Page updated 4/1/2014
Reinstatement / Federal Jobs / Civil
If you previously worked for the federal government in a career or
career-conditional appointment you may have reinstatement eligibility.
Reinstatement allows former federal employees to reenter the Federal
competitive service workforce without competing with the general public.
Former federal employees may apply for any open civil service
examination, but reinstatement eligibility also enables you to apply for
Federal jobs open only to status candidates.
You must have held a career or career-conditional appointment at some time in
the past. If so, there is no time limit on reinstatement eligibility for those
who: Have veterans' preference, or Acquired career tenure by completing 3 years
of substantially continuous creditable service.
If you do not have veterans' preference or did not acquire career tenure, you
may be reinstated within 3 years after the date of your separation.
Reinstatement eligibility may be extended by certain activities that occur
during the 3-year period after separation from your last career or
career-conditional appointment. Examples of these activities are:
- Federal employment under temporary, term, or similar appointments.
- Federal employment in excepted, non-appropriated fund, or Senior
Executive Service positions.
- Federal employment in the legislative and judicial branches.
- Active military duty terminated under honorable conditions.
- Service with the District of Columbia Government prior to January 1,
1980 (and other service for certain employees converted to the District's
independent merit system).
- Certain government employment or full-time training that provided
valuable training and experience for the job to be filled.
- Periods of overseas residence of a dependent who followed a Federal
military or civilian employee to an overseas post of duty.
You must conduct your own job search. Reinstatement eligibility does not
guarantee you a job offer. Hiring agencies have the discretion to determine the
sources of applicants they will consider.
Individuals usually apply to agencies in response to vacancies announced
under the merit promotion program. Some agencies accept applications only when
they have an appropriate open merit promotion announcement, while others accept
applications at any time. If you are seeking a higher grade or a position with
more promotion potential than you previously held, generally you must apply
under a merit promotion announcement and rank among the best-qualified
applicants to be selected. Status applicants include individuals who are
eligible for reinstatement.
CLARIFICATION: Reinstatement eligible often assume that they can apply for
any open job that they qualify for non-competitively. This is not the case.
If the highest grade that you last held in your federal job was a GS-9 grade
you can only be rehired into a GS-9 position or lower grade
non-competitively. You can't be hired non-competitively into a higher graded
position. The only way for a reinstatement eligible to be hired into a hired
graded position is to bid competitively through an open job announcement.
Reinstatement eligibles should contact agencies in their area to determine if
job vacancies exist. If an agency knows that a fully qualified reinstatement
eligible applicant is available, and they like that persons application and
interview ,they can be hired on-the-spot. Agencies like having this option for
several reasons. First, they are getting a trained and qualified employee.
Secondly they don't have to advertise the vacancy thereby saving considerable
time, sometimes months including personnel action processing, to get the job
To establish your reinstatement eligibility, you must provide a copy of your
most recent SF 50, Notification of Personnel Action, showing
tenure group 1 or 2, along with your application. You may obtain a copy of your
personnel records from your former agency if you recently separated.
The Federal Records Center has been established as a depository for official
personnel folders of persons no longer in the Federal service. Federal agencies,
generally, transfer employment records to the Federal Records Center thirty days
after the employee has been separated from Federal service.
The telephone numbers and e-mail addresses listed may only be used to contact
the facilities regarding procedures for submitting written requests for
information. The Privacy Act of 1974 (5 USC 552a) and OPM require a signed and
dated written request for information from Federal records. No requests for
information from personnel or any other type of records will be accepted by
telephone or e-mail.
Federal Records Center
National Archives and Records Administration
111 Winnebago Street
St. Louis, Missouri 63118
(314) 801-9250, FAX: 314-801-9269
Inquiries must include your full name under which formerly employed, social
security number, date of birth, and to the extent known, former Federal
employing agencies, addresses and dates of such employment
Locate job announcements on our site
by occupation or
by agency. Also explore
all jobs that you may be
eligible for in both the public and private sectors. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management makes job announcements available
through USAJobs online. You can also contact agencies direct in which you are interested in
working for specific application instructions.
CLARIFICATION: I suggest that you contact all agencies in your area that
could utilize your job skills and send them an updated OF-612 form or
federal style resume along with a copy of your last SF-50 as mentioned
above. Also send a cover letter describing what job you are looking for with
a general introduction. Address the cover letter to the Human Resource
Manager or Personnel Director. Contact your local Federal Executive Board
(FEB) for a list of agencies in your area. Most FEBs now have are online web
Take Charge of Your Federal
Career: A Practical, Action-Oriented Career Management Workbook for
Federal Employees" by Dennis V. Damp describes this process in detail, plus it
directs readers to where the jobs are. Available for $29.95 plus shipping. Order
by phone toll free with all major credit cards at 1-800-782-7424 (ORDERS
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