eRecruit Applicant Guide Career Opportunities
Table of Contents
INSTRUCTIONS FOR USING NSF'S ON-LINE APPLICATION SYSTEM
- Account Setup Reference Links
- Setting up an Account in USAJOBS (for First-Time Users)
- Social Security Number
- Selective Service Registration
- Tips on Preparing your USAJOBS Résumé
- Searching for NSF Vacancies
- Applying to NSF eRecruit Vacancies
- Submitting Supporting Documentation
- Tracking Applications and Application Status
Account Setup Reference Links
Creating a USAJOBS account, building a résumé, and creating a job search agent
USAJOBS Frequently Asked Questions about
Frequently Asked Questions about NSF's eRecruit system
Setting up an Account in USAJOBS (for First-Time Users)
- Go to USAJOBS.
- Click on the My USAJOBS tab.
- Click on "Create your Account Now."
- Complete all required fields.
- When finished, click "Submit."
- You will get a confirmation page; print this out and save it.
To create a résumé in USAJOBS (Note: You can upload a résumé from other formats when you are applying for a job, or use a résumé that you have stored in USAJOBS)
- Click on My USAJOBS again and you will be taken to your Personal Career Center Home Page.
- Select "Create a New résumé."
- You will be taken to the Résumé Builder where you can create and save as many as five different résumés.
- After completing all four steps of building your résumé, select either "Activate Résumé" (to allow recruiters to find your résumé when they perform a search) or "Save for Later" (recruiters will not see your résumé when they perform a search). This choice does not in any way affect your ability to apply for specific vacancies.
- If you choose to "Save for Later," you still will be able to use this résumé to apply to vacancy announcements.
- If you choose to "Activate Résumé" to allow recruiters to find it, you have the option of making your résumé confidential. This will make your personal information unavailable to recruiters who search for your résumé online; they will only be able to contact you via email through USAJOBS.
- You can preview your résumé at any time by clicking the preview icon in the upper left corner of the page.
Social Security Number
The USAJOBS résumé builder requires you to provide your social security number. The USAJOBS site provides additional information about why this information is required. However, your social security number will not be transferred to eRecruit, and NSF will not display this number when your application is referred to the selecting official.
Your Social Security Number (SSN) is requested under the authority of Executive Order 9397 to uniquely identify your records from those of other applicants who may have the same name. Your SSN is used to seek information about you from employers, schools, banks, and others who may know you. Failure to provide your SSN when requested may result in your application not being processed.
If you provide a false social security number, you run the risk that your résumé will be confused with that of another applicant, and you may not be credited for experience you possess. If you do not provide the correct number, we may disqualify you from further consideration for vacancies to which you have applied.
Selective Service Registration
We are required to verify male applicants' Selective Service registration. Generally, male
applicants born on or after January 1, 1960 who have not registered with the Selective Service
are barred from employment in the executive branch of the Federal Government (read section
300.701 at 5 CFR Part 300). For more information about registering with the Selective Service
Tips on Preparing your USAJOBS Résumé
It is helpful to gather your personal information before you begin creating your online résumé. If you do, your résumé will come together more quickly and the total time spent online will be minimized. We suggest you gather previous résumés and copies of your Notifications of Personnel Action (SF-50), if you are or were a Federal employee. Below is a checklist of information to gather before you go online:
For each work experience, your dates of employment, annual salaries, employers' addresses and your supervisors' names and telephone numbers. Remember that all responses to assessment questions must be supported by your resume. In those instances where additional space is needed, you can set up multiple job descriptions in USAJobs for the same time period.
Near-final drafts of work experience descriptions, so you can cut and paste them into the résumé builder experience blocks, leaving only minor editing to do online.
If you are a current or former Federal employee, the occupational series number, beginning and ending dates of your highest grade held, and date of your last promotion.
Full names of the schools you attended and cities where they were located; your degrees and majors; the dates of graduation and your grade point average (GPA) if you are qualifying based on a four-year Bachelors degree. Remember that degrees from non-traditional schools that are not accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the Department of Education are not qualifying.
A list of your major awards and related training, credentials, publications, etc., and their dates.
Additional résumé tips are available at www.usajobs.gov/infocenter/resumetips.asp.
Searching for NSF Vacancies
You can access NSF's website http://www.nsf.gov/about/career_opps/ to search for NSF vacancies (either PUBLIC or STATUS), or you may search for NSF vacancies directly from USAJOBS. Our site doesn't display non-NSF announcements.
Sometimes NSF posts two separate vacancy announcements: one for receipt of applications from status candidates (merit promotion); and one for receipt of applications from other candidates (delegated examining or 'any US citizen'). If you are within the area of consideration for both and wish consideration under both announcements, then you will need to apply separately to each vacancy announcement. See the "Who May Apply" section of the merit promotion vacancy announcement to help you determine if you meet the eligibility requirements to apply under that area of consideration.
The following are instructions for how to search for NSF vacancies on NSF's website:
- Select from the following position categories:
- All Positions
- Clerical and Technical
- Scientific and Professional
- Special Emphasis Programs
- When you see a vacancy in which you are interested, click on the link and it will go to the announcement in USAJOBS
- If you want to apply, scroll to bottom and click on APPLY ONLINE
To search among all NSF vacancies in USAJOBS, click on the NSF Vacancy Announcements on USAJOBS link on the http://www.nsf.gov/about/career_opps/ site. You will be taken to an NSF-specific search page in USAJOBS:
- Be sure to select an answer for each of the blank fields. Click on the Question Mark next to any field to obtain more information about that field.
- Be sure to indicate at the bottom of the page whether or not you are a Federal employee.
- Click on SEARCH FOR JOBS.
Applying to NSF eRecruit Vacancies
- Click on the position title of vacancy announcement in which you're interested.
- If you want to apply, scroll to bottom and click on APPLY ONLINE.
- Log in to USAJOBS.
- Select the résumé you wish to use (either from those you have stored on USAJOBS, or upload a resume from another source) and click on Apply for this position now!
- You will be transferred over to NSF's eRecruit system to answer the required personal, core, and/or vacancy-specific questions.
- If you have never applied for an eRecruit vacancy, or this is the first time that you apply for an eRecruit vacancy since March 22, 2011, you will be asked to provide some personal information (date of birth, demographic questions, and core questions). You will have the option to update this information every time you apply for an eRecruit vacancy, but it is only required the first time.
- The demographic questions are optional and will not be tracked as part of your application.
- The vacancy-specific questions are a required part of your application and must be answered whenever you apply to a vacancy.
- The résumé you select will become part of your application.
- If you have already applied for an eRecruit vacancy, you will see a Welcome screen with the job title and vacancy announcement number. Select one of the two radio buttons - choose either:
- 'Update my information that is on file:' Select this option if you wish to update your personal information (e.g., email address, telephone number, answers to core questions); OR
- 'Take me to the Assessment:' Select this option if you wish to go directly to the vacancy-specific questions. You should also select this option if you wish to update answers to a vacancy to which you've already applied.
- Answer or make changes to your answers to any vacancy-specific questions.
- If you would like to save your questions and finish them later, click "Save." Remember that your application will not be complete until you click "Finished" and follow the remaining steps. You will receive notification from eRecruit prior to the closing date of the announcement if your application is not complete. Once you have completed the question responses, click "Finished."
- You will have the opportunity to review your question responses and résumé information on a review screen. If you would like a copy of your complete application (résumé and question responses), you may now print using the print button on your browser. Once the announcement closes, you will be unable to review your responses to the vacancy-specific questions. After you are done, click "Finished."
- You will be transferred back to USAJOBS and will see a USAJOBS status screen that confirms your application has been SENT. Please note that this does not mean that you have fully completed the application process. If you are required to submit supporting documents, you must still do that before 11:59 pm EST on the vacancy closing date in order to receive consideration.
- If additional documents are required, the vacancy announcement will tell you what documents to submit (e.g., college transcript or SF-50, 'Notification of Personnel Action') and how to submit them.
- You may update your application at any time prior to 11:59 pm EST on the vacancy closing date. To do so, follow the same steps for applying to the vacancy – after you click "Finished," the USAJOBS status screen will confirm that your application has been UPDATED.
- If you wish to update your profile in eRecruit (i.e., not associated with a current application), you may access it through any open eRecruit vacancy announcement. When you receive the eRecruit Welcome screen, select the option to "Update my information that is on file."
Submitting Supporting Documentation
You may submit supporting documentation by either faxing them or uploading them from various sources (e.g., your computer).
If you choose to fax the document(s), NSF's eRecruit system will prompt you to generate fax cover sheets to use for submitting required supporting documentation. Please read the instructions on these cover sheets very carefully to ensure that your documents are processed accurately.
- Veterans' Preference: NSF will require you to submit documents each time you apply for a vacancy to verify claims for veterans' preference, if applicable. These documents can be stored in your USAJOBS account. A link is provided on which you can click to indicate that you wish to have them forwarded with your resume. You may also upload these documents from your computer. This includes such documents as: Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD-214), Application for 10-point Veteran Preference (SF-15) (available at http://www.opm.gov/forms/html/sf.asp), VA letter regarding disability, and similar documents.
- Resume/Cover Letter: The Hiring Reform Act of 2010 now allows applicants’ to submit a cover letter and/or resume as supporting documentation. If this is desired, the system can be prompted to generate the fax cover letter for each, or you can upload these documents from your computer or another source.
- Other Documentation: All other documents (such as SF-50, 'Notification of Personnel Action' to verify competitive service status, proof of your degree, or verification of your eligibility for special appointing authority) will be requested at the time you apply for a position in eRecruit. The information on such documents (such as grade, salary) is subject to change, and since we want to ensure that we have the most current information, you must provide these supporting documents each time you apply for a position at NSF.
NOTE: If you are a current NSF employee, you need not submit any of the supporting documents described above. These documents are available from your Official Personnel Folder, located in the Human Resources Management (HRM) office. Reminder: If your veteran status changes, you should update the information with HRM to ensure you receive proper credit in all of your records.5
Tracking Applications and Application Status
eRecruit provides the ability to track the status of your online applications with NSF. Once your application is complete, you will not receive any e-mails regarding the status of your application. However, if you begin the application process and do not complete it, you will receive notification from eRecruit prior to the application closing date that your application is not complete. In addition, you can check the status online at any time.
- Go to the USAJOBS page at http://www.usajobs.gov.
- Log on to your account.
- Click on "Track your online job Applications."
- The "USAJOBS Online Application History" page will appear. USAJOBS will track jobs to which you have applied for 18 months. If you do not see a vacancy to which you believe you have applied on the "Application History" page, you may not have applied properly. If the announcement is still open, you may wish to re-apply to confirm your consideration. If you have other evidence that you applied, such as an email, contact USAJOBS directly with questions about the information on your page.
- When you apply to NSF vacancies, one of the following status options will appear:
- Application Started: This message means that you have begun the application process but have not successfully submitted a complete application. If you do not return and complete the entire process before the announcement closes, you will not receive consideration for the vacancy.
- Résumé Received – Complete: This message means that you have successfully completed the electronic submission of your application. It does not mean you have complied with all other requirements, such as faxing documents. Assuming you complete all requirements, NSF will evaluate your qualifications and eligibility, and refer you for consideration if appropriate.
- After the vacancy closing date, NSF will provide additional information related to the status of your application. Under the "Application Status" column, click on 'More Information' and you will be taken into NSF's eRecruit system.
- You will be given the option to either "View/Generate Fax Cover Sheets" or "View detailed status of applications with this agency." Select "View detailed status of applications with this agency," and you will see one of the following messages:
- Applications being reviewed: This message means that NSF has begun the process of reviewing applications for this vacancy.
- You have been referred to the selecting official: This message means that the Human Resources office has referred your name to the selecting official for consideration. You may or may not be contacted for an interview.
- Selection made: This means that a selection has been made for the position. Additional selections may be made.
- No selection was made and case has been closed: This means that the vacancy has been closed without any selections being made. A new announcement may be posted at a later date.