Digital Gov

USAJobs update offers tracking to job applicants

Shutterstock image: Help wanted.

The notoriously hard-to-use USAJobs website, the first stop for federal job seekers, is getting an update. According to the Office of Personnel Management, applicants will no longer have to leave the site to gather and review required documents, and they'll also be able to track their applications' progress more accurately.

Applicants have found the site confusing, difficult and frustrating to use, driving some of them to abandon their applications mid-process. The new features are a direct result of the agency's research into how to improve the way people interact with the site.

In a Feb. 24 statement, OPM officials said that in the coming months, they will continue to update the website that has been the federal government's front door to job applicants. The goal is to bring USAJobs more in line with private-sector application sites.

Acting OPM Director Beth Cobert teed up the move during her Feb. 4 confirmation hearing.

"Throughout the rest of the year, new features will be added to increase the usability of the USAJobs website by enhancing the job application process for those interested in careers in the federal government," Cobert said in a statement. "By streamlining the USAJobs process, we will also improve our ability to attract the best and brightest to apply for jobs in the federal workforce."

According to OPM, the improvements will make it easier for job seekers to complete the multiple steps in the application process and to assemble and review their resumes and associated documents before submitting them.

OPM also released a YouTube video with step-by-step instructions on how to use the site.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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