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Frequently Asked Questions USAJOBS

  • If you wish to delete an entry in work experience, education, or references, simply click the red X at the right of the entry link. For help in each section of the resume builder, simply click the “?” icon in each section.
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  • There are two types of searches conducted by USAJOBS, so that you have maximum flexibility for identifying jobs you might be interested in and filtering out those you aren't. The two search types work differently depending on whether you are coming in for a Basic Search or an Advanced Search and the results may appear to be inaccurate if you aren't aware of these differences. Basic Search (“What” / “Where”) From the first screen you see when you bring up USAJOBS, you are offered two options -- "What" or "Where". If you are not logged in, it is important that you remember that USAJOBS initially treats you as a US citizen looking for your first Federal job and does not include jobs that are limited to current or former Federal employees. If you do log into your account, the site will default to the eligibility status (US Citizen or Federal Employee) that is recorded in your profile. "What" is a keyword search. You can enter any word(s) that might be in the text of a job announcement, such as a position title, and the system will scan the body of all open job announcements for the word(s) you entered. Some caution here -- Do not use this to find jobs by location. They would only appear if the location was actually embedded in the job announcement, which it often isn't. If you want a job in a particular location, use "Where". "Where" is a more complex geographic search that finds a location (city, state, military base, etc.) on the map, references the geographic coordinates for that location (longitude/latitude) at the center of the specified location, then draws a circle to identify jobs in a specific radius of the location you're looking for. The default, which you can change once the results are produced, is a 20 mile radius. For either of these searches, once you see the initial results of the search you can change your status (from US Citizen to Federal Employee) on the upper left side of the screen in order to expand your search results so that they also include those jobs that are open only to current or former Federal employees. To expand or contract your search area, you can change the default radius on the upper right hand of the screen. Advanced Search There are information buttons (marked with “?”) above each of the possible filters you can apply in the Advance Search feature to help guide you on what to enter. Using the Advanced Search feature, you must be specific when identifying your locations of interest, but you can expand your searches to state-wide locations which is the first option on the "Locale(s)" drop down box. These are not "proximity" searches such as the Basic Search performs. Advanced Search will only only identify and return results to you when the coded duty station on the Job Announcement matches your search criteria. Also, be sure you change the "Applicant Eligibility" response to "Yes" if you want to include jobs that are only open to current or former Federal employees. If you leave it "No", those jobs will not be presented in your search results.
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  • Being an ex-offender does not prevent you from obtaining Federal Employment. OPM or the hiring agency considers your criminal conduct in determining your suitability but there are no general prohibitions against hiring you. We consider a number of relevant factors such as the duties of the positions you have applied for, the nature and recency of the misconduct, and any evidence of rehabilitation. Although there are no general prohibitions against employing you in the Federal Government, there are some regulations which will prohibit you from working in certain positions if you have a specific conviction. The most common situation involves being convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence crimes under Federal or State law. These persons are “prohibited from employment in any position requiring the individual: to ship, transport, possess, or receive firearms or ammunition” (Public Law 1-4-208 Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997.) Other statutory or regulatory debarments exist, but are rarely applicable. They cover debarment from Federal employment from such offenses as treason, inciting rebellion against the U.S., willful and unlawful destruction of public records, or knowingly and willfully advocating the overthrow of the U.S. Government. It is important for you to provide all the required information about your criminal record when you apply for Federal employment. Then, either OPM or the employing agency can determine early if a specific prohibition exists.
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  • Whether an agency accepts uploaded documents is specified in the "How To Apply" instructions on the job opportunity announcement and the option to select and attach uploaded documents will appear when you select your resume.   USAJOBS provides the ability to save up to ten additional documents along with your resume. Such documents may include a DD-214, SF-15, SF-50, OF-306, transcripts or other types of documents requested in job opportunity announcements. To upload a document: 1. Log-in at "My Account." 2. Click on "Saved Documents." 3. Click browse and select a file stored on your computer to include in your     Saved Documents. Files must be less than 3 MB and can either     be .gif, .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .rtf, .doc, .docx or .pdf format. Enter a name for your     document. 4. Click "Upload." Once a document has been successfully uploaded, it can be viewed or deleted at any time. TIP: Only attach the documents specifically requested by the announcement to which you are applying. Please note that your attachments will be sent with the USAJOBS resume you choose to use. Attachments cannot be used in place of your USAJOBS resume. To attach a resume to your USAJOBS account, do so in the Resumes section of your USAJOBS account.
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  •   The competitive examination, which is open to all applicants, may consist of a written test, an evaluation of an applicant’s education and experience, and/or an evaluation of other attributes necessary for successful performance in the position to be filled. The process is used to fill civil service positions with candidates who apply from outside the Federal workforce. It is also used to enable current Federal employees without civil service status to compete for a permanent appointment and to enable employees with civil service status to compete for other Federal positions.  
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  • Using your Saved Documents - USAJOBS allows your application for employment, maximum flexibility by giving you the ability to save up to ten attachments along with your resume such as a DD-214, SF-15, SF-50, OF-306, transcripts or other types of documents requested by announcements. To upload a document: 1.Log-in at "My Account". 2.Click on "Saved Documents". 3.Click browse and select a file stored on your computer to include in your Saved Documents. Files must be less than 3mb and can either be .gif, .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .rtf, .doc, .docx or .pdf format. 4.Enter a name for your document. 5.Click "Upload".  After you have successfully uploaded a document, you can click to view or delete your document(s) at any time. TIP: Only attach the documents specifically requested by the announcement to which you are applying. NOTE: Attachments cannot be used in place of your USAJOBS resume. Your attachments will be sent with the USAJOBS resume you choose to use. To attach your own resume to your USAJOBS account, you can do so in the Resumes section of your account
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  • If you clicked Contact Us to have your account reset and did not receive an email containing a new password, then the email may have been blocked as spam. Check your spam folder. If the email is not in your spam folder, click Contact Us.
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  • If your question is still unanswered, or you have a comment or suggestion, contact us. We'll get back to you within 1 business day. Your interest and patience are appreciated.  
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  • To create a resume, you have the option of: 1. Uploading a resume - Uploaded resumes must be less than 3 MB and can be     in one of the following formats: GIF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, RTF, PDF, or Word     (DOC or DOCX). 2. Create a resume - On how to use the USAJOBS Resume Builder, visit our     tutorial. Your resume must contain information required by the job opportunity announcement. Please review the "How to Apply" section of the job opportunity announcement very carefully.
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  • The ability to return to an application is dependent upon the application process being used. If you are able to update your application through USAJOBS, there will be an "Update Application" button in the floating menu on the right of the announcement. Clicking this will take you back to the agency application system. Please note that some systems will allow you to make updates to your application, while others may delete the original application if you follow this process.  
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