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Federal Hiring Tips & Recommendations

How to Create A Federal Resume?

View a brief video on How to Create a Federal Resume.

Qualifications

In order to qualify for federal positions, you must meet the education and/or experience requirements. Your resume must clearly describe your relevant experience; if qualifying based on education, your transcripts will be required as part of your application.

Qualifications are based on breadth/level of experience. In addition to describing duties performed, applicants must provide the exact dates of each period of employment (from MM/YY to MM/YY) and the number of hours worked per week if part time. As qualification determinations cannot be made when resumes do not include the required information, failure to provide this information may result in disqualification.

Personally Identifiable Information (PII)

DO NOT INCLUDE YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER ON ANY DOCUMENTS.

Non-Competitive Eligibility

Non-Competitive Eligibility (NCE) allows U.S. federal government agencies to hire eligible candidates outside of the formal competitive job announcement process and to compete for certain federal employment jobs that are only open to federal employees. Below is a list of the most common federal NCE Appointment Authorities and required documents to support eligibility claim:

Current or Former Federal Employee

Current Permanent Federal Civilian Employees or Reinstatement Eligibles are strongly encouraged to provide a copy of your last or most recent SF-50, "Notice of Personnel Action." It is also acceptable to document the work experience that supports your eligibility claim in your resume. Your resume must include the pay plan, series, grade level and dates of the applicable work experience.

Active Duty Service Member

Active Duty Service Members are required to provide legible copy/copies of the following:

  • DD-214 (member 4 copy), "Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty," showing all dates of service, as well as character of service (Honorable, General, etc.) if you have a period of previous military service. Or
  • Signed statement of Service (in lieu of a DD-214) from your command or local Personnel Support Detachment (PSD) if this is your only period of military service. The Statement of Service/Proof of Service must provide all dates of service, date of expected discharge and anticipated character of service (Honorable, General, etc.). Please note: you will be ineligible for consideration and 5-point tentative preference if your statement of service is not submitted with your application or it shows an expected discharge or release date greater than 120 days after being submitted with your application.

Sole Survivorship Preference or 5-Point Veterans’ Preference

You are strongly encouraged to provide legible copy/copies of the following:

  • DD-214 (member 4 copy), "Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty," showing all dates of service, as well as character of service (Honorable, General, etc.).

Disabled Veteran or Claiming 10-Point Veterans’ Preference

Disabled veterans, veterans, widows, spouses or the mother of a veteran, who are eligible for 10-point veterans’ preference, are strongly encouraged to provide legible copies of the following:

  • DD-214 (member 4 copy), "Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty," showing all dates of service, as well as character of service (Honorable, General, etc.).
  • Applicable supporting documents as noted on Standard Form-15 (SF-15). To obtain a copy of SF-15, go to http://www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/SF15.pdf. (PDF)
  • Connected Service VA letter

Additional Veterans’ information: To obtain a copy of your DD-214 from the National Archives website: http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records

If you are not sure of your preference eligibility, visit the Department of Labor's website: https://webapps.dol.gov/elaws/vets/vetpref/mservice.htm

For more veterans’ preference information: https://www.fedshirevets.gov/job/vetpref/index.aspx

Military Spouse/Overseas Family Member Preference or Military Spouse Under Executive Order 13473 or Executive Order 12721

You are strongly encouraged to provide acceptable documentation of your appointment eligibility which may include the following:

  • The service member’s permanent change of station orders, including a statement authorizing the spouse to accompany the member to the permanent duty station, the specific location to which the member is assigned, reassigned, or transferred to permanent change of station orders, and the effective date of the permanent change of station; verification of the marriage to the service member (i.e., a marriage license or other legal documentation verifying marriage); verification of the member’s 100 percent disability; and or verification of the member’s death while on active duty. Additionally, you may need to submit applicable supporting documents as noted on the Standard Form-15 (SF-15). To obtain a copy of SF-15, go to http://www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/SF15.pdf. (PDF)
  • It is also recommended to document your eligibility in your resume (date and location of orders, marriage, etc…) For additional information, click here: Military Spouse Preference (MSP) or Military Spouse under Executive Order 13473 or Overseas Family Member Preference or Overseas Military Spouse Preference or Executive Order 12721.

Persons with disability

Applicant must provide proof of disability documentation (e.g., records, statements, or other appropriate information) issued by a licensed medical professional (e.g., a physician or other medical professional duly certified by a State, the District of Columbia, or a U.S. territory, to practice medicine); a licensed vocational rehabilitation specialist (State or private); or any Federal agency, State agency, or an agency of the District of Columbia or a U.S. territory that issues or provides disability benefits. **Note: An agency may make permanent or time-limited appointments under this appointing authority. For more information, please go to OPM’s website on Federal Employment of People with Disabilities: http://www.opm.gov/disability

Peace Corps Volunteers

Under Executive Order 11103, a returned Peace Corps Volunteer is granted noncompetitive eligibility for 12 months upon successful completion of service. NCE allows U.S. federal government agencies in the executive branch to hire a returned Volunteer without having to go through the (lengthy) competitive hiring process.

  • Country directors include an NCE certification in the final paragraph of the description of service for all Volunteers who receive this benefit. Volunteers who resign from Peace Corps service are not eligible for noncompetitive appointment regardless of how long they served. You can attach your description of service to a federal job application to provide proof of NCE. If you need a copy of your description of service, complete a certification request form and email it to certify@peacecorps.gov.

Conditions of Employment

  1. Applicant must be a U.S. citizen to qualify for this position.
  2. Applicant must successfully complete a background security investigation.
  3. Applicant must complete a one-year probation or trial period.
  4. Must be registered for Selective Service, if applicable (www.sss.gov).
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