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The Application Process

The federal job application process is quite different from what you encounter in the private sector. If you’re new to exploring federal careers, take advantage of all the tips and resources provided on this site.

Three Keys to a Successful Application

  • Read the Job Announcement carefully. It’s your “roadmap” for applying for the position, describing in detail the qualifications you need—which should be reflected in your resume.
  • Create an in-depth resume tailored to the specific job announcement. Forget any advice to keep your resume short. The more relevant details, specific examples, and information you can provide about your qualifications for the position, the better. You can use the USAJOBS resume builder as a guide, and follow the instructions for a good federal resume.
  • Set aside ample time to complete the USA Hire Assessment. This is a mandatory part of your application, and your score stays with you for a year. If you don’t achieve DCAA’s minimum passing score, you can’t be considered for any DCAA 511 auditor series positions for a year.

The infographic below describes DCAA’s hiring process. Please note that the time required for each step can vary depending on various factors, such as the number of candidates who applied or whether it’s a peak hiring period.

Infographic of the DCAA application process

How Direct Hiring Authority Affects the Process

In some circumstances, DCAA will use what is called Direct Hiring Authority to fill open positions. A candidate still has to complete an application for the position, pass the USA Hire assessment, and meet any other requirements. However, a qualified applicant won’t be reviewed competitively against all other candidates. This allows DCAA to conduct interviews and often make job offers on the spot at Direct Hiring Events, as well as collect resumes and transcripts at college job fairs.

Direct Hiring Authority is also applicable to several of the Specialized Hiring Programs DCAA offers.

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