Qualifications

Describes the experience and education that a job seeker needs for the job. When hiring for multiple grade levels, you must explain the qualifications for each grade level.

Current fields

This section may contain the following:

This section helps the job seeker determine whether to apply for the job, so being clear and concise is essential. Read the qualifications from the job seeker perspective and ask these questions:

  • Are the qualifications specific?
  • Are they described appropriately at each grade level?
  • Are you using plain and simple language?

This section will automatically use a bulleted list format for each qualification.

Required by USAJOBS

Yes

Required by policy

Yes

Do

  • Only include content that the job seeker needs.
  • Organize the content logically
    • Use clear subheadings to separate qualifications that everyone needs vs. qualifications that are specific to each grade level.
    • Keep sentences short—break qualifications into separate sentences to make it easier to read.
  • Write like you’re speaking to the job seeker.
    • Use language the job seeker knows—simpler is better! Refer to the Plainlanguage.gov list of simple words and phrases.
    • Use the active voice—the active voice is concise, direct and makes the content easy to understand. An active voice sentence follows this order: subject + verb + object.
    • Use pronouns (i.e. address the audience as “you”, “your”)—this helps personalize the experience.
    • Avoid internal jargon and acronyms—if an acronym is necessary, spell it out the first time you use it.
    • Use “must” instead of “shall” when qualifications are required. For example, “You must have at least one year of experience.”.

Do not

  • Use dehumanizing terms like “incumbent”, “selectee”, or “candidate”.

Examples

Use pronouns

“The incumbent oversees…”

“You will oversee…”

Use active voice rather than passive voice

“The following information must be included in the application for it to be considered complete.”

“You must include the following information in your application.”

Specialized experience

List specific experience required of applicants.

Do

  • Use language the job seeker knows—simpler is better! Refer to the Plainlanguage.gov list of simple words and phrases.
  • Indicate if there are different levels of experience based on grade level.

Do Not

  • Repeat in Duties or Conditions of Employment.

Selective factor

This describes knowledge, skills, abilities or special qualifications essential to perform the duties and responsibilities of a job.

Required by USAJOBS

No

Required by policy

Yes, if applicable.

Time in grade

Tells the job seeker if they need to have experience equal to a specific grade level, or the amount of time they need to have spent at a specific grade if they are a former or current federal employee. Time in grade may not be applicable for all positions.

Required by USAJOBS

Yes

Required by policy

Yes, if applicable.

Do Not

  • Talk about qualifications or specialized experience in the Time in grade section.

Education

Tells the job seeker if there are education requirements or if education can replace experience.

Education will always appear. If you do not enter any text in this field, the header will still display. If the job does not have education requirements, enter “None” or “There are no education requirements.”

Required by USAJOBS

Yes

Required by policy

Yes

Do

  • Describe minimum education requirements, as well as additional education requirements.
  • Describe how a job seeker might use education instead of experience, if appropriate.
  • Include “None” or “There are no education requirements” if there are no education requirements.

Additional information

This is an optional field of 2,500 characters where you can place any additional information you wish to include specific to the position.

Required by USAJOBS

No

Required by policy

No

Do Not

  • Include information that belongs in other sections.

Questions? Concerns?

This site is a work in progress. We will continue to this content until it is as complete as possible. If you have questions or concerns about the veracity of anything you read here please reach out to your HR director who can contact OPM Policy.

If you have comments about the site itself or suggestions on content to add please write to recruiter-help@opm.gov.