So you've probably heard some negative stories about the Federal job application process. The process is designed to identify the very best person for each vacancy. Just follow the instructions below and we think you will find that the application process isn't as bad as you may have been led to believe. And you might just find the employment opportunity of a lifetime!
How Easy Is It to Apply for Our Jobs
VA uses a fully automated process to fill its positions. You can apply online through USAJOBS. We've simplified the process so that you no longer have to constantly check for VA vacancy announcements. Once you create a USA Jobs account, you can create a search agent to automatically send you alerts on VA vacancy announcements of interest.
How Long Does the Application Process Take?
The actual time-to-hire varies with each vacancy depending on the number of applicants and completion of individual ratings and assessments. We will inform you of whether you qualified for the position for which you applied. We'll try to do this as quickly as possible but also need to be sure that we carefully review all applications to find the best candidate.
"After working in private industry, I realized that I wanted to make a bigger contribution to society. Working in CFM makes me feel like I am helping our Nation’s veterans. The career ladder is definitely there along with the promotion potential, pension, benefits, and job security." Michael Smith, Program Specialist
Step 1. Register With USAJOBS
You must first register on USAJOBS and create at least one Federal resume using the USAJOBS resume builder. Once you have completed the initial registration process with USAJOBS and created a resume, you will not need to perform this step again. However, you can make changes at anytime. The system will store your personal information and resume.
Step 2. Select the Vacancy Announcement
After establishing your USAJOBS account and creating at least one resume, you are ready to apply for new positions.
- When you find a job of interest, simply log on to USAJOBS and locate the vacancy announcement.
- Review the announcement thoroughly, including the Who May Apply, Qualifications, and Required Documents sections. These sections describe education and experience requirements and specific documents you must submit to support your application.
- Click the Apply Online link at the bottom of the page and then select one of your stored resumes to submit your application.
- Click on Apply for This Position Now! to start the submission of your application.
Step 3. Complete the 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 need to answer these questions only once. The system will save your responses and include them with all future applications.
Step 4. Complete the Vacancy-Specific Questions
Once you have completed the eligibility questions, you will be taken directly to the vacancy application questions. Answer all of the questions honestly and thoroughly. Click on the Submit button once you have completed your application. The vacancy questions are available until 11:59 pm Eastern Time on the closing date listed on the vacancy announcement.
Always be sure to have a copy of your entire application emailed to you to ensure confirmation of receipt. Once you have submitted your application, you can check your status online through your My USAJOBS account.
Step 5. Submit Documentation
Some vacancy announcements will list documents that you must submit in order to complete your application. Your application will be considered incomplete and YOU WILL BE FOUND INELIGIBLE if you fail to submit the require documentation in accordance with the information provided in the Required Documents section of a vacancy announcement.
What to Expect Next
Once your complete application is received, we will conduct an evaluation of your qualifications and determine your ranking. The most highly qualified candidates will be referred to the hiring manager for further consideration and possible interview. You will be notified via email of the outcome, of the selection process.
Return to Top
You may check the status of your application by logging into USAJOBS and clicking on the My USAJOBS tab. You will need to provide your USAJOBS User ID and Password to access the Track Your Online Job Application feature. You will be routed to the USAJOBS Online Application History Page. You will receive final notification via email after the vacancy has been filled. This could take as long as 45 to 60 days after the closing date of the announcement.
Need Help Understanding a VA Vacancy Announcement?
Federal vacancy announcements can be confusing to applicants who aren't used to reading them. The guidelines below will help you through the process and give you a better understanding of how to apply for a VA career.
Here is everything you need to know:
- Vacancy Announcement Number. The identification number issued to each vacancy announcement. You must reference this number on all of the materials you submit.
- Opening Date. The date when the vacancy announcement was initially opened for the submission of applications.
- Closing Date. The final date that applications must be submitted for consideration for an available position. All applications must be postmarked or received by this date.
- Position. The title of the vacancy being announced.
- Series and Grade. The pay plan, series, and grade for the available position.
- Promotion Potential. The promotion potential and full performance level for this position.
- Salary. The salary range for the available position.
- Duty Location. The geographic location where the position will be filled or where the position is located.
- Who May Apply. Who is eligible to apply for the available position, such as "Federal Civil Service Employees" or "Public."
- Major Duties. The duties and responsibilities of the available position.
- Qualifications Required. The basic knowledge, skills and abilities required to qualify for the position, such as similar experience or a related educational background.
- How You Will Be Evaluated. The evaluation criteria for the position--whether you will be ranked on your knowledge, skills and abilities or other characteristics required to perform the duties of the position.
- How to Apply. Description of all the materials required to complete your application.
Send questions about this page to CFMCareers@va.gov