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Appointment: The formal hiring action by a government agency.

Area of Consideration: The geographic and organizational areas and categories of persons to which a vacancy announcement is distributed and from which the hiring agency will accept applications.

Career Appointment: Permanent appointment in the competitive service conveyed automatically after successfully completing the required term of service in a career-conditional appointment. This is typically a three year period.

Career-Conditional Appointment: Permanent appointment in the competitive service of a person who has not yet completed the required period of creditable, substantially continuous federal service.

Career Ladder: A series of positions of increasing difficulty in the same line of work through which an employee may progress to a journeyman level in a specific occupation.

Case Examining: An effective technique in filling a specific position in which the job seeker applies directly for the position and is rated and ranked using job-related competencies/KSAs. The DEU conducts the examination process and issues a Certificate of Eligibles to the selecting officials.

Certificate of Eligibles: A list of the highest-ranked eligibles in score and veterans preference order, submitted to selecting officials for appointment consideration in accordance with the competitive selection laws and regulations.

Competitive Appointment: One in which the applicant has competed in an open examination under OPM procedures and has been officially selected by an agency for a permanent competitive service job.

Electronic/On-line applications: Applicants submit electronically, their job application by following instructions that appear either in the job’s vacancy announcement or on the hiring agency’s website.

Examination: An evaluation of an applicant’s qualifications, not to be confused with a written test.

Excepted Appointment: Appointment to a position that is "excepted" or outside the competitive service; not leading to competitive status.

Federal-Style Resume: A resume that incorporates special categories of information required by federal hiring officials.

General Schedule: The largest of several Federal pay systems and the one that covers most white-collar jobs.

Indian Preference: Absolute hiring preference given qualified American Indian candidates.

KSAs: Knowledges, Skills and Abilities - Qualifications needed to perform the duties of a position. Federal Research Service sells two books dealing with KSAs called "The KSA Workbook" and the "KSA Sampler". See the inside back-cover for more information on these publications.

Merit Staffing Program: The system under which employees compete for positions in their agency.

Non-Appropriated Fund (NAF) Positions: A position whose salary is not paid under the GS pay system although salary and benefits are similar; does not require or confer competitive status.

Non-Status: Referring to candidates who are not current of former federal employees with reinstatement eligibility.

Non-Competitive Appointment: Gaining appointment without competing in an OPM examination; includes reinstatements, transfers, reassignments, demotions, and promotions.

Notice of Rating/Results: A written evaluation of an applicant’s qualifications, confirming that he or she meets the basic requirements for a specific occupation and grade. This is now rarely used, except for some clerical support positions.

Optional Form 612 (OF-612): The shortened version of the government’s standard application form.

Performance Appraisal: An official assessment of your recent job performance as evaluated by your supervisor; generally required as part of a job application package.

Preference Eligible: a veterans, spouse, widow, or mother. Preference eligibles are entitled to have 5 or 10 points added to their earned score on a civil service examination. They are also accorded a higher retention standing in the event of a reduction-in-force.

Resumix Resume: This is an automated referral system used by many defense agenices. It consists of a three-page resume following a specific format, along with a supplemental data sheet. Guidelines for creating the resume are spelled out in a set of instructions (sometimes referred to as a "Job Kit") available from the hiring agency.

Rule of Three: When selecting from a certificate of eligibles, an appointing officer must, with sole reference to merit and fitness, make selection for the first vacancy from the highest three eligibles available for appointment on the certificate.

Quality Ranking Factors: Criteria used to evaluate applicants to help determine the best qualified for a job; usually listed on the vacancy announcement.

Recruitment: The process of attracting a supply of qualified candidates for employment consideration.

Reinstatement Eligibility: The right of former career or career-conditional federal employees to reenter federal competitive service without the need to be reexamined by OPM or an agency with delegated authority.

Register: An inventory of applications for employment, with applicants rated and ranked according to their qualifications.

Selective Placement Factors: Knowledges, skills or abilities essential for satisfactory job performance.

Standard Form 15 (SF-15): Form required from those individuals who apply under 10-point Veterans Preference.

Standard Form 50 (SF-50): A personnel action form used for current and former federal employees that documents their most current grade, occupation and competitive status.

Standard Form 171 (SF-171): Prior to 1995, the official application for federal employment; no longer required, but still accepted.

Status, Competitive: Referring to current federal competitive service employees or former employees with competitive service reinstatement eligibility.

Temporary Appointment: Employment on a temporary basis, usually less than one year; employees are not eligible for promotion and are not covered by the federal retirement program.

Veterans Preference: Special hiring consideration for veterans (and some spouses, widows, widowers and mothers of veterans) who meet certain criteria.

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