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Understanding Job Announcements

An understanding of the components of a federal job announcement can help you submit a better application for jobs with the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS). This guide outlines the various sections of federal job announcements so you can learn how to interpret the information presented and submit a better application. Find out all you need to know to get a job with NRCS today.


Begin exploring the job announcement by looking at the information contained in the Overview. The Overview includes important details that can help you decide if you are interested in the job.

The Overview includes facts such as:

  • Official job title
  • Salary range
  • Open period (e.g., Tuesday, November 15, 2011 to Friday, January 27, 2012)
  • Series and grade
  • Full-time or part-time status
  • Duty location
  • Who may be considered (e.g., all qualified U.S. citizens)
  • Job summary with organization info

Job Duties

Review the Job Duties section to see a list of responsibilities someone in the job would be expected to perform. You will find out what tasks you would have to do if you got the job. If you have not performed some of the duties or they sound unfamiliar to you, you may not be the best candidate for that particular job. On the other hand, if you are familiar with the duties and feel confident about performing them, you may want to consider this job further.

Qualifications and Evaluations

Learn what experiences and education are needed to fulfill the requirements of the job in the Qualifications and Evaluation section of the job announcement. This section will tell you what experiences you should have represented on your resume and what education and training requirements you should have met. For example, if graduate education is required or there are special requirements for the job, it is shown in this section. The Qualifications and Evaluation section also describes the basis for rating candidates. They may be rated on a numerical scale or placed into category ratings, such as highly-qualified, well-qualified, or qualified. If Veterans are given preference in the hiring for this position, it may be noted here.

Benefits and Other Info

Read the Benefits and Other Info section to find out what benefits you would be entitled to receive if you were hired for the job. NRCS offers a wide range of competitive benefits that make jobs attractive and rewarding. In this section, you will learn about the health insurance benefits and the coverage you would receive. Information about life insurance, long-term-care insurance and any other type of insurance you may qualify for as an employee is provided here. You will find important facts about retirement benefits and the type of saving and investment programs you are entitled to participate in for retirement planning. If applicable, information regarding annual vacation time, sick leave and holidays benefits will also be provided. Possible advancement opportunities, relocation benefits and transportation expenses may also be discussed.

To ensure the job you want also provides the benefits you need, it is important to review the Benefits and Other Info section of the job announcement. Most federal jobs offer great salaries with full benefits packages.

How to Apply

Once you have determined that you are qualified for a job and want to apply for the position, the How to Apply section will help you understand your next steps in the application process. This section may state deadlines. Supporting documents required to apply for the job are also listed, such as a formal application and resume. Lastly, this section provides agency contact information, including phone number, email address, street address, and fax number.

When you are ready to join the NRCS team, the How to Apply section guides you through each step of the application process. Be sure to carefully follow the directions to be considered for the career opportunities you want to pursue. Good luck!