Overview of Civil Service Hiring Process - Department of Defense



To help you understand how the Department of Defense (DoD) goes about hiring individuals for civilian jobs, here is an overview of the process. It outlines the steps you must take and the actions the government will take in response to your application. 


DoD Civil Service Hiring Process

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How to Get a Civil Service Job at a Military Base


How to Get a Civil Service Job at a Military Base
(Essential Guidebook for Obtaining a High Application Score and Getting Hired)


1. Open an account on the USAJOBS website. https://www.usajobs.gov/ (There is no cost for opening an account on this website.)

2. Create a USAJOBS profile. (After you open an account on the USAJOBS website, you will need to create a personal profile on that website before applying for any job.)

3. Search for jobs that match your qualifications and aspirations. You can use the USAJOBS website to search for openings at military bases and Department of Defense agencies worldwide.

4. Review “Job Announcements” from your search results. If you find a job you’re interested in, read the job announcement to make sure you’re eligible and meet the qualifications and requirements.

5. Prepare a federal resume customized for the position you seek. A federal resume is formatted differently from resumes used in private industry. NOTE: Our guidebook (How to Get a Civil Service Job at a Military Base) will show you how to create a high-scoring federal resume.

6. Submit your federal resume and complete the application on the USAJOBS website. You can submit applications for each position you want to apply for. Depending on the position you are applying for, you may need to complete other application steps such as:

     • Providing more personal information.
     • Submitting specific documents (e.g., transcripts, certifications, proof of prior military service, etc.
     • Answering eligibility questions.
     • Completing occupational questionnaires

7. Federal agency receives and reviews your application. The hiring agency will start reviewing applications after the job announcement’s closeout date is reached. The hiring agency will initially conduct a quick review of your application to make sure you’re eligible and meet the job qualifications, and to determine your level of qualification when compared to other applicants. After this initial review, your application will be placed into one of several categories:

     • Not Qualified
     • Minimally Qualified
     • Highest Qualified (also often called, “Best Qualified”

On the USAJOBS website, your application status may be updated to “Reviewed.” However, not all federal agencies provide this status update.

8. The highest qualified applicants are referred to the federal hiring official. On the USAJOBS website, these applicants will see a “Referred” status in their application status. Applicants not being considered will see a “Not Referred” status.

9. Interviews are conducted. The hiring official will review the “highest qualified” applications and may elect to interview these candidates. The federal hiring agency will contact applicants directly to schedule interviews. The interviews may be conducted in-person, via phone, or via video conferencing.
At times, there may be more than one round of interviews.

10. The federal agency selects a candidate. After the agency completes the interviews, a candidate is selected. The successful candidate will be contacted. For those not selected, their status will be updated on the USAJOBS website to “Not Selected”.

11. Job offer is made to the successful candidate. The hiring agency will extend a tentative job offer to the selected candidate. Once this offer is accepted, the federal agency will (if required) start the background investigation process. Normally, a job offer is final when the federal agency successfully completes the background investigation and any additional security checks required.

 Federal Civil Servant - Department of Defense