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Job Postings Glossary

Sometimes the language used in federal job applications can be a little confusing. This section defines some of the terms that GSA and the job announcements on USAJOBS use in throughout the application process.

TIP: Print this section and refer to it as you work on your application.

Job Announcement Number
A unique number assigned to each job we announce for tracking purposes. Include this job announcement number on each page of any application materials you submit.

Job Title
The name that GSA has given to the position.

Salary Range
The low and high salary range for the job.

Series & Grade
The job "series" describes the type of job being advertised. A job series groups together positions that have similar functions and qualifications.
"Grade" represents the pay level of the position, which is based on the level of difficulty and responsibility.

Promotion Potential
Identifies the highest grade to which you could be promoted without further competition. Some jobs have the potential for noncompetitive promotion and others do not; it depends on how the position is structured.

For jobs with promotion potential, promotions may occur after you have:

  • Worked at the lower grade level for at least one year;
  • Performed at an acceptable level of competence; and
  • Demonstrated your ability to perform work at the next higher grade level.

For example, a position advertised at the GS-11 level with promotion potential to the GS-13 level means that you may be eligible for promotion to the GS-12 level at the end of your first year of employment. Once promoted to the GS-12 level, you may be eligible for promotion to the GS-13 level at the end of a year.

Who Can Be Considered
This explains who can apply for the position. The options are:

  • General Public
    • The only basic requirement is United States citizenship. There is no requirement for previous government service.
  • Current and Former Federal Employees
    • To apply for these positions, you must have status or be eligible under a special appointment authority. Examples include:
      • GSA employee on a career or career-conditional appointment.
      • Federal employee for a different agency on a career or career-conditional appointment.
      • Former federal employee who attained career status; left federal service and wishes to obtain a new appointment.
      • Former federal employee who worked in the federal service on a career-conditional appointment within the last three years, left the federal service, and wishes to obtain a new appointment.
      • Veteran eligible for appointment under the Veterans Recruitment Appointment (formerly Veterans Readjustment Appointment), the 30% or more Disabled Veteran Program, or the Veterans Employment Opportunity Act.
      • Disabled applicant, eligible for appointment under the Disability Program.
  • GSA Employees Only
    • Open only to GSA Employees currently working for GSA on a career or career-conditional appointment or under a special appointing authority (e.g., Veterans Recruitment Appointment or Disabilities Program).
    • If you work for GSA on a temporary or term appointment, you are not eligible unless you previously attained career or career conditional status in the federal government on another appointment.

Open Period
The time period during which applications will be accepted.  Applications must be received by the closing date; we will not consider late applications.

Position Information
Indicates the duration and work schedule (i.e., "full," "part-time") of the job.

Duty Station
Where the job is physically located.

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Other Characteristics (KSAs)
Once applicants meet the minimum qualifications for a position, GSA uses KSAs to further assess them. GSA will review the information in your application package and "score" your application based on how well your education, training, and/or experience matches the position's requirements.

The job announcement lists the KSAs required for the position. As part of the online application process, you will be asked a series of job-related questions that are designed to assess your possession of these KSAs.

This term applies to promotion of current and former federal employees. Generally, federal employees working at grade levels 5 and above must serve 52 weeks in their current grade before becoming eligible for promotion. This requirement is called time-in-grade. Time-in-grade restrictions do not apply to former federal employees who have had a break in service of more than one year.


Review openings for GSA positions at USAJOBS.

Special Hiring Preferences

Veterans and government employees may be eligible for special consideration.

In job openings, look for the Veterans or CTAP/ICTAP (Career Transition Assistance Plan/Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan) section for information about the extra documents required.

GSA at a Glance

GSA supports the business of the U.S. federal government. It supplies federal purchasers with cost-effective products and services from commercial vendors; provides workplaces for federal employees; and develops policies covering travel, property, and property management.

How Do I…
Have a Question About a Job Posting?

Start by looking over the job announcement to see if the information you need is included. Each job announcement includes a point of contact who you can speak to should you have a question.

careers at gsa, job announcement terminology