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New Article: How to use USAJOBS to build a resume’

USAJOBS Resume Builder Tips

For your resume to be searchable and efficient, take your time to learn the subtleties of the federal resume builder USAJOBS has created. We have come up with the top 4 tips that will help you avoid the common mistakes that often prevent the candidates from being recognized as qualified for the job.

1. Searching for Jobs

The USAJOBS search engine can be tough. To speed up your job searching process, use OPM Job Series. It’s one of the effective methods to find the right job in your field.

Read the announcement carefully! Before applying for a position, go to the Qualifications section in the vacancy announcement and preview the vacancy announcement questions.



Let’s compare a basic Qualifications list for a Marketing Assistance position



And more detailed Qualifications list for a Strategic Marketing Analyst position

As we can see, Qualifications requirements may vary depending on GS position, education, expert level skills or other specific knowledge relevant to a job announcement. So make sure to select a corresponding answer to each question prior to applying for a job posting. 

2.Tailor Your Resume for Each Specific Position

This is indeed a tedious task but it is totally worth the effort. USAJOBS allows the employee to have 5 resumes created and uploaded via the USAJOBS resume builder.

Tailoring your resume for each specific federal job announcement can be the key to your success.

Although having similar titles, the different job announcement will be using different keywords to describe their requirements for the candidate. Keep your resume brief, describe your work experience and education relevant to the position you apply for.

Building a resume that is perfectly in tune with the specific announcement will help your application score more points in the competition.

Information for Veterans:

The Saved Documents section on USAJOBS allows you to save up to 10 supporting eligibility documents as recommendation letters, cover letters or performance reports.


3. Do Not Leave Blank Fields.

It is true that a resume should normally be kept brief but with the federal government resumes, it is all about the perfect balance between being concise and being informative. The technical trick about the USAJOBS resume builder tool is to use all the fields it provides.

For instance: Even if your GPA isn’t stunning, do not leave the GPA field blank. If you have absolutely nothing to answer the question with, it is better to write “NA” in the field than to leave it blank. This shows how literally complete your resume is.


4. Proofread

Believe it or not but such an obvious step in the resume writing process is often neglected by the applicants. Typographical errors, not to speak of grammatical and spelling mistakes, will seriously impair the impressions of the federal HR specialist even about a seemingly perfect resume.

As a practice task, you can take any USAJOBS resume builder sample and evaluate it in terms of the points described above. This will train you to be more critical and attentive when you start building your own federal resume.

How to Build a Resume for USAJOBS

Do not forget that all the information you put in your resume should not only be up-to-date and 100% correct but also demonstrating the level of your qualification for the job to the full extent.


Understand Occupational Questionnaire at USAJOBs

USAJobs.com is the online portal for people searching for work at the federal government. Your application for most government positions will require completing a USAJobs occupational questionnaire. The assessment questionnaire USAJobs will present to you varies depending on the job positions. It might have 10 questions or dozens. You can expect to encounter: 

Multiple choice questions:

  • Multiple choice questions

  • Yes/No questions

  • Questions that ask you to rate yourself

You’ll need to know how to fill out the occupational questionnaire on USAJobs to finish any application process. Hiring managers have adopted occupational questionnaires as a way to speed screening candidates. A job might attract hundreds or even thousands of applicants, and recruiters use the scores from questionnaires to identify qualified candidates from the pool.

How to Fill Out a USAjobs Questionnaire

The assessment questionnaire USAJobs gives you requires your full attention. You should consider your responses carefully because the questionnaire has likely been designed by an industrial-organizational psychologist to trick you into rating yourself poorly. Subtle techniques could steer you toward a lower score when in all honesty you could have done better.

The best advice about how to fill out the occupational questionnaire on USAJobs involves confidence. As long as your work history and education can support your statements of competency or mastery, don’t hesitate to give answers that reflect your abilities.

If you possess the skills and experience necessary for the job, you don’t want to err on the side of caution. Remember the assessment is designed to deflate your score and reduce the pile of applications for recruiters to consider.

Where Is the Occupational Questionnaire on USAJobs?

To ensure that you have a good shot at passing your self-assessment, make sure that you have the qualifications for the job in the first place.

Every job listing at USAJobs includes detailed requirements.

Check out the “Requirements” section of a job description, look for the heading “How You Will Be Evaluated”. Or search occupational questionnaire link on “How to Apply” section. Study it and decide if you have a legitimate chance at passing the screening.

Best method to search for the Occupational Questionnaire


When viewing a job description, hit CTRL-F to open a search box at the bottom of the page. Enter queries like “questions” or “questionnaire”. The search will highlight these words as they appear on the page. When you find one that includes a hyperlink, follow the link to the questionnaire.


Here is our result for the Occupational Questionnaire search on USAJOBS: 

application questionnaire link

As you browse jobs, it may not be obvious how to complete an occupational questionnaire on USAJobs. Although you can find sample questions within the job requirements, you won’t see the real assessment until you initiate a job application.

USAJobs integrates with the third-party site ApplicationManager.gov. When you’re actually applying for a job instead of simply reviewing a sample questionnaire, you’ll go to this site to complete the assessment.

  • After filling out a job application, the system will redirect you to ApplicationManager.gov.

  • If you’ve never been to this site before, you’ll need to create an account. If you have an account, you should be automatically connected by USAJobs.

  • When answering the questionnaire, use the strategies for how to complete an occupational questionnaire on USAJobs.

  • Complete the questionnaire honestly but confidently.

After finishing the assessment, you’ll be directed to the final stage of the application where you need to upload your supporting documents.

You can keep track of your applications within the “Applications” section of your USAJobs account.

You should check the status of each application as soon as you submit it.

You want to see the status of “Received,” which indicates that you completed everything and the information went to the government agency.

Where to Find Vacancy Identification Number on USAJOBS

It’s crucially important that you put your Vacancy Identification Number on all of your resumes and job applications. You can find the Vacancy Identification Number USAJOBS within the job announcement form. It’s located within the job information in the middle of the job announcement. That information is at the top of the page.