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What is USAJOBS 3.0?


Over the past year, the Federal Government has made tremendous strides in streamlining the hiring process under the President’s Hiring Reform Initiative (  In order to continue to make progress, executive departments and agencies collaborated to enhance the Federal employment search portal, USAJOBS. 


The latest iteration--USAJOBS 3.0, is planned for implementation in October 2011.  Different from the current version, USAJOBS 3.0 has an increased capacity to provide applicants, hiring managers, and human resource professionals with information to improve the recruitment and hiring process, as well as provide robust and secure data standardization and sharing.


OPM will provide regular updates to agencies through multiple venues, including this email, blog, a bi-weekly newsletter to agencies, and through social media outlets, including GovLoop, Facebook, and Twitter. 


USAJOBS 3.0, What to Expect: A common repository for storing applicant resumes and all associated documents.


* Centralized access to recruiting tools, templates, policy, and guidance

* Integrated data collection points between USAJOBS and agency back-end Talent Acquisition Systems

* A common repository for storing applicant resumes and all associated documents

* More robust government-wide analytical reporting for use by agencies, OMB, and OPM

* Enhanced resume mining capabilities (i.e., via special hiring authorities)

* Improved logic for applicants that asks targeted questions based on previous responses

* Enhanced search capabilities

* Applicant tools to support and encourage career exploration (e.g., “if you like this job, you may also be interested in these”)


Discontinuation of Employer Services


* The first major change with 3.0 is the discontinuation of Employer Services, which has already been communicated with your agency points-of-contact. 

* On July 1, the ability to post and edit new jobs via Employer Services ended. Recruiters are now only able to view resumes, communicate with candidates, and close out existing announcements.

* All job opportunity announcements must have a closing date no later than August 1. 

* Total access to Employer Services will be discontinued effective October 1, 2011. So, be sure to print, download or retrieve any case files that might need to be maintained after October 1, 2011.

The time-in-grade requirement is a restriction that applies to Federal employees in competitive service General Schedule positions at grades 5 and above. These employees qualify for promotions to higher grades if they have: (1) At least one year of specialized experience equivalent in difficulty to the next lower grade level or (in some cases) the equivalent education; and (2) service of at least 52 weeks at their current grade. In some cases where Federal employees have education or have gained previous experience outside of the Federal Government they can apply for positions that are open to the general public. These are positions advertised as “WHO MAY BE CONSIDERED: United States Citizens.” You would be considered as an external candidate regardless of your Federal Government status but you will be required to meet the education and/or specialized experience requirements. I suggest you review positions advertised as stated above and review the qualifications requirements for the position. It was not necessary for you to quit your job to be able to move to a position with more promotion potential. I really hope this information helps.

Should the time-in-grade requirement of a Federal Employee not be abolished? My own experience has been that I spend 12 years in a GS-5 Federal position that had no promotion potential. But it was a steady, dependable position. And it was available when I needed a job! I found myself (suddenly)a single mom and sole support of the family, so I needed to take what I could get. I was well qualified, by experience from before I hired into that position (series), for higher graded jobs, but there weren't any available then. However, every time I applied for the higher graded jobs later, it was noted that I was a Federal employee (GS-5) and had not held a Federal grade of GS-6 or 7, so I was disqualified. How ridiculous! Yet, someone who had not served the Federal government faithfully for all those years--someone less qualified than I--could apply for and be hired into a GS-7 (or 9 or whatever) position because they did not have to have time-in-grade. Once one is hired into the Federal system he/she may as well forget seeking advancement--unless his/her particular position happens to have promotion potential to the grade she/he desires. The way I had to get around it was to QUIT Federal Service after my children were grown, and now try to re-hire at a higher grade. How ridiculous is that?!!!

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