As we near the opening period for the PMF 2013 round (and, as I have the day off due to Hurricane Sandy,) I wanted to take time to provide a few comments that I hope will be helpful.
First, it's a wonderful opportunity to be a part of this blog. As this is my premiere post, I'll introduce myself: I'm pmfellow2!
I'm hopping on the bandwagon as another voice from the PMF program. I'll also attempt to assist pmfellow continue the wonderful work with this blog, both as an open space for discussion and for information sharing about the PMF program. I am working within the government now in Washington, DC, having just recently come on-board as a 2012 PMF. I'm also a veteran, a fact which does play a role in the process of the fellowship.
Of course, the disclaimer: I am NOT representative of the beliefs of the government or the OPM officials that run the PMF program. I can only speak for myself, and I hope that, in sharing some of my personal experiences, the upcoming PMF class will gain more insight into the program and the process.
Want some important tips? Here goes:
1) Collect all your paperwork NOW. Vets: Make sure to have a scanned copy of your DD-214 handy. Everyone: Start scanning in your docs so you have the e-copies ready to go when the application period begins.
* NOTE: The following restrictions apply to files submitted during the application process (e.g., resume, transcript, and supporting documents for claiming veterans' preference and/or requesting reasonable accommodations):
- File format must be in GIF, JPG, PNG, RTF, DOC, DOCX, WPD, or PDF
- File size must not exceed 3 megabytes per file
3) FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS TO THE LETTER during the application process. I cannot stress how important this is. When completing the online assessment, you MUST follow the directions precisely. For example, (and yes, I'm making this up for purposes of explanation): If they say "Write 1000 words about the solar system" and you write 998 words about the solar system, you didn't cut the mustard, and your application will not make it further. Read AND follow the directions.
4) In the government, a six or seven page resume is typical. I'm a writer, and therefore, I'm all for the Strunk/White philosophy of getting your point across in as few words as possible. I believe this to be true of resumes as well (both government and civilian); however, in government work, they truly WANT to know every internship and professional place that you worked. Don't scrimp on your resume size during the initial application. (You can cut your resume to a more palatable length during the Job Fair if you make it to that stage.)
5) Good luck! At this stage of the game, it's all about following directions and telling the truth. I know it's a nerve-wracking process, but I wish you the best of luck.