In most cases applicants seeking permanent employment with a Federal agency in the competitive service must first respond to a vacancy announcement, compete against other applicants, be referred on a OPM Certificate of Eligibles, and be selected to fill a vacant position from that Certificate. Often the process includes the completion of a written examination. This procedure applies to applicants who were never previously appointed to a career or career-conditional position.
This process begins with a vacancy announcement advertised as open to all sources. All sources indicates that everyone's (those in both the private sector and Federal sector) eligible to apply. The announcement will be advertised and posted on the OPM USA jobs web site. Applicants are evaluated against the Qualification Standards for the position, and rated based on their qualifications.