#FERCerFriday Highlights: Benjamin Kolding

November 27, 2020
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Every Friday we feature employees and interns who love to #WorkAtFERC! These highlights give perspective candidates a glimpse into a career at the Commission. Happy #FERCerFriday! Meet Ben Kolding, STARS intern in the Office of the Executive Director.

What are your career goals? 

"My career goals are to use my communications and research skills to further my path in the energy industry. I am passionate about the environment, and I want to make sure that policy and decisions are made based on well-researched facts and evidence, and also takes the effect on the environment, the people, and society as we know it into consideration."

What was your first impression of FERC? 

"I was really impressed by FERC, especially when I was able to be in the office. Everyone was super nice to me and I felt like I was constantly in an important place. The amount of collaboration and effort to make the work environment better and more supportive is incredible."

Join our team here.


Common Mistakes Applicants When Applying to FERC Vacancies 

November 20, 2020

Have you ever felt qualified for a federal position and wondered why you never got an interview? It may have nothing to do with your qualifications and more to do with preventable mistakes in the application process. There are several errors applicants tend to make when applying to FERC, which can contribute to an application being eliminated or not fully considered amongst the applicant pool.

The application process for federal jobs differs from the private sector— the federal government’s job application portal is primarily managed through USAJOBS and tends to be more extensive and detailed. Applying to any federal government position requires strategy and dedication; knowing the most common candidate mistakes will help provide insight and prevent you from making the same errors repeatedly. Here are three of the most common mistakes applicants tend to make when applying to positions with FERC.

1. Failing to attach required documents.

One common and costly mistake candidates tend to make while applying to FERC vacancies is failing to attach the necessary documentation for their application. Without the required documents such as an unofficial transcript or SF-50 ‘Notification of Personnel Action’ (when applying for merit promotion positions), your application may fail to receive full consideration regardless of your qualifications. As stated in all FERC vacancy announcements, all required documents must be received by 11:59 PM EST on the closing date of the announcement.

2. Failing to read the vacancy announcement clearly.

As an applicant, it is essential to review the vacancy announcement to ensure you meet all the qualifications such as time-in-grade requirements, education, and specialized experience required for the position. Failing to read the vacancy announcement thoroughly can cause you to miss important details. For example, some vacancy announcements are specifically for current federal government employees and individuals eligible under special hiring authorities (designed by ‘MP’ an abbreviation for merit promotion positions), and without reviewing the entire announcement, you may miss vital details. No one wants to begin an application process and later find out they are not eligible for the position. Reading the vacancy announcement clearly can save you from wasting time and energy.

3. Submitting a generic resume not tailed for a specific position.

A resume is a vital part of an application; it provides hiring managers with a summary of all your work experience, qualifications, skills, and education. Like most federal agencies, FERC prefers thorough resumes that highlight specific details and metrics from your work experience pertaining to the position. However, some candidates tend to submit sparse resumes that are not tailored to a job position. Human Resource Specialists cannot make assumptions regarding your work experience, therefore it is imperative to be as specific as possible in order to assess if applicants are qualified for the position which they apply to.

Avoiding these common mistakes will ensure your application package highlights your unique skills and experiences. The first step to applying to FERC vacancies is creating a USAJOBS account. To learn more about using USA Jobs, click here.


#FERCerFriday Highlights: Kent Mottice

October 30, 2020
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Every Friday we feature employees and interns who love to #WorkAtFERC! These highlights give perspective candidates a glimpse into a career at the Commission. Happy #FERCerFriday! Meet Kent Mottice, Energy Industry Analyst in the Office of Energy Market Regulation.

What is your favorite part about working for FERC?
“FERC is a wonderful place to work. My favorite part is that I get to work with people from various backgrounds and experiences and we use those perspectives to learn and grow together. It makes FERC's culture better and makes us better at accomplishing the organization's mission.”

What does your day-to-day work look like?

"An average day consists of a significant amount of research relating to Commission actions, legal cases, regulatory proceedings, and industry trends. That research is then used, in collaboration with coworkers, to inform and assist the Commission's decision-making."

What advice would you give to jobseekers interested in pursuing a career with FERC?

"While working at FERC is fun, it's not always easy. You have to have good attention to detail and work productively with others, especially when you disagree. You must have the humility to understand that you don't know all the answers and learn to rely on the expertise of others."

Join our team here.


Time Management Tips While Working Remote

October 21, 2020

Time management can be challenging, especially in the era of COVID-19. It’s easy to get distracted and lose track of time when there is no separation between your home and work life. Effectively managing your time requires a schedule and setting parameters for yourself which will help limit distractions and provide a sense of structure. Working parents may have an additional layer of complexity for time management with their kids at home during the pandemic. Developing a time management strategy can help provide balance and limit stress. Remote work under these unprecedented circumstances requires extra self-care and planning. Here are some tips to consider when it comes to effectively managing your time while working remote:

1. Develop a Schedule

Scheduling can help you stay on track and prioritize important tasks with tight deadlines. It is easy to work a longer day at home than you did in the office. You can get caught up in your work and before you know it, you have worked longer than your normal duty hours One way to have a healthy, work-life balance is to set an alarm at the start and end of your typical workday—this will remind you to step away from your work as you don’t have the normal elements of a commute to transition you home. 

2. Minimize Distractions from Social Media 

Social media can to be very distracting and time-consuming. The best way to minimize this distraction is to log out of all social media accounts while working; this can take a lot of discipline, but can help you focus, stay productive, and accomplish your daily tasks. If needed, schedule a social media break on your calendar to browse through your newsfeed over your lunch break rather than having open tabs that can quickly take your attention away from engaging in your work.

3. Set Boundaries 

Don’t bite off more than you can chew! It is important not to overwhelm yourself and set boundaries around your time. Block off time on your calendar to accomplish specific tasks rather than being available 24/7 for meeting request that may pop up on your calendar last minute. Focus on the essential tasks of the day and leave the rest of your tasks for another day. Try to be as transparent as possible with your manager. If you need to step away from work to take care of your non work-related responsibilities, be sure to communicate your needs. Setting boundaries also helps you avoid procrastination as your time is dedicated to accomplishing specific tasks rather than waiting until the last minute.

We are all operating under unprecedented circumstances which require us to reevaluate and reassess how we spend our day. Time management is one of the most important skills to master. From scheduling effective meetings to learning how to balance our home and work life, it’s vital to set aside at least 15 minutes at the start or end of every day to regroup and set priorities for the next day.


#FERCerFriday Highlights: Lydia Miller

October 9, 2020
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Every Friday we feature employees and interns who love to #WorkAtFERC! These highlights give perspective candidates a glimpse into a career at the Commission. Happy #FERCerFriday! Meet Lydia Miller, student at The George Washington University and Energy Industry Intern in the Office of Energy Markets Regulation. 

Tell us about the project you are currently working on.

"My first impression of FERC was how welcoming the people were! Everyone I encounter is so kind, willing to support interns/new hires to get acclimated, and help with case specific issues! I immediately felt like I was part of an organization where continuous learning was valued. Currently, I am analyzing interconnection agreements, wholesale distribution service agreements while also working with teams on an Aggregators of Retail Customers' participation in MISO's market case and a PURPA related issue!"

How do you believe your academic studies match the work you are doing at FERC? 

"My academic studies have highly emphasized strong analytical skills. Many areas within my degree have focused on considering all relevant stakeholders, the reasonings for their actions, and the lasting effects of those actions. These concepts directly correlate to the analytical work that occurs in OEMR and specifically when we analyze filings. Additionally, my economics background aids in my general understanding of market concepts and strengthens my ability to apply these to specific Commission-made rules and regulations."

Would you recommend this internship program to a friend? 

"I would absolutely recommend this internship to someone! Interning at FERC has been an amazing opportunity to learn about the development of our country's energy markets, how market participants are interacting today and the delicacy with which this occurs, regulation issues, and being involved in public service. Furthermore, as an intern at FERC, I've had the opportunity to work on many filings, contribute on other cases/projects, and attend technical conferences. This program has also provided many great training opportunities for the interns and new hires!"

Join our team here.


How to Write a Successful Federal Resume

September 25, 2020

Whether you are a first-time applicant to the federal government or a seasoned federal employee, your resume is the primary way to communicate your skills and experiences for job opportunities with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Traditional vs. Federal Resume

Your resume is the document you will use to link how your knowledge, skills and abilities make you an ideal candidate for a specific job. Your resume and cover letter will be the only documents shared with the hiring manager, so it is essential that your resume highlights your accomplishments and skills.  A traditional resume is typically one to two pages. Federal resumes are much more detailed and include additional information beyond a one-page resume (i.e. hours worked per week, citizenship status, etc.). The goal is to go in depth about your responsibilities and accomplishments, and clearly communicate how your experiences and skills relate to the position to which you are applying.

Building Your Federal Resume

It is highly recommended that you use the Resume Builder on USAJOBS as a guide for creating your federal resume. The Resume Builder will ensure that you do not miss key elements needed to show hiring managers that you possess the desired skills required for the job. Generally, the main sections of your federal resume should include experience (paid and unpaid), education and technical skills/competencies (additional sections include job-related trainings, references, professional publications, etc.).

Resume Style

When applying to FERC vacancies, it is important to tailor your federal resume to fit the vacancy announcement and position you are applying for. Here are some helpful tips to customize your resume for specific positions:

  • Review the Duties section of each announcement to make sure your related skills are identifiable on your resume.
  • To enhance your resume, describe and highlight your accomplishments instead of simply listing duties. FERC HR Specialist Tiffany Kaufman suggests using metrics to amplify the impact of your contributions to an organization. For example, you could discuss the daily cash flow amount you were responsible for instead of simply stating you worked as a cashier.  
  • Use action verbs to highlight specific skills. For example, “authored” or “advised” (communication), “managed” or “calculated” (financial) and “examine” or “identify” (research).

Additional Resources

There are many resources available to help you create or revise your federal resume. Although FERC will accept a traditional one-page resume, you can potentially make yourself more competitive by creating the longer federal resume. Please visit the links below to learn more about resumes and how to apply to federal jobs.

USAJOBS FAQs

How to Build a Resume in USAJOBS

Items to include in a Federal Resume


#FERCerFriday Highlights: Juan Polit

September 18, 2020
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Every Friday we feature employees and interns who love to #WorkAtFERC! These highlights give perspective candidates a glimpse into a career at the Commission. Happy #FERCerFriday! Meet Juan Polit, Soil Conservationist in the Office of Energy Projects. 

What is your favorite part about working for FERC?

"I enjoy playing a role in FERC's environmental oversight responsibilities in a professional work environment located in the heart of the Nation's legislative and political capitol. I'm in project management heaven, occupied with reviewing diverse collections of environmental and technical information, designing intricate intra-team schedules, engaged in public and interagency outreach and data collection efforts, and traveling during project review and construction phases to diverse locations throughout the country."

What does your day-to-day work look like?

"As a project manager, I work with subject matter team contributors to conduct congressionally mandated environmental overview of natural gas pipeline industry projects. Project managers work with subject matter team contributors to conduct analysis of proposed natural gas projects' environmental impact on the human and natural environment, generating technical reports of various complexities under guidelines of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. A typical workday consists of a complementary mix of project-specific work, project and employee specific meetings, project schedule and travel planning, team consultations, diverse technical/trade and personal development training with opportunities for out-of-office lunch breaks."

Join our team here.


Tips on How to Take Advantage of a Virtual Internship

September 10, 2020

The year 2020 has been unprecedented to say the least. We have been hit with a global pandemic that has put many of us in quarantine for the last several months. Although this year has been a challenge, I have seen friends and family become more innovative with their time, pick up new hobbies, and start online businesses.

If you are still in school, you may be wondering how you can still gain the valuable internship experience that you need prior to entering the workforce. Unfortunately, during this unprecedented pandemic, there has been a lot of uncertainty surrounding internship opportunities. Due to COVID-19, several organizations have either canceled their internship programs or transitioned into an entirely virtual setting. Virtual internships have now become a popular alternative for students seeking to acquire valuable experience in the workforce without leaving the comfort and safety of their home. Although virtual or remote internships are a more convenient and safe option, it may be difficult to mimic the experience you would get in a traditional environment. Here are a few tips on how to take advantage of a virtual internship. 

Get a feel for the organization’s culture

Getting a feel of an organization’s culture without stepping foot in the door may not be easy. However, it is essential to know the organization’s values, the kinds of employees they hire, and their management style. Before I started my internship with FERC, I researched the organization to learn more about their culture and environment— I looked up YouTube videos, read bios on the ferc.gov website, and asked employees how they would describe the culture of the agency. I can attest to how understanding the culture can make an impact on the virtual internship experience. It can help you navigate how to take advantage of different opportunities available throughout the organization and create a network of contacts.

Make your presence known

After you get a feel for the organization's culture, take advantage of your virtual internship by making your presence known. Don’t be afraid to contribute new ideas, be innovative, and immerse yourself in the organization. Standing out, especially in a virtual environment, is important and can provide you with more opportunities. Here are some ways to achieve this:

  1. Introduce yourself and start interacting with your co-workers. Try setting up information sessions, ask for advice, and show genuine interest in who they are and their work.
  2. Show initiative by offering assistance on online tasks and contributing new ideas. Go above and beyond by recommending more efficient methods for the organization or reaching out to your supervisor to suggest valuable projects you can work on.
  3. Get involved by joining any clubs or employee resource groups the organization may have.  
  4. Take advantage of all the training and professional development workshops available.

Networking

Networking is one of the most significant opportunities an internship program can provide. Unlike traditional in-person internships, remote internships do not offer as many networking opportunities. Participate in the networking activities available such as virtual happy hours and workshops. Create your own networking opportunities by planning intern socials utilizing platforms such as Zoom, Skype, WebEx and Slack. Lastly, establish a mentor/mentee relationship with a seasoned employee who can give you advice and provide you with opportunities to connect with the right people.

While we are still navigating the uncertain times of COVID-19, remember to utilize your time management skills and lean on the support of your leadership team—it will help you make the most of your virtual experience.

Interested in learning more about FERC’s internship program? Click here!


#FERCerFriday Highlights: Davis LaBarre

August 21, 2020
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Every Friday we feature employees and interns who love to #WorkAtFERC! These highlights give perspective candidates a glimpse into a career at the Commission. 

Happy #FERCerFriday! Meet Davis LaBarre, Legal Volunteer in the Office of Administrative Litigation (OAL) and J.D. Candidate at Wake Forest University School of Law. 

Tell us about the project you are currently working on.

"At OAL we work with both hearing and settlement judges. I have attended many settlement conferences, hearings, and pre-hearings throughout the summer. I also have written memorandums on legal issues pertaining to different energy issues. My law school has done a great job preparing me for the legal writing I have done thus far at FERC. My first impression of FERC was that the employees care. Everyone that I have talked with seems to care about not only the work they do, but the people they work with. It is a very friendly community."

Would you recommend this internship program to a friend? 

"Yes! I would recommend this internship program to a friend because it is has been influential in my short career. FERC employees have been great teachers and lead you down the right path when you are lost. Overall, the experience has been great, albeit online, so I cannot imagine how influential it would be in person."

Join our team here.


Welcome to the FERC Careers Blog!

August 6, 2020

Welcome to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s first-ever Careers Blog! We, the recruitment team, hope to start a dialogue with the you and serve as a resource for applicants interested in employment opportunities with FERC.

We will use this space to provide interested applicants with insight on the exciting, challenging and engaging work we do at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. FERC regulates and oversees aspects of the energy industry and the economic, environmental and safety interests of the American public. Our talented employees work to solve the challenges of managing today’s energy markets and set policy direction for the energy industry at large. Our team is made up of more than 1,450 diverse professionals who work at our headquarters in Washington D.C. and at our regional offices in Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Portland and San Francisco. To learn more about FERC industry news, visit our Media resources here.

We will take you behind the scenes at FERC and bring you closer to the people of the Commission. On this blog, you will find valuable content featuring information directly from employees and interns about what it is like to #WorkAtFERC, advice on applying to FERC jobs and professional development tips. We also plan to share resources that are helpful to jobseekers on navigating the federal hiring process. Occasionally, we will feature first-hand perspectives from employees through our #FERCerFriday series and other employee spotlights.

Here at FERC, communication is essential to us and we want to encourage all our readers to engage with our blog. If you have questions or concerns, we want to hear them! To comment specifically on our blog posts, email work@ferc.gov, subject: Careers Blog Response.

We hope you will enjoy and find this space beneficial. Please let us know if there is a specific topic you would like us to explore. And don’t forget to engage with us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. We look forward to hearing from you!

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This page was last updated on November 23, 2020