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An official website of the United States Government.

Frequently Asked Questions USAJOBS

  •   Time in grade is a requirement for a specified amount of time that an employee must spend in a grade before they are eligible for promotion (5 CFR 300.604).  
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  • USAJOBS does not provide direct phone support. If you are having trouble with the USAJOBS site or have a basic Federal employment question, please click Contact Us at the bottom of each Web page. This will alllow you to send an email to the Help Desk where you can request assistance by phone or email. You should receive a response within one business day.
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  • Individuals, who previously held a career or career-conditional appointment with the Federal government, may be eligible for reinstatement, which allows reentry to the Federal competitive service workforce without competing with the public. Reinstatement eligibles can also apply for Federal jobs open only to status or merit promotion candidates. Eligibility Requirements There is no time limit on eligibility for those who:
    • Are Veterans' preference eligible and served one day as a career conditional employee, or
    • Acquired career tenure by completing three years of substantially continuous creditable career-conditional service.
    Non-veterans' preference eligibles who separated from civil service as a career-conditional employee may be reinstated within three years after the date of separation. Reinstatement eligibility may be extended by certain activities that occur during the three-year period after separation from your last career or career-conditional appointment, those activities include:
    • Federal employment under temporary, term, or similar appointments.
    • Federal employment in excepted, non-appropriated fund, or Senior Executive Service positions.
    • Federal employment in the legislative and judicial branches.
    • Active military duty terminated under honorable conditions.
    • Service with the District of Columbia Government prior to January 1, 1980 (and other service for certain employees converted to the District's independent merit system).
    • Certain government employment or full-time training that provided valuable training and experience for the job to be filled.
    • Periods of overseas residence as a dependent who followed a Federal military or civilian employee to an overseas post of duty.
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  • Although each agency is different, generally the hiring agency will provide notification updates within 15-30 days after the job opportunity announcement (JOA) closes. Select Application Status from the "My Account" tab on the header of USAJOBS to view an application status. To find the contact information if the job is closed, and you have already applied for the job by clicking the “Apply Online” button, you can find the JOA in your Application Status list and click on the job title. This will open the whole job announcement. While USAJOBS continues to partner with agencies to improve online status updates for job applications, additional information may be available by viewing the “More Information” link from the application status page. For specific information about your application status, use the Human Resources point of contact for the position listed on the Job Opportunity Announcement. All decisions about eligibility, qualifications, and hiring are made by the Agency. If you have questions about your rating or a job that you applied for, you will need to contact the agency that posted the announcement to find out why you were rated ineligible. To contact the agency, click the "Agency Contact Info" link in the box on the right-hand side of the JOA. Once the announcement has closed, it will no longer appear on the USAJOBS website. JOA and it will be listed there. Once the announcement has closed, it will no longer appear on the USAJOBS website. However, the contact information should also be listed on the Notice of Results that you received. Additionally, you may refer to your Application Status list and click on the job title to pull up the JOA. Your Application Statuses remain in your account for 12 months. There are a number of factors that control how applications are recorded in USAJOBS accounts. Many of the actions required to update your application records are controlled by the agency systems through which you applied to the position, which passes information to USAJOBS. Please know that we are working continually with the systems we connect with to improve the processes to give job applicants the most complete and up-to-date status information possible. The Office of Management and Budget has mandated that agencies are responsible for evaluating and providing status to applicants at four points. These points are:
    • When the application is received
    • When the applicant is assessed for qualifications or found ineligible
    • When the applicant is referred to the selecting official or no longer under consideration
    • When the applicant is selected or no longer under consideration 
     
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  • Visit USAJOBS and select “Search Jobs”. Type in “part-time” in the keyword search box and answer the “Applicant Eligibility” question at the bottom of the screen. Then click on “Search for Jobs”. If there are part-time positions on the USAJOBS system, then those positions should appear. Click on the position titles to see the full text job opportunity announcement and follow the instructions under “How to Apply”.
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  •   Wage Grade is the term used to describe non-supervisory Federal Wage System (FWS) employees. Wage Supervisors are supervisory FWS employees.  
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  • A term appointment is an appointment lasting more than one year but less than four years, with a specific expiration date. Reasons for utilizing a term appointment include:
    • project work;
    • extraordinary workload;
    • scheduled abolishment of a position;
    • reorganization;
    • uncertainty of future funding;
    • contracting out of the function.
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  • Veterans’ Preference gives special consideration to eligible veterans looking for federal employment. Veterans who are disabled or who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces during certain specified time periods or in military campaigns are entitled to preference over nonveterans both in hiring into the federal civil service and in retention during reductions in force.
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  • Information pertaining to internship opportunities can be found at http://www.usajobs.gov/StudentJobs.
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  • When you leave the Peace Corps or AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) you are granted a one-year period to be non-competitively appointed to a normally competitive Federal position. The hiring agency may extend the non-competitive eligibility period for 2 additional years to a total of 3 years if the individual, after the qualifying service, is in the military service; is studying at a recognized institution of higher learning; or has been involved in another activity which, in the agency's view, warrants an extension. This eligibility does not entitle volunteers to a Federal position. Upon completing service with the Peace Corps or AmeriCorps VISTA, you are provided a certification of non-competitive eligibility for Federal jobs. Former volunteers should note their Peace Corps or AmeriCorps VISTA service in their résumé and provide the Description of Service as an attachment.  
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