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About Ranking Factors

Below are frequently asked questions regarding ranking factors.  This information will help you prepare your application packet before submitting it to the Human Resources Division.

  1. What are ranking factors?

Ranking factors are job related questions advertised as part of a vacancy announcement.  These questions are used to obtain additional information regarding an applicant’s specialized experience.  Specifically, applicants must demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and abilities relative to the position for which they are applying. In addition to the minimum qualifications and any other selective placement factors, responses to the ranking factors are used to determine if an applicant qualifies for a particular position.

  1. Where do I locate the ranking factors?

Ranking factors are located on either the first or second page of the vacancy announcement.

  1. How many ranking factors are listed on each vacancy announcement?

Each vacancy announcement typically has three ranking factors, but may have more depending on the complexity of the position requirements.

  1. Do I have to answer each ranking factor?

Yes.  Failure to respond to all ranking factors results in an incomplete application. Incomplete applications are disqualified and do not receive further consideration.

  1. What type of information should I include in my response to the ranking factors?

Information provided should be specific and descriptive examples of work accomplished as it relates to the position for which you are applying. You may refer to any experience, education, training, awards, and/or outside activities that support the degree to which you possess the job related knowledge, skills, and abilities stated in the ranking factors. You must also show how your education and experience meet the requirements for the position. Your answers should reflect your level of responsibility and any outcomes for which you contributed. 

  1. How long should my response to the ranking factors be?

No minimum or maximum length is necessary.  It is recommended that at least two or three examples are given for each ranking factor if possible.

  1. Will the OCFO HR Division help me write my ranking factors?

No.  Responding to the ranking factors is an independent task based on the applicant’s experiences; responses are used as part of the Human Resources Division’s initial review (screening) of applications. 

  1. Can I copy information from my application/resume to respond to the ranking factors?   

No.  You should respond to the ranking factors with a unique response that outlines specific examples of your experience; this may require that you expound on information contained within your application/resume.  In other words, resumes provide general information regarding one's experience, education, activities, and other accomplishments, while responses to ranking factors should demonstrate your specialized experience.

  1. Does my response to the ranking factors have to be on a separate sheet of paper?

No.  You should include your responses to the ranking factors within the space allotted on the application; however, you may provide an attachment to your application if you require more than the allotted space.

  1. What should I do if I receive a letter in the mail stating that I did not respond to one or more ranking factors?

If the position is still open, you may edit your response(s) to the ranking factors and resubmit your complete application for consideration. 

Ranking Factor Sample

Describe your ability to assist employees with computer issues.

As a Help Desk Coordinator with the District Government, I serve as the first point of contact regarding all employee computer concerns.  Daily, I receive calls regarding various challenges such as computer password resets, log-on issues, email challenges, and other computer malfunctions.  In an effort for me to correct these problems, I attended a six month computer training course that provided me with the skills necessary to assist employees.  Currently, I possess a DCA012 computer certificate that is valid from April 2014 – April 2017.  The knowledge and experience that I possess allows me to resolve employee computer concerns in an efficient manner.