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Veterans: Know the Federal Job Application Process

job application

Many veterans have the opinion that federal hiring managers are somehow bypassing veteran's preference when it comes to making hiring decisions. The source of this confusion is that most veterans, not being trained and educated in the federal hiring process, don't understand what job they actually submitted an application for when they pressed the submit button.

"But I know I applied for the analyst position" the somewhat indignant veteran might loudly exclaim. While the veteran may well have applied for the analyst position, what the veteran may have overlooked is that the analyst position was actually posted twice. In some cases, the job announcement number may have included the letters MP or the announcement specified that it was open to federal employees from any agency, veterans and former federal employees who have "status" designation.

The MP or status job announcement that does not include the term "all US citizens," means that while the veteran may apply for the job, they do so as if they were a federal employee and they receive no added points to their job application score regardless of service or level of disability. In such a case, the "preference" that the veteran had in this particular job announcement was that the veteran was allowed to apply.

Internal announcements, if limited to the personnel of the agency posting the job announcement, does not consider the veteran as the regulations specify that the job has to be open to other agency personnel in order for a veterans' preference to make him or her eligible for the job. If a veteran does apply, they will not be eligible but generally won't find it out until much later, if ever because most federal agencies are pretty lax about notifying applicants of their non-selection.

In order for a veteran to maximize his or her chances of getting hired into a federal job, the veteran must apply for both the "status" and the "all US citizens" announcement that will likely have the letters DE, meaning Delegated Examining Unit, mean that OPM has allowed the agency to grade the application in place of OPM. The other thing that a veteran needs to do is to have a "federal friendly" resume that is much different from a regular resume and therefore the subject of a future article.

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Mark Butler is a 30-year veteran of the U.S. Navy and currently a federal employee. He is also the author of The Coffee Break Guide for Veterans Seeking Federal Employment, a guide for all veterans to understand the federal employment process, announcements, application of veteran’s preference and what veterans can do to get a leg up on the employment process. If you have federal job questions, email and include the phrase “Veteran’s questions” in the subject line.

The Coffee Break Guide for Veterans Seeking Federal Employment