Are You Searching for Employment in the Federal Government?

Many college seniors and graduate students are interested in pursuing careers in the federal government.  There are numerous resources on the internet for finding these career opportunities.

Applications to federal government agencies may take longer than average due to their extensive application process protocol.  To learn more about federal job opportunities, go to USA.GOV.ORG.  To search federal jobs, go to USAJOBS.GOV.  Be sure that your federal job application is complete with all required documents attached.

The information below includes the federal job application process for applicants, as well as the agency application review process. Click here for eligibility requirements.

Application Process on USA.GOV.ORG:

1. Create an account with

2. Create a USAJOBS profile

3. Search for jobs and save

4. Review your job announcement

5. Prepare your application in USAJOBS

6. Submit application to agency

Reviewing Applications

The hiring agency begins the review process when the job announcement closes. The hiring agency will review your application to make sure you’re eligible and meet the qualifications for the position.  The hiring agency will place applicants into quality categories. Those placed in the highest category are sent to the hiring official. The application status of these applicants will change to “Referred”. All other applicants (not being considered) will see a “Not Referred” status.


The hiring official will review the “highest qualified” applications and select the applicants to interview based on agency policy. The hiring agency will contact applicants directly to schedule interviews.  The interview can be a panel, in-person, video, or phone interview and there may be more than one interview round. For example, an applicant may have a phone interview and then an in-person interview.  It may take some time for an interview to be scheduled depending on the number of applicants being interviewed.

Selecting Candidates

After all interviews are completed, the agency will select a candidate(s) and contact them to start the job offer process. For those not selected, the hiring agency will update their application status to “Not Selected.

Job Offer

The hiring agency will extend a tentative job offer contingent upon passing a background investigation. The background investigation will begin when the tentative offer is accepted. Additional security checks may be needed for a higher-level clearance. The job offer is final when the background investigation and any additional security checks are successfully completed. The hiring agency will contact the candidate(s) directly to set up a start date.

Background Checks

If hired for a federal job, you must at least go through a basic background check to make sure you’re reliable, trustworthy, and suitable for the job. The background check process starts after you accept a job offer. The hiring agency will ask you for the necessary personal information to start the background investigation process. The amount of information you’ll need to give depends on the job.

 If you have any questions about the information in this Career Community blog, please email the Center for Career Development at

By Robin Shefts
Robin Shefts Assistant Director (Hartford Campus) Robin Shefts