Reading a federal job posting
Understanding every section of a federal job posting can help you prepare the strongest possible application. Below, we’ll explain each section of a TTS job posting and what information to look for when crafting your application.
Most job openings at TTS have two job titles: a functional title similar to one you would find in the private sector and an official title from the role’s Position Description. For example, many staff members are officially “IT Specialists” though they fill roles from content design to front-end developer to account manager.
Take away: Pay attention to the job title at the top, and don’t get confused if there’s a different one on USAJOBS.gov.
This is the heart of the job posting. This section will include information about the skills we’re looking for in this job, what kind of work you’d be doing, and specific required technologies or programming languages. There will also be a list of three-five key objectives with bullet points describing the core responsibilities of the position.
Take away: Look for a match to your skills and experience in this section, and determine if you could fulfill the key objectives.
This section gets into some of the technical details of a federal job posting. Some of our job postings may not have all of the sections listed here. Here’s what to look for in each section:
Job announcement number
Applicants claiming veteran status will need this number to submit their veterans’ preference documents for positions that apply this preference. Other applicants will not need to use this number during the application process.
Opening and closing period for this job application
Pay close attention to the closing date. TTS jobs often have application windows as short as five days. We can only review applications submitted during this time period.
Series & Grade
These are two numbers that designate the official job series and the General Schedule grade for this position. For example, “0301-15” would mean the position was in the 0301 Miscellaneous Administration and Program job series and would have a General Schedule grade of 15. Read below for more information on the General Schedule (GS).
This is the highest possible GS grade you can be promoted to in this position. The GS scale goes from one to 15.
This illustrates the base pay range for this position. The actual salary will be the base pay plus a locality pay determined by where you live. You can learn more about pay and the GS scale in the Compensation and Benefits section.
This information tells you if this position requires you to be in commutable distance of a specific location, such as Washington, DC, or whether this is a 100% virtual position, and you can work anywhere within the U.S.
Number of vacancies
The vacancies tell how many openings we have for this specific type of role.
This status addresses whether the position includes official supervisory responsibilities.
Travel is expressed in the percentage of time you’re likely to travel in the position.
Who May Apply
This section addresses the eligibility criteria for the position. For most TTS jobs, only United States citizens and nationals (residents of American Samoa and Swains Islands) are eligible.
All government positions require some level of background check. Most roles at TTS require a public trust position clearance. Learn more in the Security and Onboarding section.
All TTS positions are full time, which equates to 40 hours per week.
TTS hires staff into a couple different types of positions. Some have a maximum term of four or eight years, and some are permanent opportunities, so make sure to pay attention to what type of position for which you are applying.
This is the official job summary attached to the official job title. It’s a broader and more formal version of the Role Summary that’s standard across all job titles. This section includes a list of GSA employment benefits and will likely contain fewer details about the the position than the Role Summary section.
Take away: This section is helpful, but it’s best to use information from other sections to determine what to include in your application.
Key Requirements and Employment Requirements
These two sections contain required information and language that is consistent across most TTS positions. They reiterate eligibility, application, and employment requirements.
This section is found on the USAJOBS.gov application page. This is another required section that expands on the official summary for the official job title of the position. The duties in this section will likely be broad and apply to a number of different job types. Please rely on the information in the Role Summary section and not the duties section to learn more about the particular position.
This section has critical information that must be present in your resume for you to advance through the application process. Read this section carefully. If you have the special qualifications listed, make sure they are explicitly included in your resume.
The people evaluating your resume are not allowed to make any assumptions or review anything other than your resume (such as a portfolio or website) to determine if you meet the specialized experience criteria. You must include everything you want considered in your resume. In addition, the resume reviewer must be able to see you performed a certain task or skill for at least a full year in a full time position or an equivalent number of hours (e.g. 2 years at 20 hours a week). If you list a specialized experience skill under only one job, and the job only lasted six months, it will not qualify you to meet the specialized experience qualifications. It is imperative that you include the months and years for the positions you have held so that your experience can be qualified.
Take away: Use this section to carefully write your resume for consideration for a TTS position. Make sure to include relevant language, so it is obvious how you meet the qualification criteria.
How To Apply
This section includes information about the documents required for your application and a link to submit your application. If you’re claiming veterans’ preference, this section will list the specific documentation you’ll need to provide.