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Which jobs am I eligible to apply for?

Understanding how the federal government determines your eligibility and the types of positions available is an important first step in understanding what jobs you can apply for. Each job announcement will state: Who may be considered, Who may apply, or define an Area of Consideration.

Federal agencies typically seek candidates from one of the three following eligibility categories:

1. New candidates

Candidates who are new to the Federal Government and have no prior federal employment.

2. Hiring paths

Candidates who fall under a specific hiring path and may qualify for a special non-competitive hiring authority established by law or executive order.

These targeted segments of the population include:

In addition, current or previous employees of the Government of the District of Columbia or the United States Postal Service may also be considered “status” candidates. Select one of the above paths for more information.

3. Career appointment

Candidates who have current or previous federal employment experience, also known as “status” or “career appointment”. Status applicants are current or former federal civilian employees who hold or held non-temporary appointments in the competitive service, not the excepted service.

Status applicants may be eligible for the following under merit promotion procedures:

In addition, certain veterans eligible under the Veterans Employment Opportunities Act (VEOA) may also apply and be considered under vacancy announcements limited to status applicants.

Additional resources

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