This job is open to

This section gives an at-a-glance view of who can apply for the job using hiring paths. To help job seekers quickly identify jobs that match their eligibility status, we have included hiring paths iconography and descriptions into the job announcement. Hiring paths are designed to help both job seekers and federal agencies in the hiring process.

The purpose of the hiring paths is to help agencies describe more specifically who is eligible to apply to a job announcement and what hiring authorities they can use to hire an applicant.

Hiring paths help staffing specialists:

  • Better show who is eligible to apply to a job.
  • Explain specific hiring authorities used to choose an applicant for the position in a visual way to help applicants understand their eligibility for federal jobs.

Hiring paths help job seekers:

  • Identify jobs that match their eligibility status.
  • Apply to jobs that match their background and experience.

When used correctly, hiring paths can:

  • Reduce applicants applying for jobs for which they are ineligible, saving time for both applicants and staffing professionals.

This job is open to:

Hiring path Description
The public If you’re a U.S. citizen, national or owe allegiance to the United States, you can apply to jobs that are open to the public.
Federal employees—competitive service Positions with agencies that follow the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s hiring rules and pay scales.
Federal employees—excepted service Positions with agencies that have their own hiring rules, pay scales and evaluation criteria.
Internal to an agency If you’re a current federal employee at the hiring agency.
Career transition (CTAP, ICTAP, RPL) Federal employees who meet the definition of a surplus or displaced employee.
Veterans If you’re a Veteran who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces and were separated under honorable conditions, you may be eligible to use veterans’ hiring authorities.
Student or recent graduates If you’re a current student or recent graduate, you may be eligible for federal internships and job opportunities through Pathways and other student programs.
Individuals with disabilities If you’re an individual with a disability, you can apply and compete for any job for which you are eligible and meet the qualifications, but you also may be eligible for a special hiring authority.
Military spouses If you’re a military spouse of an active-duty member of the armed forces, a spouse of a service member who is 100% disabled due to a service-connected injury or a spouse of a service member killed while on active duty, you may be eligible.
National Guard & Reserves If you’re a member of the National Guard or are willing and able to join the National Guard, you may be able to apply for federal jobs located within a National Guard Unit.
Native Americans If you’re an American Indian or an Alaskan Native who is a member of one of the federally recognized tribes, you may be eligible for Indian Preference.
Land and base management If you’re a current or former term or temporary employee of a land management agency, you may be eligible to apply for merit promotion jobs at any federal agency.
Peace Corps & AmeriCorps Vista If you’re an individual with a disability, you can apply and compete for any job for which you are eligible and meet the qualifications, but you also may be eligible for a special hiring authority.
Senior Executives If you meet the five Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs).
Family of overseas employees Hiring options depend on whether you’re currently working overseas and are planning to come back to the United States, or if you’re planning to go overseas with a family member who has an official overseas assignment.

Required by USAJOBS


Required by policy


How to update this section

Use the multi-select hiring path list in your Talent Aquisition System (TAS) to add a hiring path to your job announcement. The hiring path icons and their text descriptions will appear in the This job is open to section based on the options you select.

Mapping Who May Apply to the hiring paths

The table below shows the content you need to use in the Who May Apply section to display the matching hiring path. For example, if you want your job announcement to display “Open to the public”, you must enter “U.S. Citizens” in the Who May Apply field. Or, we’ll also display Open to the public, if you don’t enter anything in the Who May Apply field.

Hiring path Who May Apply content
Open to the public U.S. citizens, nationals and those who owe allegiance to the U.S.
Federal employees—Competitive service Federal employees, current federal employees, merit promotion and status candidates
Federal employees—Excepted service Excepted Service
Internal to an agency Internal employee or agency employee
Career transition (CTAP, ICTAP, RPL) Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP), Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) or Reemployment Priority List (RPL) participants
Veterans Expanded Veteran Hiring Opportunity (EVHO), Veterans Recruitment (VRA), Veterans Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA) or 30% or more disabled veterans
Students Students and current interns
Recent graduates Recent graduates
Individuals with disabilities Schedule A or individuals with disabilities
Military spouses Military spouses
National Guard & Reserves National Guard or reservists
Native Americans Indian Preference, Native American
Land and base management Land management or base management employees or former employees
Peace Corps & AmeriCorps Vista Peace Corps, AmeriCorps or Vista employees or former employees
Senior Executives Determined by ES pay plan and minimum salary of $119,000
Family of overseas employees Overseas, family member preference or eligible family members

Clarification from agency

Use this section for additional eligibility information. See examples in the Hiring paths quick reference chart below.

Required by USAJOBS

Conditional. If you use an exclusive hiring path or special authority, you need to include clarification text.

Required by Policy

Yes, if applicable.

How to use hiring paths effectively


  • When used correctly in a job announcement, hiring paths communicate who is eligible to apply to the job. The hiring path should reflect the hiring authorities used to announce the vacancy.
  • Use the fewest hiring paths possible.

Do Not

  • Choose a hiring path so that job seekers from specific groups see the job announcement when hiring authorities for those specific groups are not being used.
  • Include information that is not relevant to eligibility. See the prerequisites section for guidance.


Unless you are going to hire based on a veteran’s hiring authority, such as VEOA or VRA, do not use the Veteran hiring path.

If a job is Open to the public, DO NOT select any other hiring paths. The rest are already included in the Open to the public hiring path.

Hiring paths quick reference

This chart describes which Hiring paths to use in specific hiring scenarios. It’s a quick reference to help agency staffing professionals and hiring managers determine the appropriate hiring paths for a job announcement.

Type of JOA Required hiring path(s) Optional hiring path(s) Clarifying text Best practice
Delegated examining Open to the public None Agencies authorized to hire non-U.S. citizens should indicate this in Clarification from the agency field. Do not add all U.S. Citizens in this field. The hiring path indicates this for you. When hiring through delegated examining, only use the Open to the public hiring path. Do not add other hiring paths, as all are included under Open to the Public.
Merit promotion Federal employees, Veteran, CTAP, ICTAP and RPL, Land and base management Individuals with disabilities, peace corps, military spouses, family member of overseas employees, special authorities If you are using a special hiring authority for veterans (e.g., VEOA, VRA or 30% or more disabled), indicate this in the Clarification from the agency section. None
Merit promotion internal to an agency Internal to an agency Check your agency policy. Potentially, military spouse, family member or special authorities could be included). ICTAP eligibilities will not receive consideration. Land and base management agencies must also add the Land and base management hiring path.
Vacancies within a National Guard or reserve unit National Guard and reserves None Use the Clarification from the agency section to note the requirement to become a member of the unit Applicants who are not currently a member of the National Guard must be eligible for immediate membership and employment in the National Guard in the military grade listed in this announcement.
Vacancies using a student program for hiring Students, Recent graduates None Use the Clarification from the agency section to indicate which student hiring authority you are using None
Vacancies within the Senior Executive Service Senior executive, Open to the public None Either the Senior executive or Open to the public hiring path can be used. There is no requirement to use both. None
Vacancies within Federal employees—excepted service Open to the public None Check with your agency’s policy for additional eligibilites. None
Vacancies using Indian preference Native Americans, Open to the public None With Indian Preference, candidates may receive preference over non-Indian applicants when applying to jobs with the Indian Health Service and Indian Affairs (including the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Bureau of Indian Education, and some positions within the office of the assistant secretary—Indian affairs). Preference is given to qualified Indian candidates in accordance with the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 (Title 25, USC, Section 472). If applicants claim Indian preference, they must submit Form BIA 4432 Verification of Indian Preference with their application. Those eligible for Indian preference, but not currently employed in federal service may be appointed under the Excepted Service Appointment Authority Schedule A, 213.3112(a)(7). Non-Indian applicants are considered if there are no qualified applicants eligible for Indian Preference. None

Second announcement

The Second announcement section will appear directly below the This job is open to. The Second announcement says “This job is also open in another announcement to” and will list the other hiring paths.

Clicking on the link will open a new tab or window, depending on the preference the user set in their browser, with the the full second job announcement.

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.

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