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Vacancy Details


Announcement Number:
Hiring Agency:
Position Title:
Public Affairs Specialist, GS-1035-12 FPL 12 (DE)
Open Period:
06/28/2021 - 06/29/2021


This vacancy is limited to a certain number of applicants and may close before the close date listed here if that limit is reached.
GS - 1035 12
USD $87,198 - USD $113,362
Work Schedule:
Full-time -
Promotion Potential:
Duty Location(s):
1 Vacancy in

Washington, DC, US
Telework Eligible:
For More Info:
Corey Anderson
(214) 661-9518


Hiring Path:
• Career transition (CTAP, ICTAP, RPL)
• Open to the public
Who May Apply/Clarification From the Agency:
United States Citizens

If you are a current or former federal employee or are eligible under a special hiring authority (VEOA, Schedule A, etc.), you may be eligible to apply under the concurrently advertised merit promotion vacancy announcement: OCO-HQ-2021-0016.
Security Clearance Required:
Appointment Type
Marketing Statement:

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) is looking for the best and brightest to ensure equal access and to promote educational excellence throughout the nation. If you are a highly motivated individual who would like to work for an agency that establishes policies on federal financial aid for education, distributes as well as monitors those funds; collects data on America's schools and disseminates research; focuses national attention on key educational issues; and prohibits discrimination and ensures equal access to education, ED is the place for you!

o    Provides national leadership on key educational issues.
o    Awards more than $47 billion annually in grants, mainly to state education agencies, local educational agencies, and institutions of higher education.
o    Manages a federal student loan portfolio of over $1.5 trillion, held by over 40 million borrowers.
o    Makes available over $120 billion annually in student aid to help over 10 million students and their families afford college.
o    Enforces the nation’s civil rights laws pertaining to education.
o    Supports programs of research, statistics, and evaluation of education in order to identify effective instructional practices, track student achievement, and measure the impact of educational reform.
o    Enforces federal educational laws regarding privacy.
o    Employs approximately 3,600 individuals divided between its Washington, D.C. headquarters, 11 regional offices, and 13 field offices.


This position is located in Office of Communication and Outreach (OCO), Department of Education (ED) in Washington, DC. The Office of Communications and Outreach (OCO) is responsible for outreach to national, state and local elected officials, organizations, and associations that represent the education community, the press and other media outlets, other federal agencies, the business community, and the general public.

Supervisory Position:
Relocation Expenses Reimbursed:
Travel Required:
Occasional Travel

Occasional travel may be required.


APPLICATION LIMIT: This vacancy announcement is limited to the first 50 applications received and will close at 11:59PM Eastern Time on the day that we receive the 50th application, or at 11:59PM Eastern Time on the listed closing date, whichever occurs first.  

We encourage you to read this entire vacancy announcement prior to submitting your application.

As a Public Affairs Specialist, GS-1035-12, you will be responsible for:
•   Develops and edits speeches, talking points, Q&As, reports, statements, reports and other information to support speakers and Department officials.
•   Performs a variety of research and data verification tasks to prepare for events, and consults with fellow speechwriters and subject matter/policy experts to ensure accuracy and consistency of messaging across the Department.
•   Coordinates the overall management of projects, timelines and activities, and and provides necessary administrative support services for both internal and external customers.
•   Establishes working relationships with speakers, fellow communications experts, schedulers and event hosts.
•   Serves as a liaison and facilitates events, projects and products in coordination with internal and external colleagues.

Qualifications and Evaluations


You must meet all qualification requirements within 30 days of the closing date of this vacancy announcement.

If you are a current federal employee, you must meet all time-in-grade and time-after competitive appointment qualifications within 30 days of the closing date of this vacancy announcement. To verify that you meet these requirements, we will review your responses to the core eligibility questions on the occupational questionnaire, as well as your submitted resume and required documents.  To make an accurate determination, you will need to include on your resume your federal position title, pay plan, occupational series, grade level, agency, dates for which you held the grade level (stated as MM/YYYY to MM/YYYY, OR MM/YYYY to PRESENT), and total hours worked per week.  


Key Requirements:
  • Relocation will not be paid.
  • You may be subject to serve a one-year  probationary period.
  • Males 18 and over must be registered with the Selective Service.
  • Must be a US Citizen
  • Background investigation is required.
  • Education Requirements:

    Education cannot be substituted for experience for this position and grade level. 



    We use a multi-step process to review and evaluate applicants:

    1.    Eligibility and Minimum Qualifications
    Once the vacancy announcement closes, we will review your submitted resume and documents to determine if you meet the eligibility and minimum qualification requirements, including any required education, experience, and/or selective placement factors. You will be rated as ineligible if you do not meet U.S. Citizenship requirements or your application is missing any required documents. You will be rated as not qualified if you do not possess the minimum qualification requirements.

    2.    Rating and Ranking
    If you are found to meet both the eligibility and minimum qualification requirements, we will assess the quality of your experience and the extent to which you possess the required KSAs by comparing your submitted resume and documents against your responses to the occupational questionnaire. (The occupational questionnaire is the list of questions in the automated system that you will have an opportunity to answer once you apply for the position).  

    Based on the outcome of this evaluation, you will be placed into one of three categories: Best Qualified, Well Qualified, or Qualified.

    If your responses to the occupational questionnaire are not substantiated by your submitted resume, you may be eliminated from receiving further consideration.

    Veterans’ Preference: Veterans’ preference eligibles will be ranked ahead of qualified non-preference eligibles within each category for which they are qualified. Qualified veterans’ preference eligibles with a compensable service-connected disability of 10 percent or more (CPS and CP) will be placed at the top of the Best Qualified category, except in the case of scientific or professional positions at the GS-9 grade level or higher.

    3.    Referral and Selection
    If you are found to be amongst the most highly qualified applicants, you will be referred to the selecting official. As part of the assessment and selection process, the selecting official may invite you to participate in a structured interview, check your references, and/or request that you submit a writing sample or complete a written assessment or exercise to further evaluate your qualifications for this position.  


    Minimum Qualification Requirements
    You may meet the minimum qualifications for the GS-12, if you possess the specialize experience.

    Specialized Experience for the GS-12
    One year of experience in either federal or non-federal service that is equivalent to at least a GS-11 performing two (2) out of three (3) of the following duties or work assignments:
    1.  Experience in applying the methods of written and oral communication principles to talking points, statements and other products that aid organizations and spokespeople in conveying the meanings and implications in the development of various programs and priorities to the public.
    2.  Experience in analyzing trends and collaborating with internal and external content advisors, researchers and other experts to determine content and strategies best suited to engage specific audiences.
    3.  Experience in effective communications or public affairs information and materials, including improving processes and workflow, and contributing to new or innovative ways to handle unfamiliar or complex problems.

    Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs)
    The quality of your experience will be measured by the extent to which you possess the following knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs). You do not need to provide separate narrative responses to these KSAs, as they will be measured by your responses to the occupational questionnaire (you may preview the occupational questionnaire by clicking the link at the end of the Evaluations section of this vacancy announcement).

    1.    Skill in writing, reviewing, editing, and clearing a variety of products and content to convey education policies, programs, budgets, and other information to specialized audiences and the general public.
    2.    Skill in gathering, analyzing, and evaluating volumes of information, to summarize and condense information in understandable form for a variety of audiences.
    3.    Ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships with policy and subject matter experts as information sources.
    4.    Ability to establish and maintain good relations with stakeholders, promote effective communications, and contribute to events and outcomes that meet the audience's and organization's needs.

    Benefits and Other Info

    Benefits URL:
    Review our Benefits
    Agency Benefits:

    As an ED employee, you will also benefit from our family-friendly work environment. As part of our commitment to maintain a productive balance between work and home, we offer excused leave for Parent/Teacher Conferences (3 hours); excused leave for annual health screenings (4 hours); and matching leave for community volunteer service. Other flexibilities that may be available to you include telework and alternative work schedules. You may be eligible to receive a recruitment incentive for this position. To receive this incentive payment, you will be required to sign a service agreement obligating you to remain with the U.S. Department of Education for a specified period as agreed upon. You may be eligible to receive a relocation incentive for this position. To receive this incentive payment, you will be required to sign a service agreement obligating you to remain with the U.S. Department of Education for a specified period as agreed upon. You may be eligible to participate in the Student Loan Repayment Program as a recruitment incentive for this position. To receive student loan repayments, you will be required to sign a service agreement obligating you to remain with the U.S. Department of Education for a specified period as agreed upon.

    Other Information:

    Veterans’ Career Counseling: If you are a veteran interested in receiving tips on preparing a Federal resume and/or how to prepare for an interview, you may email to schedule a session with a career counselor (“Veterans Counseling Session” should be placed in the subject line of the email).

    Student Loan Default: If selected for this position, we will verify that you have not defaulted on any loan funded or guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Education. If you are found to be in default, we will contact you to make arrangements for repayment prior to making an official offer of employment.

    Suitability and Investigation: If selected for this position, you will be required to complete the Declaration for Federal Employment (OF-306) to determine your suitability for federal employment and successfully complete a pre-appointment investigation/background check.

    Essential/Non-Essential: This position is considered non-essential for purposes of reporting to work during federal government closures.

    Financial Disclosure: This position does not require financial disclosure.

    Telework: During the current period of mandatory telework required by the Agency’s COVID-19 response, telework will be mandatory.  When it is determined the Agency will be moving to the reopening phase, employees will be expected to physically return to the office of their official duty locations.  Telework days and any required waiting period for eligibility will be determined at that time.

    Bargaining Unit: This position is not included in the bargaining unit.

    Selections: Agencies have broad authority under law to hire from any appropriate source of eligibles and may fill a vacancy in the competitive service by any method authorized. We may make additional selections from this vacancy announcement within 90 days from the date the selection certificates are issued, should vacancies occur. We may also share selection certificates amongst program offices across the agency.

    How to Apply

    How to Apply:

    Step 1: Create a USAJOBS account (if you do not already have one) at

    Step 2: Create a resume using the USAJOBS resume builder or upload a resume into your USAJOBS account. Ensure that your resume demonstrates your education, experience, training, and accomplishments as it relates to the qualifications for this position and substantiates your responses to the occupational questionnaire.

    Step 3: Upload any required documents into your USAJOBS account (must be less than 3MB and in one of the following document formats: GIF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, RTF, PDF, or Word (DOC or DOCX)).

    Step 4: Click "Apply Online" and follow the prompts to complete the occupational questionnaire and attach any required documents. Verify that uploaded documents from USAJOBS transfer into the agency's hiring system. You will have the opportunity to upload any additional required documents in the agency's hiring system. Click “Finish” to submit your application.

    NOTE: You may update your application or required documents at any time while the announcement is open by logging into your USAJOBS account, clicking on "Application Status," clicking on the position title, clicking "Update Application,” and following the prompts.

    In order to receive consideration for this position, you must submit your complete application, including all required documents, by 11:59 PM Eastern Time on the closing date of the vacancy announcement. If the vacancy announcement has an application limit, we recommend that you submit your complete application at the time of initial application. We will not accept any required documentation after the closing date of the vacancy announcement.

    Required Documents:

    You must submit (REQUIRED FOR ALL APPLICANTS): • A resume demonstrating your education, experience, training, and accomplishments as it relates to the qualifications for this position and substantiating your responses to the occupational questionnaire. 

    If you are claiming Veterans’ Preference, you must submit: • A copy of your DD-214 that shows active service and character of discharge, member copy 4 (Separated Members only); OR • A certification of expected discharge or release from active duty under honorable conditions within 120 days from the date of application (Current Active Duty Members only); AND/OR • The Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference (SF-15) AND all documents indicated on the form as proof of type of preference; AND/OR • Proof of Sole Survivorship Preference (e.g., certificate of death or 100% disability as a result of serving in the armed forces).


    Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP), Reemployment Priority List (RPL), or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): Visit the OPM website for information on how to apply as a CTAP, RPL, or ICTAP eligible. To exercise selection priority for this vacancy, CTAP/RPL/ICTAP candidates must meet the basic eligibility requirements and all selective factors. CTAP/ICTAP candidates must be rated and determined to be well qualified (or above) based on an evaluation of the competencies listed in the How You Will Be Evaluated section. When assessed through a score-based category rating method, CTAP/ICTAP applicants must receive a rating of at least 85 out of a possible 100.

    Next Steps:

    As an applicant, you may check your application status through your USAJOBS account at any time.  We will also notify you via email of your application status at three key stages in the recruitment process.
    1.    Once the vacancy announcement closes, we will inform you that your application has been received.
    2.    After we review your submitted resume and supporting documentation, we will inform you if you are eligible and qualified, if your application was referred to a subject matter expert or panel of subject matter experts for further evaluation, and if you were amongst the most highly qualified candidates referred to the selecting official.
    3.    Finally, we will inform you of your final disposition for this announcement (e.g., if/when a selection is made, if/when the announcement is cancelled).