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Recruitment Policy Studio

Federal Section
Planning for Recruiting - Pathways
Pathways for students and recent graduates to federal careers

Public Notification



What options are available to satisfy the public notification requirement under the Pathways Programs? (READ MORE)
To satisfy the Pathways Programs public notification requirement found in 5 CFR 326.104(c)(6)(iii) and 362.105(b), an agency must first provide OPM information about the job opportunities it intends to fill through Pathways and how it intends to post the opportunity. The agency has the option to post a job opportunity announcement, an advertisement, or a notice of a recruiting event/job fair on www.USAJOBS.gov/StudentsandGrads. When using a USAJOBS advertisement or notice of recruitment event, agencies must provide a public source (such as a link on the agency’s webpage) which contains information about how to attend the event and how to apply if an interested party cannot attend the event.


What information must be included in a job announcement for a Pathways Internship position? (READ MORE)
At a minimum, agencies’ job opportunity announcements for Internship or Recent Graduate Programs positions posted on www.USAJOBS.gov/StudentsandGrads must include:
  • Position title, series and grade of the position(s) being filled
  • Geographic location(s) of the position(s) being filled
  • Information about how to apply or a link to the agency’s website for more information and instructions for submitting an application
  • Reasonable Accommodation statement
  • Information about how to claim veterans preference
OPM also recommends inclusion of the following information in job opportunity announcements:
  • Brief description of duties of the job(s) to be filled
  • Available work schedules for the job(s) to be filled
  • Information about the possibility of conversion to permanent appointment (if applicable)
  • Promotion potential (if applicable)
  • Links to Pathways Programs information
  • Availability of relocation expenses or recruitment incentives (if applicable)


Can an agency advertise at a career fair (or host its own), accept applications ONLY at that event, without providing public notification of the event? (READ MORE)
No. Agencies must provide public notification (via www.USAJOBS.gov/StudentsandGrads and/or information on the agency’s website) when accepting applications for Pathways positions for which they are conducting recruitment. Moreover, the agency must post an adequate alternative method of applying for candidates who do not attend the career fair or other event.


What options does an agency have to manage its Pathways job announcement to avoid situations where the response to the USAJOBS announcement is an unmanageably high number of applications? (READ MORE)
Agencies have several options for managing the Pathways job announcement process so that it does not result in receiving an unmanageably high number of applications, including:
  • Limiting the announcement open period. Agencies have discretion to determine the length of time a Pathways Program job opportunity announcement is open. When doing so, agencies should give consideration to the type of position, grade level, and geographic location of the position being filled. For example, an Internship not-to-exceed (NTE) administrative position in a remote location with a nearby campus being filled at the GS-4 level for the summer months may not need to be open as long as a scientific or technical Internship position being filled at the GS-11 level at the Department headquarters location.
  • Limiting the number of applications received. Agencies have the discretion to set ‘cut-offs’ or limits (e.g., the first 75 or 100 applications received) on the number of applications it will consider when filling a given Pathways position. When using such limits, OPM strongly encourages agencies to accept any applications received up until 11:59 p.m. of the day the limit is reached (to accommodate applicants in non-Eastern time zones).
  • Using specific eligibility requirements for entrance into your agency’s Pathways Programs. With respect to your agency’s Intern Program, you may use requirements such as the ability to work a specified number of hours each week or be in good academic standing; i.e., maintenance of a minimum grade point average (GPA) as eligibility criteria. [Note: Agencies may not require the completion of educational requirements for specific coursework for occupations that do not have a positive education requirement.] In addition, agencies may require that applicants affirm their ability to work in the specific location(s) listed in the announcement.
An agency's procedures for receiving applications (see 5 CFR 302.201) must address the use of these options. Additionally, when one or more of limitations are used the agency must state the limitation in the Pathways job opportunity announcements. Agencies must consider the merit systems principles when posting notices and consider whether the notice and time allowed will provide for a fair and open competition that assures that potential applicants for the position will receive fair and equitable treatment. Consultation with agency counsel is always desirable.