It is important to understand the different types of federal employments for when you are applying to positions. You need to be ensured that you are applying for the right position for you. Many people that are not in the federal government whom are trying to obtain a federal position find themselves flustered and confused by all the “government jargon” and often don’t even attempt or finish a federal application once they start it.
The truth of the matter is, that is a good thing for the government agency whom has a “name in mind” for the position being advertised. When you don’t complete a application, your application is “tossed out” of the applicant lists. This is why it is important to complete the application even if you get frustrated. The federal employment applicants whom are considered “Career” are current or previous federal employees whom have completed at least 3 years of federal service. This is very important because their names automatically go on the “List of eligibles” for the position as long as they have worked in that job title and grade before. This means that no matter how low on the “totem pole” they score their names are referred to the hiring official regardless – as long as they completed the application. The “Career – Conditional” status is a federal employee that has less than 3 years of federal service, but if they have worked in the title and grade of the position being advertised they are automatically on the list as long as they completed the application as well.
Then what is the difference between the two you ask? The difference is the “Career” applicant is automatically referred to any position they apply for, no matter what the grade is as long as they have served as that title and grade before. The “Career Conditional” application is only eligible for that specific grade and title. For example, if you applied for a Administrative Officer General Schedule 9 (GS – 9) and you were a “Career” applicant you are now eligible for the GS-9, GS-7, GS – 5 and so on down. Whereas if you applied for this same position and you were only “Career Conditional” you are only going to be referred for the position you applied for. The federal rule says that “once a employee is found qualified and eligible for a position, they don’t have to re-apply for it. So, in this case the agency may out right offer the position to the “Career” applicant but, the “Career Conditional” employee may or may not have to interview for it.
The key is, once a federal employee obtains a “Career” status they can apply for just about any position which they have held before and they have a better chance of being hired than a federal employee whom is only “Career Conditional” status. Note: A federal employee may obtain 3 years service from different agencies and still obtain their “Career” status, it is not a rule that the 3 years have to be obtained at the same agency, department or office as long as you have 3 years of service. The “Golden Ticket” to federal employment is obtaining 3 years of service.