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Jobs - Helpful Tips for Completing Applications, Responding to Test Questions and Submitting Application Materials

Helpful tips to aid you in completing an application for jobs with ODFW, responding to supplemental questions and submitting application materials.

 Applications

You must clearly describe your experience (and list education) according to the minimum qualifications listed in the “Qualifications & Desired Attributes” section on the job posting. Job titles can support what you describe but they are not enough to meet the qualifications. If your description of work in the “Work Experience” section is too brief and/or insufficient to determine if you meet the qualifications for the job, your application may not be accepted. Example: If you gathered data, analyzed data, and/or prepared reports, describe what you did in the performance of these tasks. It is essential that you mark the appropriate responses on your online application. The application is used specifically to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications of the position for which you are applying.

Avoid jargon or acronyms. Convey information in commonly used terms to make the message clear.

List each job separately. Don’t lump jobs together even if they were for the same agency or organization. Include all relevant experience whether it was paid or unpaid.

If you worked out of class while in a particular position, include this experience as a part of the duties you performed under the same job for which you were hired. Along with the duties, state the classification for which you worked out of class and the time period.

Treat any volunteer positions as a typical job. Include them in the work experience section of the application and include start/end dates and the average number of hours worked per week.

Be sure to complete all parts of the application form. All sections should be filled in, particularly the month/year worked, and the average hours worked per week. If it is less than 40, the length of time in that job will be prorated accordingly. Don’t put “varies”, as this will not be enough information to provide you credit for the experience. This information is needed to determine the amount of time you spent in a job. The hours you work per week may also provide an explanation for any jobs that have overlapping time periods.

If qualifying duties were not the main focus of your job, provide the percentage of time you spent doing the duties that qualify you for the position for which you are applying. Otherwise, there may not be enough information to provide you with credit for that experience toward meeting the minimum qualifications. Examples: Gathering biological data 4 hours out of a 40 hour week = 10%, or 5 hours out of a 20 hour week = 25%.

If you want your education to count toward the minimum qualifications of a position for which you apply, you must attach a copy of your college transcripts (not just a listing of courses). Your transcripts must include coursework and indicate that a degree was conferred (if a degree is necessary for qualification). The copy does not have to be the “official” (sealed) copy. Online transcripts are acceptable.

If you have obtained a Master’s degree that includes work experience from an internship, work/study, or similar program you can list this experience in the “Work Experience” section of the application form to receive credit for the work experience. Both the Master’s degree and applicable work experience will be reviewed separately and both may count toward minimum qualifications.

Be sure to update your application so that it’s current.

 Written Supplemental Question Responses

Applicants are typically invited to an interview based on their responses to the supplemental questions (only), not their application. The application is used to determine qualifications and may be used to verify information provided in the supplemental responses. Be sure that your answers to the supplemental questions are supported by the “Work Experience” section of your Oregon E-Recruit application. A further screening with additional supplemental questions may be conducted after the posting has closed.

If you are required to submit responses to additional supplemental questions after the job posting closes, the following are some helpful tips to keep in mind:

Number your responses to correspond to the questions. Some questions have multiple parts. Be sure to answer each part of the question. For example, if the question format has parts a, b, c - respond and number each separately. If a communication question asks you to identify the topic, audience, etc., be sure you covered it all. Each part of the question is important.

It is easier for the reviewers to read responses to questions when the responses are categorized. For example, your experience on surveys might be one category, making recommendations might be another. This is more helpful than responding to the question by describing your experience job by job.

When describing your experience (or training), be sure to include the job (education) from which you gained that experience (or training). This job (education) must be listed in your application to receive credit.

Be sure to include your level of responsibility. Did you assist? Were you solely responsible?

Write your experience in the past (or present) tense. It is important to show that you have done something (e.g., “I conducted surveys …”) or that you are currently doing something (e.g., “I conduct surveys …”). An experience you have not yet done will not be considered (e.g., “I will conduct surveys” or “I will complete a report”).

If you did something yourself, take ownership of it. Use the word “I.” (e.g., “I wrote recommendations on …”). Don’t write about the process or what “we” did. If you write, “A recommendation was made…” or “The hatchery made a recommendation …”, reviewers don’t know who actually made the recommendation. Make it clear that you did it (if you did). If someone assisted you or you assisted someone else, state it.

Be concise, yet thorough. Many applicants are too brief. Others send in an overabundance of materials. Basically, all that is needed is an explanation of how your experience (and/or training) provided you with the knowledge and skills listed in each question. All other materials are disregarded, such as references, performance evaluations, and position descriptions.

Reviewers are interested in breadth of experience including measurable items, such as numbers of species worked with and the variety of settings. Depth of experience is important, such as tasks providing use of the skills at the level of learner, lead worker, or supervisor. For example, when dealing with budgets, you should state if you assisted, prepared, or developed budget material, what material you prepared (worksheets, complete draft budget, final form), and what decisions were made with it. Simple statements of “involved in budgets” or “coordinated budget information” are not descriptive enough and would be difficult to evaluate. What were your duties? What did you do to achieve results? Again, be truthful and accurate in your responses.

 Submitting Application Materials

Job Postings are typically opened for each specific vacancy. An application must be submitted online for each competitive job for which you are applying. The ODFW Employment Application can be submitted for noncompetitive positions, such as the Experimental Biology Aide (EBA). This application is not an online application and cannot be used for competitive positions.

Applications must be submitted online by 11:59 p.m. on the closing date (unless otherwise specified on the job posting).

Please keep in mind that ODFW is not responsible for applications that are illegible or incomplete or that were not submitted on time. No additional information or attachments may be added once the posting has closed.

If you have questions on this information or general recruitment questions, you may contact the Human Resources Recruitment Unit at 503-947-6051.

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