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Federal Government Job Search & Application Forms

Jump to the Application Forms

The 3-Step Federal Job Search Process

Over the last few years, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management has taken much of the complexity out of the Federal job search and application process reducing it to a three-step process.

Step 1: Find the Opening
Search the USAJOBS database
-- Updated every business day, USAJOBS carries over 7,500 worldwide listings of not only Federal but some state, local, and private sector job openings. In addition, USAJOBS now provides online resume development and transmission. You can even apply form many USAJOBS positions directly online. Besides on the Internet, USAJOBS is also available on touch screen computer kiosks located in many Federal buildings and via an interactive voice response telephone system available at (912) 757-3000 or TDD (912) 744-2299.

Check for Hot Jobs
Priority need-to-fill jobs from the Office of Personnel Management.

Check Agency Web Sites  
Many Federal agencies and sub-offices post current openings directly on their web sites. Often, listings appear here first. I've put together a pretty good list and am always on the lookout for new sites.

Step 2: Get the Vacancy Announcement --
Whether your find it on USAJOBS or the agency's web site, try to get a copy of the job's vacancy announcement. (A typical vacancy announcement is shown here.) The announcement will answer most questions like deadlines, requirements, location, and salary. 

Step 3: Apply for the Job
Form most jobs, you can apply with a resume, the Optional Application for Federal Employment (Form OF-612), or any other written form you choose. For unique jobs or jobs you apply for online, the vacancy announcement may provide special forms or instructions. While the government does not require the use of the OF-612 for most jobs (It does for some.), you still must provide certain information with your resume.

  • Job Information - Announcement number, title and grade.
  • Personal Information - Full name, mailing address (with zip code), day and evening phone numbers (with area code), social security number, country of citizenship, veterans' preference, reinstatement eligibility, highest Federal civilian grade held.
  • Education - High school name, city and state, colleges or universities, name, city and state, majors and type and year of any degrees received (if no degree, show total credits earned and indicate whether semester or quarter hours).
  • Work Experience - job title, duties and accomplishments, employer's name and address, supervisor's name and phone number, starting and ending dates (month and year), hours per week, salary and indicate whether or not your current supervisor may be contacted. Prepare a separate entry for each job.
  • Other Qualifications - job related training courses (title and year), job related skills, job related certificates and licenses, job related honors, awards, and special accomplishments. 

Application Forms

OF-612 -- Download as a Word Document
The Optional Application for Federal Employment in a Microsoft Word version that can be filled out off-line. 

OF-612 -- PDF Format
Download and print the OF-612 using Adobe Acrobat reader and your laser printer.

OF-612 Application for Federal Employment - in Plain Text
Just open this page and send it to your printer.

DS-1950 A-D State Department Application Forms - .PDF format
The State Department uses their own job applications, the DS-1950 parts A - D. They are available in .PDF only. Read the instructions first.

About the SF-171
Application for Federal Employment, the OPM 1170 supplemental application forms, and certain related application forms, became obsolete on December 31, 1994, when Office of Management and Budget approval for the forms expired. Beginning on January 1, 1995, Federal agencies could no longer require the SF-171 as the only acceptable
application form.

The OPM 1170 forms were used for collecting additional qualifications information from applicants,
such as college courses or professional certifications and training. This information can now be
supplied through other documents such as a transcript or a narrative addendum to an application.

Source -- U.S. Office of Personnel Management

Via FAX - Get Federal Job Application Forms on your FAX machine
Using a touch-tone phone or fax machine, FedFax allows you to select from a variety of employment-related forms and topics. Pick the one you want, and it will be faxed to you at any fax machine in the world 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. FedFax does not contain job listings or vacancy announcements.
FedFax can be reached at these numbers:
Atlanta: (404) 331-5267
Denver: (303) 969-7764
Detroit: (313) 226-2593
San Francisco: (415) 744-7002
Washington, D.C. (202) 606-2600

Other Job Searching Resources
Alphabetical Listing Jobs Sites - Miscellaneous Agencies
Hot Jobs from USAJobs
Priority need-to-fill jobs listed by the US Office of Personnel Management

Top Books on Government Job Searching

Job Searching and Career Sites on About.com

Career Planning
Job Searching
Job Searching: College Grads
Job Searching - Canada
Job Searching - Technical


[Return to Federal Job Resources Page]

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