Are you “following the rules” when it comes to applying for jobs? While the framework for all federal job postings is the same, sometimes, individual agencies often have special requirements. Any time you do not “following the rules,” you run the risk of being eliminated.

Here are some recent tidbits I picked up from various postings from USAJOBS:

• Answer all questions to the best of your ability. DO NOT ASSUME THAT BECAUSE YOU HOLD, OR HAVE HELD THIS POSITION, YOU WILL AUTOMATICALLY BE FOUND ELIGIBLE.

• Your application will be scored “blind” by your office’s Rating and Ranking Panel and will be evaluated solely on the content and strength of your written responses. To assist in this effort, please remove all personally identifiable and/or protected class information from your application by searching for, and deleting, common gender identifiers (e.g., she, her, hers, women’s). Pay attention to indirect clues that may identify your gender identity, age, location, education, GS-level (or equivalent,) and years of experience.

• Your Resume must show work schedule, hours worked per week, dates of employment and duties performed.

• Qualifications are based on breadth/level of experience. In addition to describing duties performed, applicants must provide the exact dates of each period of employment (from MM/DD/YY to MM/DD/YY) and the number of hours worked per week if part time. As qualification determinations cannot be made when resumes do not include the required information, failure to provide this information may result in disqualification.

• It is essential that your resume provide sufficient information to substantiate your responses in the self-assessment vacancy questions. If your responses are not adequately substantiated by your resume, your application will be rated ineligible.

• Open to the first 200 applicants or until 06/09/2021 whichever comes first. All applications submitted by 11:59 (EST) on the closing day will receive consideration.

• You must have a Degree, that that included or was supplemented by at least 24 semester hours appropriate to the work of the position to be filled. The course work must have included study in at least four of the following five areas.

• This is an open continuous announcement for 60 days, or until all positions are filled. It will be used to fill immediate and future vacancies for this agency. There may be multiple cut-off dates with the first being 10 days after the initial opening date of 12/08/2020. Additional cut-off dates may be established as needed until all vacancies have been filled.

• Due to COVID-19, the AGENCY is currently in a mandatory telework posture through September 7, 2021. If selected, you will be permitted to temporarily telework from a location outside the local commuting area. Once employees are permitted to return to the office, you will be expected to report to the duty station listed on this announcement within 60 days. At that time, you will be eligible to request telework in accordance with the AGENCY ‘s telework policy.

• If you meet the minimum qualifications, you may be invited to take a Computer Based Test (CBT) to confirm English language proficiency and evaluate x-ray interpretation aptitude. Upon passing the CBT, you will be eligible to be scheduled for additional assessments, which include: (1) a structured interview to determine, among other qualities, your decision making skill and your ability to work with teams and the general public; (2) a drug screening; and, (3) a job related medical evaluation that includes a color vision test, vision exam, hearing exam, and adequate joint mobility exam (in part to determine the physical potential to repeatedly lift and/or carry up to 50 pounds, to stand for prolonged periods (e.g. 3-4 hours) of time without a break, and to walk up to three miles during a shift).

• Applications will be accepted online until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard/Daylight Time on the closing date of the job opportunity announcement (JOA). However, if a sufficient number of applications are received, the announcement may be closed before the published application deadline. Therefore, applicants are strongly encouraged to promptly apply online and in advance of the announcement closing date

• You must utilize your existing USAJOBS account when applying to other TSO vacancies. If you need assistance accessing your existing USAJOBS account, please contact USAJOBS via the Contact Us link. Upon each submission of an application for a TSO vacancy, you must update your profile and demographic information, answer each application question, re-submit any applicable documentation, and select Finish at the end of the application. Otherwise, the application will be considered incomplete and will not be processed. Applicants must each use their own, individual email address when applying to a TSO job opportunity announcement. Email addresses are used as unique identifiers in the www.usajobs.gov system, so if you apply using the same email address as another TSA applicant, then all of the applications for each candidate who shares that account will be adversely impacted.

While some of the requirements above are similar; there definitely are differences. Read all postings carefully—they aren’t all the same—even if they look that way at first glance!

Is Your Boss Hurting Your Career?

Bitesize Ways to Move Your Job Search Forward

Great Interview Questions for Both Hiring Managers and Candidates

Rules of the Road for Good Virtual Meeting Behavior

The Complete Guide to Writing a Federal Resume

Nancy Segal is a federal human resources training and job search expert. Following her own 30-year federal HR career (much of it at the senior level), she founded Solutions for the Workplace LLC in 2003 to provide an HR management perspective to both federal managers and astute applicants to U.S. government positions. Nancy has unmatched federal career management insight, high standards, and respect for people’s time, and her clients use this to their advantage.