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How to apply

Visit the USAJOBS Resource Center for instructions on how to apply for a Federal job. For more information, see How to Apply for Federal Jobs.

Top Job Application Mistakes

Download this helpful guide to avoid the top job application mistakes.

For your vacancy announcements

Review the list of openings, decide which jobs interest you, and follow the instructions given in the individual announcement. If you have never worked for the Federal Government look for vacancy announcements that are open for "all U.S. citizens."

What you need to do

We need certain information to evaluate your qualifications to determine if you meet legal requirements for Federal employment. Help speed the selection process by keeping your resume or application brief and to the point and by sending only the requested material. Be sure to include the announcement number, title and grade(s) of the job for which you are applying. You must apply for a specific announcement.

What your resume must include (where applicable):

  • Full name, mailing address (with zip code) and day and evening phone numbers with area code
  • Country of citizenship (most Federal jobs require United States citizenship)
  • Veteran's preference and supporting documentation, if applicable
  • Reinstatement eligibility documentation, if applicable (attach SF 50, proof of your career or career-conditional status)
  • Highest Federal civilian grade held (give job series and dates held)
  • Name, city and state of high school and date of diploma or GED
  • Name, city and state of colleges and universities attended and list types and year of any degree received (if no degree, show total credits earned and indicate whether semester or quarter hours). Send a copy of your college transcript(s) only if the job vacancy announcement requests it.

Resume Tips

Other qualifications

Give the following information for your paid and nonpaid work experience (do not send job descriptions):

  • Job title (include series and grade, if Federal job)
  • Duties and accomplishments
  • Employer's name and address
  • Supervisor's name and phone number
  • Starting and ending dates (month and year), hours per week, and salary
  • Indicate if we may contact your current supervisor
  • Job-related training courses (title and year)
  • Job-related skills (other languages, computer software/hardware, tools, typing speed, etc.)

Work experience

  • Job-related certificates and licenses (current only)
  • Job-related honors, awards, and special accomplishments (publications, memberships in professional or honor societies, leadership activities, public speaking, performance awards, etc.). Give dates but do not send documents unless requested.
  • Address the knowledge, skills, and abilities listed in the vacancy announcement. Submit a separate narrative addressing each knowledge, skill and ability statement (one per page) as part of your application package.

Veterans preference

Individuals who have served in the military may be entitled to additional consideration. If you are a veteran, please attach a copy of your most recent DD-214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty or letter from the Veterans Administration documenting your military service.

To claim 5-point veterans' preference, attach a copy of your DD-214.

To claim 10-point veterans' preference, attach an SF-15, Application for 10-Point Veterans' Preference, plus the proof required by that form.

For more information about your veteran's preference and eligibility, please visit


You must be a United States citizen to be considered for Federal employment.

Selective Service

If you are a male over the age of 18 who was born after December 31, 1959, you must have registered with the Selective Service System (or have an exemption) to be eligible for a Federal job.

Suitability for employment

Before hiring, an agency will ask you to complete a Declaration for Federal Employment to determine your suitability for Federal employment and to authorize a background investigation. The agency will also ask you to sign and certify the accuracy of all the information in your application.

If you make a false statement in any part of your application, you may not be hired; you may be fired after you begin work; or you may be fined or jailed.

For more information, visit the Frequently Asked Questions on the USAJOBS website.