Here is a fact people, USAJOBS does NOT hire or screen people OPM does. As a website, it's pretty good and easy to navigate.
Most of these reviews should be for the OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT (OPM).
MY STORY: I was hired without an interview after I got out as a disabled VET. I went through the VOCREHAB program set up by the VA and ya I got two degrees too. I submitted 100's of resumes for federal positions for TWO years with minimal "REFERRED TO SELECTING OFFICIAL" notices, maybe 5 or so times. That stinks considering how many jobs I applied for. But I was doing it all WRONG - ALL WRONG!
However, just as my unemployment ran out I was sent an email asking if I wanted a job I had NOT interviewed for - It was a GS-5 position. Yes, I was bummed since I was a Senior NCO when I got out and was doing quite well money wise. We all know GS-5 pay sucks.
So, I toiled for a few days, asked around and at the end of the day I took the position. Something is better than nothing and after all, I would be in the system.
That was 5.5 years ago, and now I am a GS-12 with a career I never thought I'd have or knew of.
My Chief said I was not hired because I was a Veteran but because my resume showed versatility and at the GS-5 level there was lots of room to grow.
Since getting in, my veteran status HAS helped me get promoted for sure however, I had to go TDY for three and a half months away from my family but the sacrifice paid off AND I got quite a few graduate credits from that school. Win-win.
My point is, if you are NOT getting REFERRED TO THE SELECTING OFFICIAL it's YOUR RESUME, not YOU. When I was going through the VOCREHAB program the feds that came and lectured us on federal hiring said one thing that chimes through whenever I apply for a new job in the government.
They said and I quote "Unfortunately the most qualified people will NOT get the federal jobs out there it's the ones with the BEST RESUME". And I can tell you first hand - THAT IT IS TRUE.
That is unless they have ALREADY pegged a job for SOMEONE. That too is unfortunately true in many cases. That is a prohibited practice but it does happen.
I paid a federal resume writing service to write ONE federal resume for me for a job I was interested in. I did not get that job BUT I was referred. Since that time I took that one resume and tweaked it for every job since and I get referred A LOT. Even for higher paying position, I apply for today.
I do get referred to the selection official a lot, yes, but like you do NOT get selected for many positions and I am a federal employee AND disabled Vet.
Think OPM not USAJOBS when it comes to federal hiring. OPM screens applicants for the process NOT USAJOBS. Now you know who to get mad at.
Also, think BIG RESUME, a 5 - 8 page resume is the NORM forget everything you have ever heard about the one-page resume. In federal hiring that will get you passed over every single time. They scan for KEY WORDS forget the opening statements too UNLESS that statement is filled with KEY WORDS you got from the job announcement. You HAVE to ADJUST the RESUME to EVERY job you apply for EVERY ONE OF THEM. One size does NOT fit all in this process.
And when in doubt HIRE A FEDERAL RESUME WRITER, KEY WORDS WILL GET YOU REFERRED. And for the love of God DON'T DEPEND on your DEGREES unless you are a Nurse, Doctor, Lawyer and so on, and even then EXPERIENCE and LENGTH of your resume WILL make things happen faster for you.
I've been where you are. Understanding the screwed up way this SCREENING process goes will get you in the door. Volume in applying is also a must. Don't submit 10 resumes and expect to be hired, when there are 1000's applying for that same federal jobs, VOLUME and RESUME are what counts.
And when you get DO get referred, and you will. That selection LIST you are on has 5 - 8 other people on in ranked positions SO KEEP APPLYING FOR OTHER JOBS while you wait.
I hope this cleared some things up for you. Just know 1000's of non-vets get hired every day in the federal government. You may have to take a LOWER paying job to just get in the system as well. Only you can make that decision as to if that will work for you.
Walking in the federal door as a GS-12, 13, 14, 15 is rare but NOT impossible. Remember one thing you ARE competing with CURRENT federal employees for those higher paying positions as well.
GOOD LUCK, and I hope this cleared some things up for you.