eRecruit Application Guide
Overview of the Application Process
Since 2002, NSF has been using an automated staffing and recruiting system called eRecruit. This system eliminated the manual system for processing your application and replaced the old federal application forms (SF-171 and OF-612) with résumés.
In April 2007, NSF moved into a new phase by partnering with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to provide you with a seamless application process. NSF's eRecruit system is linked to OPM's USAJOBS website, which is where you may search for and apply to NSF competitive service (GS) and some Science Assistant (AD-1) vacancy announcements.
In November 2010, changes were made to eRecruit as a result of the Hiring Reform Act, and in March 2011, further enhancements to eRecruit were made.
The following are some of the new features as a result of the Hiring Reform Act, effective November 2010:
- Essay questions have been removed from our vacancy announcements. In accordance with OPM guidelines, the NSF does require all applicants to complete assessment questions in order to be considered. Please ensure that all responses to the assessment questions are supported by responsibilities/experiences in your resume. We highly encourage you to tailor/focus your resume towards the specific vacancy to which you are applying.
- After completing your assessment questions, you will find hotlinks for all required/optional paperwork that you can submit as supporting documentation. If you wish, you may include a cover letter to your submission; however this is not a requirement for any of our announcements.
The following are some of the new features that were effective beginning March 2011:
- There are now several ways to submit your résumé. You may still create and store as many as five résumés using the USAJOBS résumé builder. You may also upload a résumé from your computer, or download it from another source.
- You may submit supporting documentation by either faxing or uploading the documents in a variety of formats.
- Social security numbers will no longer be transferred from USAJOBS and stored in eRecruit.
- If you have begun the application process, but have not completed the assessment questions, you will be notified prior to the announcement closing date that your application is not yet complete.
If you are a current/former federal employee who wishes to be considered under "merit promotion procedures," you must meet the following eligibility criteria. If you wish to be considered as an external candidate (i.e., "Delegated Examining Unit or DEU," "All Sources" or "Any US citizen"), these restrictions will not apply to your consideration.
- Competitive Status: You are eligible to apply to vacancy announcements that are open to "current or former federal employees with competitive status obtained through current or former permanent federal competitive service appointment":
- Time-after-competitive appointment: Generally, you cannot be promoted or reassigned to a different line of work or to a different geographic location, or be reinstated, until at least three months after your latest permanent competitive appointment. For further details, click here.
- Time-in-grade: Generally, to be considered for a position above GS-5, you must have completed at least 52 weeks of service in positions at the next lower level in the normal line of promotion progression (e.g., for positions like Accountant, which progress at two-grade intervals like GS-7/9/11, you must have served at no more than two grades lower; for positions like Secretary, which progress at one-grade intervals like GS-7/8/9, you must have served at no more than one grade lower; for any position at GS-12 or above, you must have served at no more than one grade lower). For further details, click here.
NOTE: There are some limited exclusions to the time-in-grade requirement. For detailed information on specific exclusions, click here.
- Citizenship: With the exception of Science Assistants, NSF positions filled through eRecruit require US citizenship. The vacancy announcement will specify if citizenship is required.
NOTE: If you are a non-US citizen applying to a Science Assistant vacancy announcement not limited to US citizens, you cannot apply through the online process. For information on how to apply, you must contact the person listed in the vacancy announcement prior to the closing date.
NSF is an Equal Opportunity Employer
Selection will be made without discrimination for any non-merit reason such as race, religion, age, sex, national origin, marital status, non-disqualifying physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, or political affiliation.
NSF provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. If you need an accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the contact person indicated on the vacancy announcement. Decisions to grant requests for accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.
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