IMPORTANT FSIS APPLICATION AND
EMPLOYMENT INFORMATION

 

APPLYING FOR JOBS ONLINE

ONLINE RESUMES

DEFINITIONS

NON-COMPETITIVE APPOINTMENT ELIGIBILITY

SALARY INFORMATION

VETERANS INFORMATION

CTAP/ICTAP

WHAT IF I AM SELECTED?

OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION

 


APPLYING FOR JOBS ONLINE:

Applications (including resumes, all registration information and answers to all job-specific questions) for this vacancy must be received no later than midnight, U.S. Eastern time zone of the closing date, or it will not be considered. Requests for extension will not be granted.

It is in your best interest to apply online. Advantages include:

(a) ability to be automatically informed of new vacancies;
(b) you only need to register one time and can quickly update your application package at any time;
(c) once registered its easy and quick to apply to vacancies as they occur;
(d) more dependable to apply online then to rely on regular mail, especially since 9/11;
(e) it protects your privacy better than hardcopy;
(f) eliminates the possibility of someone else making data entry errors on your application.

Free or low cost "hot-mail" accounts that allow email access at any time and at any internet site are available through most major internet providers.

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ONLINE RESUMES

Online resumes are usually associated with an agency's online recruitment and application system. When applicants first register into such online systems, they are usually asked to provide basic identifying information and other questions which relate to their basic eligibility. In addition, applicants are asked to provide online resumes and also to answer job-specific questionnaires based on their experience and education.

RESUMES are used to verify that minimum qualifications are met and that consistent information is provided in online job-specific questionnaires that are associated with the vacancy. If the information in resumes and questionnaires is not consistent, the applicant could lose consideration for the position.

ONLINE RESUMES SHOULD INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:

  • Personal Information - Full name, mailing address (with zip code), e-mail address, day and evening phone numbers (with area code), country of citizenship, reinstatement eligibility (if applicable), highest Federal civilian grade permanently held (if applicable).

  • Education - High school name, city and state, colleges or universities, name, city and state, majors and type and year of any degrees received (if no degree, show total credits earned and indicate whether semester or quarter hours).

  • Work Experience - Job title; duties and accomplishments; knowledge, skills and abilities needed to do the work; employer's name and address; supervisor's name and phone number; starting and ending dates (month and year) of employment; hours per week; salary; and indicate whether or not your current supervisor may be contacted. Prepare a separate description for each job, and start with the current or most recent job and work back. You don't have to include every single job experience if the work is not relevant to the position to which you are applying and if the job was performed a long time ago.

  • Other Qualifications - Job related training courses (title and year), job related skills, job related certificates and licenses, job related honors, awards, and special accomplishments.

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DEFINITIONS:

DELEGATED EXAMINING

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management delegates authority to agencies to examine and hire for positions that are opened to the general public. Applicants are rated and ranked using a rating schedule or crediting plan. Points are assigned and certificates are issued with the best qualified applicants listed in rank-order by score. Veterans preference points are also assigned. Veterans cannot be bypassed to hire a non-veteran with the same or lower score. If one position is being filled, Selecting Officials are limited to hiring from among the top three applicants listed on a certificate.

MERIT STAFFING

The competitive process used to evaluate and select Federal "status" employees who apply for positions within the competitive service. Candidates evaluated as Best Qualified are certified in surname order and individual scores are not listed. Anyone on the certificate can be selected. Veterans preference does not apply.

STATUS

"Status" candidates are those who are now or were serving under career-type appointments in the competitive Federal civil service. Vacancy announcements for competitive service positions that are advertised internally or within the Federal government use competitive Merit Promotion procedures, and are open only to candidates with "Status." Permanent Federal employees hired under authorities excepted from competitive selection processes do not have status. Such employees (e.g., Attorneys) may only be considered for permanent positions in the career competitive service by applying to positions open to all applicants and subject to Delegated Examining processes. They can also apply and be considered for other positions that are subject to the same excepted hiring authorities.

Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998 (VEOA) eligibles can apply to jobs that are open only to candidates with "Status."

To be eligible for a VEOA appointment, a veteran must be a:

  • Preference eligible or;

  • Veteran separated after 3 or more years of continuous service performed under honorable conditions. If you were released short of completing 3 years of continuous active duty your military service will be considered to have met the length of service requirement for VEOA.

Eligibility for Veterans' Preference is determined in accordance with Federal rules and regulations. For more information on Veterans eligibility, see VetGuide.

EXCEPTED APPOINTMENT

Most permanent positions and new appointments are made to the COMPETITIVE Service using competitive procedures defined and regulated through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. However, some positions are filled permanently without regard to normal competitive hiring processes, using special hiring authorities. Since these selections are excepted from normal competitive processes, they are called "EXCEPTED SERVICE" appointments. The most common example is Attorneys in the GS-905 job series. People appointed to these kinds of positions are formally placed in the EXCEPTED SERVICE as opposed to the Career or Career-Conditional COMPETITIVE Service. They earn the same salary and benefits that employees in the Competitive service earn. However, career mobility is more restricted. Excepted Service employees cannot be considered for Competitive service positions through Merit Staffing procedures that govern most Federal employees. They do not have "Status" (as defined above). Therefore, they can only apply for Competitive Service positions that are opened to the general public and are considered under Delegated Examining procedures. They are eligible for non-competitive consideration to other Excepted Service positions filled through the same "excepted" hiring authority.

The easiest way for Federal employees to determine whether they are in the competitive or excepted service is to look at the employee copy of the most recent Notice of Personnel Action (SF-50), specifically in block #34 ("Position Occupied")

REINSTATEMENT ELIGIBILITY

Former employees who occupied positions in the COMPETITIVE service have the right to be considered for reinstatement to other positions in the COMPETITIVE service through MERIT STAFFING procedures, if they meet the basic qualifications for the position being advertised, AND if one of the following criteria is met:

  • Individuals who worked in Competitive service positions for at least 3 years have "Career" status and have permanent reinstatement eligibility.

  • Individuals who have “Career-Conditional” status and are eligible for veterans preference have permanent reinstatement eligibility.

  • Individuals Competitive service positions for LESS than 3 years have "Career-Conditional" status and limited reinstatement eligibility. They retain reinstatement eligibility for 3 years following the end of their last competitive service appointment. After that time, such individuals lose reinstatement eligibility and can only apply for positions that are opened to the general public and be considered under Delegated Examining procedures.

The easiest way for former Federal employees to determine if they are eligible for reinstatement is to look at the employee copy of the last Notice of Personnel Action (SF-50), specifically in block #24 ("Tenure").

Anyone selected for a position using reinstatement eligibility must supply a copy of the above SF-50 and proof of veterans preference (if applicable) to the servicing Human Resources Office prior to appointment.

TEMPORARY APPOINTMENT

Initial temporary appointments usually do not to exceed one year. They may be extended for one additional year without further competition. Appointment to this position will not convey permanent status as a Federal employee, nor does it convey most of the benefits provided to employees in positions lasting beyond one year.

TERM APPOINTMENT

Selection to any vacancy announced as a "Term Appointment" normally lasts for at least 2 years. Such appointments are normally based on the needs of a defined project, and as such, may be extended up to a total not exceeding 5 years. Appointment to this kind of position will not convey permanent status as a Federal employee, however, full coverage under Federal employee benefits programs is available while serving in a Term position. Permanent Federal employees who apply for and are selected for Term positions are not entitled to placement when the term position ends.

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NON-COMPETITIVE APPOINTMENT ELIGIBILITY:

Following is a list of persons who may be eligible for noncompetitive appointment eligibility.
NOTE: This is NOT an all-inclusive list; rather, it is a list of the most common noncompetitive appointment eligibility. Follow the links for more specific information on each authority.

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SALARY INFORMATION:

Federal Salary Tables are located at: http://www.opm.gov/oca/payrates/index.asp

For Medical Officer positions, a Physician's Comparability Allowance (PCA) may be paid commensurate with experience. PCA is in addition to the posted salary. This will be indicated in the vacancy announcement.

Demonstrated exceptional difficulty in recruiting highly qualified candidates may be the basis for paying a relocation bonus (up to 25% of base pay). This will be indicated in the vacancy announcement.

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VETERANS INFORMATION:

All applicants claiming VETERANS' PREFERENCE should submit a Form DD-214.

All veterans who are receiving compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs for a service-connected disability should also submit the following:

  • A completed Application for 10-Point Veteran’s Preference (SF-15)

  • An official statement, dated 1991 or later, from the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, or from a branch of the Armed Forces, certifying that the veteran has a service-connected disability or 10% or more

  • The DD-214.

Without this documentation, 10-point veteran’s preference cannot be awarded.

VRA eligible (applies only for positions up to GS-11): Provide a copy of the military discharge Certificate (DD-214 or equivalent).

Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998 (VEOA):
VEOA allows eligible veterans to apply and compete for positions announced under merit promotion procedures when the hiring agency is recruiting from outside its own workforce. If you compete under the merit promotion procedures and are selected you will be given a career or career-conditional appointment.
To be eligible for a VEOA appointment, a veteran must be a:

  • Preference eligible or;

  • Veteran separated after 3 or more years of continuous service performed under honorable conditions. If you were released short of completing 3 years of continuous active duty your military service will be considered to have met the length of service requirement for VEOA.

Eligibility for Veterans' Preference is determined in accordance with Federal rules and regulations. For more information on Veterans eligibility, see VetGuide. The Defense Authorization Act of FY 1998 extended veterans preference to persons who served on active military duty (under honorable conditions) from August 2, 1990, to January 2, 1992. This law grants veterans preference to persons who are otherwise eligible and who served on active duty during that period, for any length of time and anywhere in the world.

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CTAP/ICTAP

A. CTAP

Special Selection Priority Provisions for surplus or displaced Federal employees under a Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP): If you are currently an employee who has received a Reduction in Force (RIF) separation notice, a Certificate of Expected Separation (CES), or notice of proposed separation for declining a direct reassignment or transfer of function outside of the local commuting area, you may be entitled to special selection priority under the Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP). To receive this priority consideration you must:

  1. Be a current USDA career or career-conditional (tenure group I or II) competitive service employee who has received a RIF separation notice, a Certificate of Expected Separation (CES), or notice of proposed separation for declining a directed reassignment or transfer of function outside of the local commuting area, and you are still on the rolls of the USDA. You must submit a copy of the RIF notice, CES, or notice of proposed separation with your application.

  2. Be applying for a position that is at or below the grade level of the position from which you are being separated. The position must not have a greater promotion potential than the position from which you are being separated.

  3. Have a current (or last) performance rating of record of at least fully successful or equivalent. This must be submitted with your application package.

  4. Be currently employed by the USDA in the same commuting area of the position for which you are requesting selection priority.

  5. File your application by the closing date of the vacancy announcement and meet all the application criteria (e.g., submit all required documentation, etc.).

  6. Be 6. Be rated well-qualified for the position. To be rated "well-qualified," CTAP applicants must attain an eligibility rating on this examination of 85 or higher, not including points for veteran's preference.

B. ICTAP

Special Selection Priority Provisions for surplus or displaced Federal employees under the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP): If you are a displaced Federal employee, you may be entitled to receive special selection priority under the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP). Your ICTAP eligibility ends one year after separation. To receive this priority you must:

  1. Be a displaced Federal employee. You must submit with your application a copy of the appropriate documentation, such as a RIF separation notice, a Standard Form 50 reflecting your RIF separation, or a notice of proposed removal for declining a directed reassignment or transfer of function to another commuting area. The following categories of persons are considered displaced employees:

    1. Current or former career or career-conditional (Tenure group I or II) competitive service employees who:

      1. Received a specific RIF separation notice; or

      2. Separated because of a compensable injury or illness, whose compensation has been terminated, and whose former agency certifies that it is unable to place; or

      3. Retired with a disability and whose disability annuity has been, or is being, terminated; or

      4. Upon receipt of a RIF separation notice, retired on the effective date of the RIF and submits a Standard Form 50 that indicates "Retirement in lieu of RIF," or retired under the discontinued service retirement option; or

      5. Received a notice of proposed removal for declining a directed reassignment or a transfer of function or directed reassignment to another commuting area.

    2. Former Military Reserve or National Guard Technicians who are receiving a special OPM disability retirement annuity under Section §8337(H) or §8456 of Title 5 United States Code.

  2. Be applying for a position at or below the grade level of the position from which you have been separated. The position must not have a greater promotion potential than the position from which you were separated.

  3. Have a current (or last) ) performance rating of record of at least fully successful or the equivalent. You must submit a copy of this performance rating with your application package. (This requirement does not apply to candidates who are eligible due to compensable injury or disability retirement.)

  4. Occupy or be displaced from a position in the same local commuting area of the position for which you are requesting selection priority.

  5. File your application by the closing date of the vacancy announcement and meet all of the application criteria (e.g., submit all required documentation, etc.)

  6. Be rated well-qualified for the position. To be rated "well-qualified," ICTAP applicants must attain an eligibility rating on this examination of 85 or higher, not including points for veteran's preference.

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WHAT IF I AM SELECTED?

If you are not a current FSIS employee and you receive a tentative job offer, you will be required to immediately forward a copy of the most recent SF-50, Notice of Personnel Action that documents your current permanent grade, pay, and employment status. Please fax the document to the appropriate number as listed on the vacancy announcement.

If you are being rehired based on reinstatement, you must immediately forward a copy of the last SF-50 which documents your release from Federal service.

If you are claiming veteran's preference of any kind and you receive a tentative job offer, you must now immediately forward a copy of your DD-214 to document your reference claim.

Formal job offers must come from the Human Resources office. If there are any questions regarding the status of your appointment you should contact the HR Specialist listed on the vacancy announcement as the point of contact. Any issues regarding salary or other conditions of employment must be resolved prior to starting in the job.

New Federal appointees receive up to 31 days after the entry on duty date to elect health and life insurance coverage.

New Federal appointees will be subject to satisfactory completion of a background investigation or NACI.

New employees will be required to complete a "Declaration of Federal Employment," (OF-306), prior to being appointed to determine their suitability for Federal employment and to authorize a background investigation. False statements or responses on your resume or questionnaire can jeopardize your employment opportunity and subject you to disciplinary action, including removal from Federal service.

If this position has promotion potential, future promotion depends on your demonstrated performance and ability to assume additional responsibility. You will not be required to reapply or compete again for promotions to the full performance level of this position.

If this is a supervisory/managerial position, the selectee must complete a 1-year supervisory or managerial probationary period if one has not been completed previously.

If a pre-employment medical examination is required due to the physical requirements of a particular position, the selectee will have to be medically cleared prior to the job starting date. Such requirements would be indicated in the vacancy announcement. You can also check with the servicing human resources office to see if this requirement exists.

If this position is subject to the random drug testing, you must test negative for the presence of illegal drugs before placement in the position, and will be subject to random drug testing thereafter. If a determination of the use of illegal drugs is confirmed, non-selection or disciplinary action, up to and including removal from Federal service, may result.

Upon reporting, and on an annual basis thereafter, you may be required to file one or more financial statement(s) and/or a procurement integrity certification(s). These certifications may be subject to public disclosure. Check with the servicing Human Resources Office to see if this is applicable to the particular job. Incumbents of most senior management positions are required, upon reporting and on an annual basis thereafter, to file one or more financial statement(s) and/or a procurement integrity certification(s). These certifications may be subject to public disclosure.

Male applicants born after December 31, 1959, must be registered with the Selective Service System before they can be employed by an Executive Agency of the Federal Government.

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OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION:

More Information on Minimum Qualification Requirements

If a vacancy announcement is open to Federal employees beyond the US Department of Agriculture, then veterans with at least 3 consecutive years of active-duty military service and/or veterans who are preference eligibles may be considered under merit staffing procedures, in accordance with the Veterans Employment Opportunity Act of 1998. See MERIT STAFFING for more information.

Vacancy announcements may be used to fill additional, like vacancies should any occur in the commuting area.

If any positions require operation of a motor vehicle as a regular feature of the job assignment, a valid State driver's license will be required. Such a statement should appear in the vacancy announcement.

False statements or responses on your resume or questionnaire can jeopardize your employment opportunity and subject you to disciplinary action, including removal from Federal service.

If this position has promotion potential, then future promotion depends on your demonstrated performance and ability to assume additional responsibility. You will not be required to reapply or compete again for promotions to the full performance level of this position.

You will be considered at all grade levels for which you apply and are found eligible and qualified.

The law prohibits prohibits political recommendations for employment or other personnel actions (including promotion, reassignment, detail, etc.) in the competitive service. Federal agencies may not accept or consider such recommendations (either oral or written) from members of Congress, elected State and local government officials, political party officials, or others based on political affiliation.

Your application contains information subject to the Privacy Act (P.L. 93-579, 5 USC 552a). Because the information is used to determine qualifications for employment, its collection is authorized under Title 5, USC, Section 3302 and 3361.

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Revised: March 1, 2006

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