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Vacancy Details


Announcement Number:
Hiring Agency:
Position Title:
Public Affairs Specialist (DE/CR)
Open Period:
08/21/2018 - 08/27/2018


GS - 1035 11
USD $68,036 - USD $88,450
Work Schedule:
Full-time - Competitive Service: Career or Career-Conditional
Promotion Potential:
Duty Location(s):
Washington, DC, US
Telework Eligible:
For More Info:
Julia Schroeder


Hiring Path:
• Open to the public
Who May Apply/Clarification From the Agency:
* All qualified United States Citizens or Nationals;
* CTAP/ICTAP eligibles
Security Clearance Required:
Appointment Type
Term appt, NTE 13 mos
Appointment Type Details:
Full-Time, Term
Marketing Statement:
The mission of the U.S. Department of Commerce is to help American businesses thrive, creating jobs here at home while being competitive abroad.  Our programs touch the daily lives of the American people in many ways, with a wide range of responsibilities in the areas of trade, economic development, technology, entrepreneurship and business development, environmental stewardship, and statistical research and analysis.

This position is located in the Economic Development Administration, Office of Public Affairs. As a Public Affairs Specialist, the incumbent develops & implements programs designed to inform the public and special interest groups about the Economic Development Administration programs. The incumbent performs work in support of public affairs program planning and development and dissemination of informational materials to the general public, the business community, and specialized audiences.


Supervisory Position:
Relocation Expenses Reimbursed:
Travel Required:
Occasional Travel

Travel is required 5%-10%


The individuals selected for this position will perform the following duties:

  • Serve as a Division liaison with the Office of the Secretary and Office of Public Affairs to provide information on agency activities through weekly reports and briefings papers.

  • Serve as an agency liaison for media and press relations.

  • Writes and manages the dissemination of agency press releases, and liaisons with the Office of the Secretary, Office of Public Affairs to coordinate issues relating to agency press outreach and information dissemination.

  • Writes and manages the dissemination of the agency brochures, news releases, newsletters, booklets, for dissemination as part of comprehensive information campaigns.

  • Works with organizational groups, business communities, editors of trade magazines, as well as press and other media outlets, to ensure coverage and support of EDA objectives.

  • Helps develop and implement EDA's social media program, utilizing Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Youtube platforms

Qualifications and Evaluations


SECURITY CLEARANCE:  This position requires a LOW RISK CLEARANCE. Any required investigations and clearances must be completed before the selectee can be placed in the position.

Applicants must meet ALL application requirements, to include a complete online resume, by 11:59 p.m. EASTERN TIME ZONE (ETZ) on the closing date of this announcement. Applicants must meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of this announcement.

Key Requirements:
  • Must be a United States Citizen.
  • Must be suitable for Federal Employment.
  • Investigations and clearances must be completed prior to appointment.
  • You must be registered for Selective Service if applicable (
  • A one-year trial period may be required.
  • Education Requirements:

    Your resume, optional cover letter and supporting documentation will be reviewed to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications for the position.  If you meet the minimum qualifications stated in the job opportunity announcement, we will compare your resume, optional cover letter and supporting documentation to your responses on the scored occupational questionnaire (True/False, Yes/ No, Multiple Choice questions) and place you in one of three pre-defined categories.  These categories are “gold,” “silver,” and “bronze.”  Your resume and/or optional cover letter must support your responses to the scored occupational questionnaire, or your score may be lowered.  Candidates placed in the “gold” category will be identified for referral to the hiring manager and may be invited for an interview.

    How you will be evaluated for preference eligibility: Within each category, those entitled to veterans’ preference will be listed at the top of the pre-defined category for which they are placed.  Preference eligibles with a service-connected disability of 10% or more will be listed at the top of the highest quality category (gold). 

    The scored occupational questionnaire will evaluate you on the following competencies; please do not provide a separate written response:

    • Knowledge of program areas, pending congressional legislation, Commerce Department regulations, and official agency policies.

    • Ability to develop and maintain professional relationships with local and national media.

    • Ability to communicate orally and in writing to develop materials for public awareness.

    • Skill in developing promotional activities and materials to elevate minority business development issues and programs.

    • Knowledge of all media technology, i.e. written, oral, and visual media


    To qualify for the GS-11:

    Specialized experience: Applicants must possess one full year of specialized experience. You must possess 52 weeks of specialized experience at a level of difficulty and responsibility equivalent to the GS-09. Experience for this position includes:

    • Implementation of external and internal communications strategies accomplishing public relations tasks for an organization;

    • Experience writing promotional materials and developing communications through press releases, newsletters, websites, and other communication platforms;

    • Experience proofreading and editing material for clarity, accuracy and standard journalistic style compliance, monitoring news media and assisting with researching information, including news articles, studies and reports; and

    • Experience with developing communications to promote agency brand awareness.


    EDUCATION: Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree or 3 full years of progressively higher-level graduate education leading to such a degree that provided you with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform the work of a program analyst


    A combination of education and experience. (Equivalent combinations of successfully completed education and experience may be used to meet the experience requirements.)

    Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social).  Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment.  You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

    Applicants must meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of this announcement. Qualification requirements in the vacancy announcements are based on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Qualification Standards Handbook, which contains federal qualification standards. This handbook is available on the Office of Personnel Management's website located at

    Benefits and Other Info


    The Department of Commerce offers a comprehensive benefits package. Explore the benefits offered to most Federal employees at

    Other Information:

    This is a term appointment not to exceed 13 months. Term appointments are non-status, non-permanent appointments of limited duration of more than 1 year, but not more than 4 years and are subject to a 1 year trial period. Should the need warrant, term appointments may be extended without further competition up to a maximum of the 4 year limitation. The appointment to a term position does not confer eligibility for promotion, reassignment, or transfer to other positions or the ability to be non-competitively converted to permanent employment.

    This position is in the bargaining unit.

    CTAP and ICTAP candidates will be eligible if it is determined that they have exceeded the minimum qualifications for the position by attaining at least a rating of Silver (Well Qualified).  Information about CTAP eligibility is on the Office of Personnel Management's Career Transition Resources website at: Workforce Restructuring

    CTAP applicants MUST submit the following documents:

    1. A copy of your RIF separation notice, notice of proposed removal for declining a directed geographic relocation outside of the local commuting area; a Certificate of Expected Separation (CES); or certification that you are in a surplus organization or occupation (this could be a position abolishment letter, a notice eligibility for discontinued service retirement, or similar notice).

    2. A copy of your SF-50 "Notification of Personnel Action", noting current position, grade level, and duty location;

    3. A copy of your latest performance appraisal including your rating; and

    4. Any documentation from your bureau/operating unit that shows your current promotion potential.

    ICTAP applicants MUST submit the following documents:

    1. A copy of your RIF separation notice, notice of proposed removal for declining a directed geographic relocation outside of the local commuting area; notice of disability annuity termination; certification from your former agency that it cannot place you after your recovery from a work-related compensable injury; or certification from the National Guard Bureau or Military Department that you are eligible for disability retirement.

    2. A copy of your SF-50 "Notification of Personnel Action", documenting your RIF separation, noting your positions, grade/band level, and duty location, and/or Agency certification of inability to place you through RPL, etc.;

    3. A copy of your latest performance appraisal including your rating; and

    4. Any documentation from your agency that shows your current promotion potential.

    The following links provide information on how you may be eligible for various hiring authorities:

    1. VRA & VEOA -

    2. 30% or more disabled veteran -

    3. Persons with disabilities -

    4. CTAP -

    5. ICTAP -

    The Department of Commerce provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the Human Resources Office. The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be on a case-by-case basis. TTY users can contact the Human Resources Office via the Federal Relay Service, 1-800-877-8339.

    How to Apply

    How to Apply:

    Your complete application, including required documents, must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement.

    To apply on-line, you must complete and submit an application by accessing the USAJOBS website at  To begin, click the “Apply” button and follow the prompts to register into your USAJOBS account, answer the questions, and submit all required documents. (After registering in your USAJOBS account and clicking "Submit," you will automatically transition to the Department of Commerce's specific site where you will complete your application. You must click "Submit" at the end of the application process to send your application for consideration.)

    To return to your saved application, log in to your USAJOBS account at and click on “Applications.”  Click on the position title, and then select "Update Application."

    If you have problems completing your on-line application, including problems submitting your supporting documents, please contact the Help Desk by e-mail at or phone at 866-656-6831. The help desk is available Monday-Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET.  Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply online; however, if you are unable to apply online, please contact: Nicole Koniak

    Required Documents:

    Required Documents:  A complete application consists of the following:

    • Resume showing relevant experience; cover letter optional. Your resume should list your educational and work experience including the dates (mm/dd/yy) of each employment along with the number of hours worked per week.  For work in the Federal service, please include the grade level for the position(s).  Your resume may be used to validate your responses to the scored occupational questionnaire. Your resume should also indicate your citizenship and if you are registered with the Selective Service if you are a male born after 12/31/59

    • Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) and Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) documentation, if applicable, (see other information.)

    • Veterans' Preference documentation. Please indicate on your resume the type of veterans' preference you are claiming and provide the appropriate supporting documentation (DD-214 stating disposition of discharge or character of service, VA letter, Standard Form 15 revised October 2013, etc.) to validate your claim. For more information regarding eligibility requirements, please go to:

    • Education. If this position requires proof of higher education, or you are substituting education for experience, you must submit an unofficial transcript or a list of courses that includes the following information: name of accredited institution, grades earned, completion dates, and quarter and semester hours earned. Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet the requirements. Please refer to for more information

    • Special Instructions for Foreign Education: Qualifying education from colleges and universities in foreign countries must be evaluated in terms of equivalency to that acquired in U.S. colleges and universities. Applicants educated in whole or in part in foreign countries must submit sufficient evidence, including transcripts, to an accredited private organization for an equivalency evaluation of course work and degree. A listing of these accredited organizations can be found on the Department of Education's website - You must provide a copy of the letter containing the results of the equivalency evaluation with a course by course listing along with your application. Failure to provide such documentation when requested will result in lost consideration.

    You are not required to submit official documents at this time; copies are sufficient.  FAILURE TO SUBMIT (VIA FAX OR ATTACHMENT) THE APPLICABLE DOCUMENTS MAY EXCLUDE YOU FROM FURTHER CONSIDERATION.

    Next Steps:
    You will be notified of your application status through USAJOBS at four points during the hiring process, as applicable. You can check the status of your application by accessing the USAJOBS website at and clicking on "Applications."
    The four points of notification are:
    1. Application Received or Application Incomplete;
    2. Minimum Qualification Requirement Met or Minimum Qualification Requirement Not Met;
    3.  Referred or Not Referred; and
    4.  Selected or Not Selected
    By submitting your application, you are certifying the accuracy of the information contained in your application. If you make a false statement in any part of your application, you may not be hired; you may be terminated after you begin work; or, you may be fined or jailed. After making a tentative job offer, we will conduct a suitability/security background investigation.
    You will be required to submit official documentation prior to appointment. The agency will then verify the information provided on your application (i.e., degree, veterans' preference, disability, etc.).