance where you neither overrate nor underrate your level of experience (i.e. – candidates with a score of 95 will typically be referred in the same group with candidates who score a 100);
2) You must ensure that every response is supported by information in the documents that you’ve uploaded for the job (i.e.-resume).
A. Example #1 - if you select that you have expert level experience in cash register operation, your resume must not only state that you’ve operated a cash register, but that you have supervised or taught others in cash register operation. If our specialists can’t find information on your resume that supports your response, your overall score will be lowered enough to remove you from the best qualified list of applicants.
B. Example #2 – if you have just completed college or a seasonal law enforcement academy, but haven’t performed paid/unpaid work in those studies, then you must select that you have education/training in performing that task, but have no experience. If you select that you have expert level experience, represented by leading/mentoring others, your overall score will be lowered enough to remove you from the best qualified list of applicants.
C. Example #3 – if you have just completed a trade school or have been performing carpentry where you work along with a supervisor or where a supervisor reviews the results, then you shouldn’t select that you have expert level experience. Your resume must not only state that you’ve performed carpentry, but that you have supervised or taught others in carpentry. If our specialists can’t find information on your resume that supports your response, your overall score will be lowered enough to remove you from the best qualified list of applicants.
Credit for Experience - In order to receive credit for experience, your resume must clearly indicate:
A. The nature of the duties and responsibilities for each position. If you describe your work history in just a few sentences, our specialists may not have enough information to credit that work experience. For example, instead of stating “worked on a computer”, a better statement would be “I created and managed spreadsheets, which consisted of entering data, extracting data, compiling data and running reports”.
B. Starting and ending dates of employment that includes both the month and year. Credit for experience is based upon 12 months of work performing specific duties. If you describe your work history only in terms of years, or if you provide no dates, then we can’t credit that work experience. For example, don’t state “2013-2014”. Instead write, “08/19/2013-06/12/2014”.
C. The number of hours worked per week. Credit for ‘full time’ experience is given based upon a 40-hour workweek. If you fail to identify the number of hours per week, or you use words like “Part Time” or “Varied”, you’ll receive no credit for that work experience. As such, if you worked an average of 20 hours per week, then write “20 hrs/week”.
Credit for Education – Often education (i.e. - college) can be used as a substitute for all or some of the experience necessary to qualify for a job. However, in order to receive credit, you must provide transcripts or other documentation to support your educational claims.
Unless otherwise stated:
(1) unofficial transcripts are acceptable, or
(2) a list with all your courses, grades, semester, year, and credit for the course. If you simply identify having a college degree, but don’t provide details regarding all the courses that you completed, you’ll receive no credit.
Keep in mind that unpaid experience is creditable. You will receive credit for any volunteer experience, if you follow the steps identified above in “Credit for Experience”.
Lastly, if you underrate yourself, our specialists will not manually adjust your rating upward.