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How to Apply: Applying on USAJobs.gov

How Federal Hiring Reform
Will Affect the Application Process

President Obama signed a memorandum in May 2010 directing the Office of Personnel Management and other federal agencies to take measures to reform federal hiring procedures. Specifically, federal hiring reform will:

  • eliminate the requirement to complete short written essays about your knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs);
  • allow you to apply with a résumé and cover letter;
  • improve the quality and speed of hiring; and
  • notify you about your status after submitting your application.

See the latest information about federal hiring reform.

Want USAJobs.gov to send you an email whenever a job vacancy is posted?

Here's how:

  1. Sign in to USAJobs.gov or create an account. Once you have done that...
  2. Go to USAJobs's Create a New Saved Search page.
  3. Scroll down to "Agency Search"
  4. Select "Other Agencies and Independent Organizations" at the very bottom of the list of agencies.
  5. Under "Then sub agency" select "Environmental Protection Agency" then click on "Add >>"
  6. If you want to narrow your search at this point, select location, salary range, occupational series, etc.
  7. Be sure to give your search a name (bottom of the page).
  8. Under "How often do you want to Receive E-mail Notifications?", consider checking "Daily" since many positions may only be open for two weeks.
  9. Then click on "Save Search" at the bottom of the page.

You can also view the "Saved searches tutorial'' (PDF) on USAJobs.gov.

Virtually all EPA jobs, including paid internships, are posted online through USAJobs.gov. You can use USAJobs to upload your resume, browse open EPA positions, and apply for jobs across the United States.

How to Apply

On this page: Applying on USAJobs.gov
On other pages:


Before You Begin the Application

  1. Create an account: To apply for a position using USAJobs, first register by going to USAJobs.gov and clicking “My Account”. To open an account you will need your first name, last name, a telephone number, and an email address.

  2. Upload or create a resume: From "My Account," select "Resumes" to:
    • upload a resume into your USAJobs accoount from a word processing application on your computer, or
    • build a resume right in your account.
    Your resume's content should reflect the experience, education, and qualifications outlined in the vacancy announcement.
    • You can create and store up to five different resumes in your USAJobs account.
    • Don't forget to check your grammar and punctuation, and to spell check.
    • Consider developing a resume tailored to the job you are applying for. In your resume, use language as close as possible to the language in the "Duties" and "Qualifications Required" sections of the job announcement.
    • You can make one or more of your resumes searchable, either when you create it or anytime after. If you make your resume searchable, your profile information and all resume information (including your social security number and any personal or sensitive information, if you have included it on your resume) will be visible to recruiters searching our resume bank.
    • If you need to edit or review your USAJOBS resume while you are applying for a job, you will need to log into your USAJobs account to make any changes, and then return to your job application.

  3. Read the following:
    1. the entire announcement. You will need to follow the "How to Apply" instructions precisely.
      • Print the instructions if that helps, and check off each item as you get it done.
      • Don't forget to review the "Required documents" section under the "How to Apply" tab. All required documents must be submitted with your application online.
      • Do not submit the application materials to the Human Resources Officer named as the contact unless the announcement states to do so.
    2. USAJobs FAQs on how to apply and EPA FAQs on how to apply; and
    3. the Vacancy Announcement Policy Requirements page.

Completing the Application

Most applications will take you through the following steps:

  1. Click on the “Apply Online” button on the right side of the announcement. If you've already created a resume on your computer and uploaded it on to USAJobs, select the resume. If not, you can create a new resume as part of filling out the job application.

  2. Once you have submitted your resume, click on the "Apply for this position now!" button at the bottom of the page. You're not done applying yet; instead, by clicking on this button you will be redirected away from USAJobs and into EPA's hiring system. You will be asked to provide:
    - some basic personal information;
    - information about your military service, if any, and whether you are claiming a veteran's preference; and
    - basic demographic information about yourself. The demographic data are immediately encrypted and cannot be tied to a specific candidate. Once the vacancy announcement closes, a demographic report can be generated; however, neither EPA human resources staff nor the selecting official is able to associate the demographic data to a specific individual.
    You will also be able to review your resume. When applying for a job, if you cannot finish the session, get interrupted, or want to 'SAVE' work you have completed, proceed to the end of the job application questions and click on FINISH to save the information you have provided so far. You will have to answer any questions marked with a red asterisk to finish. You can return at anytime and edit your responses as long as the vacancy announcement has not closed. Any questions marked with a red asterisk, All vacancies close at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date of the announcement.

  3. Once through these steps, you will see an "Account Creation" screen and another "Apply to this vacancy" button. You're not done applying yet; instead, by clicking on this button you will be taken to a series of questions about your eligibility and the series, grade and location in which you are interested.

  4. Next, you may be asked to outline any skills and abilities you have to meet specific qualifications required for the job. If this is not the case, skip down to step 5 below. However, if this is the case, you'll need to provide a narrative for each set of required skills and abilities, and you'll be told how long it should be. You'll have to either:
    - upload each narrative from your computer (check to see that you don't exceed any character limitations), or
    - retrieve it from your account in USAJobs (this assumes you've posted it there), or
    - fax it (fax instructions are provided).

  5. When you're done, you'll have an opportunity to review your responses.  Note that you will not be considered for the position if any part of the application is incomplete.  After reviewing, click “Finished” and a USAJobs Application Status screen will appear confirming that your application has been submitted.  NOW you're done! You can log into your USAJobs account later to periodically check for updates to your application status.

  6. Your application will not be evaluated until the period for the vacancy announcement has closed. Prior to the closing date of the vacancy announcement, you can go back into the system and change your responses or update your resumé, as necessary.

If you have any questions about how to apply, contact the Human Resources Officer named on the job announcement on the right side of the page, under "Questions about this job."

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