Making the Cert List: Navigating the Federal Job Application Process

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Making the Cert List: Navigating the Federal Job Application Process


The following is a typical scenario. You find a vacancy announcement for a librarian position in the federal government. You think you’re the ideal candidate and submit your application with great anticipation. Two weeks later, you receive an email from USAStaffing stating that you are not qualified for the position and that you were not referred to the selecting official for an interview. How can this be?
The perception is there is a trick to landing a job in the federal government, because applicants who seemingly have the right qualifications and experience to perform a job are often not referred for further consideration. There is no trick to making the referral list, commonly known as the “cert list;” however, applicants do need to understand how HR specialists evaluate resumes.
In this webinar, which will include an interactive component, you will gain a better understanding of the federal job application review process and learn to maximize your chances of making the cert list.


  • Gain a better understanding of how HR specialists in the federal government review job applications
  • Learn to maximize chances to getting an interview



Kimberly Adams, MA, MS, MLS has seventeen years' experience in federal libraries, serving the last eight years in administrative and supervisory roles. She has won many awards for innovation, service, and leadership, including leading Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to Small Federal Library of the Year for fiscal year 2014. Ms. Adams is currently Command Librarian for U.S. Army Medical Command (MEDCOM), where she provides program planning, policy, and management of library services at Army hospitals and clinics worldwide. Ms. Adams is a 2003 graduate of Catholic University of America's library science program.

Nancy Clark is the Director of the Library Network Office for the VHA Office of Health Informatics. Ms. Clark began her VA career as an intern at the Dallas VA Medical Center while earning her master’s degree in Library Science from the University of North Texas.  Upon graduation, she moved to Arizona to serve as the medical librarian for the Phoenix VA Medical Center.  In 1982, she traveled across the country to the VA Medical Center in Fayetteville, NC.  After 3 years as the chief of library service there, she returned to the Dallas area to serve as the library chief at the VA North Texas Health Care System. In 2009, Ms. Clark was selected as the director of the Library Network Office.  In this role, she and her team provide advice and consultation regarding library policy and issues to VHA and medical center administrations, advocate for the hiring of medical librarians in support of quality patient care, develop programs and policies for the VA Library Network, and manage an award-winning collection of nationally purchased online resources that are made available through the VHA National Desktop Library. In 2021, Ms. Clark was the recipient of the Medical Library Association’s Lois Ann Colaianni Award for Excellence and Achievement in Hospital Librarianship.

Class Details

Date(s): September 15, 2021
Time: 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM EDT
Platform: Webex
CE Credits: 1.50
Class Experience Level: Beginner
This class is sponsored by Region 1.
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Contact the NNLM Training Office for more information.

Region: Region 5

The goal of the NNLM is to advance the progress of medicine and improve public health by providing U.S. health professionals with equal access to biomedical information and improving individuals' access to information to enable them to make informed decisions about their health.

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