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top questions asked
How can I get my forgotten username and/or password?
  • Please go to and enter your email address and answer to your secret question. Once you have correctly answered these, the system will allow you to create a new password.
  • If you do not know the email you registered with or the answer to your secret question, the site will send you to a screen with 8 questions on it. You must answer 4 of these correct in order to be sent your account information via email. If you cannot answer 4 questions, an email will be sent with your answers to the USAJOBS jobseeker support team at for review. Once they verify your information, they will send you your USAJOBS username and password.
What is my series and/or grade?
Series and grade refers to the Federal government�s system for categorizing and defining jobs. For more information on the job classifications and pay, visit If you have never worked in the Federal government, you do not have to enter a series or grade on your resume for previous, non-government jobs. Upon application, however, you may be prompted to pick the highest grade you desire or are eligible for. To find the salary breakdown for the 2005 General Schedule (GS) positions, visit
Where do I take the Civil Service exam?
Actually, there is no longer a single “civil service” exam and to apply for most Federal jobs, you do not have to take any kind of test at all. Go ahead and search the USAJOBS database for opportunities that match the type of job you are interested in. Then, follow the �How to Apply� instructions within each vacancy announcement. If you have questions about individual application procedures, contact the agency directly for assistance. The agency's contact information is provided at the bottom of the USAJOBS job announcement page.

Why can�t I view my current applications?
There are a number of factors that control how applications are recorded in USAJOBS accounts including the path taken to submit your resume/job specific questionnaire and whether or not you selected to “Return to USAJOBS” at the end of the process. Without knowing the specific set of actions you took as you applied for this position, it is impossible to say with certainty why your application was not tracked in the system. Many of the actions required to update your application records are controlled outside of the USAJOBS technology. Please know that we are working continually with the systems we connect with to improve the processes to give job applicants the most complete and up-to-date status information possible.

While we continue to make strides to provide you with complete on-line status updates for your job applications, your best source of information to confirm application receipt is the contact for the position listed on the job announcement.

How do I know if the agency received my application?
Because each agency hires its employees differently, your best bet is to contact the agency that posted the job announcement to inquire about the receipt of your application. The agency's contact information is provided at the bottom of the USAJOBS job announcement page. If the Job Announcement does not appear on the USAJOBS website, you should contact the Human Resources office of the hiring agency for assistance.
What is reinstatement? Am I eligible?
Reinstatement allows you to reenter the Federal competitive service workforce without competing with the public in a civil service examination. You may apply for any open civil service examination, but reinstatement eligibility also enables you to apply for Federal jobs open only to status candidates. You must have held a career or career-conditional appointment at some time in the past. If so, there is no time limit on reinstatement eligibility for those who:
  • Have veterans' preference, or acquired career tenure by completing 3 years of substantially continuous creditable service.
Why do I have to create my resume? Why can�t I upload it?
As you may have noticed if you have begun your Federal job search, agencies have varying and unique application procedures to meet their hiring needs. One application format may be acceptable for one agency and not another. In an effort to drive the Federal hiring process toward a universal application format, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) gathered together several agencies from around the government to create one resume format that would include all of the crucial data required for Federal application into one uniform resume format. The product that resulted was the USAJOBS Resume Builder. The USAJOBS' Resume Builder allows you to create one uniform resume that provides all of the information required by government agencies
I created a resume and applied to a job online, but it is not listed in USAJOBS. Why?
Many agencies have their own websites where you can setup an account in order to apply to their job announcements. We suggest that you contact any agency sites or systems you have visited to submit an application in order to get assistance in locating your account on their site if applicable. If you cannot remember what site you were on, you should contact the agency Human Resources office to find out more about their website and how you can get updates on the status of your application.
What are KSA�s? How are they used in the application process?
Agencies often use a series of questions to assess candidates� knowledges, skills, and abilities (KSA�s) of the duties and qualifications required by the position. When describing your knowledges, skills, and abilities, you should to give examples and explain how often you used these skills, the complexity of the knowledge you possessed, the level of the people you interacted with, the sensitivity of the issues you handled, etc. For more tips on writing your KSA�s, see our section on Resume, KSA, and Interviewing Tips.
How do I delete an education and/or work section I entered on my resume?
If you wish to delete an entry in work experience, education, or references, simply click the red X at the right of the entry link. For help in each section of the resume builder, simply click the “?” (Insert USAJOBS “?” icon) icon in each section.
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