How to Know How Long It Takes to Get a Government Job

For all of those thousands of people that wonder about the government hiring process, I am here to give you the “ins and outs” of how it all happens – from the government hiring process perspective. It’s not secret – in fact its public information.

The government has a set process – for the most part. Most applicants apply for either Merit (Status) announcements or DEU (Delegating Unit) announcements. I have said it over and over in previous articles I have written before MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHICH ANNOUCEMENT YOU ARE ELIGIBLE FOR. Don’t waste your time or energy if you know that you are not eligible for a job announcement. You will only become frustrated when you get an email letter or letter in the mail that says “You were found ineligible because you do not meet the minimum eligibility factors or qualifications for the job announcement which you applied.”

REMEMBER – Merit is for Status applicants, this means former, current, displaced, eligible veterans or other special hiring authority applicants.

DEU is for public to apply for – anyone.

Now that we have covered that, once an announcement closes (the close date on the announcement) go back to www.USAJOBS.GOV and check to see if the announcement was Extended, Cancelled or has any Cut Off Dates (Cut Off Dates that are used to create job applicant listings and sometimes a job announcement can be filled from a Cut Off Date – so ensure your resume is updated and you get your application in before any Cut Off Date).

The closing of an job announcement, starts your “count- down clock – until hire ticking”, once it closes it takes the Human Resources Departments about 30 – 45 days to review and process all applicants and make a determination on whom is actually qualified and whom isn’t.

After the qualification process is completed, a list of Competitive or Non-Competitive applicants is sent to the selecting official. Competitive applicants are applicants whom have status, and Non-Competitive applicants are those who don’t have status. The selecting official normally has a 30 day time period to review all the applicants whom are found qualified by HR Dept. If the selecting official needs to conduct interviews, they will do so at this time period. Sometimes selecting officials request a 30 day extension to ensure they are hiring the right person for the position.

Once the hiring official has selected a person(s) for the position(s) the announcement point of contact will make a job offer to the selected applicant and the selected will be given a time period to “think” about accepting the job offer. If the job is rejected, the process of “going down the list” of second and third choices will follow, per the selecting official decision.

When a job offer is accepted, all other applicants are notified either by email or mail of the selection and why they were not selected. You are entitled to know why you were not selected, I suggest phoning the point of contact for more clarification on how you could improve your hiring changes in the future.

The total process can take up to 90 days from the closing of the announcement, all things being constant and going within the time periods accordingly. Any change can increase or decrease the time of selection by a fluctuation of 30 – 60 day, plus or minus the 90 days.

Jenice

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