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18F - Content Strategist

This job posting has closed.

Please see our other open positions.

18F is hiring for GS-14 - Content Strategist. This page contains information related to the role as well as a link to submit your application. Check out Join TTS Hiring Process to learn more about the application process.

Location: Virtual (100% Remote), Washington, DC; San Francisco, CA; Chicago, IL; New York, NY

Salary Range: The base salary range for this position is: GS-14 Step 1 - $90,621 to GS-14 Step 10 $117,810

The base salary range does not include any adjustment for locality. Your locality is most likely going to be determined by where you live since most of our positions are remote. If the position isn’t remote, then your locality will be determined by the location of the office where the position is based.

You can find more information about this in the compensation and benefits section on our site.

For specific details on locality pay, please visit OPM’s Salaries & Wages page or for a salary calculator OPM’s 2019 General Schedule (GS) Salary Calculator.

Who May Apply: All United States citizens and nationals (residents of American Samoa and Swains Islands) and applicants must not be GSA employees or contractors

Role Summary:

Content Strategist - GS-14

As an 18F content strategist, you’ll go far beyond copywriting — you’ll work on cross-functional teams of experts in design, product strategy, technical architecture, software engineering, and procurement. Besides creating and maintaining clear, accessible content, you’ll also help our partners improve (or develop) their user-centered content practices and promote content best practices across government.

The products 18F helps design and create are as varied as the ways the government serves the public. That’s why our content strategists focus on learning from our partners’ expertise and reflecting that to their users in a clear, consistent way even more than they focus on trying to write beautifully. You’ll work with our partners more than for them, so that at the end of an engagement, those partners are in a better position to keep building on the work they came to 18F for in the first place.

We’re looking for candidates who have delivered content iteratively, who have wrestled with the challenges of producing compelling copy in large organizations that have to balance competing interests, who love to help others discover better ways of creating great content even more than they love writing it.

Key Objectives

Objective #1: Lead projects from a content perspective.

  • Coach agency partners through the design process and establish a shared vision for the user experience
  • Identify user and organizational needs through formal interviews, informal conversations, contextual inquiry, workshops, and analytics research
  • Identify content opportunities and make recommendations based on exercises such as content audits, comparative analyses, gap analyses, or site mapping
  • Navigate complex organizational relationships to bring stakeholders together around common editorial goals and priorities
  • Give agency partners and peers advice they need to hear over what they want to hear, in a manner that respects their intelligence and experience

Objective #2: Deliver high-quality, user-centered content for agency partners.

  • Create clear, accessible, and concise content in a collaborative and iterative environment. This could include landing pages, interface writing, navigation labels, notifications, research findings, or launch materials
  • Incorporate continuous feedback from users, peers, and stakeholders by leading content-focused usability and critique sessions
  • Maintain consistency with our style and standards in the 18F Content Guide. Work with partner agencies to evolve their style where appropriate
  • Uphold our team values of being clear, concise, inclusive, curious, and honest — in both writing and daily collaboration

Objective #3: Contribute to the continued success of the content team and shared resources.

  • Continually promote 18F’s ways of working by making a strong case for iterative, user-centered design on every project
  • Contribute to team-wide resources and training materials, including methods cards, tutorials, guides, presentations, and design toolkits
  • Recognize when practices or processes are inconsistent or no longer serve the team, and recommend a way forward to improve effectiveness or efficiency
  • Share work in an unfinished state and give peer feedback in weekly critique sessions and drop-in labs
  • Promote the practice of content design in workshops, office hours, brown bags, and content-related events, and find ways to raise awareness of the content team’s work among external audiences

Basic Information

Location: Virtual (100% Remote), Washington, DC; San Francisco, CA; Chicago, IL; New York, NY

Salary Range: Base salary GS-14 - $90,621 to $117,810

If you are a new federal employee, your starting salary will likely be set at the Step 1 of the grade for which you are selected. Total compensation may include locality pay based on the individual’s duty location. For more salary information including locality pay details, please visit OPM’s Salaries & Wages page.

Who May Apply: All United States citizens and nationals (residents of American Samoa and Swains Islands) and applicants must not be GSA employees or contractors

Job announcement number: 1900496JCOTR

Opening and closing period for this job application: Monday, July 15, 2019 to 8:00pm on Monday, July 22, 2019 EDT

Job Title: Innovation Specialist

Series & Grade: 0301 - 14

Promotion Potential: N/A

Number of vacancies: 1 (Additional vacancies may be filled from this announcement as needed)

Supervisory status: No

Travel requirement: Occasional travel may be required up to 10%-20% per year

Security clearance: Public trust. Background investigation required.

Work Schedule: Full time

Appointment Type: Excepted Service: Not to exceed 24 months (2 years); may be extended up to an additional 2 years for a maximum of 4 years total.

Job Summary

This is a Schedule A position under 5 CFR 213.3102(r) to hire unique technical skills to develop innovative digital tools and services in the Excepted Services. The 18F office is charged with developing innovative digital tools and services and uses lean startup and agile development principles to collaborate with other agencies to fix technical problems, build products, and improve how government serves the public through technology.

As an Innovation Specialist, the team member serves the government and makes an impact on a massive scale. The position requires that fellows perform work of an exceptional degree of difficulty across a wide range of topics at the convergence of technology, policy, and delivery. The incumbent leverages their experience deploying high quality, user centric platforms and services to lead major initiatives, consult on systems and policy proposal, and provide technical, policy, and programmatic guidance to government.

This position is located within the General Services Administration (GSA), Federal Acquisition Service (FAS), Technology Transformation Service (TTS), Office of 18F.

GSA has been repeatedly named as one of the ‘Best Places to Work’ in the federal government. You will have access to many benefits including:

  • Health insurance (choose from a wide range of plans)
  • Life insurance coverage with several options
  • Sick leave and vacation time, including 10 paid holidays per year
  • Thrift Savings Plan (similar to a 401(k) plan)
  • Flexible work schedules and telework
  • Transit and child care subsidies
  • Training and development
  • Flexible spending accounts
  • Long-term care insurance
  • Training and development

Key Requirements

  1. You must be a U.S. Citizen or National (residents of American Samoa and Swains Islands)
  2. Suitable for federal employment, determined by a background investigation
  3. You may be required to serve a trial period
  4. Direct Deposit of salary check to financial organization required
  5. Register with Selective Service, if you are required by

Employment Requirements

  • Serve a one year trial period, if required
  • Undergo and pass a background investigation. You must be granted this clearance before you can start the job
  • Have your identity and work status eligibility verified if you are not a GSA employee. We will use the Department of Homeland Security’s e-Verify system for this
  • Any discrepancies must be resolved as a condition of continued employment
  • Complete a financial disclosure report to verify that no conflict, or an appearance of conflict, exists between your financial interest and this position


Typical duties for the fellow include but are not limited to:

  • Conceiving/recommending projects/studies to advance the state of the art in the specialty area; applying forward-thinking design and development principles to product or services development, delivery and program management, such as lean startup, user-centered design, and agile development;
  • Analyzing and scoping the technical and policy requirements needed to implement complex digital solutions;
  • Assessing the state of digital services provided by the Federal Government, and working to align strategies and practice; conferring with key government/private officials and top experts in the field, representing the agency at technical symposia and/or conferences;
  • Developing authoritative papers/reports; developing and leading adoption of government-wide standards for digital services, leading to their adoption across citizen and business-facing government services;
  • Demonstrating thought leadership and contributing best practices in a variety of technologies and principles; and


We will use a method called Category Rating to assess your application.

Here’s how it will work:

You will be scored based on a review of your application materials, measuring your possession of each of the following competencies

  • Content strategy: Leading strategic content initiatives and delivering effective recommendations for developing user-centered content.
  • User experience (UX) writing: Planning, writing, and editing content from concept to delivery to make digital services simpler, clearer, and easier to use.
  • Problem solving: Researching, synthesizing, and designing information to define problems and propose solutions effectively.
  • Collaboration: Working closely with others to accomplish shared goals and build strong working relationships
  • TTS Core Values Alignment: Working with integrity, transparency and resiliency in civic minded or high impact environment.

If found to be eligible and at least minimally qualified for the position, your score will be used to place you in a category (Best Qualified, Well Qualified, or Qualified).

If your resume does not support your possession of the competencies listed above, we may lower your score, which could place you in a lower category.

Within each category, veterans will receive selection priority over non-veterans if supported by appropriate documentation.


All applications will be reviewed by a panel of subject matter experts against a scoring rubric created for this role. In order to properly be able to evaluate your previous experience, we recommend being as detailed as possible in your resume and following our general guidance on creating federal style resume.

To qualify for this role, you must have one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-13 in the Federal service. Specialized experience is:

  1. Experience planning, writing, editing, and publishing content with a focus on digital products or services. This experience must include ONE of the following:
    • Creating content for websites or web-based applications
    • Creating content for intranets or other employee-facing products or services
    • Creating content for use across multiple contexts and communication channels (such as mobile, SMS, desktop, print)
  2. Experience developing content strategy, information architecture, or content design approaches. This must include TWO of the following:
    • Gathering feedback from external users
    • Experience with client management, collaborating with clients, or building buy-in with stakeholders
    • Experience designing for content in languages other than English
    • Experience organizing information for websites, digital applications, or other data-heavy projects
  3. Experience participating in content or design efforts for cross-functional teams building complex digital projects. This must include ONE of the following:
    • Experience collaborating with teammates across different disciplines such as design, product, or engineering
    • Experience working on a digital project for complex organizations such as public sector institutions, private corporations or non-profits
    • Experience working in highly-regulated domains or bureaucratic environments

Qualification determinations cannot be made when resumes do not include the required information, so failure to provide this information may result in disqualification.

For each job on your resume, provide:

  • the exact dates you held each job (from month/year to month/year or “present”)
  • number of hours per week you worked (if part time)

How To Apply

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