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 “Innovation 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 in the Basic Information section.
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. 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. 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.
Job Title: This is the official job title, such as Innovation Specialist. Don’t worry if it’s different from the title at the top of the page.
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).
Promotion Potential: This is the highest possible GS grade you can be promoted to in this position. The GS scale goes from one to 15.
Salary Range: 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.
Location: 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.
Supervisory status: This status addresses whether the position includes official supervisory responsibilities.
Travel requirement: 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) who are not GSA employees or GSA contractors are eligible to apply.
Security clearance: 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.
Work Schedule: All TTS positions are full time, which equates to 40 hours per week.
Appointment Type: TTS hires staff into a couple different types of positions. Some have a maximum term of four years, 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 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.
It’s important that your resume show that you meet all of the competencies in this section. Before the interview stage, your resume will be scored against the skills listed in this section and in the Qualifications section below, and you will be placed into a category (Best Qualified, Well Qualified, Qualified, Not Qualified) the TTS Talent team uses to determine who to interview. If you have experience with these skills, make sure you include them in detail in your resume.
Take away: Ensure your resume reflects your experience in these categories. The more they align, the better chance you have of being placed into a higher category.
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. 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.
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.
This includes additional boilerplate information that we include with all job postings.
Reasonable Accommodation and Equal Employment Opportunity Policy
These two sections include standard language about GSA’s commitment to provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities and GSA’s non discrimination employment policy.
What To Expect
The final section has a short description of the hiring process. You can find more detail on the page about navigating the hiring process.