USAJOBS is the most common way to apply for a federal job. Before applying, you must create a USAJOBS profile on

Keep reading below for Tips on using USAJOBS effectively and for 10 Things you Can Do to Improve your Chances.


Create a USAJOBS Account

What is offers secure and private online access to government programs such as federal benefits, services, and applications. With an account, you can sign in to multiple government websites with the same email address and password.

Why is USAJOBS using

To meet new National Institute of Standards of Technology requirements for secure validation and verification, uses two-factor authentication and stronger passwords. By using, applicants will receive more security to help protect their USAJOBS profile.


What will happen to my USAJOBS profile?

All the information stored in your USAJOBS profile will stay put. You will keep all your applications, saved searches, and saved jobs.

Your account will be linked to your USAJOBS profile. The only difference is that you will use your email address, password, and security code to sign in to USAJOBS.


What do I need to do?


Create a account if you don not already have one. Your old USAJOBS username and password will not work anymore. Follow these next steps:
1. Create a account – you only need to do this once.
2. Enter your email address (use the same email address you use for USAJOBS).
3. Create a new password.
4. will send a security code to your phone.
5. Finish setting up your account.

From there, go back to USAJOBS to finish the process. Double check your profile to make sure all of your information is accurate.

You will have to use your email address, password, and security code every time you sign into USAJOBS.

What if I already have a account?

You will not need to create a second one. Use your existing email address, password, and security code to sign in to USAJOBS.

What email address do I use to create a account?



Use your primary or secondary USAJOBS email when you create your account. When you use the same email that you use for USAJOBS, it will automatically link your USAJOBS profile to the account.

If you use a different email address when signing up for, you will not be able to automatically link your profile. However, you can use your USAJOBS primary or secondary email address to help you recover your profile.

We recommend you don’t use a .gov, .mil or .edu email address. Instead, use a personal (non-government) email address when you create your account.

Note: Do not use an email address you share with someone else.

Why shouldn’t I use a .gov, .edu, or .mil email address?

If you use a .gov, .edu, or .mil email as your primary email address, and you leave your government or military position or school, you will no longer have access to that email address anymore.

Therefore, it will be much harder to verify who you are if you need to reset your password. You also will not receive emails about jobs and other important USAJOBS information. Besides, it is simply more professional to not use your employer’s email when conducting your job search.

Using a personal email address that you control (Gmail or Yahoo) is the best way to make sure you can always get to important USAJOBS messaging and profile information.

What if I currently use a .gov, .mil, or .edu email address for my USAJOBS primary email?


If you currently use a .gov, .mil, or .edu email address for USAJOBS, you can change it AFTER you get through the account set-up process.


Can I use a different email address from my USAJOBS email address, when setting up my account?

When you first create your account, you need to use the same email address you currently use for USAJOBS. This will let us link your USAJOBS profile information to your new account. If you want to change your email address, do it AFTER you have successfully linked your profile and account.

Helpful tips for using USAJOBS

It is important to fully understand the distinctions for your federal jobs search. Here are some tips for using USAJOBS and understanding the system:

Job Searches in USAJOBS
When you save a search in USAJOBS, the system automatically seeks those jobs that match the keywords and other criteria in your search; this tool is helpful to further discover more jobs that fit your interests. USAJOBS email you daily, weekly, or monthly when there are new jobs that align with your desired criteria. Applicants can create and save up to 10 saved searches; however, after one year, a saved search will expire.


How to Save a Job Search and Sign Up for Email Notifications
1. Sign in to USAJOBS (only signed in users can save their search).
2. Search a keyword or location in the search box.
3. You can narrow results by using filters.
4. Click Save this search on the search results page located above the search results.
5. Give the search a name—this will help you manage your saved searches.
6. Choose how often to get notified (daily is recommended since some jobs can open and close within a week or less)
7. Click Save.

How to Manage Your USAJOBS Saved Searches
1. Sign into USAJOBS and go to Saved Searches.
2. to see more details of the search, click the +, and from here there are multiple options:
Run saved search | Click View Results to run the saved search and see results.
Renew a search | Click Renew to renew the search for an additional year after it expires.
Edit your saved search | Click Edit search criteria to change keywords, location or filters. You may save you updated search.
Edit your notification settings | Click Edit notifications settings to change notifications to daily, weekly, monthly, or to turn them off.
Delete saved search | Saved searches can only be deleted from archived list. Go to archived saved searches and click the + and then click Delete located under the Unarchive Search button.
If a saved search is deleted, you will no longer receive emails for those search results.
Archive saved search | Click Archive to move the saved search to the archived list.

Checking the Status of Applications
1. Sign in to USAJOBS.
2. Go to Applications located on the Home page; active applications display automatically.
3. Review list of applications (applications are listed by the date they were last updated). The application status is highlighted next to each job application.
4. Click the + to see more application details.


Meanings Each Status
Each status tells you at what stage application is within the application process—whether it’s been received, reviewed, selected, not-selected, etc.
Your application has been received and is being considered for employment.

The hiring agency has received your application.

The hiring agency has reviewed the application but whether or not it meets the qualifications has not yet been determined.

Application is among the best qualified and is referred to the next step in the selection process.

The hiring agency has offered a position.


Applicant has accepted the position.

The job application has not been completed and requires further action.

In Progress
The application is unfinished; it has been started, but not completed or submitted yet. If the job is still open, the application can be completed and submitted.

The application is not complete; it may be missing required documents. If the job is still open, the application can be completed and submitted.

Application is no longer being considered for the job, or the agency canceled the job. Applications with this status will automatically archive three months after the last status update.


The job announcement has been withdrawn without anyone being hired. A job announcement can be canceled any time after the job is posted.

Not Referred
Application is not among the best qualified and has not been referred to the next step in the selection processes.

Not Selected
Applicant has not been selected for the position.

Not Hired
Candidate was not offered the position or declined the offer.

The status of the job application cannot be determined.


Note: Unavailable status may appear because…
• The hiring agency may not have yet updated USAJOBS to show that your resume was received or that your application was complete.
• Applicant may not have completed the application process.
• Applicant may not have properly logged out of USAJOBS.
• The hiring agency’s system did not return the status of the application to USAJOBS.

Now, Do These 10 Things to Get that Federal Job You Want

Everyday has a lull, take advantage of that time to up your USAJOBS search game. Here are 10 easy things to do that won’t take much time but will pay dividends!

  1. Double-check your USAJOBS Profile. Make sure it is up-to-date in terms of your contact information, your eligibilities, etc. Veterans, this is especially important as you want to ensure that your eligibilities count.
  2. Understand your eligibilities. Do you have veterans’ preference? Do you have status? Are you eligible for reinstatement? Are you Schedule A eligible? A military spouse? Understanding your eligibilities and what they mean will help ensure you apply for jobs for which you are eligible.
  3. Turn on the feature that automatically notifies you when the status of your application changes. Under what was known as “hiring reform,” agencies are supposed to notify via email: A) when your application was received; B) whether you were rated qualified or unqualified; C) whether your application was sent to the hiring manager; and D) when a selection is made. While it is true that agencies don’t always take these steps (or the steps aren’t always taken in a timely manner), you still want to sign up for this feature.
  4. Create a search agent on USAJOBS to automatically send you job postings that meet your criteria.
  5. Make sure your resume is up-to-date so that you’re ready to apply for the job postings which have quick close dates.
  6. Add accomplishments to your resume, at least for your current job. You should include at least one achievement for each year in your current job. If you’ve been in your current job less than one, apply the concept your prior job.
  7. Get rid of jobs on your resume that are more than 10 years old. Employers want to know what you have done recently and be assured that you’re not resting on your laurels. If you were the hiring manager, would you want to pick someone who had not done the job in 20 years or someone who is doing it now?
  8. Apply for jobs for which you are qualified for. This is more than having time-in-grade; you need to have the specialized experience too.
  9. Review the questionnaires associated with each job posting before deciding whether or not to apply. You can review the questionnaires without applying; most postings have a link to view the questionnaire. If you cannot provide the highest and best answer to the vast majority of questions, you may not be rated as best qualified.
  10. Make sure you use key words from the job posting in your resume; make it easy for the HR people to see that you’re qualified.

Checkout this free FEDweek webinar!
Your Federal Resume & USAJOBS Application Strategies For Success

Get the books to guide you through the process start to finish!

Federal Career Series Bundle: Resume, Interviewing, Transition