USAJOBS Being Made More User Friendly

USAJOBS, the federal government’s website for job openings, is being revised to make it easier to find and apply for openings.

More than 500 federal agencies use USAJOBS to post job opportunities covering over 600 occupations ranging from student and entry-level jobs to federal executive positions.

Last year in excess of 325,000 jobs that received 17.5 million applications were posted on the site.

Early in this federal fiscal year, which started the first of this month, the portal is planned to include a job status indicator for each listing that would include the number of applicants, the when the job was filled and other information, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office on the site.

The change would improve transparency and accountability and provide applicants with updates at each stage of the hiring process, the Office of Personnel Management, which runs the site, told GAO.

The coming year also promises to see job seekers gain the ability to list their skills on USAJOBS and be provided with recommended positions to apply for.

OPM officials told GAO the plan is to test this capability on its Open Opportunities program website, which offers professional development opportunities to current federal employees, before eventually using it on USAJOBS.

OPM is also working to learn how to improve the ways job applicants upload documents to the site through USAJOBS user surveys.

“Issues with uploading documents is one of the most common reasons applicants contact the USAJOBS help desk,” GAO said in the study.

In another effort to make the site more user friendly, OPM told the report authors it is working with talent application systems federal agencies user from outside vendors to streamline and unify the federal job application experience.

One reason streamlining is needed, said the report, is sometimes applicants are required to submit the same information, such as resumes, human resources forms and veterans discharge papers to USAJOBS and an agency’s talent acquisition system.

Another aggravation GAO pointed to is federal agencies can ask job seekers for documents not required by USAJOBS.

Veterans could also be finding USAJOBS more to their liking if OPM goes through with its intention to enable them to import data on military service and disability from Veterans Administration into their USAJOBS profiles.

Veterans would be able to check the information for accuracy.

OPM is also planning to help vets apply for positions by having an automated assessment of their eligibility for specific categories of preference on USAJOBS.

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