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PMF 2021: What You Need to Know

The Presidential Management Fellows Program (PMF) is one of several ways for current and recent students of advanced graduate degree programs to start on a career path as a public servant in the federal government. This prestigious, flagship program involves a paid two-year position with a federal agency, as well as opportunities for networking and leadership development.

Here’s a quick outline of key dates for the 2021 PMF application process:

Date Description
September 30-October 14, 2020 The 2021 PMF Application opens at Noon (ET), Wednesday, September 30, 2020, and closes at Noon (ET), Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Go here for the USAJOBS announcement:


Approximately six weeks later Announcement of the PMF Class of 2021 Finalists

The PMF application process can seem daunting, but just as with any new challenge, the hardest part is getting started. We’ve provided helpful tips below for managing the process.

1. Start Early. Make sure that you have given yourself enough time to complete your online application. Past applicants have reported having trouble with the online submission system, such as not being able to save attachments — problems that can be easily taken care of by starting well in advance of the deadline.

2. Have your supporting documentation ready. You will need a copy of your transcript(s). These copies can be unofficial or official. You will also need any and all documentation related to veterans’ preference, Native American (Indian) preference, and accommodations for those with disabilities.

Make sure to reference the official PMF Resources for specific and up-to-date information about this year’s application process.

3. Update your resume. For those who will be applying to work in the federal government for the first time, make sure that you know the specific details about how to correctly create a federal resume (see GovLoop’s Rock Your Resume Toolkit). This will be an essential step to make sure that federal hiring agents understand your skillset and background.

4. Understand the Program. Know what your commitment will be when you are hired as a fellow, and why you are motivated to apply. This is a good opportunity to start thinking about your “elevator pitch” — quick talking points about yourself that will come in handy in later stages of the application as well.

5. Have someone review your application. This will cut down on small needless errors. Your college career advisors are good candidates, but even a peer can help you identify small mistakes or inconsistencies.

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