Camille Roberts

Hi Ari,

Excellent question. I get asked this almost daily. The answer is: it depends…on what you are applying for and where. Most Federal government positions are going to be announced through USAJOBS.gov, but not all of them.

The BEST answer, from me, is follow the “How to Apply” instructions on the job announcement PRECISELY. Do not submit the application materials to the contact unless the announcement states to do so…if you want to get hired…faster. Use the announcement as a guide. Print it if you need to, and check off each item as you complete it, and follow the instructions for applying.

If you want to accelerate your job search for best results, I recommend that you create TWO resumes in the Resume area of your account. Build a resume using the online Resume Builder either by creating the information manually, or pasting from a Word document. Then, upload your nicely formatted, attention-getting professional resume created with Word into the Saved Documents area. This is called the “uploaded resume”–the other option under Resume in your account.

Some announcements now allow you to apply to a position with a resume created in Word. Again, read the anouncement carefully and follow every instruction. Be sure to make one of your resumes searchable. This allows your resume to be sorted into the results of queries by recruiters sourcing candidates, which could increase your chances of being “found.”

You asked about how to find agencies that do not list announcements on USAJOBS. Most of these are excepted service positions as opposed to competitive civil service positions. Here is a link that should help you:


Also, there are some senior executive service (SES) announcements that require just the uploaded resume and narratives in a Word document. Even just a year ago, most SES submissions were required to be submitted on paper. This is where it is critical that they be professional. In either case, the candidate has an advantageous opportunity to submit a strategic, compelling, nicely formatted and professionally written resume to demonstrate his/her value.

I hope this information helps you. If you have other questions, feel free to post them here, or write me at [email protected].

I wish you the best your job search!