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What does "status" mean when applying for federal jobs?

Bureaupat decodes the Govspeak

By Bureaupat Dec 09 2009, 07:45 AM

Dear Bureaupat,

When applying for a government job, what does the term "status" mean?

Dear Applicant,

Getting a job within the federal government can be complicated, even for those that have been in government for years.

As a refresher to the old timers and a guide to the newbies, there are two classes of jobs in the federal government: "Public" or "Status." Each job announcement will state Status or Public in the "Who May be Considered" section of a federal announcement.

Status applicants are external candidates with competitive status. This means there is a special hiring "authority" written into law that allows them to be considered for a particular government position. Typically, you are a status candidate if you are a veteran, or you have previously held a government position.

If you are considered a Status or Competitive applicant, then you should refine your job search using the Status tab on the USAJOBS website, as you will find there are many more opportunities for you than if you are a Public applicant.

Public applicants are external candidates without status, or who have no prior military experience and no previous government employment.

If you are considered a public applicant, then you should refine your job search using the Public tab on USAJOBS, since you don't want to waste your time applying for a position you won't be considered for.

Yours in Gov,



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