» Application Processes

Overview of the Application Process

Build Your Federal Resume

Application Questionnaires

  • Between 25-125 questions
  • May include yes/no questions as well as experience-based questions
  • Tip-preview questions using a link found in the job vacancy announcement
  • See application questionnaire tips

Cover Letters

  • Additional opportunity to show how you fit
  • Contact the agency's HR office for more information

Stay on top of your application

  • USAJOBS.gov: Track your status using the Application Manager
  • Agency websites: Contact the agency within two weeks after submitting your application to confirm its status

Security Clearances

  • Some positions will require the full security clearance process; all will require a general background check
  • Students who have a criminal record should not assume that they may not apply for federal employment.  Eligibility will depend on the office and position for which you will apply, the seriousness of the offense, how long ago you were convicted, and how many times you committed the offense
  • Checkout the SF-85 and SF-86 form at OPM.gov/forms

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Essays (KSAs)

  • Typically ½ page to a full-page in length
  • Tips - address key words and phrases mentioned in the position description, use substantive examples, tie your personal experiences to each KSA, focus on outcomes to which you directly contributed, and avoid acronyms.
  • See essay tips
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