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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

General Information

What is the Department of Education's e-Recruit System (EdHIRES)?

What is USAJOBS?

Do I have to use USAJOBS to search for Department of Education vacancy announcements?

Do I have to use USAJOBS to apply for a Department of Education job?

What happens in ED's e-Recruit System (EdHIRES)?

Is ED's e-Recruit System (EdHIRES) secure?

What if I don't have a computer?

What if I don't have e-mail?

What if I need help applying online?

When exactly do jobs close in ED's e-Recruit System (EdHIRES)?

Will ED accept paper applications?

What if someone submits false information?

Applicant/Employee Information

How do I apply for a ED job?

As an applicant, can I apply from home?

Can I create a resume online?

I already have a resume prepared. Can I upload it into the USAJOBS system?

What if I want to submit a long version resume?

How do I submit required documents?

What happens if I don't submit a resume with my personal information when applying for a job?

Is it possible to have multiple identities in USAJOBS or ED's e-Recruit System (EdHIRES)?

I don't understand why USAJOBS won't let me in?

If the system only accepts online applications, how do I send other requested documents, such as my college transcripts, SF-50's, etc.?

How is my application rated?

Since the ED e-Recruit System (EdHIRES) will rate me according to my self-assessment and response to the questions, what prevents me from selecting those choices which give me the highest scores?

How will my experience, education and the responses to my questions be verified?

I am uncomfortable using my Social Security Number (SSN) to establish my account in the system. Is there any way I can apply for a position online without my SSN?

How is the confidentiality of my Race and National Origin data protected?

Is there any way I can see which positions I have applied for or find out the status of these vacancies?

I recently learned that a job was advertised and has now closed for which I would like to apply. Are there any extenuating circumstances to grant extensions?

I cannot provide supplemental information, as identified in the vacancy announcement, by the closing date of the announcement. Will this information be accepted after the closing date?

I wish to be considered for both the Merit Staffing (current or former Federal service) and Delegated Examining (general public) vacancy announcements. Since only one application can be accepted in ED's e-Recruit System (EdHIRES), how do I indicate my preference to apply both ways?

How can I search by GS Grade Level?

How do I apply for a Senior Executive Service (SES) position?

Questions and Answers for Managers and Supervisors

Why are we changing our current recruitment process?

What is the ED e-Recruit System (EdHIRES) implementation Plan?

What kinds of questions are stored in ED's e-Recruit System (EdHIRES)?

What is my role as a Selecting Official and/or Subject Matter Expert (SME)?

Can new questions be added into ED's e-Recruit System (EdHIRES)?

If the system only accepts online applications, how do I send my transcripts or SF-50 or Veterans Preference Documents or CTAP/ICTAP documents?

If the system rates and ranks candidates, do I still need to designate a Subject Matter Expert (SME) or rating/ranking panel for my vacancy?

Questions and Answers for Brown Bag Sessions

What are question-based crediting plans?

If your application is designated as "Searchable" does that grant unlimited access by everyone?

If you register with other Federal online application systems, can you sign on to USAJOBS using the same logon and password from other Federal application systems?

Is making the resume non-searchable and confidential the same thing?

Will applicants be able to describe or add detailed information to supplement responses to EdHIRES questions?

Are ED Agencies required to post dual announcements and merit staffing under the EdHIRES system?

Should an applicant retain a copy of their application once complete?

How can applicants upload attachments to the resume?

If my USAJOBS account is deactivated, can it be reactivated?

Can ED employees use their computers at work to access/apply for jobs on EdHIRES?

What part of the process does EdHIRES automate for the electing official?

Who is responsible for generating the certificate of eligibles under the EdHIRES system?

Do we need keywords in the resume in order to be more visible?

What is the difference between competency-based questions and KSAs?

Will the system work with all browser types?

Can I have a search agent search for all or multiple locations?

If you are halfway through your application, will EdHIRES save your input?

I am not a citizen of the United States. Can I apply for jobs at ED?

General Information


Q1: What is the Department of Education's e-Recruit System (EdHIRES)?

A: The Department of Education's (ED) e-Recruit System, called the ED Online Opportunities Recruitment System (EdHIRES), is the service delivery mechanism that automates the federal hiring process and is fully integrated with the Federal government's USAJOBS (Recruitment One-Stop (ROS) System). EdHIRES is used by ED to build and post vacancies directly to USAJOBS and to receive on-line applications from job applicants. After the vacancy closes the HR office uses the system to automatically rate, rank and certify candidates. Top-talent is instantly identified and ready to be forwarded to the selecting official.

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Q2: What is USAJOBS?

A: USAJOBS is the official job site of the Federal government and the Recruitment One-Stop (ROS) resource where you can search for jobs, create resumes, and access information regarding your individual job search, e.g., the status of your applications and editing your Federal resume. You may obtain more specific information on the USAJOBS website.

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Q3: Do I have to use USAJOBS to search for Department of Education vacancy announcements?

A: No. You may begin a search for a Department of Education job opening at http://www.jobsearch.edhires.ed.gov.

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Q4: Do I have to use USAJOBS to apply for a Department of Education job?

A: Yes. You must create a user account and at least one Federal resume at USAJOBS. Information you provide in USAJOBS is general information completed by all applicants. The information you provide and your Federal resume will become part of your application and will automatically be transferred to the ED E-Recruit system, called EdHIRES, when you apply on-line.

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Q5: What happens in ED's e-Recruit System (EdHIRES)?

A: In the ED e-Recruit System (EdHIRES) you will answer vacancy specific questions necessary to evaluate your qualifications for the specific job to which you are applying. When completed, the information you provided at USAJOBS and the answers to the EdHIRES questions will become your application. After the vacancy closes, the Human Resource Specialist uses EdHIRES to identify those candidates with the related experience and are referred to the hiring agency.

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Q6: Is ED's e-Recruit System (EdHIRES) secure?

A: Yes. information in EdHIRES is governed by the following laws and internal policies: the Privacy Act of 1974, OMB Circular A-130, and OMB M-99-18, and the Department of Education's Computer Security Handbook.

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Q7: What if I don't have a computer?

A: Most career resource centers, unemployment offices, public libraries, college placement centers and job search agencies have computers and Internet access for their patrons to use. If applying online poses a significant difficulty to you, please call the HR Specialist at least five (5) business days before the closing date of the announcement to request assistance.

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Q8: What if I don't have e-mail?

A: There are several Internet Service Providers that offer free email accounts. You can access one of these providers to register for a free email account.

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Q9: What if I need help applying online?

A: For assistance in applying to a ED vacancy, you may contact the Human Resources Specialist listed on the vacancy announcement.

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Q10: When exactly do jobs close?

A: Positions close at midnight Eastern Standard Time (EST) on the closing date of the vacancy announcement.

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Q11: Will ED accept paper applications?

A: ED strongly encourages the electronic filing of applications. Only the Human Resource Officer (HRO) may authorize the use of the alternative paper filing method on a case-by-case basis. If the alternative paper filing method is allowed, the applicant is required to respond to the same questions as applicants applying online. Applicants should submit a signed copy of their answers, all required supplemental documentation, and required applicant information by midnight Eastern Standard Time (EST) on the closing date of the vacancy announcement.

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Q12: What if someone submits false information?

A: Falsifying or answering questions to mislead the system's automated process is no different than providing false or misleading information on your application under the old process. Applicants are reminded that this is a federal job application system. Providing false information, creating fake ID's or Social Security Numbers, or failing to answer all questions truthfully and completely may be grounds for not hiring you, for disbarment from Federal Service, or for dismissal after being hired. Falsifying a Federal job application, attempting to violate the privacy of others, or attempting to compromise this system is punishable by fine or imprisonment (U.S. Code, Title 18, section 1001).

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Applicant/Employee Information


Q13: How do I apply for a ED job?

A: Select this link to view the steps on 'How to Apply' for and ED vacancy.

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Q14: As an applicant, can I apply from home?

A: Yes. As an applicant, you can apply from any location. However, to view all internal and status vacancies within ED offsite, you must obtain a special URL address.

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Q15: Can I create a resume online?

A: Yes. Once you have registered with USAJOBS, you should complete a Federal resume. In fact, you have the capability of creating and storing up to five resumes. Once created, you can update or change your resume. When you apply for a particular vacancy, the system automatically attaches your resume to that particular vacancy announcement as part of your application. If you apply for another vacancy, you may wish to update your resume at that time to correspond more closely with the new vacancy announcement.

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Q16: I already have a resume prepared. Can I upload it into the USAJOBS system as an attachment?

A: No, you cannot attach your resume, but you can copy and paste information from your resume into USAJOBS.

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Q17: What if I want to submit a long version resume?

A: The Federal resume you create within USAJOBS will automatically become the default resume attached to your application or, if you created more than one resume, you will be asked to select which resume you wish to use.

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Q18: How do I submit required documents?

A: You must submit the required documentation as specified within the vacancy announcement. You may also provide additional documentation, if desired, to the selecting official(s) during the interview process.

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Q19: What happens if I don't submit a resume with my personal information when applying for a job?

A: You must complete a USAJOBS resume to apply online for a Department of Education vacancy. If you do not submit a resume by midnight Eastern Standard Time (EST) on the closing date of the vacancy announcement, you will not be considered for that position.

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Q20: Is it possible to have multiple identities in USAJOBS or ED's e-Recruit System (EdHIRES)?

A: No. Your Social Security Number and your USAJOBS user ID number and password identify you in ED's e-Recruit System (EdHIRES).

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Q21: I don't understand why USAJOBS won't let me in.

A: Please review the procedures for logging into USAJOBS. Instructions are provided on the web site for your assistance. Remember, you must be a registered user of USAJOBS before you can apply for ED jobs, and your user id and password are case sensitive.

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Q22: If the system only accepts online applications, how do I send other required documents, such as my college transcripts, SF-50's, etc.?

A: You must fax/mail the required documents to the fax number/address identified on the vacancy announcement.

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Q23: How is my application rated?

A: The responses you provide to the questions are scored by ED's e-Recruit System (EdHIRES). A Human Resources Specialist will conduct a review of all applications and, if necessary, may request additional information from the applicant to verify status.

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Q24: Since the ED e-Recruit System (EdHIRES), will rate me according to my self-assessment and response to the questions, what prevents me from selecting those choices which give me the highest scores?

A: Nothing will prevent you from doing this. However, falsifying or answering questions to mislead the system's automated process is no different than providing false or misleading information on your resume or application.

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Q25: How will my experience, education and the responses to my questions be verified?

A: The resume, as well as the interview process, will be used to address questionable situations or issues. A review of the resume will be conducted for all applicants who make the best-qualified list.

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Q26: I am uncomfortable using my Social Security Number (SSN) to establish my account in the system. Is there any way I can apply for a position online without my SSN?

A: No. Your SSN is one of the few reliable means that government agencies have of distinguishing one applicant from another.

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Q27: How is the confidentially of my Race and National Origin data protected?

A: Applicants have the option to voluntarily and confidentially enter demographic information when initially registering in ED's e-Recruit System (EdHIRES). To ensure the candidate's anonymity, the data is immediately encrypted and cannot be tied to a specific candidate.

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Q28: Is there any way I can see which positions I have applied for or find out the status of these vacancies?

A: There are three methods for tracking your applications. First, you can print the application confirmation screen from USAJOBS when you complete the application process. Second, you can request to receive a copy of your responses to the application questions and a copy of your resume when you finish applying for jobs in ED's e-Recruit System (EdHIRES). Third, you can check individual application information within your account on USAJOBS. In the future, the status of your applications will be available in USAJOBS. When requesting assistance from a Human Resource Specialist, please have the vacancy announcement number and title of the position available.

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Q29: I recently learned that a job was advertised and has now closed for which I would like to apply. Are there any extenuating circumstances to grant extensions?

A: As a general rule, all applications and supplemental information must be received by midnight Eastern Standard Time (EST) on the closing date of the vacancy announcement. If a situation occurs for which you believe an extension is warranted, please contact the servicing Human Resources Specialist who can, on a case-by-case basis, grant an exception.

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Q30: I cannot provide required information, as identified in the vacancy announcement, by the closing date of the announcement. Will this information be accepted after the closing date?

A: All applications and required information must be received by midnight Eastern Standard Time (EST) on the closing date of the vacancy announcement. The servicing Human Resources Office, on a case-by-case basis, may review extenuating circumstances.

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Q31: I wish to be considered for both the Merit Staffing (current or former Federal service) and Delegated Examining (general public) vacancy announcements. Since only one application can be accepted in ED's e-Recruit System (EdHIRES), how do I indicate my preference to apply both ways?

A: In cases where a vacancy announcement is open to internal (Merit Staffing) and external (Delegated Examining) applicants, a vacancy announcement will be posted for each category. You must apply to both vacancy announcements to receive consideration.

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Q32: How do I search by GS Grade Level?

A: The USAJOBS system provides a salary and grade level search option. To review current Federal pay, please see the 2005 Locality Pay Charts.

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Q33: How do I apply for a Senior Executive Service (SES) position?

A: All SES vacancy announcements will be posted on USAJOBS and the application process is the same as for non-SES positions. Specific application requirements and required documentation will be identified in the vacancy announcement.

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Questions and Answers for Managers and Supervisors


Q34: Why are we changing our current recruitment process?

A: The current paper-based recruitment process is cumbersome and time consuming for applicants, managers and HR Staff and does not lend itself to being efficient. ED's e-Recruit System (EdHIRES), will help to significantly improve timeliness, reduce paper, provide an electronic audit trail of recruitment actions, and enhance customer service.

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Q35: What is the ED e-Recruit System (EdHIRES), implementation Plan?

A: ED's e-Recruit System (EdHIRES), will be phased-in beginning in October 2004. On October 11, 2004, ED will move to an on-line application process for recruitment and filling of vacancies using EdHIRES. Paper applications will no longer be accepted, except for cases of extreme hardship. This will provide consistency in application processing across ED. Question development for mission critical occupations will be phased in through FY-2005 based on agency implementation plans. For any position not identified as mission-critical, the selecting official and/or Subject Matter Expert (SME) of the position should work with the HR office to develop questions to identify the "Best Qualified" candidates for any vacancy posted after October 11, 2004.

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Q36: What kinds of questions are stored in ED's e-Recruit System (EdHIRES)?

A: Questions pertain to both minimum qualification requirements as well as competency-based questions (formerly referred to as KSA's). Questions can be in a variety of formats, such as Yes/No, True/False, Short and Long Answer, Multiple Choice, and Multiple Choice/Multiple Answer.

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Q37: What is my role as a Selecting Official and/or Subject Matter Expert (SME)?

A: As the selecting official or SME, your role in the process is critical. You will identify the competencies required for your vacancy announcement. The competencies you identify will be in the form of questions (rather than KSA's) that the applicant must answer. You, with the assistance of the HR Specialist, will determine the importance of the competency-based questions by assigning a numerical weight to specific questions. Applicants are rated and referred based their responses to the position-specific questions.

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Q38: Can new questions be added into ED's e-Recruit System (EdHIRES)?

A: Yes, the operating HR Office can add new questions, once validated by SMEs and the HR Office, to the system at any time. These questions will be stored in the library and can be used for future vacancies.

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Q39: I routinely send my vacancy announcements to local and national organizations. Can ED’s e-Recruit System (EdHIRES) help me with this?

A: Unless otherwise stated on the announcement, do not send these documents until they are requested. The selecting official or personnel specialist may request additional documentation from you through e-mail or telephone. These documents (such as SF-50s, college transcripts, etc.) will only be requested from the best qualified candidates or those who are scheduled to be interviewed.

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Q40: If the system rates and ranks candidates, do I still need to designate a subject matter expert (SME) or rating/ranking panel for my vacancy?

A: No. The intent is for the system to relieve the HR Specialist from having to go through the manual process of determining basic qualification requirements and to eliminate the need for SMEs and rating/ranking panels to review applications. HR Specialists will consult up front with the manager or SME to determine the appropriate questions to be included in the vacancy. ED's e-Recruit System (EdHIRES), does not replace the need for subject matter input.

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Questions and Answers for Brown Bag Sessions


Q41: What are question-based crediting plans?

A: Currently under EdHIRES, candidates are evaluated based on their knowledge, skills and abilities. The question-based criteria provides an automated means for evaluating candidates early in the application process and reducing the lag-time associated with the use of panels.

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Q42: If your application is designated as "Searchable" does that grant unlimited access by everyone?

A: No, your resume is only searchable by HR Specialists. Registering with USAJOBS allows applicants to expand their marketability. When a resume is designated as searchable, ED HR specialists and other federal department HR specialists can identify candidates with requisite skills needed for their respective position and notify them of potential vacancy matches.

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Q43: If you register with other Federal online application systems, can you sign on to USAJOBS using the same logon and password from other Federal application systems?

A: No, even though multiple agencies use QuickHire, you have to create a separate login for each. Some agencies use USAJOBS as a vehicle to post vacancies, but link to separate application systems once you click to apply online. EdHIRES is interlinked directly with USAJOBS.

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Q44: Is making the resume non-searchable and confidential the same thing?

A: No, Searchable resumes allow recruiters to find your resume, non-searchable resumes are kept private. Searchable and non-searchable resumes can be confidential. If you select your resume to be confidential, your name, current job and references will be hidden from recruiters. Recruiters who find your resume will contact USAJOBS, who in turn will forward the recruiter's message to the email address you've provided in USAJOBS. If you apply online with a confidential resume, ALL contact information will be invisible to the recruiter.

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Q45: Will applicants be able to describe or add detailed information to supplement responses to EdHIRES questions?

A: Yes, EdHIRES provides reasonable character space to respond to KSAs and competency questions. Additionally, in editing your resume in the resume builder in USAJOBS, you can copy and paste supplemental information that you would like the hiring managers to consider for the specific vacancy. If selected for an interview, you may bring additional documents, such as publications, to support your application.

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Q46: Are ED Agencies required to post dual announcements and merit staffing under the EdHIRES system?

A: Yes, multiple announcements must be posted for positions advertised for merit and non-status positions. These announcements will have different vacancy numbers, but in order to be considered for both status and non-status positions, you must apply to each.

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Q47: Should an applicant retain a copy of their application once complete?

A: Yes, applicants should retain all copies of the application process for their records including the vacancy announcement, resume, and application confirmation page.

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Q48: How can applicants upload attachments to the resume?

A: USAJOBS allow you to add supplemental information, up to 22,000 characters while in the resume builder section. Currently, there is no functionality which allows you to upload attachments to your online application. If applicants wish to copy and paste resumes, it is advisable to convert your material to "Plain Text" in lieu of the common "Rich Text".

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Q49: If my USAJOBS account is deactivated, can it be reactivated?

A: USAJOBS accounts are deactivated after 18 months of inactivity. If your account has been deactivated, you should create an entirely new resume. It is to your advantage to update your resume at least twice a year to maintain your marketability and to avoid deactivation.

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Q50: Can ED employees use their computers at work to access/apply for jobs on EdHIRES?

A: Whether or not you can use your office computer to apply for jobs depends on your employer's policy:

If Then More Information
You work for ED Yes, you can use your ED computer to apply for jobs (within reason) ED policy permits employees to use their federal computers and e-mail to apply for jobs. ED management has determined that use of this system is in the best interests of the government for filling ED vacancies. However, you are reminded that you may use government property/resources to apply for jobs only if it does not interfere with the performance of your regular duties.
You work for any other federal agency or you work for a company in private industry Contact your employer's personnel office for information on whether or not this is acceptable.

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Q51: What part of the process does EdHIRES automate for the electing official?

A: The EdHIRES system enables managers to screen candidates quickly by providing a web-based summary of candidate information. Managers receive an e-mail with the URL, username and password to access the certificate. After accessing the secure web-page, managers can view the certificate of eligibles and the applicant's resume and their responses to core and vacancy specific questions.

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Q52: Who is responsible for generating the certificate of eligibles under the EdHIRES system?

A: EdHIRES will generate a certificate of eligible candidates based upon minimum qualifications and other applicant information. The HR Specialist is responsible for forwarding additional documentation to the selecting official.

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Q53: Do we need keywords in the resume in order to be more visible?

A: No, keywords are not necessary for greater visibility. Resumes are only one part of the application. Responses to KSA and competency questions will determine an applicant's eligibility. It is best to provide thorough and accurate responses to KSA and competency questions.

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Q54: What is the difference between competency-based questions and KSAs?

A: Competency- based questions are used to screen applicants on specific knowledge relevant to the vacancy posting. While applying online in EdHIRES, you will encounter a variety of question formats such as Multiple Choice, True/False, Multiple Answer/Multiple Choice, and Short and Long Narrative explanations. KSAs are more narrative in nature and allow a free format for applicants to explain their expertise based upon each competency specific to the vacancy. ED is moving towards using Competency-based question for all vacancies by the end of FY 2006.

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Q55: Will the system work with all browser types?

A: USAJOBS supports Netscape and Internet Explorer Versions 5.x and above on Windows, as well as Safari 1.0 and above on the Mac.

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Q56: Can I have a search agent search for all or multiple locations?

A: Yes, you may have your search agent look for one or multiple locations. Simply click on your selection and while holding the "Ctrl" button, select the additional locations. On the Mac, hold the "Apple" key and click on your desired options.

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Q57: If you are halfway through your application, will EdHIRES save your input?

A: Yes, your responses will be saved provided you click the "save" icon at the bottom of each page prior to leaving the system. Clicking on other USAJOBS tabs during the application process will not save your information. To complete the application from where you left off, you must search for the announcement vacancy, click "pply Online", Login to USAJOBS to retrieve and select your desired resume, and continue with the application process. EdHIRES will have saved all of your previous information entered. NOTE: Any alterations to your application will be overwritten once you click save.

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Q58: I am not a citizen of the United States. Can I apply for jobs at ED?

A: As a United States federal agency we are not permitted to hire non-U.S. citizens except in very rare circumstances. If you are a non-citizen you are not eligible to apply to positions in ED, and EdHIRES will not refer your application to any vacancy you apply for. For more information about citizenship requirements in United States federal positions, you may access the Immigration and Naturalization Service Web site at http://uscis.gov/graphics/index.htm. U.S. citizens living in other countries, naturalized U.S. citizens and any individuals who can prove dual U.S. citizenship may apply for and be considered for ED positions.

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Last Modified: 04/30/2007