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Find and Apply for Jobs

Find Positions

The official job site of the U.S. Federal Government is USAJOBS, which contains Forms that MAY be listed in the vacancy announcement as required for a specific job.  At USAJOBS, you can search HHS announcements; however, you will find that not all HHS openings are posted.  Some scientific positions, including tenure-track science positions and guest researchers within HHS agencies, can only be found by searching through an agency’s individual career pages.

Apply for a Job

Applications for each vacancy MUST be received by 11:59 PM EST of the announcement closing date.  If applying online poses a hardship for you, you should contact the individual listed on the vacancy announcement at least 24 hours prior to the closing date for assistance.

Several parts of your application that affect your overall evaluation:

  1. Résumé
  2. Responses to the core (personal) questions
  3. Responses to the self-assessment (vacancy) questions
  4. Supporting documentation

IMPORTANT:  You will not be considered for the position if any part of the  application is incomplete.  You must provide the required information as well as responses to the vacancy questions.  Your question responses should provide detailed examples of past and present experience in your résumé.  Be sure to read the announcement in its entirety before you apply to ensure you complete ALL required steps.

  • From the USAJOBS search results screen, click on the job title to view details of the announcement.  Review all of the vacancy tabs.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the vacancy announcement, and click ‘APPLY ONLINE.’  This will take you into MYUSAJOBS to start the application process.
  • After you have logged in, USAJOBS will present a screen asking you to select a résumé.  USAJOBS will allow you to store up to 5 different résumés.

If you have existing USAJOBS online résumés, make sure your selected résumé content is reflective of the experience, education, and qualifications outlined in the vacancy announcement.  If you need to edit or review your USAJOBS résumé, you will need to log in to MY USAJOBS, make any changes, and return to the announcement to click ‘APPLY ONLINE.’

  • After selecting your résumé best suited for the vacancy announcement, click ‘Apply for this Position now!’  You will be automatically taken to HHS Careers to answer a series of core and vacancy specific questions.
  • When finished, be sure to check the box ‘I would like a copy of my application emailed to me,’ then click ‘Finished.’
  • A review screen will follow to give you an opportunity to examine your responses.  After reviewing, click ‘Finished.’

A USAJOBS Application Status screen will appear confirming that your application has been submitted.  You may log into MY USAJOBS to periodically check for updates to your application status.

Additional documents may be required and will be identified in the vacancy announcement (e.g., veteran’s documentation, transcript, etc).  Required documents must be faxed/mailed/e-mailed by 11:59 PM EST of the announcement closing date.

If you have any questions about the application process or qualifications, please call or e-mail the contact listed in the vacancy announcement.

If you experience any technical difficulties with the USAJOBS/HHS Careers system, please call the HR systems help desk listed in the vacancy announcement.

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Résumé Content

Limit your résumé to about five pages of text, but remember, unlike with private industry jobs, Federal résumés should be detailed and specific.

Know the mission of the organization you are applying to and reflect it in your résumé.

Use the Action, Task, Result approach to explain job experience.

Review the Major Duties and the vacancy questions of a certain position making sure to look for key phrases you can use to relate your experience to the job.

Describe your accomplishments, not just your responsibilities:  committees served on, process improvements, successful negotiations, policies developed and implemented, and solutions recommended.

State your career goals clearly.

If you are applying for multiple vacancies that close on the same day, you may need to submit two different résumés to ensure that your résumé includes information to support each vacancy.

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Automatic Vacancy Alerts 

Automatic Vacancy Alerts are job search agents at USAJOBS that will automatically  notify you, by e-mail, when vacancy announcements are posted. The alerts are based on criteria that you establish (e.g., location, series, grade and agency). You can create up to 10 job search agents at any time after creating your USAJOBS user account. Search agents are powerful tools that can be used to continually browse USAJOBS to target specific vacancies.

Tracking Job Announcements

No longer will you need to remember the announcement number or job title.  USAJOBS will do that for you!

  1. Log into MY USAJOBS.
  2. Click on the word link called ‘Applications.’  (Under ‘My USAJOBS’ tab.)
  3. Your job application history will be displayed.

*NOTE:  USAJOBS will track for 18 months.  The vacancy link will only be active as long as the vacancy announcement is open.

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Indian Preference

 

The Indian Health Service and Administration for Native Americans, within the Administration for Children and Families are required by law to provide absolute preference to American Indians/Alaska Natives who are enrolled in a federally recognized tribe as defined by the Secretary of the Interior. These individuals must submit with their application "Verification of Indian Preference for Employment in Bureau of Indian Affairs and Indian Health Service Only" (BIA-4432) to claim this preference

In all recruit actions, preference will be granted to the applicant entitled to Indian Preference who has submitted BIA-4432. However, the individual must meet all qualification requirements as defined by the Office of Personnel Management and the Indian Health Service Excepted Service Qualification Standards (Preston Standards).

When there is a recruit action with qualified Indian candidates, non-Indian candidates applications are not accepted.

In the Indian Health Service there is also the PL. 94-437 Scholarship Program where absolute preference is granted to qualified 437 Scholarship recipients. When an applicant(s) applies verifying himself or herself as a recipient, that is the only name(s) that will be referred.

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Other Information About Federal Jobs

For you to remain in your position after selection, you must satisfactorily complete all investigations and clearances.  You may be required to submit to urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment and are subject to random drug testing after selection.

Before being hired, you will be required to sign and certify the accuracy of the information in your application.  If your application does not contain all of the requested information, you WILL lose consideration for the job.  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; you may be fined or jailed.

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

All Federal employees are required by PL 104-134 to have Federal payments made by Direct Deposit.

Employees who received a buyout and subsequently return to positions in Federal agencies, whether by re-employment or contracts for personal services, are generally obligated to repay the full amount of the buyout to the agency that paid it.

Privacy Act Notice (PL 93-579) states that the information requested here is used to determine qualifications for employment and is authorized under Title 5 U.S.C. 3302 and 3361.

Identification of promotion potential does not constitute a commitment or an obligation on the part of management to promote the employee selected at some future date. Promotion will depend upon administrative approval and the continuing need for an actual assignment and performance of higher-level duties.

If this is a multiple grade level recruitment, you must identify specifically which grade level(s) you wish to be considered for, by indicating your choice(s) on your application package and addressing the appropriate KSAs for each individual grade level(s).

You may be eligible for retirement, health insurance, life insurance, and Long Term Care insurance. You may receive paid annual (vacation) leave and sick leave.  (Federal Government Benefits)

HHS provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities.

If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please contact the person identified in the vacancy announcement. Decisions on granting reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

HHS is an equal opportunity employer. Selection for this position will be based solely on merit without regard to race, color, religion, age, gender, national origin, political affiliation, disability, sexual orientation, marital or family status, or other differences.


Content created by Assist. Sec./Administration - Human Resources
Content last reviewed on September 18, 2006