What are the best contract specialist qualifications and training to get ahead?

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What is the best training for becoming a contract specialist? What types of ongoing training or certifications are necessary to be an effective contract specialist?

What do non-traditional career paths look like?

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Sam in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

92 months ago

I am interested in a federal government contract specialist job. What is the best type of training to receive and what are the best certifications? Is a CPM helpful?

Thanks!

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Sam in Gallatin, Tennessee

90 months ago

Thanks for the information Susan. I have a B.S. in Business Management and a M.S. in Operations Management. I have applied for several DOD contract specialist jobs and had no success. Perhaps I can start at the GS-7 level and complete some DAU courses. I have considered taking some of the DAU courses that are taught by a training organization. Apparently a couple of them are approved by DOD, but the courses are expensive and you still might not get accepted.
Currently I am being looked at for a program analyst, GS-11/12 position. I am a VEOP and VRA eligible veteran. Ultimately, I would like to land a job in Orlando. There a lot of contract specialist positions there, but I don't think there are many program analyst.
Thank you for your comments and suggestions!
I means a lot to me.

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Charlie in Santa Monica, California

79 months ago

Susan in Albuquerque, New Mexico said: You need a degree with 24 credits in business. A business degree is good. A masters degree is good too. If you have previous exposure to contracts in any previous job that will be a plus. I got in a training position as a GS-7/9/11/12 (I started as a GS7 and will end up as a GS12 without having to compete for the jobs) with a B.S. in Accounting, an M.S. in Management, and corporate experience in Accounting. Look in USAJobs.gov under "series search". The series number for contracting is 1102.

Hi Susan. I am interested in a job as a Contract Specialist for the government but I am unclear about the hiring process. I have 4 years honorable service in the Coast Guard and I will soon graduate with a degree in Finance/Contract Management. About what paygrade would I start out as with no experience? I was reading through the USAjobs.com and it seems I could sign on as a GS-11. Im not sure though. Any advice you could give me would be appreciated. Thanks

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Ricardo in Washington, District of Columbia

62 months ago

DAU Courses are good, however most employers will pay for those courses after you get the job. Try to gain some resume experience with negotiating, reading and writing comprehension, multi-tasking, purchasing and experience with contracts to enhance your resume. Since the goverment can sometimes be about who you know I would also say start networking... ask friends and friends of friends if they know someone in the procurement department or hr department. I am sure you are already placing your resume on usajobs but also remember to look at each agencies individual website and attend college job fairs.

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Carolyn in Downey, California

61 months ago

I have 10+ years experience in procurement including the negotiations of international and national contracts. I have some experience in government purchasing when I lived in Canada but any experience I currently have is in the private section.

Wanting to increase my knowledge with contracting as it pertains to the Federal government procurement of goods and services

I currently live in California but am willing to relocate to anywhere within the USA. Please note that I am an American citizen as of 9/11/2008.

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Michelle Hong in Fredericksburg, Virginia

60 months ago

Contract Specialists with active TS clearance willing to relocate to Charlottesville, VA and possess experience with PD2, contact me ASAP for immediate consideration for this position. Salary negotiable. respond with email.

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Sue in Providence Forge, Virginia

59 months ago

I thought I was alone in my pursuit for a Contract Specialist job with the Federal Government and private industry; I have pursued many internships, trainee, and entry level announcements. I have Masters in Contracts/Acquistions and B.S. in Legal Studies, only classroom experience, but no job experience. Who is the right candidate, because this is my niche in life.

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sam in Novi, Michigan

53 months ago

ARS in Dayton, Ohio said: I just got a job at WPAFB in Dayton, OH as a Contract Negotiator. I have 8 years experience in purchasing in private industry, along with a masters degree and an engineering undergrad.

The jobs are there, but so is the competition. I recommend networking extensively to find out where the jobs are and to get your resume directly into the hands of hiring managers. Also, be on the lookout for job fairs. You can meet the people directly, and they may have the ability to interview or hire on the spot.

Good luck.


ARS...thanks for the post. How do I contact you.

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Edith in Alexandria, Virginia

50 months ago

Michelle Hong in Fredericksburg, Virginia said: Contract Specialists with active TS clearance willing to relocate to Charlottesville, VA and possess experience with PD2, contact me ASAP for immediate consideration for this position. Salary negotiable. respond with email.

I believe CACI has positions in C'ville. Check them out. I am a government contractor completing my Bachelors in Business. I want to get into that field. How can I get my foot in the door?

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Melanie in Capitol Heights, Maryland

49 months ago

I want to thank you all for the information for Contract Specialist positions. I obtained my MBA and I have applied to many FCIP Contract Specialist positions and I'm waiting for a reply. In the mean time, what is my best course of action in order to get the knowledge for these positions. I know they will provide on the job training, but I just dont want to sit around the house waiting for a call, instead I can be taking courses with DAU. (Which I just signed up for last week)

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Jamie Woodard in Spotsylvania, Virginia

48 months ago

Edith in Alexandria, Virginia said: I believe CACI has positions in C'ville. Check them out. I am a government contractor completing my Bachelors in Business. I want to get into that field. How can I get my foot in the door?

Edith, there are many contractors in Alexandria and I happen to knwo that Bowhead and Amyx in your area are hiring as I have relatives that work for both companies. Check them out.

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Sam in Novi, Michigan

48 months ago

PETE LIVERPOOL in Baltimore, Maryland said: Hello,

My name is Pete and I just recently gain employment at DOD as a Contract Specialist GS 7/9/11/12/13 Series. I've been working there since September 2009. Before they hired me, I utilized this website extensively to gain insight on a Contract Specialist. If there is anything I can do to help, encourage anyone or offer insight, don't hesistate,

Hello Pete, Can you please let me know how I can contact you...

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Ron in Baltimore, Maryland

48 months ago

Hello Pete,

My name is Ron. I have applied for several Contract Specialist positions at a local Army base. I meet most if not all of the requirements listed on the job postings. I have the following degrees: Marketing, B.S.; Business Administration. A.S.; and Computer Information Processing, A.A.S. Most of my work experience has provided me an opportunity to manage people and assets for a given organization. Note that I have over 20 years of management experience. In the course of my responsibilities I have at various times been subject to contracts, procurement, negotiations and the like. I have had no success in getting any positive feedback. I have thought about taking some additional training. If I were to take any additional training, do you have any recommendations? Any additional feedback would be greatly appreciated.

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Hoa in Houston, Texas

48 months ago

PETE LIVERPOOL in Baltimore, Maryland said: Hello,

My name is Pete and I just recently gain employment at DOD as a Contract Specialist GS 7/9/11/12/13 Series. I've been working there since September 2009. Before they hired me, I utilized this website extensively to gain insight on a Contract Specialist. If there is anything I can do to help, encourage anyone or offer insight, don't hesistate,

Hi Pete,

How would I contact you for further information?

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Ed Velasquez in Los Angeles, California

47 months ago

Ron in Baltimore, Maryland said: Hello Pete,

My name is Ron. I have applied for several Contract Specialist positions at a local Army base. I meet most if not all of the requirements listed on the job postings. I have the following degrees: Marketing, B.S.; Business Administration. A.S.; and Computer Information Processing, A.A.S. Most of my work experience has provided me an opportunity to manage people and assets for a given organization. Note that I have over 20 years of management experience. In the course of my responsibilities I have at various times been subject to contracts, procurement, negotiations and the like. I have had no success in getting any positive feedback. I have thought about taking some additional training. If I were to take any additional training, do you have any recommendations? Any additional feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Go to www.ncmahq.org for the direct information on the profession of acquisition management. There you will find Job postings and the path to professional certifications as well as a comprehensive description of the duties of a contract administrator. At that site you will also find NCMA Chapters in your local area to which you may begin to network.

All the best to you,

Ed Velasquez, MS, CPCM, NCMA Fellow

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Ed Velasquez in Los Angeles, California

47 months ago

Sam in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania said: I am interested in a federal government contract specialist job. What is the best type of training to receive and what are the best certifications? Is a CPM helpful?

Thanks!

Go to www.ncmahq.org for the direct information on the profession of acquisition management. There you will find Job postings and the path to professional certifications as well as a comprehensive description of the duties of a contract administrator. At that site you will also find NCMA Chapters in your local area to which you may begin to network.

All the best to you,

Ed Velasquez, MS, CPCM, NCMA Fellow

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Ed Velasquez in Los Angeles, California

47 months ago

Host said: What is the best training for becoming a contract specialist? What types of ongoing training or certifications are necessary to be an effective contract specialist?

What do non-traditional career paths look like?

Go to www.ncmahq.org for the direct information on the profession of acquisition management. There you will find Job postings and the path to professional certifications as well as a comprehensive description of the duties of a contract administrator. At that site you will also find NCMA Chapters in your local area to which you may begin to network.

All the best to you,

Ed Velasquez, MS, CPCM, NCMA Fellow

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Ed Velasquez in Los Angeles, California

47 months ago

Ron in Baltimore, Maryland said: Hello Pete,

My name is Ron. I have applied for several Contract Specialist positions at a local Army base. I meet most if not all of the requirements listed on the job postings. I have the following degrees: Marketing, B.S.; Business Administration. A.S.; and Computer Information Processing, A.A.S. Most of my work experience has provided me an opportunity to manage people and assets for a given organization. Note that I have over 20 years of management experience. In the course of my responsibilities I have at various times been subject to contracts, procurement, negotiations and the like. I have had no success in getting any positive feedback. I have thought about taking some additional training. If I were to take any additional training, do you have any recommendations? Any additional feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Go to www.ncmahq.org for the direct information on the profession of acquisition management. There you will find Job postings and the path to professional certifications as well as a comprehensive description of the duties of a contract administrator. At that site you will also find NCMA Chapters in your local area to which you may begin to network.

All the best to you,

Ed Velasquez, MS, CPCM, NCMA Fellow

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Reggie in Lithonia, Georgia

47 months ago

PETE LIVERPOOL in Baltimore, Maryland said: Hello,

My name is Pete and I just recently gain employment at DOD as a Contract Specialist GS 7/9/11/12/13 Series. I've been working there since September 2009. Before they hired me, I utilized this website extensively to gain insight on a Contract Specialist. If there is anything I can do to help, encourage anyone or offer insight, don't hesistate,

Hi Pete, I am interested in a position as a contract specialist. I am currently working in medical sales. I have a B.A. and an MBA. Can you give me any advice on making a career change to a contract specialist?

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Reggie in Lithonia, Georgia

47 months ago

I have 10+ year of experience in sales and currently I am working in the medical sales industry. I am very interested in transferring my sales skills into a contract management position. Can anyone offer any suggestions? I also have a BA in HR Management and an MBA in Technology management. Thank you.

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DCee in Atlanta, Georgia

47 months ago

Hi Pete,

Thank you so much for your generous offer to share information, it's much appreciated. I'm an attorney with the bulk of my 5 years' experience in business and contract law. I've noticed that a lot of the usajobs announcements for contract specialist positions require experience in the federal government - not just general contract/contracting experience. Do you have any recommendations on certifications to obtain? Also, did you obtain your employment through an internship, direct hire, or general posting? Thanks again for your assistance.

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ebcs in Columbia, Maryland

46 months ago

PETE LIVERPOOL in Baltimore, Maryland said: Hello,

My name is Pete and I just recently gain employment at DOD as a Contract Specialist GS 7/9/11/12/13 Series. I've been working there since September 2009. Before they hired me, I utilized this website extensively to gain insight on a Contract Specialist. If there is anything I can do to help, encourage anyone or offer insight, don't hesistate,

I am applying for CS positions with DoD and wanted more information regarding the interview process and skill that you currently use in you CS job. I have 6 years of procurement/acquisition experience, two years supervisory experience mainly in litigation support and database management. I am a barred attorney with contract drafting and negotiation skills. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

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Hala in Sudan

46 months ago

PETE LIVERPOOL in Baltimore, Maryland said: Hello,

My name is Pete and I just recently gain employment at DOD as a Contract Specialist GS 7/9/11/12/13 Series. I've been working there since September 2009. Before they hired me, I utilized this website extensively to gain insight on a Contract Specialist. If there is anything I can do to help, encourage anyone or offer insight, don't hesistate,

QUOTE]Hello Pete, Can you please let me know how I can contact you...[/

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Hala in Sudan

46 months ago

Hello Pete, Can you please let me know how I can contact you...[/

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Pete in Arlington, Virginia

46 months ago

Check out this job posting everyone, just received it today. Deadline is the 25th, apply asap.

Job Announcement Number: WHS-11-396350-B

Job Title: Contract Specialist
Department: Department Of Defense
Agency: Washington Headquarters Services
Job Announcement Number: WHS-11-396350-B

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Pete in Arlington, Virginia

46 months ago

Job Title: Contract Specialist
Department: Department Of Defense
Agency: Washington Headquarters Services
Job Announcement Number: WHS-11-396350-B

APPLY NO LATE THAN OCT 25,

GS9-13

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Sam in Livonia, Michigan

46 months ago

Hello Pete, Can you please call me at two four eight three four five zero five two nine. thanks -Sam

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C. Harris in New Orleans, Louisiana

46 months ago

I recently excepted a position as a Procurement Tech GS-5 for the DOD. I am interested in receiving information toward the best route one should take at my level to ultimately be at the top her field, GS 15. Please share any information that open doors for you. I have two associate degrees, 1 in Business Administration and the other in Business Management with a con in HR. Thanks for any insight in advance!
C. Harris

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Chad in Burke, Virginia

46 months ago

I have just finished my MBA in contracting and procurement with two years of part time commercial contracting experience. I have posted my resume on USAJOBS and often get referred but never a phone call. Although my practical experience is in commercial contracting, I have an even better understanding of the FAR and AIDAR. What am I doing wrong?

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Sam in Livonia, Michigan

46 months ago

Chad, I am having the same situation as you are in...most of the time my resume gets referred but NO call or interviews at all but after couple of weeks I get an email saying the position has been filled. My take is that either an internal person is promoted and hired or a known/referred person is hired. When you are referred to the hiring person, you are one among the three candidates that are referred as best certified so the odds of getting a call is great unless they are advertising just a formality but hiring internal or known persons. I might be wrong, but would like to hear from others.

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Chad in Burke, Virginia

46 months ago

Sam in Livonia, Michigan said: Chad, I am having the same situation as you are in...most of the time my resume gets referred but NO call or interviews at all but after couple of weeks I get an email saying the position has been filled. My take is that either an internal person is promoted and hired or a known/referred person is hired. When you are referred to the hiring person, you are one among the three candidates that are referred as best certified so the odds of getting a call is great unless they are advertising just a formality but hiring internal or known persons. I might be wrong, but would like to hear from others.

Just had my first telephone interview today. I was told that I should find out before Thanksgiving if I was picked up or not. I must have applied to over 30 different job listings to get this one call back. I hope it's just lag time and not a real 30 to 1 ratio going forward.

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Sam in Northville, Michigan

46 months ago

Good luck Chad...would love to hear the out come. Hope you get it.

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James in San Antonio, Texas

44 months ago

Do not forget to search DCMA (Defense Contract Management Agency) for Contract Administrator positions. The position entails mainly post award responsibilities.

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Paul in Charlotte, North Carolina

44 months ago

Michelle Hong in Fredericksburg, Virginia said: Contract Specialists with active TS clearance willing to relocate to Charlottesville, VA and possess experience with PD2, contact me ASAP for immediate consideration for this position. Salary negotiable. respond with email.

How do i contact you?

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Chad in Burke, Virginia

44 months ago

Sam in Livonia, Michigan said: Chad, I am having the same situation as you are in...most of the time my resume gets referred but NO call or interviews at all but after couple of weeks I get an email saying the position has been filled. My take is that either an internal person is promoted and hired or a known/referred person is hired. When you are referred to the hiring person, you are one among the three candidates that are referred as best certified so the odds of getting a call is great unless they are advertising just a formality but hiring internal or known persons. I might be wrong, but would like to hear from others.

I have restructured my resume and it has made all the difference. I originally paid a resume company to build my resume but received very little feedback on the positions I applied for. I did some research on OPM's web site and found position descriptions for each series of job. I translated my experience using OPM's terminology and I have much better success.

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KT in Jacksonville, North Carolina

43 months ago

I work in contracting for the Government. What nobody seems to realize is that all these Government positions were originally created for personnel when they exit the military. If you notice the veteran preference points that are given, you could have more education, training and experience than a vet and the vet will get the job 9 times out of 10. Also, spouses of military personnel are given preference over others. If a married military member receives a new duty station, there spouse will also receive perference for positions open on that base (usually if qualified or not). Many of the positions that have been vacated over the last 3-5 years, are not filled. Many contracting positions are open however, there are usually military members that are getting out in mind for those positions. Usually when a civilian gets a Government position it is merely the luck of the draw. If you get one of these positions consider yourself lucky especially with all the current cutbacks, Gov hiring freezes. The Gov is cutting back its budget which means less spending, less contract specialist and simply working with the people they have. Our office is looking to cut one temp position we fought so hard to get filled just last March.

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Brandon Dillard in West Jefferson, North Carolina

43 months ago

I am in need of someone with experience in government contracting.I have a construction company paperwork in and approved to do contracting with the government. I am a service disabled veteran and hub zone certified. We have the ability for large to small jobs. anyone interested in a job in western North Carolina or be able to stay at home via the internet. Let me know
Brandon@mastercraftnc.com

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Susan in Brandon, Florida

43 months ago

Sam in Gallatin, Tennessee said: Thanks for the information Susan. I have a B.S. in Business Management and a M.S. in Operations Management. I have applied for several DOD contract specialist jobs and had no success. Perhaps I can start at the GS-7 level and complete some DAU courses. I have considered taking some of the DAU courses that are taught by a training organization. Apparently a couple of them are approved by DOD, but the courses are expensive and you still might not get accepted.
Currently I am being looked at for a program analyst, GS-11/12 position. I am a VEOP and VRA eligible veteran. Ultimately, I would like to land a job in Orlando. There a lot of contract specialist positions there, but I don't think there are many program analyst.
Thank you for your comments and suggestions!
I means a lot to me.

Hi Sam, I'm in another state now and was just noticed your questions (about 2 years after I first commented). Did you ever get into the federal system as a contract specialst or program specialist? Susan

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Susan in Brandon, Florida

43 months ago

Brandon Dillard in West Jefferson, North Carolina said: I am in need of someone with experience in government contracting.I have a construction company paperwork in and approved to do contracting with the government. I am a service disabled veteran and hub zone certified. We have the ability for large to small jobs. anyone interested in a job in western North Carolina or be able to stay at home via the internet. Let me know
Brandon@mastercraftnc.com

Check out the Government site FedBizOpps. The web address is www.fbo.gov/ - it's where you go to see contracts being solicited.

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cs in Apo

42 months ago

Sam in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania said: I am interested in a federal government contract specialist job. What is the best type of training to receive and what are the best certifications? Is a CPM helpful?

Thanks!

I currently work as a Contract Specialist in the USAF. It's a wonderful job, can be demanding at times, but what job isn't? You definitely need to have your Bachelor's degree and even more desirable would be a master's. DAU (Defense Acquisition University) offers classes online, you would need to acquire and APDP Level of Certification (I,II, and III) as well.

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cs in Apo

42 months ago

Susan in Brandon, Florida said: Check out the Government site FedBizOpps. The web address is www.fbo.gov/ - it's where you go to see contracts being solicited.

GOSH!!!! I hope you're still needing help 5 years from now, I currently work as a Contracting Officer for the USAF, deployed out of country right now working to stabilize other country's economy through awarding contracts to their businesses, what are you needing help with?

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Catherine in New Orleans, Louisiana

42 months ago

Where would I get the required APDP Level of Certificate Training?

I am currently working as procurement tech and going to school with anticipation of graduating with BS and further pursuing my education.

I want to find a great mentor, with that continuing drive towards learning and teaching. I want to advance within the National Contracting Agency without wasting alot of unnecessary time.

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Chadwickx in Wilmington, North Carolina

42 months ago

Sue in Providence Forge, Virginia said: I thought I was alone in my pursuit for a Contract Specialist job with the Federal Government and private industry; I have pursued many internships, trainee, and entry level announcements. I have Masters in Contracts/Acquistions and B.S. in Legal Studies, only classroom experience, but no job experience. Who is the right candidate, because this is my niche in life.

Look into the Naval Acquisition Intern Program (NAIP). Its not really an internship per se but an entry level program. They have locations all over the US. I too have a masters degree and will be starting out as a GS-9 and via their rapid advancement program, am guaranteed to be a GS12 by the end of three years.

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Jack in Alexandria, Virginia

40 months ago

Can someone describe a challenging acquisition you have handled in the past year, including its issues and how it was brought to resolution. List some examples of some other complex negotiations/contract awards you have handled.

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Kelvin Reed in Griffin, Georgia

39 months ago

Sam in Novi, Michigan said: Hello Pete, Can you please let me know how I can contact you...

Hi, Pete. My name is Kelvin Reed and I'm actively seeking government employment as Contract Specialist. I'm currently a Realtor in VA and it would be greatly appreciative if you can assist me or give me any advice as to how I can get my foot in the door. I will greatly appreciated if you can contact me directly @ kelvinreed02@gmail.com. Thank you so much.

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Kelvin Reed in Griffin, Georgia

39 months ago

Can anyone assist me. I have extensively applied and search for a government contract specialist jobs with absolutely any feedback. I'm currently a full time realtor with over 5 years of experience. I have no direct experiences as a federal employee (I am a veteran) and it seems to be one of their biggest requirements. Can any current contract specialist give me any insight as to the comparison or contrast of the two.

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Chadwickx in Wilmington, North Carolina

39 months ago

I was recently offered a job as a Contract Specialist with NAVAIR, which I met at a MOAA/Corporate Gray Career Fair in DC. They and other civilian-military entities have entry level/training programs. NAVAIR and NAVSEA have what is called Naval Acquisiton Intern Program. It is not really an internship, but and entry level program designed to teach you everything you need to know. Hope this helps

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Michael Jones in Warner Robins, Georgia

39 months ago

Sam in Gallatin, Tennessee said: Thanks for the information Susan. I have a B.S. in Business Management and a M.S. in Operations Management. I have applied for several DOD contract specialist jobs and had no success. Perhaps I can start at the GS-7 level and complete some DAU courses. I have considered taking some of the DAU courses that are taught by a training organization. Apparently a couple of them are approved by DOD, but the courses are expensive and you still might not get accepted.
Currently I am being looked at for a program analyst, GS-11/12 position. I am a VEOP and VRA eligible veteran. Ultimately, I would like to land a job in Orlando. There a lot of contract specialist positions there, but I don't think there are many program analyst.
Thank you for your comments and suggestions!
I means a lot to me.

Hey Sam,

My name is Michael Jones. Im also looking for a Contract Specialist position with the DOD. I have a similar back ground as yourself, and Im also finding very hard to get an interview. Have you learned anything in your search for this position that might help.

thanks so much for your time.
Mike Jones 113mikejones@gmail.com

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Michael Jones in Warner Robins, Georgia

39 months ago

Sam in Novi, Michigan said: Hello Pete, Can you please let me know how I can contact you...

Hey Pete, is it possible to contact you for a few questions? Mike Warner Robins AFB
113mikejones@gmail.com thanks so much!

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