Frequently Asked Questions
APPLYING TO JOBS
For other FAQs related to Applying to Jobs, please click on this link:
USAJOBS Applying to Jobs FAQs.
Q: How can I apply to a job with my posted resume when there is
no Apply Online button in the Vacancy Announcement providing a link to My USAJOBS account?
A: Some NSF Vacancy Announcements contain no Apply Online button. In these cases, you will
need to follow the instructions in the Vacancy Announcement in order to apply. You can copy
and paste your information from the My USAJOBS View Resume page.
Q: What types of questions will I be asked when I apply online?
A: You must answer two sets of questions when applying for a position in eRecruit:
The personal information questions. These questions cover your basic information and
include eligibility, demographic information (optional) and core/profile questions. You only
have to answer these questions the first time you apply for a job in eRecruit, although you
will be given the option to "update your information that is on file" each time you apply to
a vacancy. To preview NSF's personal information questions, click here.
- The vacancy-specific questions. These are the questions that are in the vacancy
announcement itself, and are used to establish your qualifications for a particular position.
You must answer these questions for every vacancy to which you apply
Q: What if I don't answer the vacancy-specific questions?
A: If the announcement closes and you have not provided answers to the vacancy-specific questions, you will not be considered for the position for which you applied. However, if you start the assessment questions, you will receive a notification from eRecruit before the announcement closes, telling you that your application is not complete. You must submit a resume and answer all of the questions in the vacancy announcement in order to be considered.
Q: If I am halfway through my application and have to stop, will
the system save my input?
A: Yes. Your responses to vacancy questions will be saved provided you click the "Save" icon at the bottom of each page prior to leaving the system. The Application Status on the USAJOBS Online Application History page will appear as "Application Started." And, if you start the assessment questions, you will receive a notification from eRecruit before the announcement closes, telling you that your application is not complete. To complete the application from where you left off, you must search for the vacancy announcement, click "Apply Online," log in to USAJOBS to retrieve and select your desired resume, and continue with the application process. NOTE: Any old information in your application will be overwritten once you click "Save."
Q: If I am required to apply online, and I am a veteran, how do
I send documentation of veteran's preference?
A: If you indicate that you are a veteran, you will be required to submit supporting documentation each time you apply for a vacancy. This includes such documents as: DD-214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty) and SF-15 (Application for 10-point Veteran's Preference).
Q: Will I be required to submit any other documentation when
applying to a vacancy announcement online?
A: Other documents such as the SF-50 (Notice of Personnel Action) and college transcripts will be requested at the time you apply to a vacancy announcement. You can upload these documents from a variety of electronic sources (e.g., your computer or other electronic file). Since this information is more likely to change (e.g., grade/step, salary, employing agency), you must provide these supporting documents each time you apply for a position with NSF.
Note: If you are a current NSF employee, you need not submit any of the supporting documents described above. These documents are available in your Official Personnel Folder, located in the Human Resources office.
Q: Are college transcripts required?
A: For occupations with specific educational requirements, college transcripts will be
required and requested from individuals under consideration for selection. They will be used
to verify your qualifications for specific positions and grade levels to which you're
applying, and your eligibility for special rates or special appointing authorities. The
vacancy announcement for which you apply will indicate when transcripts are required.
Q: When exactly do vacancy announcements close?
A: NSF announcements close at 11:59 pm Eastern Standard Time on the closing date of the
announcement. You must complete the vacancy questions and submit all required documentation
by 11:59 pm EST to receive consideration.
Q: What if I need help applying?
A: For assistance with applying for NSF vacancies please contact the Human Resources
Specialist listed on the vacancy announcement of the job in which you are interested. If
applying online poses a hardship for you, you must call the Human Resources Specialist,
before the closing date on the announcement, for assistance. Requests for extensions will
not be granted.
Q: Should an applicant retain a copy of his/her application
A: Yes. Applicants should retain all copies of the application process for their records
including the vacancy announcement, resume, and application confirmation page. Applicants
may select to have a full copy of their application emailed to them upon finishing the
vacancy specific questions in eRecruit.
Q: Is there any way I can see which positions I have applied
for? Can I find out the status of these vacancies?
A: Yes. In order to track your applications online, go to www.usajobs.gov and log in to your
account. Click on "Applications" and you will see the "USAJOBS Online Application History"
with a list of all vacancies to which you have applied over the past 18 months. This history
page will provide the status of your applications, and will provide the opportunity to email
yourself a full copy of your application.
Refer to the Applicant Guide for more information about status messaging.
Q: Why does the Application History show a status of
"Application Started" when I previously received a confirmation that my completed
application was received by NSF?
A: If you successfully apply to a vacancy announcement with NSF you will see a status
of "Resume Received – Complete." This message could change back to "Application Started"
if you subsequently make a change to your application but do not click on "Finished."
You must click on "Finished" to save any changes you wish to make to your application
up until 11:59 pm EST on the vacancy closing date. Under NSF procedures, you will
receive consideration based on your latest complete application.
Q: Can I have a copy of my online application emailed to me?
A: Yes. Log in to My USAJOBS
and click on "Applications." From the USAJOBS Online Application History page, click on the
"More Information" link provided in the Application Status column. This will take you to the
eRecruit system. Choose the option to "View Detailed Status of applications with this agency"
to see the Current Application Status page. Click on the "EMAIL" button next to the
announcement number for the application that you would like to email.
Q: What if I don't see a vacancy to which I applied listed on my
Online Application History page?
A: If you do not see a vacancy to which you believe you have applied on the Online
Application History page, you may not have applied properly. If the announcement is still
open, you may wish to reapply 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 Application History page.
Q: How will my application be evaluated?
A: Initial ratings will be assigned based on your responses to the vacancy questions. In
some cases, additional assessment processes may also be used. Qualified candidates will be
assigned a score between 70 and 100, not including points which may be assigned (when
appropriate) for veteran's preference. Responses to vacancy questions that are not fully
supported by the information in your application package may result in adjustments to your
score. A Human Resources representative will validate the qualifications of those candidates
eligible to be referred to the selecting official.
For other FAQs related to Applying to Jobs, please click on this link: USAJOBS Applying to Jobs FAQs.