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Application Steps

 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 the Who May Apply, How to 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. We recommend you print the announcement (use the “Print” button in the announcement) and the assessment questionnaire (use the view assessment questions link) for reference. Note:  Beginning 1 July 2019, all applicants, (including DON employees applying to DON vacancies) will need to submit documentation supporting eligibility and qualification at time of application.  This includes employees currently in professional positions applying for promotion.

Fact Sheet – Applicant Supporting Documentation Change

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:

  • Position Title – This is the specific title of the job that is being announced.
  • Duty Location – This is where the position is geographically located.
  • Opening Date – This is the date when the vacancy announcement initially opened to begin receiving applications from candidates.
  • Closing Date – This is the final date that applications may be submitted for consideration. Your application must be received by Midnight (Eastern Standard Time EST) on that date to be considered.
  • Salary Range – This identifies the salary range for the position.
  • Series & Grade – This identifies the pay plan, occupation series number and grade level.
  • Promotion Potential – If a position has potential for promotion the full performance level for the position will be identified here.
  • Who May Apply – A simple description of who is eligible to apply for the position is noted here, for example, "Federal Civil Service Employees" or "All US Citizens."
  • Job Announcement Number – Each Federal job opening receives its own unique ID number.
  • Duties – The duties and responsibilities of the position will be detailed here. We recommend that you address within your resume experience that might match the duties of the position.
  • Key Requirements– Identifies conditions of employment that must be met or other requirements of the position that you must be willing to meet.
  • Qualifications– The basic knowledge, skills, abilities and competencies you must have to qualify for the position, such as similar experience or a related educational background, are stated here.   Ensure your resume addresses the experience, licenses, education and any other requirements listed and make certain you have uploaded copies of current licenses, transcripts in your Documents section of your USAJOBS profile.  Need copies of your transcripts, check the website at your University.
  • How to Apply – All of the materials you must submit with your application will be listed 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.
  • Required Documents– Reiterates the required documents to submit with your application.   Note:  Beginning 1 July 2019 all applicants, (including DON employees applying to DON vacancies) will need to submit documentation supporting eligibility and qualification at time of application.

Tip Sheet – Read the Job Opportunity Announcement

Apply Online: To start the application process click the “Apply” button in the job opportunity announcement.
  • Once “Apply” is selected, you will be asked to select a resume saved in “Your Resumes”. Select the appropriate resume and click the “Save & Continue” button.
  • You will be prompted next to select documents from a “Select Documents” page. Select those documents that meet the required documents for the vacancy announcement that support both your qualifications and eligibility.. You can upload documents at this time as well if you don’t have them all saved in your USAJOBS Documents folder. Click the “Save & Continue” button.
  • You will be prompted to review the resume and documents you have selected. Take the time to review and make certain they are the correct and appropriately address the duties and qualification requirements of the vacancy announcement. Click the acknowledgment box and select the “Save & Continue” button.
  • Next, you will be asked to respond to a series of demographic questions and a question on how you found the position announcement. This is voluntary. Click “Save & Continue” to proceed.
  • Read and certify that the information being submitted is accurate. Then select the “Continue to Agency Site.” At this time you are brought into a separation DON application system to complete your application.
  • Complete the personal security information and select “Continue”.
  • Review the Biographic Data to ensure its correct and select “Continue”.
  • Complete the eligibility information then click “Continue”. If you are unclear whether you attached the right supporting documents to support your eligibility, more information will be provided here. You will be provided another opportunity to upload and/or attach documents prior to submitting your application.
  • Complete the vacancy specific questions (see Vacancy Specific Questions below) then click “Continue”.
  • Assign or upload documents following the screen directions then click “Continue”.
  • The last part of the application process is a “Review and Submit” page. It will identify if you have completed each of the application sections by displaying either a green check mark or red x. If you still need to attach documents, this will be your opportunity to do so Ensure they all sections have a green check mark and then click the “Submit Application” button. Without pushing this button, your work so far has been saved but not submitted for the job opportunity announcement.
  • You will then receive a confirmation message online and via email when your submission is complete. Newly submitted documents have to undergo a virus scan which takes approximately one hour. We recommend you check back after several hours to ensure documents successfully processed.

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 knowledges, skills, abilities and competencies of the position. Answer all of the questions honestly and thoroughly.

Need a Visual? We've outlined the steps for "Applying for a job with the Department of the Navy" in a visual presentation.

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