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How to understand the job announcement

Agencies post job announcements on USAJOBS to advertise their current job openings. While these announcements can be lengthy, they include valuable information about the job responsibilities and requirements. We’ve highlighted some of the critical job details you need to know, but it’s important you read the entire job announcement before applying.

Who may apply, closing date and locations

The details at the top of the job announcement can tell you whether you’re eligible to apply, if the job is in a location you like and how long you have to apply.

Who May Apply - This section tells you who is eligible to apply to the job. Make sure you’re eligible before applying.

Closing Date - The closing date is the last day you can submit an application for the job—you can’t submit an application after 11:59pm EST (Eastern Standard Time) on that date.

Locations - This section lists the work location(s). Many jobs have multiple locations, so it’s important you verify the location is somewhere you want to work.

The job requirements


The Duties section describes the job’s daily activities and responsibilities.

Key requirements

Key Requirements can range from type of citizenship to specific resume instructions to the need for a background investigation.


The Qualifications section describes the experience, skills and other job related criteria. To be considered for the job, you must meet these qualifications. It’s important that you read the entire section; some job announcements include multiple qualifications.

How to apply

It’s very important you read the How to Apply instructions located in the drop down on the right side of the job announcement. The How to Apply instructions explain the application steps and alternate ways to apply for the job if you are not able to apply online.

How you will be evaluated

The How You Will Be Evaluated section describes how the agency will evaluate your application. At the bottom of this section is a link to preview the assessment questions—read these questions before you apply to the job.

Required documents

It’s very important you read the Required Documents section, located in the drop down on the right side of the job announcement. This section lists all the documents you may need to include with your application to prove you’re eligible and qualified. Make sure you submit the required documentation; you may be disqualified if you’re missing information.

However, not all documents listed may be required—it depends on your eligibility and qualifications. If you’re not sure, contact the hiring agency. The hiring agency contact information is located at the bottom of the job announcement.

Start your application

Once you read the entire announcement and are ready to apply, select the Apply button to begin the application process. If you’re not ready to apply, select the Save link to add the job announcement to your Saved Jobs in your account.

Important details

  • Select the Share link to send or promote job announcements via email or social media.
  • Select the Print link to open a more printer friendly version of the job announcement in a new tab.
  • Contact us

    Please use the form below to contact us. We will get back to you within one business day. Your interest and patience are appreciated.

    The USAJOBS Support Desk is available Monday through Friday, 7am – 8pm EST; Saturday and Sunday, 8am – 4pm EST (excluding federal holidays). USAJOBS does not provide direct phone support. The form below will allow you to send an email to the Help Desk where you can request assistance by phone or email.

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