What do you think of the new USAJobs?

Home Forums Careers What do you think of the new USAJobs?

This topic contains 48 replies, has 30 voices, and was last updated by  Dannielle Blumenthal 8 years, 10 months ago.

  • Author
  • #90163

    As you’ve probably heard, USAJobs got a remake; a clean, new look. So what do you think? What do you like? What still needs improvement?

  • #90259

    I liked the old version better but maybe that’s because I’m used to it.

  • #90257

    Steve Ressler

    The UI is better and I like some of the filtering better…

  • #90255

    Someone on Twitter replied: “hunting 6 months. New- few improvements but harder on eyes. Not helpful”

  • #90253

    Terrence Hill

    It’s a good step in the right direction. The pages are de-cluttered and the search is more like Google. My biggest issues are not with the cosmetics. I am irritated that all agencies still don’t accept the USAJOBS resume, still don’t provide status updates to candidates, and agencies are not using the “data mining” capabilities to search through the resumes for “passive” applicants. Overall, this is a good start. However, I do have to admit that I miss the pictures that used to be on the front page.

  • #90251


    It felt like turning on a bright light after staying in the dark for so long…my eyes still need an adjustment to the plain look of USAJobs.

  • #90249

    Fred Manansala

    Not sure if any of this was in the previous version, but I like
    – Flag link to job location, opens google maps in a small window
    – Link to Fedshirevets.gov upfront and center, Feds should hire Vets first when qualified, period! They earned it.
    – Search filter has some nice features, like removing search criteria to un-filter results

    Didn’t like:
    – Defaults to jobs open to all US citizens. Folks may not be aware that there are additional jobs open that fall into the Merit promotion or other categories. They won’t show up in the search unless you uncheck the all “US Citizens” button. I’d make it default to “let me decide”. We can read the announcement which is what people should be doing thoroughly anyway.
    – Small Font
    – Color Scheme of GUI
    – No new functionality that Wow’d me. Seems like just a facelift. probably some database upgrades in the background we are enjoying, but……..

  • #90247

    Matt Sickon

    The new USAJOBS website looks nice. However, one thing that I missed is the agency filtering – I cannot find it. I also missed the feature that would let me know how many jobs are available in each agency. Hopefully, they will be able to phase those features back in.

  • #90245

    Bruce Patch

    I like the clean look. One thing I miss however, is that you can’t see the Grade Level on the summary. Otherwise, looks pretty nice.

  • #90243

    AJ Malik

    Clean, new look is nice, but if OPM can better expedite the agencies hiring process (including timely application status email alerts); do away with the painful, time-consuming KSAs; and perhaps integrate social media into the recruiting/hiring process, that will go much further for prospective job applicants.

  • #90241

    Nice graphic, AJ. At first when I saw your post, I thought you were allowing it to stand as your comment…then scrolled down a bit more!

  • #90239

    Absolutely adore and the GovLoop and USA JOBS site, however it is difficult accessing these tremendous information giants with the limited strained resources.
    For 22 years and 8 months I have aggressively participated in and with the preservation and restoration of the QUINDARO RUINS / Underground Railroad- Exercise 2010, that actually began in May 1987.

    However, as a honorably discharged veteran from the US Navy- I’d very much like to see and have broader co-ordination and co-operation among all levels of government to help our poor low income black African American community be able to have bonified rela JOB CREATIONS with the preservation of the Quindaro Ruins free-port-of-entry off the Missouri River.
    So that we can help reduce crime, violence and senseless homocides and collaborate with regional universities to simulataneoulsy help sensitize and improve race-class and cultural relationships: base on the authentic historically proven multi-layered cultural heritage.
    Back-dropped with ECO-TOURISM, since the Quindaro Ruins site is at the edge of Missouri River and was hotly contested and overcame proposals to convert this sacred space into another toxic waste dump. President Obama and his administration have laid out great plans, we just need those in public service career positions of decisions makers to intervene and make the restoration HAPPEN.
    Billions are being utilized to develop all sorts of NASCAR Tracks and Sports arenas including a casino: but all the regional and local leaders just keep pushing the restoration of the QUINDARO RUINS to file #13 and think that it’s okay and then they don’t want regular people VETERANS such as, myself to inquire or / complain about the quality of life and our needs to have decent wage paying jobs to match volunteer service accompolishments.
    Like we, should go and find another project to volunteer on and allow them to disregard the major, major importance of this unduplicated, irreplaceable, yet PRICELESS sacred-space of holy-grounds that help usher in the cradle and birth of WesTERN Freedom with the largest known archealogical Underground Railroad in all of North America- the POMPEII of Kansas
    QUINDARO RUINS / UNDERGROUND RAILROAD- we need the nations help, we have a great archealogist- who originally excavated the site for the now defunct landfill company ( who could be of a great assset/- in order to quit wasting more time, the foundations are in jeapordized with inadequate preservation/restoration management protection.
    It is our hope to one in our lifetime to see this become a World Heritage Area and International Peace Park through the United Nations : but first our own government and national leaedership must help us figure out how to properly go forward. thank you, and instead running around worrying low-income poor black for donations to help- we asked them over and over and over AGAIN to and for PRAYERS !!!
    this site is famoue in GOOGLE Search Engine. But in real time, so much- is needed and GovLOOP is THE most perfect answer many, many- years of sacrifice and prayers.
    Yall are NEEDED to help us with this fragile sacred-space of western freedom of the mid-1800’s, again
    THANK each and EVERY one of you, cause one of YALL know exactly what we should be doing- or who else we should be calling in addition to our YEaRS of PRaYERS !!!!!
    Marvin S. Robinson, II

  • #90237

    Karol Taylor

    I know the assessments were not very good, but they did provide an idea to federal job seekers about mission critical federal jobs. I can’t find them anywhere.

  • #90235


    I just tried a search, doesn’t seem to filter properly. I told it a number of criteria and it ignored most of it.

  • #90233

    Are you tlaking specifically about the Quindaro Ruins / Underground Railroad ‘Google archive’? Please let me know so, that I can try to figure out how to correct that information referral.
    However, the regular Google search engine :

    “Quindaro Ruins / Underground Railroad” or

    “Marvin Robinson with the Quindaro Ruins / Underground Railroad “both have more detailed specifics about the overall project.

    HOWEVER, I am grateful that you let me know it’s a area that needs trouble-shooting, cause I have concluded that this :
    GovLoop is one of the most important and informative resources in many, many, years of trying to reach the conscience people through-out our great country !

  • #90231

    Kimberlyn J Bauhs

    Can you give me some details so we can see about a fix? I’ve tested the site extensively and have not run into this issue.

  • #90229

    K. Scott Derrick

    I definitely see some nice improvements. Kudos to OPM. The two issues that I continue to hear about most are

    – the need to register with multiple online hiring sites (in addition to USAJobs) when applying for vacancies, and

    – the inability to preview the questions/KSAs without leaving USAJobs or without having to register or sign in to multiple sites.

  • #90227

    Stephen R. Gallison

    Amen my trainees would prefer to use AVUE.

  • #90225

    Stephen R. Gallison

    This is not a visual improvement, the soft -shading is tough on the eyes. By and large this should be the last time we see it as the Congress with finally get off the dime and approve S736 and free up the personnel system to begin hiring from resumes and cover letters like the rest of the world.

  • #90223

    Lizette Molina

    I actually like the new site better. It has a cleaner look, so I can focus on only what I want without the distractions of cutesy stuff. And it took me a moment; but I now see how to check for all jobs within an agency. First clear the filters for “What” and “Where”; then scroll down a bit to see the list of filters “Refine your Results” on the right hand side. Click on agencies and then on the agency you want to search. Provided “What” and “Where” are blank, you will see a list of all agencies that have vacancy announcements on USAJobs. If “What” and “Where” have any info in their fields, you will only see agencies listed that have announcements within those parameters. This ability existed in the old “look”; but I found it harder to use. I find the newer “look” more intuitive.

    I think some of the problems with getting good candidates is not the technology behind the system, or the interface itself; but with antiquated internal processes within a number of agencies. If you’re in an office that needs to hire – and you get stuck with an HR Specialist that is entrenched in following antiquated agency-specific procedures (that in some cases are obsolete/superceded by new procedures) – it can take many months to hire 1 person.

    But these issues are agency-internal to some agencies; not an issue w/OPM. I have to say bravo to OPM for revamping USAJobs.

    One suggestion – make it clear to applicants that they can often apply in more than 1 way (merit promotion comes to mind). I’ve interviewed applicants for jobs within my office who were not aware that they could have been on 2 certs, if they’d only known what to click on while applying through USAJobs. When they apply one way, perhaps an pop-up could say “thanks, and would you also like to apply this way”? I find that only savvy applicants figure out that they can appear on more than 1 cert depending on how they apply.

  • #90221

    Lizette – You are a rockstar! Great feedback…and would love to see if we can turn that first paragraph into a “How-To: Find All Jobs Within an Agency on USAJobs” blog post on GovLoop…add a tiny more background on the process, a couple screenshots and “Voila!” – very useful for all GovLoop’ers.

    Also, I am sure OPM appreciates the kudos and concrete feedback. Thanks again for your insight

  • #90219


    Great information but is being on more than one cert list an added benefit when there is only one position available?

  • #90217

    John Bersentes

    Would love to see USAJobs go multi-modal,

    Another method of pushing job information out to candidates would be the use of iPhone and other mobile phone apps. Many of the current mobile phones have the ability to receive push notifications. This means that instead of the candidate having to open the application to view if there is any information, they would get an on-screen notification of the update.

    This would allow a user to sign-up for notification of new job postings in addition to receiving the email notification.

    The application could also be built to display the job announcement on the mobile phone as well as to allow for the user to Save This Job and Email a Friend.

    Additional benefits that could be implemented would be to recreate a portion of the “My USAJOBS” portal for a mobile site, the application would allow the user to login, see their saved jobs, the status of their applications and receive notifications of upcoming closing dates for saved jobs. Since this is push notification, the application could be kept up-to-date with the main portal for any changes, and handle the notification locally. Candidates can easily miss a job closing date if they are not paying close attention. Giving the candidate rapid notification through the technology medium of choice, ensures that the agency will receive all applicants possible.

  • #90215

    Everything is going mobile, John, and I think you are spot-on with this recommendation.

    You reminded me of another feature that I’d like to see…which is to reveal the status of a person’s application. For instance, I don’t know of you’ve ordered a Domino’s Pizza lately, but they have a system where you can watch the process from placing the order to it being made, placed in the oven, delivered in the car, etc….all the way to your home. AND they provide names of people who are engaged in that process along the path.

    Why couldn’t USAJOBS have a similar feature? Helpful for highly mobile, busy people who want to know where they stand. Plus, you can capture the data from time of application to hiring decision…holding agencies accountable for the length of the process.

  • #90213

    Eric Melton

    I like the google-y front page, and also the fact that announcements are on a single page, vice the old forced tabs for each category of info. Saves time and is cleaner to view/save/apply.

  • #90211

    Tom Caruso

    I think the interface was fine before. The problem with USAJobs is the lack of responsiveness of the bureaucracy behind it. Over the last three years I’ve applied to more than four dozen jobs, and last week I got my first call for an interview! I don’t like using so much of my time submitting lengthy, difficult applications to which I am that unlikely to get even a call to discuss my qualifications for a job. Then when I do get a call, I have to go through even more hoops to continue to be competitive over a period of time that is likely to be six months or more since submission of the application. It was three months since submission just to get the first call! It’s not the website, it’s the process behind the website that needs fixing.

  • #90209

    Eric Pecinovsky

    Doing away with the KSAs would make a much bigger impact than a site redesign. It’s still the same application process, right?

  • #90207

    Really nice post by Michael O’Dell of CareerBuilder in the blogs: “USAJobs Finally Gets a Facelift”

  • #90205

    More positive feedback from Candi Harrison in this blog post:



    “And the award for Best Customer Service goes to…USAJobs! Finally – a federal agency (the Office of Personnel Management) that really, really listened to its audience and gave us what we want. Plain. Simple. To the point.”

  • #90203

    Dave Concordia

    USAJOBS already has the option of sending you an eMail when your application status changes. It will also eMail you to tell you when a job you have applied to has closed, and when your supplemental documents have been viewed. We are adding the ability for it to send you an eMail when one of your “saved jobs” is about to close as well.

    An iPhone app is in the works too. I’ll post some information here when it becomes available.

  • #90201

    Nice – thanks for the information, Dave!

  • #90199

    Kimberlyn J Bauhs

    We upgraded the site on Saturday to include “multi-select” options in the job search filters. Check it out!

  • #90197

    Mark Boelte

    I am not with the majority in my thoughts on the Federal Application process. I hear a lot of complaints about KSA’s (and of course the President has said they are going to go) and yet I think it is a mistake.

    One of the biggest complaints the public has about Government is how difficult it is to understand what and how Government works. People are perplexed as to what Government documents are saying. I have heard of the efforts to simplify the language used, and to put documentation into “plain speech” and I approve and agree.

    However, if that is to be accomplished, do we not need Government employees that have writing skills? Do we really want to water down the communication standards for applicants?

    You may say that a Resume will do that, however I teach Resume Writing to my customers in New Jersey. A great many use either example resume’s or templates, and seldom write the document themselves. You cannot access a persons written communications skill by a resume. Personally I think the KSA’s are the most useful aspect of the Federal Application.

    I teach people how to apply for Federal jobs. The most difficult aspect of the process is not the KSA, it’s the job descriptions and requirements. I spent MONTHS reading job listings before I began to understand how to decipher what was required for a position. Writing a KSA is easy if you know what the recruiter is looking for, but the job listings are long, obtuse, confusing and refer to outside sites too often.

    I agree with others that the response times should be improved, that mobile apps should be used, and I love the Domino’s Pizza reference. However, I feel KSA’s are a good tool that should not be eliminated.

  • #90195

    Ed Powell

    USAJOBS is better now but was fine before. Changing USAJOBS is the latest example of “killing the messenger.” Job search was never perfect but the federal hiring process is in SHAMBLES! The problem is not the vehicle… applications, USAJOBS, programs… it is the PROCESS that is established in rule, law and regulation! Like federal purchasing, federal hiring needs to be accomplished in an objective, open, transparent and “merit-” based process that provides equal and fair consideration to everyone that applies. I use “merit” in quotes because the numerous and growing exceptions to “merit hiring” add layers of complexity – former feds returning from military duty, CTAP, ICTAP, Reemployment Priority, Stopper Lists, expiring overseas asignments, veteran’s preference, spouse preference, survivor preference, federal career intern program, etc.
    The current OPM reforms Rule of 3, “killing” but not really killing KSAs) barely scratches the surface with most of them being just window-dressing to give the appearance of progress. Some will actually SLOW the hiring process, while providing some questionable “relief” to applicants. For example, qualifying under OPM’s X-118 qualification standards is an imporrtant technical consideration and assessing competencies is never easy. However, agency staff must now do that with even LESS information. Most agencies used automated ATS systems to accomplish much of this in the past but now have to do it manually, like they did in the ’80s and before. This is progress? Also, OPM has decided to move USAJOBS development and maintenance in-house to OPM just months after OPM’s third failure at Retirement Systems Modernization in a two-decade long search for a fix in that vital area. USAJOBS was never broken… it is a vehicle for a cumbersome and badly flawed process that is based on hundreds of laws and Executive Orders and court decisions over 60+ years that were often in direct conflict with each other. The regulation development process (especialy the Federal Personnel Manual) helped HR specialists wade through and resolve the conflicts until Clinton/Gore threw them away “to provide greater flexibility.” Changing the law is the answer but nobody seems to have the energy to face the real problem!
    Hiring is not alone in being totally broken. Position classification has become “position justification” to support the near total perversion of the original positions classification (aka pay setting) principles. To support this overgrading, position descriptions (PD) are written to support pay and do not describe actual jobs. As a principle artifact of the HR process, bad PDs drive defective determinations of job qualifications and competencies, bad job announcements, bad hiring, bad training, bad discipline, etc. Then there is pay. We have two main pay laws, Title 5 and FLSA. For many employees pay is calculated twice, once under Title 5 and once under FLSA and the employee gets the highest of the two. Also, employee groups have prevailed in just about every suit where they claimed coverage unde FLSA, leading to enormous back pay claims. (Does that make sense to ANYBODY??)

  • #90193

    Ed Powell

    Did you know that USAJOBS is advertised as “the Federal Government’s official one-stop source for Federal jobs and employment?” You would expect that this means that all federal jobs are on USAJOBS, right?

    Do you consider Congress and the Legislative Branch to be part of the federal government? I would guess YES but there is no requirement to post jobs on USAJOBS.

    How about the Supreme Court and the Judicial Branch? Do you consider them government? Again, I would guess YES but there is no requirement to post jobs on USAJOBS.

    How about the 1/3 of jobs in the Executive Branch working directly for the president designated as Excepted Service? Do you consider them government? Again, I would guess YES but there is no requirement to post jobs on USAJOBS.

    How about the Cabinet jobs and presidential appointments? NO WAY.

    Let me summarize. USAJOBS is the Federal Government’s official one-stop source for a fraction of the Federal jobs in the Executive Branch and employment?”

    How many job seekers on USAJOBS actually understand those distinctions? Do you believe that they are being misled by OPM’s description?

  • #90191

    Dave Concordia

    I said that I would provide some information about the USAJOBS iPhone application.

    Well, it looks like it will be launching in just a few days (October 6th).

    We are all very excited about how it came out. We hope you enjoy it!


  • #90189

    Steve Ressler

    Awesome….Let us know when launch as we’d love to feature it as a “GovLaunch”

  • #90187

    Dave Concordia

    Will do. Here is a screen shot of the app home page.

    Shows the “logged-in” state with all buttons active.

  • #90185

    Jaime Gracia

    Lipstick on a pig. Nice interface does not hide the fact that the federal hiring process is in dire need of an overhaul.

  • #90183

    Ed Powell


    I understand that the iPhone APP has been launched and has already cracked the top 100 in iPhone apps being downloaded. Can you provide more details?

  • #90181

    Dave Concordia


    I’m responding to this in the GovLaunch topic on the app… C’mon over there…


  • #90179

    Andrew Humulock

    I think it is more user friendly. It will be a lot easier application process when KSA are history…

  • #90177

    Ed Powell

    GET RID OF KSAS!! HECK, GET RID OF MERIT!! Why should people have to show that they are qualified and worthy just to get a job?

    It’s the same with government procurement.

    Why should I have to show that I can do the work before I get a government contract? Why do I have to actually acknowledge and address the government’s specifications? Why don’t federal buyers just go to my website and then fax me a check?

  • #90175

    Adam Davidson

    Yes. Very much so. One senior OPM leader recently stated last week (11/’10) that over 80% (?!) of all federal jobs are competitive service jobs – those under OPM’s legal remit to have advertised (Title 5 – 3330 & 3327). But if you google: feddata, trends, opm – and then hit the “feeling lucky” button, you’ll find that about 48% of all jobs are competitive service jobs, or less than 65% when we ignore USPS jobs as federal jobs – which we shouldn’t. OPM is being very misleading of the public. To have Obama sign and issue a Hiring Reform Memo instructing all agencies to have USAJOBS manage all candidate expectation management (item 1d) is based on a false premise and exposes a significant knowledge gap of fact and technological realities – and co-opts Obama into this same cloud of ignorance. Candidate expectation management should be universally applied and that can only be done from within the engine of each agency’s applicant tracking system – not some candidate gateway. It’d be like expecting the Washington Post to manage the expectations of all candidates who apply to all professional service firms. Ridiculous.

  • #90173

    Michele Costanza

    It looks similar to Indeed.com.

  • #90171

    Ari Herzog

    News to me, but then again I’d never visited it.

  • #90169

    Ed Powell


  • #90167

    Vang Xiong

    I do not have as much experience with the old website, but do remember it being outdated, slow and not as aesthetically pleasing to the eyes. The new website is not much better looking, but it is faster, less cluttered and employs an easy to use interface. I was able to easily search for jobs in my area. The only complaint I have off the bat is that the search function does not appear to be that great when searching for specific jobs. Search results tend to include a bunch of other unrelated jobs.

  • #90165

    Steve Ressler

    I agree – that would be great to be able to pull up answers of all your past KSA essays

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.