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DoD Sets Up Office to Help Lure Job Applicants

By Sgt. 1st Class Doug Sample
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 1, 2003 – The Defense Department, which employs more than 700,000 civilians in more than 900 occupations, has set up a new office to help lure job applicants to the federal workforce.

The Defense Application Assistance Office was established this year to help those seeking government positions, such as help with the tedious application process, said John Moseley, deputy director for program support at DoD's Civilian Personnel Management Service.

"What we're trying to overcome is that the application process is long, complex and people don't want to deal with it," said Moseley, a 30-year federal employee. "In the past it's been a very arduous task."

Moseley said the assistance office also works to connect DoD recruiters and applicants. "The way our application process is now, someone fills out a stack of papers, ships them off to some unknown location, and they may or may not ever hear what happened," he explained.

"We're going to change that. We're going to streamline the application process. We're going to stay in touch with the applicant," he added. "We're going to provide personalized service to people who have questions about this mystery."

Moseley said his office has put together a marketing program to assist DoD recruiters throughout the United States and around the world in attracting job applicants to federal government positions.

The assistance office has launched an extensive marketing and information campaign, creating a new Web site (www.go- Defense.com), and a toll-free line (1-888-DoD-4USA) where applicants can learn more about jobs available in DoD. Its marketing theme is "DoD is the Employer of Choice."

The office has also put together a glossy recruiting brochure that claims DoD careers offer great pay and travel, excellent retirement packages, and patriotism in serving the country. The brochure poses the question: "What can you do with a DoD Civilian Career?"

"We're going to showcase the Department of Defense as a model employer and also articulate what DoD occupations stand for and what they do. This in turn would appeal to those seeking jobs," Moseley said.

The assistance office has also begun a program called Recruitment on Campus where generals, admirals and members of the Senior Executive Service go back to their alma maters to talk with students about careers in government and tell them "what we do in the Department of Defense," Moseley said.

He pointed out that the overarching reason for the recruiting effort is that early retirements, voluntary separations, downsizing and competition for jobs in the private sector have left DoD with shortages in many "demanding" career fields.

"We need accountants, scientists, engineers and analysts," Moseley explained, adding that DoD has openings in all career fields.

Moseley said that to compete with stiff competition with private companies in hiring and retaining quality workers, especially in science and technology fields, DoD has to rethink its hiring practices.

"What was good 40 or 50 years ago does not meet today's needs," he explained. "We needed to be more flexible and more creative in the way we approach people."

For those thinking about a civil service career, Moseley recommends that applicants research the career they are interested in and see how their education and skills match up with the job description.

He emphasized that applicants should list skills on their resume clearly and concisely. And he cautions them not to overload their resumes with attachments. "We don't want to read through volumes of letters from everyone including your grandmother," he said.

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