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

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chumlee0427! in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

44 months ago

Ricardo in Washington, District of Columbia said: 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.[/Q

1)i get the feeling that CS skills are not as much crunching numbers as they are in all forms of communication, multi task etc. i've read so many posts from folks who have great educational qualities but are passed up.

2) i also get the feeling that CS positions with the fed govt--army, air force, navy e.g.--start, preferably, on the ground level including their way of doing things respectively. so even if somebody has a BS, MS etc they'll still start off learning the respective fed dept way. having said that, maybe it's better to have a blank slate going into the position??

just my thoughts

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Mike in Warner Robins, Georgia

44 months ago

Thanks so much for commnt. I to agree with your advice on this issue and will follow it. Its just very stressful waiting, not knowning if you even have a chance at some of this positions

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Ric in Burke, Virginia

44 months ago

Kelvin Reed in Griffin, Georgia said: 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.

Kevin,
I was in the same boat about six months ago. I would apply to countless USAJOB postings with no feedback other than "not selected". I have read several posting on this site which claim that it's all who you know. While that may be the case in many instances, it was not true in my case. My luck started to turn when I began to really tailor my resume to the requirements of the job posting. You will need to translate your personal experience into contract specialist jargon. I would also suggest researching the 1102 job series within the OPM Web site. It provides invaluable information regarding expectations and competenties of the level at which you are applying. I spent hundreds of dollars on professional resumes with no avail. Once I took my own advice, I literally had four offers in two months.
In your case, I would expect that you have above average negotiating and business management skills. However, this experience is worthless unless it is presented in a way that the Government understands. This is why I suggest the OPM Web site.

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Ric in Burke, Virginia

44 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

Brandon,
Did you get the help you needed yet?

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jwells1999 in st. louis

44 months ago

Chadwickx in Wilmington, North Carolina said: 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

do you know if they are still recruiting? I would love to be able to join this program. I have a mba and a bs in business administration and im a vet and imve been doing the usajobs thing for over 3-4 months now lol.

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Kelvin in Suffolk, Virginia

44 months ago

Ric in Burke, Virginia said: Kevin,
I was in the same boat about six months ago. I would apply to countless USAJOB postings with no feedback other than "not selected". I have read several posting on this site which claim that it's all who you know. While that may be the case in many instances, it was not true in my case. My luck started to turn when I began to really tailor my resume to the requirements of the job posting. You will need to translate your personal experience into contract specialist jargon. I would also suggest researching the 1102 job series within the OPM Web site. It provides invaluable information regarding expectations and competenties of the level at which you are applying. I spent hundreds of dollars on professional resumes with no avail. Once I took my own advice, I literally had four offers in two months.
In your case, I would expect that you have above average negotiating and business management skills. However, this experience is worthless unless it is presented in a way that the Government understands. This is why I suggest the OPM Web site.

Thanks Ric. I will definitely take your advice and research 1102 job series within the OPM site. I do change my resume to match the criteria of the job description but still avails to no result. If you can assist further, please email me kelvinreed02@gmail.com. Thanks for your comment.

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Patricia in Fairbanks, Alaska

43 months ago

If anyone has advice on getting into the Army Contracting Intern Program,
I would really appreciate it. I'm a disabled Air Force veteran with 8 years
of federal civilian service. I have a B. A. in Journalism, with a minor
in marketing. I'm trying to get my transcript looked at by the contracting
office on Fort Wainwright, here in Fairbanks, Alaska. I need to know from them if I have 24 semester hours that qualify me for the program. If not
I need to know how many courses to take and what they should be in order to
be accepted. I am currently looking for an MBA online only program.
Thanks to everyone for explaining how difficult it is to get into contract
management. Now, I understand. Is there a textbook with entry level terms
and a basic explanation of this type of job that you recommend?

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bijukumarkp in Apo

43 months ago

I am interested in a federal government contract HVAC JOB PLEASE INFORM ME IF Any available

Thank you

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Jeff in Bremerton, Washington

43 months ago

I am not sure if this is common knowledge or not, but I have not seen it posted. Fed resume screening is automated based on key words. you could have all the experience required, but if you aren't using the correct terminology your resume will not be pulled. I would definitely recommend using the 1102 job description when tailoring your resume.

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Patricia in Fairbanks, Alaska

43 months ago

No matter how dumb this sounds, I need to ask.
I'm currently working as a library technician.
The GS Series is 1411.
I think is a good idea to use the contracting
specialist job description Series 1102 when
updating my resume.
Problem is I'm taking an online MBA to use as
a substitute for experience in the 1102 series.
Job vacancy announcements list graduate education
as a requirement in lieu of expericence for these
positions.
If I've never done the job, do I just put 1102 job
description language under the Education section of
the online resume along with the courses I've taken?

I can't make it part of my the 1102 job description
part of my experience if I've never had a contract
specialist position.

Thank you

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Diff Route in Lebanon, Tennessee

42 months ago

HI there,

Try calling to find out with whom they contract for some of their labor as in temporary labor or employment agencies. Then go to those agencies and register with them and let them know with whom you want to work. I recently obtained a position that way. Not sure if you can take the weeks or some times 90 waiting period before you become permanent but that is one way that has worked for me. May you find something soon.
EU

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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Mike in Honolulu, Hawaii

41 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 meet qualifications; PE, PMP, and active TS SCI Poly. Also Level III Contracting Officer expereince and member of Aquisition Corps. Please forward job specifics in order to determine best fit.

Also, I am from Virginia and looking to relocation in future. I am currently employed in demanding position with much responsibility.

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RichardEinstein in Auburndale, Florida

38 months ago

jwells1999 in st. louis said: Good luck in your quest. Back when they tested for contract specialist, the level they want you to have a masters degree in business or contract law, I took the test.

This was back when the $600 hammers and $1200 coffee pots were just discovered by the public and there was a huge hiring blitz. I was a veteran without college so I spoke to them before taking the test where they said they could wave requirements for veterans. The test was four hours long and held in a local high school gymnasium which was packed.

Later I learned that less than 6% of those tested passed which only required a score of 70. I also learned 85% was considered to be the maximum score achievable on average per 1000 participants.

Incredibly I scored a 98% and after adding my veterans preference points I scored a 103%. I knew this was an exceptional score and thought I was likely to get the job. Unfortunately I am a white male and I made the big mistake of telling them I was excited about having a chance to catch the criminals defrauding the American people. Wrong answer, they don't want to catch them and they don't want somebody there with an Einstein level IQ who can see through the scams.

They stopped the test long ago since no negros or hispanics could pass the test, it was considered to be a racist test. It was not racist against Asians for some odd reason as they passed the test at a higher percentage than whites. Since the quotas could not be met no testing is needed for this position anymore. Now you fill out their application, show them you have a degree and especially if you are a minority you are in.

I would bet if you failed basic math, they would hire you in a heartbeat and possibly promote you to a management position quickly as this is their dream contract specialist.

As stated earlier, they want this system to fail to keep greasing the wheels of corruption in the government.

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bryantrr in Manhattan, Kansas

38 months ago

Melanie in Capitol Heights, Maryland said: 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)

Which DAU courses did you sign up for?

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Vanessa in Suwanee, Georgia

37 months ago

I have a B.A in business administrations/Information Systems and I am interested in entering the contracting management field. At University of California, Irvine extension education, they have a contracting management certificate program which takes approximately two years. Any one knows if this is the right places to start with?

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Ric West in Washington, District of Columbia

37 months ago

Venessa,
If you are going to take the time to earn a two year contract management certificate you should find one that is accepted within the DAWIA and Federal Acquisition Certification programs. I only remember a few schools that offer these types of certifications but it prevents you from taking all these classes over to earn your warrant certifications.

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Vanessa in North Hollywood, California

37 months ago

Ric West in Washington, District of Columbia said: Venessa,
If you are going to take the time to earn a two year contract management certificate you should find one that is accepted within the DAWIA and Federal Acquisition Certification programs. I only remember a few schools that offer these types of certifications but it prevents you from taking all these classes over to earn your warrant certifications.

Thank you Ric for answering my question. I did some research and found this school Expert Insights www.esi-intl.com that offers Associate Certificate in Contract Management but not sure if this is one of the schools you mentioned?

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Ric West in Washington, District of Columbia

37 months ago

There are other options listed on the DAU web site.
icatalog.dau.mil/appg.aspx

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royalty in Raleigh, North Carolina

37 months ago

Thanks for a true response of how this process truly works. I been applying for 2 years with a degree in Acquisition & Contract Management and it seems that you have to already know an agency or government regulations (knowledge) to be selected. I've been best qualified; however, I never hear anything else only to find the posting open for more applications. Private only wants government experience people...Will keep looking.

KT in Jacksonville, North Carolina said: 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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Shaydes in Bethpage, New York

35 months ago

Need information about Contract Negotiations classes (not seminars)- in the NYC area. I'm a contract administrator looking to move into contract negotiations. I've been advised by my mentor to find some courses that are hands-on (contract drafting, mock negotiations, etc). Does anyone have some information to share?

Much appreciation.
Shaydes

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Timothy in Arlington, Virginia

35 months ago

I am interested in Contract Specialist career. However, I am nearly two years graduated from college in Sports Management. My resume revolves around sports. A relative has been in the military for nearly 25 years and said i would be good at it.
So, I've taken interest in it and wished I had done something different with my degree. Any way I can get an entry level contract job or get my foot in the door?

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Chris in Dover, New Jersey

34 months ago

Shaydes in Bethpage, New York said: Need information about Contract Negotiations classes (not seminars)- in the NYC area. I'm a contract administrator looking to move into contract negotiations. I've been advised by my mentor to find some courses that are hands-on (contract drafting, mock negotiations, etc). Does anyone have some information to share?

Much appreciation.
Shaydes

www.amanet.org/
www.ism.ws/
www.ncmahq.org/
www.pryor.com/site/default.aspx

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Carolyn in Atlanta, Georgia

34 months ago

Hala in Sudan said: QUOTE]Hello Pete, Can you please let me know how I can contact you...[/

Hey Pete, My name is Carolyn. I'm currently a Electrician and I'm trying to change job career with my company that i'm presently with.Your Kindness would be very 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 @ mscarolynjones64@aol.com

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Shannon in Huntsville, Alabama

32 months ago

KT provided some great comments regarding Contract Specialist positions. My name is Shannon. I my MBA, one semester away from completing an MS in Acquisitions and Contract Mgt, B.S. in Business Information Systems, Certificate(not certification) of Gov't Contract Mgt from Villanova University, 2 courses and one year away from completing a FAC I certification via DAU, a current government employee, prior service with 10 point preference and STILL could not obtain a job as a contract specialist. I have no practical hands-on experience with contracting work. All my experience has been in the Admin field. It's difficult to to obtain a job with the government unless you network. Don't be discouraged-keep trying and keep working your resume!!

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REEM in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

31 months ago

Hoa in Houston, Texas said: Hi Pete,

How would I contact you for further information?


HOW CAN I BE A CONTRACT SPECILIST?

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Julie in Warner Robins, Georgia

28 months ago

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

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Martin in Morgan Hill, California

26 months ago

My background for the past 15 years in DOD has been a Pricing Analyst. I've been given the opportunity to work as a Subcontract Administrator. Where can I obtain the necessary training for this position? What types of courses would these be?

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Jake in Arlington, Virginia

23 months ago

I am an attorney with ~3 years of various contract experience (negotiating, drafting, editing various sales and service contracts and commercial leases). I am not a veteran. I have been attempting to transition from being a self-employed attorney to being a contract specialist. I have been applying to both private companies and government agencies.

I have had some luck. A couple of interviews. But no luck landing a job. I have been considering a certification and or associates degree and I was wondering if somebody could provide some guidance on what would be more more worthwhile.

I have looked at an associates degree such as: www.esi-intl.com/certificates/contract-management-certificates/associate-certificate-in-contract-management.

I have also looked at the various certifications from NCMA such as: www.ncmahq.org/ProfessionalDevelopment/content.cfm?ItemNumber=6086&navItemNumber=9985

My question is whether anyone has any input as to what would be more worthwhile. I have contract experience but obviously no direct contract specialist / purchasing experience. I am not a veteran. I just want to get my foot in the door somewhere. Whether that means public or private I do not care at this point.

Thanks everyone for your input.

Jake

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Janays87 in Aurora, Colorado

23 months ago

Hi Jake,

When searching for positions for the government-my suggestion would be to look for positions that are listed as expedited hiring authority positions within the contracting career field. You will receive OJT and you will be able to also bring your experience to the table. Also spread your search to positions that have procurement in the title etc. Having a business degree is equally important as having a contract certificate etc. Every little bit helps.

I would also contact the interviewers for those positions you were not qualified for and see if they will give you feedback as to why you were not hired.

Good luck!!!

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Jake in Arlington, Virginia

23 months ago

Janays87 in Aurora, Colorado said: Hi Jake,

When searching for positions for the government-my suggestion would be to look for positions that are listed as expedited hiring authority positions within the contracting career field. You will receive OJT and you will be able to also bring your experience to the table. Also spread your search to positions that have procurement in the title etc. Having a business degree is equally important as having a contract certificate etc. Every little bit helps.

I would also contact the interviewers for those positions you were not qualified for and see if they will give you feedback as to why you were not hired.

Good luck!!!

Thank you Janays. That is very helpful. I will definitely expand my search to postings for purchasing positions as well. I have applied for a number of expedited hiring positions but I never did fully understand what that entailed.

I am hoping that my law degree and contracts experience will eventually be enough to land me one of these jobs. Do you have any knowledge or information regarding an associates degree such as this: www.esi-intl.com/certificates/contract-management-certificates/associate-certificate-in-contract-management

I am just trying to determine if this would be worth the time and money to put me over the top for one of these positions.

Thanks again Janays.

Jake

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MeanaB in Maryland

7 months ago

Have you looked into Internship positions with the Air Force and or other DoD agencies. They call them the Pathway Internship programs. The Air Force Copper Cap Internship Program is how I gained access into the Contracting career field.

Hope this helps! :)

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MeanaB in Maryland

7 months ago

DCMA always have opportunities. Jake you should try there. You can find their job announcements on USAJOBS.gov

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Mscreven@mhg.com in Gulfport, Mississippi

5 months ago

RichardEinstein in Auburndale, Florida said:

SERIOUSLY??? Obviously, you did not get the job because you are unfit for any position that requires interacting with human beings. Your stupid comment (along with others I am sure) caused you to be passed over for the position. BTW, I am an African American female with a bachelor's degree and two master's degree (one from Yale University and the other from Columbia University). I currently am enrolled in a doctorate's program AND I am studying for the CPCM exam.

You were not selected for the position and wonder of all wonders...it is someone else's fault!!! Exactly how would you know whom passed the exam and whom did not? From reading your comments, I can only conclude that you, my deluded friend, are an idiot.

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jane488 in West Covina, California

4 months ago

MeanaB in Maryland said: Have you looked into Internship positions with the Air Force and or other DoD agencies. They call them the Pathway Internship programs. The Air Force Copper Cap Internship Program is how I gained access into the Contracting career field.

Hope this helps! :)

Hi,

Do you know if internship program is open to all/anyone?
I thought internship was available through/for students?

Thanks for your time.

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