Who Can Apply for Federal Government Jobs?

    The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and other government websites ask questions before you are considered for a federal job. One of these questions has to do with your “status” – which basically is asking if you have worked for the government before or are a member of a certain class of applicants.  Some federal jobs are open to anyone and some require you to have a certain status. Due to the large number of retiring federal employees, more and more jobs are open to anyone. Currently about 60 percent of all federal jobs are open to anyone.

    On the website you will be asked the following question before you can search for open government jobs:

    Are you a current federal employee, a former federal employee with reinstatement eligibility, or a person with special appointment eligibility?

    You have to answer yes or no to this question before the job search commences on the site. If you answer no the site will automatically return open jobs which are open to anyone. If you answer yes, the site will return jobs which are open to applicants with status. Be sure to check the eligibility on the job announcement before you apply. Jobs that are open to anyone will either say “Open to anyone” or they will have a DE or DEU in the announcement number.

    Who are Status Applicants?

    Status candidates are individuals who have held a permanent appointment in the competitive service or individuals eligible under special appointing authorities. You could have status if you are a veteran, an outstanding scholar, disabled, a military spouse, or have previously worked for the government. Competitive status is a person's basic eligibility for assignment to a position in the competitive service without having to compete with members of the general public in an open competitive examination. When a vacancy announcement indicates that status candidates are eligible to apply, career employees and career-conditional employees who have served at least 90 days after competitive appointment may apply. Once acquired, status belongs to the individual, not to a position.

    If you have “status”, many more government jobs will be open for you to apply to, so be sure to check yes on the form on the website when searching for government job openings.

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