From: Mary Beth Mulcahy <mulcahy.marybeth**At_Symbol_Here**GMAIL.COM>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] CSB Job Announcement for Chemical Incident Investigator in Washington, DC.
Date: February 10, 2012 10:07:09 PM EST
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: <D2C0FDCE-C99F-4603-9525-132602013180**At_Symbol_Here**>

I have received several personal emails in addition to the ones posted
on the listserve, and I'll do my best to post answers that will cover
the range of questions I've seen.

First, I think I should let everyone know that anything I say is
strictly my personal opinion, but having gone through the job search
process, I'm happy to share whatever insight I think it is I have
gained. Second, I am not a part of the interview process at the agency
and do not get to meet any potential candidates until they are in the
final stages of selection.

The first general question I have seen asked deals with what types of
certifications or degrees are required for the job. Reading the job
posting myself, I don't see a call for any specific degrees or
certifications, and I know from experience the agency has people from
a variety of backgrounds working as investigators. This includes
people with bachelor degrees up through PhDs. Many are engineers, but
others (currently or in the past) have specialized in human factors,
psychology, law, environmental science, public health, and chemistry.
That being said, as one emailer suggested I emphasize, this job does
have a selective placement factor (SPF). As stated in the
announcement, "If you do not meet the SPF, you are ineligible for
further consideration. The SPF for this position is: Do you have
extensive firsthand private sector chemical and/or oil refinery
accident investigation experience demonstrated by comprehensive,
professional-level knowledge of Process Safety Management (PSM)
regulatory and safety principles and the ability to apply that
knowledge to the critical analysis of related technical engineering or
process safety issues." If you do not have any PSM experience, it
would be extremely difficult to get past the first screening process,
but if you have any PSM experience, leave it up to the people doing to
screening to be the ones to decide what "extensive" is; do not assume
you will not qualify because you don't think your experience in
extensive. Also, realize there are two potential grade levels (13 or
14) for the positions. I think that means there is room for a range of
experience between the two positions.

Next the job specific to DC? This job posting is
specific to the DC area, but the CSB has recently hired people who
essentially work remotely. Keep you eyes on the website to see if/when
another type of these positions comes back up.

Next question...can you live in DC on the pay being offered? I happen
to work out of the Denver office, and honestly do not know what it is
like in DC on the salary. There are though many investigators who make
it work, so I assume it is doable.

Next question...any general advice on getting a job in the federal
government? Make sure you tailor your resume to match the job
description. If there are key words in the description, those key
words need to make it into your resume. I personally found my job by
seeing a posting on Craigslist of all places, but most everyone else I
know saw their positions posted on or they signed up for
the agency's new announcements via email.

Two anecdote stories that may amuse you, but may also give you the
drive to keep trying for any government job. From the time I first
applied for a job at the CSB until l actually started working was 15
months. This was because the job posting I applied for was removed and
the re-posted. Never one to accept defeat easily, I simply reapplied.
Knowing what I know now about the federal government, I'd be willing
to apply to any agency 4 or 5 times before I could be convinced that I
really wasn't what they wanted. You just never know who will read
your resume or why you didn't get the job the first time. Second story
involves a colleague of mine who received a rejection letter from some
government office telling him he was no longer being considered for
the job after the agency had already offered it and he had accepted.
Lesson? Have a sense of humor with the process.

Bottom line, its a good place to work, keep trying if you are interested.

Mary Beth

On Fri, Feb 10, 2012 at 5:11 AM, Secretary, ACS Division of Chemical
Health and Safety wrote:
CSB Job Announcement for Chemical Incident Investigator in Washington, DC.

To view the job announcement, please visit:

For more information, contact Human Resource Specialist Shielyn Kelly at

Job Title:Chemical Incident Investigator
Agency:Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board
Job Announcement Number:CSB602525SJK
SALARY RANGE: $89,033.00 to $136,771.00 / Per Year
OPEN PERIOD: Thursday, February 09, 2012 to Thursday, February 23, 2012
SERIES & GRADE: GS-1801-13/14
DUTY LOCATIONS: Many vacancy(s) - Washington DC Metro Area, DC United States
WHO MAY BE CONSIDERED: United States Citizens
Join the Chemical Safety & Hazard Investigation Board!

The Chemical Safety & Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) is a independent
federal agency charge with investigating industrial chemical accidents.


US Citizenship is required.
Background investigation, fingerprints, and credit check may be required.
Direct Deposit is required.
Selective Service registration required for male applicants, unless exempt.
All requirements must be met by the closing date of the announcement.
Must meet the selective placement factor to be considered.

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