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Human Resources

How to Apply for Job Opportunities



  • OF-306 - Download a copy of the Declaration for Federal Employment


How to Apply

In most cases a resume or similar written application format will be acceptable in applying for a position in the REE agencies (unless, of course, a required format is specified in the vacancy announcement).  The OF-612, “Optional Application for Federal Employment,” and other obsolete forms will not be accepted.  Regardless of the format you use, it is essential that you application include the following information:

Job Information:
  • Announcement number
  • Title and grade of the position for which you are applying
Personal Information:
  • Full name
  • Mailing address (with ZIP code)
  • Day and evening phone numbers (with area codes)
  • Social Security number
  • Country of citizenship - for most positions, U.S. citizenship is required
  • Military service information (if applicable; include branch of service, dates, highest rank achieved, service decorations)
  • Reinstatement eligibility (if applicable)
  • Highest Federal civilian grade held (if applicable)
  • Current Federal civilian grade level (if applicable)
  • Current/former Federal employees should submit form SF-50B
  • High school (name, city and state, graduation information)
  • Trade or vocational school (name, city and state, graduation information)
  • College or university (city and state; major; dates; degree(s); if no degree, show courses taken and total credits earned, indicating if they are semester or quarter hours; honors earned. You must provide a transcript (photocopies are acceptable). If your degree is a from foreign country, you must provide foreign education equivalency.
  • GPA (Grade Point Average)
Work Experience:
  • Job title
  • Starting and ending dates (month, year)
  • Hours per week
  • Salary
  • Duties and responsibilities
  • Major accomplishments
  • Employer's name and address
  • Supervisor's name and phone number
    (please note if current supervisor may be contacted)

Note: Please prepare a separate entry for each job held.


Other Job Related
  • Training courses (title and dates)
  • Special skills not mentioned elsewhere
  • Certificates and licenses
  • Honors or awards
  • Typing speed

Note: List only data pertinent to the job for which you are applying.

If you are currently a Federal employee, you will also need to submit a copy of a current SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action, and a copy of your most recent performance appraisal along with the other application materials.

It is important that you carefully read the vacancy announcement and provide specific detailed information related to your experience and qualifications for the position.  Failing to provide specific detailed information or required documents could seriously jeopardize your chances of successfully competing for the job.


Special Terms Used in Vacancy Announcements

The following terms, used frequently in Federal vacancy announcements, may be new to you:

Displaced Employee - A current Federal employee who has received a separation notice.

KSA's - Knowledge, skill and/or ability required in order to perform the requirements of the position. General term frequently used when referring to Qualifications, Selective Placement Factors or Quality Ranking Factors (these terms are defined below).

Local Commuting Area - Geographic area that usually constitutes the area for employment purposes. It includes any population center (or two or more neighboring ones) and the surrounding localities in which people live and can reasonably be expected to travel back and forth daily to their usual employment.

Non-Status Candidate - An individual who has never been employed by the Federal Government, who has never held a permanent position in the competitive service, or who is no longer eligible for reinstatement.

Optional Form 306 (OF-306) - A standard form which you will need to complete when you are selected for a Federal job. This form is used to determine your acceptability for Federal employment and your enrollment status in the Government's Life Insurance Program.

Qualifications - Education, training, experience or other requirements necessary for an applicant for employment to be able to perform satisfactorily in a particular position or occupational series.

Quality Ranking Factor - Description of a knowledge, skill or ability that would significantly enhance the employee's capacity to do the work, but is not essential for satisfactory performance.

Selective Placement Factor - Description of a specific knowledge, skill, or ability that is absolutely required or essential for successful job performance. Selective placement factors are part of the minimum requirements for the position. You must address selective placement factors.

Special Hiring Authorities - Special opportunities apply for certain applicants such as veterans, persons with disabilities, former Peace Corps or Vista volunteers, etc.  Special authorities may be used (at the hiring agency’s discretion) in filling specific positions.  Applicants who fall into one of these categories should indicate if they wish to be considered under those authorities when applying to a vacancy announcement and supply any relevant documentation needed to verify their eligibility for the Special Hiring Authority.

Status Candidate (or Employee) - One who is currently employed or was previously employed on a permanent, competitive appointment in the Federal government.

Veterans' Preference - Special consideration offered to veterans during times of war or national emergency or who suffered hardship or disability as a result of such service.  If claiming veteran’s preference you must provide acceptable documentation of your preference or appointment eligibility.  The member 4 copy of the DD-214, “Certificate of Release from Active Duty,” is preferable. If you are still in active duty and do not have a DD-214, you should submit certification from an armed service branch that the service member is expected to be discharged or released from active duty service in the armed forced under honorable conditions not later than 120 days after the certificate has been signed.  If claiming 10 point preference, you will need to submit an SF-15, "Application for 10-point Veterans' Preference," along with the documentation specified in the SF-15.


For additional information contact: ARS Careers

Last Updated: 09/27/2012