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 Step 4: Apply


Review the Job Opportunities Announcement: Before applying to any Federal job opportunity announcement, carefully read and follow its instructions. Pay close attention to Who May Apply, Qualifications and Required Documents sections of the announcement. These sections describe what type of applicant is eligible to apply, the education and experience required to be qualified for the position, and which documents you need to submit to support your application. Recommend you print the announcement (use “Print Preview” button in the announcement) and the assessment questionnaire for reference.

Tip Sheet – Read the Job Opportunity Announcement

Don’t Let Our Job Opportunity Announcements Confuse You: We know that Federal positions may seem a bit bewildering, but they are surprisingly easy to understand if you know how to interpret the terminology. This should help:

  • Vacancy Announcement Number – Each Federal job opening receives its own ID number, known as a vacancy identification number or VIN.
  • Opening Date – This is the date when the vacancy announcement is initially opened to begin receiving applications from candidates.
  • Closing Date – This is the final date that applications may be submitted for consideration for an available position. Your application must be received by Midnight (Eastern Standard Time EST) on that date to be considered.
  • Position – This is the specific title of the job that is being announced.
  • Series & Grade – The pay plan designated is represented by an occupation series number and grade level.
  • Promotion Potential – If a position offers the potential for promotion, it will be noted in this area, along with a description of the full performance level for the position.
  • Salary – This figure describes the salary range for the position.
  • Duty Location – This is where the position is geographically located.
  • Who May Apply – A simple description of who will be considered eligible for the position is noted here, for example: "Federal Civil Service Employees" or "Public."
  • Major Duties – The duties and responsibilities of the position will be detailed here.
  • Qualifications Required – The basic knowledge, skills, abilities and competencies you must have to qualify for a position, such as similar experience or a related educational background, are stated here.
  • How You Will Be Evaluated – The details about how you will be evaluated for the position — whether you will be ranked on your knowledge, skills and abilities, or other characteristics — will appear here.
  • How to Apply – All of the materials you must submit with your application will be listed here.
Apply Online: While you are in the job opportunity announcement you click “Apply Online” to begin the application process.
  • Once “Apply Online” is selected, you will be asked to select a resume saved in “Resumes” and any “Saved Documents.” Select the appropriate resume and click the “Apply for this position now” button which will direct you to complete an assessment questionnaire.
  • Enter Biographic Data when prompted and click “Save”
  • Complete the eligibility information questions (see Eligibility Information Questions below) then click “Next”
  • Complete the vacancy specific questions (see Vacancy Specific Questions below) then click “Next”
  • Attach or re-use documents previously submitted for another job opportunity announcement (if wanted) in the Re-Use Documents page then click “Next”
  • Follow screen directions to upload new resume or documents now included in steps above (see Submit Documentation below)
  • Once all required sections and documentation have been completed, click “Submit My Answers” button. Without pushing this button, your work so far has been saved but not submitted for the job opportunity announcement.
  • Applicants will then receive a confirmation message online and via email when submission is complete. Newly submitted documents have to undergo a virus scan which takes approximately one hour. Recommend strongly to check back to ensure documents successfully processed.
Eligibility Information Questions: You will be prompted to answer questions related to your eligibility for Federal employment. These questions determine what types of jobs you are eligible to apply for based on your past experience, veteran status and other factors. You will only answer these questions once. The system will save your responses and include them with all future applications. However, when you apply for another vacancy announcement, you may update the information on file. Review your resume to make certain that it supports your responses to these core questions and the online vacancy specific self-assessment questions described next.


Vacancy Specific Questions: Once you have completed the eligibility questions, you will be taken directly to the vacancy application questions. During this stage applicants address statements related to possession of specialized experience and task based questions linked to the key knowledge, skills, abilities and competencies of the applicant. Answer all of the questions honestly and thoroughly. Submit Documentation: Job opportunity announcements will list documents that you must submit in order to complete your application. Your application will be considered incomplete and YOU MAY BE FOUND INELIGIBLE, if you fail to submit the required documentation in accordance with the information provided in the “Required Documents” section of a job opportunities announcement.

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