Are you considering a career with the Federal Government? Why not, the opportunities are numerous for long-term careers in a multitude of fields because of the varied mission areas represented by Federal service.  Sound appealing? If so read on, it will help inform and guide you to that desired federal job.

1USAJOBS, by going to www.usajobs.gov the Federal Government’s main employment website,  you will find and apply for Federal jobs, get answers to your questions about Federal employment and search for Federal jobs that match your skills and interests.  You can also use the website’s tools/resources to narrow your results and find the job that is the right fit for you. Just go to the landing page and create your profile.  You will even have the option of signing in to multiple websites.

2-After completing all the instructions and completing your profile you can save job searches, create and edit your resume, upload supporting documents and manage your applications all in one place. Input your resume and supporting documents ahead of time so you and will be prepared to apply for jobs when you are ready. USAJOBS gives you the option of performing a basic job search, entering key words and desired location, or do a more advanced search in which you can use several filters such as pay rate, work schedule, department and agency.  This will help to refine your search and narrow the results to the jobs that best meet your criteria. You can also filter job results by specific hiring paths such as those open to students and recent graduates. Your refined search will lead to results showing job opportunity announcements (the formal term for Federal job postings) that meet your search criteria.

3-Prepare your application package in USAJOBS. Your Federal application consists of your résumé and any supporting documents requested in the job opportunity announcement (e.g., school transcripts).  Check out the “How to Apply” and “Required Documents” sections of the job opportunity announcement to learn the steps you must follow and the supporting documents needed.  You must provide a complete application package or you will not move forward in the hiring process, so be sure to follow all instructions in the job opportunity announcement.

4-When you are ready click the ‘Apply’ button, you will be guided through a 5 step process to complete your application.  Once you complete the five steps, you may receive a confirmation email.  You can also check in your USAJOBS account to see that the status has changed to “Received.”   If you do not receive confirmation, you may follow up with the agency to ensure that they received your application

5- Here is what typically happens next. Once the job opportunity announcement closes, the hiring agency starts the review process to determine if you are eligible and meet the qualifications for the job.  Next, the agency may conduct additional assessments to determine which applicants are best qualified for the position.   Depending on its policy, the agency may then conduct interviews.  The hiring official will select the best candidate for the job and make a tentative offer.

6-Most individuals selected for Federal positions will be required to undergo a basic background investigation. Jobs that involve access to sensitive information may require a security clearance. The background check and clearance process usually begin after you receive and accept a tentative job offer. When the investigation/clearance process is complete, the agency will contact you to agree on a date when you can start work.


For more information, go to the USAJOBS home page and select the middle tab titled “Federal Application Process”.  You can also visit the USAJOBS Help Center by selecting the “Help” icon in the upper right-hand corner of the USAJOBS main page. 

*The information for this month’s blog was generously provided by Karlos Del Toro, US Office of Personnel Management.


Cheers, enjoy the remainder of the Summer!


By Marguerite Busetti
Marguerite Busetti Associate Director of Career and Professional Development, Dobbs Ferry Campus