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Navigating USAJOBS

By Diane Hudson Burns

USAJOBS is the official job site of the US Federal Government and the one-stop source for Federal jobs and employment information. The site is packed full of important information and resources to support federal job search. It also serves as a portal for information for students, Senior Executive Service executives, veterans, and much more. A thorough review of the site will reveal many tools for effective federal job search.

On the Home Page, you have options: conduct a job search (SEARCH JOBS); set up your account and build or post your resume (MY USAJOBS); review common questions, take a career interest assessment, review federal hiring trends, or learn about special hiring categories (INFO); review hiring authorities and other specifics for VETERANS; access various government FORMS that may be required in the application process; or review the EMPLOYER SERVICES page, used by Federal Recruiters.

Each of these pages contains a wealth of information and guidance for the Federal Job Search process:

You can search for Federal jobs by Agency, Series (occupation), US Location, Keyword (including the announcement number if known); or by conducting an Advanced Search that can include any combination of keywords, title, series, occupation, location, agency, and salary or grade range - which can be sorted for brief or less brief listings of jobs available. In the advanced section, you can also indicate your applicant eligibility for rehire, veteran's preference or other hiring category, meaning the positions that list, will be applicable to your eligibility (for example, if you are not currently a federal employee, then by clicking the appropriate button, you should not receive job postings only open for merit-promotion eligibles - rather you should receive a list of open announcements for candidates open to the public). There is also a search section dedicated solely to Senior Executive Service applicants.

MY USAJOBS is the page where you can open your USAJOBS account and enter your account user id and password to access your resumes and resume tracking. In order to apply for jobs using the USAJOBS resume, you need an account in MY USAJOBS. It is preferred that you open an account and input your resume well in advance of applying for positions. Once into MY USAJOBS, you can set up your profile, input, edit, and manage up to 5 resumes (only one is searchable at a time); track your application progress (this will provide your qualification status for positions that you applied to); set up a job search agent; manage your personal profile; save jobs of interest for future review; and upload up to 5 applicable required documents in your Portfolio (DD-214, 306, SF-50, SF-15, transcripts, or other documents).

The INFO Center is a wealth of information including tips for improving your results on USAJOBS and guidance in improving your ability to qualify for a federal position (maximizing your search results, guides, site map, and Q&A; an explanation of the federal hiring process; a career exploration center including assessments for career interests; federal hiring trends; Tip of The Week; and information on federal processes and terms as well as guidance for resume and KSA writing.

The Veterans page provides useful tools for determining Veteran's preference eligibilities (including a quick test); a section that helps to convert military experience / occupational specialties; required forms; setting up a job search agent; and information for other appropriate links that provide services to Veterans. I encourage all Veterans to become familiar with the page and refer to it often.

Forms includes links to OPM (Office of Personnel Management), Standard, and Optional forms; specific agency forms; and frequently requested forms. The link to the OPM forms site, includes a long list of official forms for job seekers and Federal employees.

Employer Services is a page designated for federal recruiters. This is a password-protected page and requires approved access.

Navigating the USAJOBS website is easy and informative. Traversing through the various pages will expose a wealth of information for federal job search and application requirements.