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As we recognize the 20th Anniversary of USAJOBS, it’s a good time to reflect on how far the site, and the Federal hiring process as a whole, has come.
Until 1996 when USAJOBS.gov was launched, someone interested in working for the Federal Government had to go to a Federal building to look at job announcements that were either posted on a bulletin board, or in “reading rooms”.
From the first iteration of USAJOBS.gov through the enhancements of the past year to our new landing page unveiled in the lead up to the site’s 20th anniversary, our team has worked to improve its design, features, and tools and to make the site more user friendly. We are constantly working to improve the user experience and we are committed to continuing to evolve USAJOBS.gov from a job board to a career site.
Over the past year we have worked with stakeholders across government, convened work groups, and received user feedback through interviews and focus groups. We've used this feedback to implement user-friendly updates including a mobile-friendly website, a revised application process, and a new help center.
We have put metrics in place to measure and track whether the updates we’ve made are improving the user experience and meeting the needs and expectations of our users. Our partners at the General Services Administration (GSA) have provided us with a web analytics tool, Digital Analytics Platform (DAP), which will enable us to continually measure our efforts.
Some of the interesting data we have gathered tells us that more than 14,000 Federal job opportunities are available every day, 22 million applications are started each year, and 1 billion searches are conducted on the website each year.
In addition to these efforts, we are developing the Agency Talent Portal that will provide agencies with innovative and strategic recruiting tools. With the continued support of OPM Acting Director Beth Cobert, and working with the Innovation Lab@OPM, USAJOBS is striving to influence the Federal hiring process in a positive way from start to finish.
Beyond our redesign efforts, the USAJOBS team is participating in OPM’s Hiring Excellence Campaign, which is designed to connect Federal agencies with a talented and diverse applicant pool and help agencies hire the best qualified candidates.
Our goal moving forward is simple - for USAJOBS to provide easy-to-use tools and resources to support job seekers in their quest for Federal employment. In order to realize this vision, our team will continue to leverage data to its fullest potential to inform how we design USAJOBS.gov so we can help job seekers connect with the positions they want and agencies connect with the talent they need.
Job seekers looking for a Federal job on USAJOBS.gov will find new and improved features this week! These enhancements are the first in a comprehensive redesign that over the coming months will transform USAJOBS.gov into a more user-friendly website.
Beginning this month, improvements to the application process will make applying for Federal jobs easier for applicants. In addition to improving the usability of the website and the overall application system, these changes will increase the number of completed applications agencies receive, which will further enhance a fair and open competition for Federal Government jobs.
To help OPM make changes that will improve the user experience on USAJOBS, we reached out to job seekers from across the United States, engaged human capital and human resources specialists across government, and sought the advice of top usability and design experts. As a result, the updates feature new capabilities, including a tracker that will allow job seekers to follow the progress of their applications from beginning to end. Other enhancements include:
Reviewing required documents for a desired position without leaving the application process
Managing resumes or other documents during the application process
Saving progress on a pending application
The primary purpose of these improvements is to create a more user-friendly application experience. Research conducted by OPM found that for some applicants, applying for a job can be difficult and frustrating, which drives some to abandon their applications or submit incomplete applications. The revised job application features are designed to more clearly communicate the steps applicants are expected to complete and guide them through a step-by-step process in completing an application package that can then seamlessly be transferred to an agency.
USAJOBS will continue to provide updates on new features, and how these changes will benefit website users. OPM has begun testing additional features that will be integrated into the website throughout the rest of the year. Those changes will be incorporated on the website on a rolling basis and will be designed to continue improving job seekers’ experience when applying for Federal Government jobs.
Visit www.USAJOBS.gov to learn more and to start applying today.
Cross-posted from the White House blog.
Ambassador Susan E. Rice, National Security Advisor to President Barack Obama, encourages Americans to consider careers in public service--particularly in national security and international affairs.
If you care about the world and want to help shape a better future for us all, there is nothing more rewarding than choosing a career in public service. You can directly contribute to keeping our country strong and safe.
As a public servant, every day brings new and different challenges. The work is hard, but nothing is more gratifying than knowing you’ve made a difference in the world--that you’ve helped make someone’s life just a little bit better.
One of the many benefits of Federal service is that there are positions in virtually every field. While many think that Federal Government jobs are all in Washington, D.C., in fact, 85 percent of Federal positions are outside of the D.C. area. More than 50,000 employees work abroad.
Having public servants from varied backgrounds and with diverse skill sets throughout government is key to developing the best workforce in service of the American people. That is why in August 2011 the President issued an Executive Order calling for a government-wide coordinated effort to promote diversity and inclusion within the Federal workforce. The President’s Management Agenda builds on that commitment.
If you are interested in joining the ranks of Federal public servants, you can begin exploring career opportunities through USAJOBS.gov. Nearly all Federal job openings are posted on this site and each job announcement includes details about responsibilities, qualifications, benefits, and application instructions. At any given time, there are approximately 20,000 positions available.
If you are interested in the national security and international affairs fields, here are some exciting current opportunities:
I hope you will consider joining me in serving the American people here and around the world.
Follow Ambassador Rice on Twitter: @AmbassadorRice
Have you ever dreamed about going to Mars? Want to spend some time on the International Space Station? With USAJOBS, OPM is helping NASA find the next generation of future astronauts.
We are proud to support NASA’s efforts to recruit and hire our country’s future space explorers. Working with NASA to help and support the talent it needs to fulfill its exciting missions on and off this planet is just one example of OPM’s commitment to helping agencies across government attract, recruit, hire, and retain the best and most talented workforce to serve the American people.
USAJOBS.gov is the Federal Government’s one-stop shopping site for Federal jobs. We are transforming this site into more than just a place to apply for a job. We want prospective Federal employees to be able to explore USAJOBS to learn about what Federal careers they might be eligible for and how their skills and qualifications match up with particular positions. And, we want someone who is new to applying for Federal service to know what kind of career path and promotional possibilities lie ahead.
In fiscal year 2015, there were nearly 1.2 billion searches on USAJOBS.gov and nearly 350,000 Federal Job Opportunity Announcements posted.
In order to learn how best to make USAJOBS more user friendly, we went straight to users. We did interviews with college students, held focus groups, and we invited users to send us messages about how we could improve the customer experience.
One thing we learned is that we needed to make job announcements shorter, and in more plain language. We are doing that. We also created a map search page that allows applicants to click on a particular part of the country – and the world - and learn what job opportunities are there. You can also see where the jobs you want are located. Want to be a geologist? You can enter it on the map search page and see if and where the Federal Government has openings.
We’ve also improved the display of our site so you can easily find and apply for a job whether you are looking at USAJOBS on your mobile phone, your tablet, your laptop or desktop.
Early in the New Year, you’ll see a new look and feel on USAJOBS, a design that was driven by our users. It will be a more intuitive and easier to navigate. And more changes are on the way.
So whether you have worked in engineering, science, medicine, computer science, mathematics or other related fields and have looked up at the skies and wondered what it would be like to work in outer space, I invite you to go to USAJOBS.gov and search for Astronaut.
OPM is proud to help NASA and our sister agencies across the Federal Government recruit, train, develop, and retain the Federal workforce of today and the future.
One request I get each time I talk with students, teachers, Federal employees and community leaders is: Please make USAJOBS easier to use.
I’ve heard you. OPM wants to make USAJOBS the best possible tool for people searching for a job in the Federal government. And to do that we need your help.
I’m happy to announce that our USAJOBS team is beginning a program to ask people who use USAJOBS to help us identify the issues they encounter when they access the site. Our team is looking for volunteers, and we need your feedback.
We would need about two hours of your time. Here are some of the things we may ask you to do as part of our research:
Getting help from those who use USAJOBS is crucial to our effort to improve it. We want USAJOBS to be easy to navigate. We want it to be the best it can be for you, the job seeker.
Interested in helping? Email email@example.com with your name, state of residence, and preferred email address.
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