application status on usajobs

You might have heard already that applying for a federal government job is a process that takes much time. First of all, you will need to invest a considerable amount of time and effort into creating a decent resume tailored for the specific job announcement you want to apply for. After creating a resume using the USAJOBS resume builder or uploading your own federal resume file, you will need to complement your application with other documents listed in the job announcement requirements, as well as fill in the self-assessment questionnaire. This is when your application package becomes complete and ready to be submitted.

But what happens next?

After submitting your application, you enter the process of being screened and evaluated by the Federal Human Resources Specialist. On your part, all you can do now is watch the changes in your USAJOBS application status, which you can find at “my USAJOBS account“.

When you go to the application manager page, you will see the list of all your applications with the updated application status displayed next to each application. Below, we will explain what each status means, in other words, the current position of your application in the long federal government job application process.

Advancing USAJOBS Application Status

Each status in the following list shows that your application has been received and moves forward in the application process.


This status means that the hiring agency has received your application. Your application status will change into Received when your application has successfully gone through.


The USAJOBS Reviewed status will most likely appear only after the job announcement is closed by the hiring agency. This ensures that the process of evaluating the applications is fair. However, this also means that you might have to wait for quite a long time until the Received status of your application changes into the Reviewed status. Please note that not all hiring agencies assign this status to a candidate’s application after it was reviewed.

How long does USAJOBS take to review applications? The application reviewing process might take some time, so you will need to be patient when waiting for your application status updates. The duration of this process depends on many factors including the number of applicants for the specific position. Normally, it will take from 2 to 4 weeks for your application to get reviewed.


You might not see the USAJOBS application status Best Qualified shining next to your application, however, this is what basically the USAJOBS Referred status means. Those applications that are considered by the Federal Human Resources Specialist best qualified for the position at USAJOBS are referred to the selecting official. This means that your application has moved one step further in the application process, and the selecting official will now be evaluating your application to determine whether to select you for the job interview.


This status shows that your application has been chosen by the selecting official, who decided that you are qualified enough to be invited for an interview and receive a job offer. Nevertheless, after seeing this application status, the candidate should still be patient since it might take some time before they receive a phone call from the hiring agency.


This is the status that does not need much explanation. It appears next to your application after you have accepted the job offer you were made by the hiring agency.

Paused USAJOBS Application Status

If you can see such a status next to your application, this means that you need to take further action in order to complete it.

In Progress

This status basically shows that your application is in the middle of the completion/submission process, which is to be finished.


When you see the USAJOBS Application Incomplete status next to your application, this means that you need to take action so that your application could be accepted by the application system. This status can appear when your application lacks some documents required by the position or when you have not completed the application submission process.

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Stopped USAJOBS Application Status

If one of the following status updates appear next to your application at USAJOBS, this means that either your candidature has been considered not qualified enough to continue the competition or the hiring agency has canceled the job announcement.

Not Referred

This status means that your application, after being reviewed, was not considered one of the best qualified in order to be referred to the selecting official.

Not Selected

This application status shows that the selecting official has not chosen your candidature to be offered an invitation to the job interview.

Not Hired

This status appears when you have either declined the job offer made by the hiring agency or when you have not been offered the job.


You might see this application status when the hiring agency has canceled the job announcement without hiring anyone.

What Does Status Candidate Mean on USAJOBS

While sounding like one of the USAJOBS application status terms, the “status candidate” has a different meaning.

This term refers to the former or current federal employees who have a total of three years of qualifying service. The status candidates can apply for the positions that are marked as open to Federal employees – Competitive service, also known as “merit promotion”.

Still unsure about how to use USAJOBS site? Read our guide articles:

How to complete an occupational questionnaire on USAJOBS

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Professional resume writer Daniella EpsteinDaniella Epstein

Daniella knows all ins and outs of the federal hiring process. She is excellent at job hunting strategies, starting from federal resume writing to the final stage of interview conduction.
  1. Avatar

    After the Job has been closed, and they acknowledged they received your application, can they still refer you? Or if you are not referred and it closes does that mean you will no longer have a chance to be referred?

  2. Avatar
    Linda Magee

    Hi Daniella,

    I was referred for a position 01/08/2020 but I haven’t heard anything since then. Is this normal? How can I know if a decision has been made?

    Also how does “Qualifications under review” compare to “Your application has been received for processing”?

    1. user

      Hi Linda,
      Yes, it’s absolutely normal, but I would recommend you to make a call and ask about the final decision.
      Check out the contact of the hiring manager at the bottom of the job announcement.

      Your application Received means the hr received your job application.
      Your application Reviewed means the hr reviewed your job application, but still didn’ choose you as a qualified specialist.

  3. Avatar

    What if there is no hiring manager or servicing agency listed in the announcement? Who do I direct inquiries to?

    1. user

      Hi Fred,
      Check out How to Apply section on USAJOBS.
      You’ll find Agency contact information.
      Even if there is no phone number, write your inquiry to the email address.
      If there is no email address, copy the address of the agency and search it on Google. You’ll find contact number for sure.

  4. Avatar

    I have several application that only say received and I have never heard anything else about them? Does this mean my application is not going through??

    1. Daniella Epstein
      Daniella Epstein

      Hi, Lisa. We’re sure your application is going through, it just takes time to mark it as Reviewed. As you know, the federal hiring process is not so fast, so please be patient and good luck! 🙂

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