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Application Tips

Tips for Applying to NIST Jobs

George Caceres wears safety glasses and a lab coat as he looks at a plastic test tube he is holding.
Credit: M. King/NIST

These tips were developed as a guide for applicants to help clarify the application process and assist with understanding common mistakes. While these tips will not guarantee a job with the federal workforce, we hope that they will assist you when applying for a job with NIST.

How to Search for Jobs

To search and apply for federal jobs at NIST, you first need to create a account and then complete a USAJOBS profile. Unless you have received an approved accommodation, NIST cannot accept applications outside of the USAJOBS application system. If you need assistance with how to create a profile, please review USAJOB’S Help Center’s How to Create a Profile.

Once you have created a USAJOBS profile you can begin searching and applying for NIST jobs! For a complete list of our current openings, please visit our current job openings on USAJOBS.

How to Submit an Application

After you have reviewed an announcement thoroughly and feel you are ready to apply, click the Apply button in the announcement. Follow the prompts to upload your resume, supporting documents, and demographic information.

Once this section is completed, you will be prompted to Continue Application with Agency, where you will be automatically transitioned to the Department of Commerce’s hiring system to complete the remainder of your application. Here, you will have the opportunity to answer eligibility questions, complete any required assessments, and upload additional documentation at the end. In order to be considered for the position, you must select at least one eligibility. Once complete, click Submit to send your application in for consideration.

You will be notified of your application status through USAJOBS throughout the application process. You can update or check the status of your application by logging into your USAJOBS profile, clicking on the Home tab, and selecting the application you wish to view.

Late and Incomplete Applications

Please allow adequate time to submit your application and remember your complete application, including all required documents, must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date of the announcement you apply to. You will be unable to submit your application if you start the process before the closing date and then try to submit after the deadline passes. We cannot accept late applications after the closing date of the announcement, unless you are a person entitled to file a late application or the vacancy announcement indicates that additional time is allotted to complete the assessment process.

Tip: Frequently, an applicant thinks their application was submitted, but a technical error may have caused the information not to save correctly. If you do not receive a confirmation via e-mail from USAJOBS that your application was submitted, you may email or call the Agency Contact listed on the bottom of the announcement to verify that your application and all supporting documentation was submitted successfully. Please communicate with the Agency Contact as far in advance from the closing date of the announcement as possible. This will help ensure any questions or concerns can be addressed in a timely manner.

Required Documentation

The documents you are required to submit may vary based on how you’re applying (i.e., as a veteran or disabled veteran, current or former Federal employee, etc.). Luckily, NIST provides a handy Required Documents chart to help navigate which documents to submit. Failure to include a complete application may result in your application being eliminated from further consideration.

Resume Tips

Please view this instructional YouTube video on Resume Writing for Federal Employment. At a minimum, your resume should contain job title(s) (include job series and grade, if federal), duties description, starting and ending dates (month and year), and hours worked per week. We recommend using the inbuilt USAJobs Resume Builder to ensure you do not miss any information.

Tip: Make sure the information you provide in your resume meets the specialized experience requirements listed in the job announcement. An HR professional can’t infer that an individual is qualified simply because they say they held a job in a specific position in the past. By law, HR professionals must be able to identify precisely in the resume where an applicant has the specialized experience that is required for the position. Insufficient detail in a resume is one of the top reasons for applicants to be deemed not qualified.

Example: If a position requires specialized experience in conference and meeting services support, audiovisual/video teleconferencing/virtual meeting services, and management of teams responsible for these areas, a successful applicant will have addressed each of those specific elements in their resume.

A Note About Transcripts

Uploading a copy of your diploma alone is not enough to verify your education. Remember to submit copies of your transcripts each time you apply for a position that requires them, even if you are a current federal employee. If you have several degrees, submit all your transcripts for each degree. Unofficial transcripts will be accepted in the application package. However, an official copy will be required prior to a final offer of employment.

Foreign Education: You can receive credit for education earned outside the United States. This is typically completed by obtaining an education evaluation through a credential evaluation service. For more information on foreign education evaluation requirements, please see Evaluation of Foreign Education. Once the evaluation is complete, you must upload a copy of the letter you receive with your application, containing the results of the equivalency evaluation with a course-by-course listing.

Tip: For positions that require a completed degree, HR must be able to confirm on your transcript the date your degree was conferred. Make sure any uploaded transcript(s) include the degree’s conferred date. HR professionals cannot infer when you graduated from your resume alone, and your application may be disqualified if this information is not provided.

Contact Us

NIST’s Agency Contact, located at the bottom of every announcement, can help answer any questions you might have as you go about the application process. Please reach out to them if you have any additional questions or concerns.

Created November 29, 2023, Updated June 27, 2024