The Process and Timeline
October 1, 2023 ─ Outreach begins.
October 26, 2023 ─ Vacancy announcements will be activated in USAJobs.gov.
November 8, 2023 ─ Application deadline, 11:59 Eastern Time. Apply through www.usajobs.gov. Applicants are encouraged to apply for multiple locations (where they would accept a position if offered), even if positions for certain locations in which you are interested are not listed as vacant. Vacancies may occur during the hiring process and could be filled during Selection Week.
January 2024 ─ Selections. Representatives from each forest will make recommendations for hiring. Candidates selected will be notified by a Forest Service representative by phone. Those not selected should check your USAjobs account for status updates. During the selection week candidates will be given 4 hours to respond to voicemails or emails from the recommending officials. It is highly encouraged to be available via phone during this time.
April 2024 ─ Earliest possible effective start date. This will vary by position.
Note: Interagency Fire Program Management (IFPM) and Forest Service – Fire Program Management (FS-FPM) qualifications must be met prior to vacancy closing date.
If you are a returning federal firefighter, a current copy of your IQCS Master Record will be required for fire positions in this outreach because of these qualification requirements.
How to Apply:
Please print and read the entire announcement and all the instructions before you begin.
You must complete the application process and submit all required documents electronically by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time
(ET) on the cut-off date or closing date of the announcement. Assistance is available during business hours (normally
9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m., Monday – Friday Eastern Time). Applying online is highly encouraged. If applying online poses a
hardship, please contact FS HRM Contact Center Phone: 877-372-7248 Option 2 well before the closing date for an
alternate method. All hardship application packages with supporting documents must be received no later than noon on
the closing date of the announcement in order to be entered into the system prior to its closing. This agency provides
reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities on a case-by-case basis. Please contact FS HRM Contact
Center if you require this for any part of the application and hiring process.
Step1 – Create a USAJOBS account
(If you do not already have one) at www.usajobs.gov. It is recommended that as part of your profile you set up automatic email notification to be informed when the status of your application changes. If you choose not to set up this automatic notification, then you will have to log into your USAJOBS account to check on the status of your application.
Step 2 - Create a Resume with USAJOBS or upload a Resume into your USAJOBS account.
You may want to customize your resume to ensure it documents duties and accomplishments you have gained that are directly related to this position in order to verify that qualifications are met. In addition, your resume must support your responses to the online questionnaire (you may preview the online questionnaire by clicking on the link at the end of the How You Will Be Evaluated section of the job announcement).
Step 3 - Click "Apply Online"
Follow the prompts to complete the Occupational Questionnaire and attach any additional documents that may be required. You can update your application or documents anytime while the announcement is open. Simply log into your USAJOBS account and click on "Application Status." Click on the position title, and then select "Update Application” to continue.
The following documents must be submitted to constitute a complete application package. It is your responsibility to ensure that all required documents are received within the required timeframes. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, delays in the mail service etc. Failure to submit required, legible documents will result in elimination from consideration.
Resume that includes the following information: 1) job information for which you are applying; 2) personal information; 3) education; 4) work experience; and 5) other qualifications (including IQCS Master Record).
College Transcripts if education is required for meeting basic qualifications and/or you are substituting education for specialized experience. An unofficial copy is sufficient with the application, however, if selected, an official college transcript will be required.
DD-214 (Member 4 Copy) and/or SF-15 Application for 10-point Veteran Preference if claiming Veterans’ Preference or eligibility for appointment under the VRA, VEOA, or 30% Disabled Veterans hiring authority.
SF-50 Notification of Personnel Action if you are a current or former Federal employee that will verify your federal status, position title, series and grade. FSA County employees must provide the most recent notification of Personnel Action (Form SF-50-B or FSA-50) that verifies permanent status. Also provide the SF-50 that reflects the highest grade level held on a permanent basis or the full performance level of your current position, whichever is higher.
Annual Performance Appraisal if you are a current Federal employee, submit the most recently completed annual performance appraisal (dated within 18 months) which identifies the employee's official rating of record, signed by the supervisor, or a statement advising why the performance appraisal is unavailable. Do not submit a performance plan.
Certification of Disability if you are eligible for appointment based on a disability under the Schedule A hiring authority. This certification can be documented by a counselor from a State Vocational Rehabilitation Agency or the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Service of the Department of Veterans Affairs, by a statement or letter on a physician/medical professionals’ letterhead stationery, or by statements, records, or letters from a Federal Government agency that issues or provides disability benefits. The certification must verify the applicant has a severe disability, is eligible under a Schedule A appointment authority, and he or she is able to perform the essential duties of the position. The certification must also describe any needed reasonable accommodation. You can review additional information at: Federal Employment of People with Disabilities.
Proof of Eligibility if you are eligible for appointment based on service in the Peace Corps, Vista, Action Cooperative, or another special authority.
CTAP/ICTAP documentation if separated from Federal service or pending separation based on a reduction in force (RIF) or other management workforce reduction action. Proof of eligibility must include a separation notice or Certificate of Expected Separation, SF-50 that documents the RIF separation action or most recent SF-50 (that is not an award), and latest performance appraisal (dated within the last 18 months) or a statement advising why one is unavailable.
IQCS Master Record showing your training and qualifications for the position. If an IQCS Master Record is not available, some form of documented proof of training and qualifications will be needed for most positions.
NOTE: If a document is resubmitted, it replaces the previous submission, which means the previous document is no longer available to the Human Resources Office. If you are adding to, rather than replacing a previous submission, you must upload both the old document and the new document.
Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act
Important Note for Merit Promotion Announcements: Under the Area of Consideration for Merit announcement, all regions will be including the Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act (LMWFA) for eligible applicants. Along with Forest Service-wide applicants already in career or career-conditional appointments, temporary employees who meet the LMWFA eligibility requirements may also apply to the merit announcement. For this Act, a time-limited competitive appointment is either a temporary appointment or a term appointment defined as:
Temporary Appointment is a competitive, nonpermanent appointment for a period not to exceed 1-year (May be extended be extended up to a maximum of 1 additional year for a total of 24 months of service). This includes 1039 appointments.
Term Appointment is a competitive nonpermanent appointment for a period of more than 1-year but not more than 4 years.
Excepted service temporary appointments do not count toward eligibility for this Act.
LMWFA Eligibility Criteria:
Appointed to the initial time-limited appointment under open, competitive examination (e.g., OPM competitive list of eligible, Demonstration Project Authority, Delegated Examining, etc.); and
Must have served in a specific land management agency/agencies under 1 or more time-limited appointment(s) for more than 24 months (without a break in service of two or more years); and
Performance was at an acceptable level throughout the (more than) 24 months of employment; and
Most recent separation was for reasons other than misconduct or performance
Required Documents to Show Eligibility for LMWFA:
Documentation of Service Time eligibility: Copies of their Notification of Personnel Action(s) (SF-50s) showing the employee has served in appropriate appointment(s) for a period/periods that total more than 24 months without a break in service of two or more years (include initial hire actions, extensions, conversions and termination/separation SF-50s for each period of work). Failure to provide proper documentation in order to determine eligibility may result in loss of consideration.
Documentation of Acceptable Performance for Service Time:
Performance rating(s) showing an acceptable level of performance for period(s) of employment counted towards their eligibility, signed by their supervisor(s); or
If documentation of a rating does not exist for one or more periods, a statement from the employee’s supervisor(s) or other individual in the chain of command indicating an acceptable level of performance for the period(s) of employment counted towards their eligibility; or
Applicants who do not provide a performance appraisal (1. above) or other performance documentation (2. above) for any period that they are using to qualify for eligibility under the LMWFA, shall provide:
a stated reason as to why the appraisal/documentation is not available
a statement that their performance for all periods was at an acceptable level, their most recent separation was for reasons other than misconduct or performance, and they were never notified that they were not eligible for rehire based on performance.
This shall be accepted in lieu of providing copies of the performance appraisals.
Land Management Agencies are defined as:
Department of Interior agencies:
Public Land Corps:
Important Note: The Public Land Corps (PLC) Act of 1993 provides authority for the Federal government to utilize and expose youth to public service by hiring young adults (ages of 16 to 30) to perform needed conservation activities and assist the Federal government with natural resources. The PLC allows qualified individuals to apply through internal merit vacancy announcements to permanent positions and are provided career-conditional appointments if selected.
On December 16, 2016, the PLC Act of 1993 was amended to (a) increase the age limit for participants, and (b) extend eligibility period.
PLC Eligibility Criteria:
Served as a qualified participant between the age of 16-30 (inclusive), on an appropriate conservation project completing a minimum of 640 hours of satisfactory service that included at least 120 hours through PLC; and
Meet OPM Qualification Standards and any other qualification requirement(s) stated in the vacancy announcement for the position for which they are applying (including any selective placement factors, positive education requirements, physical requirements, etc.).
Public Lands Corps - Certificate of Eligibility for Noncompetitive Hiring Status showing completion of required service under this program
Eligibility for noncompetitive hiring status under this authority continues for not more than two years after completion of Public Land Corps service.
Required Documents to Show Eligibility for PLC:
Agency Contact Information:
HRM Contact Center
Phone: 877-372-7248 Option 2
Agency Information: USDA Forest Service
Do not mail in applications. See instructions on How to Apply.
Things to keep in mind when applying:
Vacancy Announcements on USAJobs will give examples of the specialized experience for each position advertised. Ensure your resume matches the listed specialized experience requirement in plain language. This should be listed under a work experience that shows title, series, grade and time period performed so that HR can properly credit. Ensure all SF-50’s showing on-boarding/off-boarding and performance for each time period or statement as to why missing that time period is properly loaded into USA Jobs.
Ensure all required documents listed in the vacancy announcement are attached to your application.
Allow yourself plenty of time to apply for positions. The USAJobs system closes all announcements at midnight Eastern Time on closing date.
Print and read the entire vacancy announcement to ensure you have included all required information and documents. Be very specific with resume dates and duties, particularly showing 6 months of general (outdoor) work experience.
Ensure you have a current IQCS Master Record (For returning fire applicants only)
It is recommended that you also apply to nearby forest duty stations, multiple positions within the selected duty stations and multiple grades associated with the position of interest.
Confirm that the announcement dates and job titles in USAJOBS align with those provided in this outreach.
If you are a veteran with a valid DD-214, you may be eligible for Veteran Recruitment Act (VRA) direct hire. Please contact a supervisor listed below to discuss VRA potential in greater detail.
Other places to have questions answered or get further information: