NASA STARS Applicant Guide
Table of Contents
The NASA Application Process
Locating Employment Opportunities at NASA
Using the USAJOBS Resume Builder
Applying On-Line with NASA STARS
NASA Specific Questions
Supplemental Questionnaire
SES Supplemental Questionnaires

Introduction - The NASA Staffing Process


Since 2001, NASA has been using an automated staffing and recruiting process called NASA STARS that has proved to be a major improvement over the previous manual process. By the use of patented artificial intelligence and information technology, it eliminated the old system of manually processing your application and replaced the old forms -- SF-171s and OF-612s -- with resumes.

On October 1, 2005, NASA moved into a new phase by partnering with the Office of Personnel Management to provide you with a seamless application process, using the USAJOBS web site to post job announcements and the USAJOBS resume as the basic on-line application document.
New Features
If you are applying electronically, use the USAJOBS resume builder, available once you set up a USAJOBS account. You may have up to 5 resumes on your USAJOBS account. Please note that although USAJOBS resumes do not have any overall length restrictions, NASA limits resumes to approximately 32,000 characters (including spaces). You will not be able to complete the application process if you exceed the 32,000 character limit (including spaces).

If you wish to receive information about vacancies meeting your interests, you may use the USAJOBS notification service. Simply set up your search criteria and save the search.

Resumix
The NASA STARS system uses advanced technology to electronically evaluate candidates. This replaces the cumbersome manual review of applications with state-of-the art technology. This allows NASA to process more applications to each job and match the most qualified applicants with the job requirements.
The Resume
This applicant guide will help you prepare the best resume for applying for NASA positions. To apply on-line, use the USAJOBS resume builder. When you create a resume through the builder, it will format correctly and contain all necessary information for consideration. (Paper resumes must be scanned and converted to a text file, which can introduce errors and impede the ability of the system to read your resume.) You will also receive immediate notification of electronic receipt. In order to apply for jobs, you must submit a resume from the USAJOBS web site. NASA does not accept SF-171, OF-612, DD-214, SF-50, SF-15, cover letters, or any other documents as part of the candidate consideration process. If additional documentation is required, you will be asked to provide it if you receive a job offer.

You may have up to five different resumes active on USAJOBS. When you apply for a NASA job, you will be asked to identify which resume you wish to use for that job announcement. We suggest that you name your resumes for easy identification. For example, you might have a resume that emphasizes your accounting experience called 'Accounting', and another that emphasizes your budget experience called 'Budget'. Please note, however, that when you apply, NASA does not maintain the name you have assigned to your resume. If you want to keep this information, we recommend that you make a note of it at the time you apply. NASA does, however, allow you to view the resume you submitted by using the "More Information" link on your USAJOBS Application Status page.

NASA does not accept unsolicited resumes. You must apply to an open job announcement in order to submit a resume.
Supporting Documentation
Unless the job announcement requests additional, specific documents at the time of application, you need not submit anything but your resume. Other forms such as a DD-214, SF-50, or academic transcripts will be requested on a case-by-case basis as requested by the Human Resources Office. Veterans preference will only be considered based on what is supported by later documentation. For instance, if you claim 10-point preference, but are only able to document 5-point preference, you will be considered accordingly. If you fail to provide the required documents within the requested time period, we may withdraw a job offer and/or remove you from further consideration.
Citizenship
With the exception of the Senior Executive Service (SES), NASA positions almost always require US citizenship. The job announcement will specify if citizenship is required. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you may wish to consider opportunities with one of our International Space Partners. The NASA Jobs web page has information on these partners, Job Information/Other Opportunities/Information for Non U.S. Citizens. When U.S. Citizenship is required, you must be a U.S. Citizen at the time of application. All information must be accurate at the time of application.
NASA Is an Equal Opportunity Employer
Selection will be made without discrimination for any non-merit reason such as race, religion, age, sex, national origin, marital status, non-disqualifying physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, or political affiliation.

NASA provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the contact indicated on the job announcement. The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be on a case-by-case basis.
Preparing Your Resume
Be sure to read the instructions carefully before you start preparing your resume. We will not accept resumes that do not contain required information as discussed in this guide.
Key Points
  • You must use the USAJOBS Resume Builder at www.usajobs.gov to submit an electronic resume.
  • Do not use bullets and other special characters. A simple, text resume is best. Emphasizing bullet points with a dash is acceptable formatting.
  • Your resume can be no longer than 32,000 characters (including spaces). You will not be able to complete the application process if your resume is too long.
  • You may have up to five different resumes active in the USAJOBS database.
  • Do not send supplemental documents such as the DD-214 or academic transcripts. If needed, you will be asked for these near the end of the hiring process.
  • When submitting a paper resume, follow the instructions in Alternate Application Method and avoid colors, graphics, pictures, or unusual fonts.
  • Do not fax your resume. NASA will not accept faxed resumes.
  • Mailed resumes must be sent to the Resume Operations Center at Marshall Space Flight Center, not the Center posting the vacancy. See Alternate Application Method for further information.
  • U. S. citizenship is required for NASA employment, except for some rare Senior Executive Service positions.
Process Overview application process overview

Locating Employment Opportunities at NASA

Tracking Your Application

Your USAJOBS "Application Status" page will reflect the status of all jobs to which you have applied using the USAJOBS resume. When you apply to a NASA vacancy, one of the following status options will be listed in the "Application Status" column.

  • Application Status Not Available - This message means you started but did not complete the application process and will need to "update application" to reapply and finish the process in order to have a successful application.
  • Received - This message means you have successfully applied for the vacancy. NASA will evaluate your qualifications and eligibility, and refer you for consideration if appropriate.
  • Reviewed - This message means applications to this vacancy have closed or reached a state where qualifications of applicants to date are under review.
  • Referred - This message means your name and resume have been passed on to the selecting official who may contact you and arrange an interview.
  • Not Referred - This message means you did not meet the requirements to be sent to the selecting official.
  • Not Hired - This message means you were not selected to fill the vacancy. In addition to this status option, you may also receive a letter or email explaining why you were not selected.
  • Hired - This message means you were selected to fill the vacancy. NASA will contact you directly with details.
  • Cancelled - This message means the vacancy was closed without further actions or hires.
Where to Look
You may access a NASA job search through the USAJOBS site or through the "Opportunities" link on NASAJOBS. For accurate and complete search results, we strongly recommend that you log into your USAJOBS account and have completed your USAJOBS profile questionnaire before executing a search. The NASA JOBS site also will continue to provide general employment information of interest to the NASA community.

The USAJOBS search allows applicants to find jobs using a variety of search criteria. You can also save your search and have USAJOBS email you as jobs that match your criteria are added to the site. Again, having a complete USAJOBS profile will give you better results.
Information about NASA Jobs
NASAJOBS also provides an online introduction to the numerous opportunities with NASA. The Where We Work page has more information about the NASA Centers and the local areas.

Job Announcement Types
Once you begin searching for NASA jobs, you will find two types:
  • Case File - Most NASA jobs are opened to candidates as vacancies occur. To be considered for this type of job, your application must be received by midnight Eastern Time on the closing date of the announcement. However, we strongly recommend not waiting until the closing date to submit your application.
  • Open Continuous - Some NASA jobs are open to applicants on an almost continuous basis. Applications made under open continuous announcements are retained for 3 months from the receipt date. Although open continuous jobs have closing dates, a selection may be made at any time during the open period as needs arise. To be considered for this type of announcement, it is recommended that you submit your application early and resubmit after 3 months of inactivity.


Using the USAJOBS Resume Builder


The USAJOBS resume builder provides detailed instructions about completing your resume. Below is some specific information about preparing a resume for consideration at NASA.

When creating your resume at USAJOBS, avoid the use of special characters (e.g. bullets, auto-numbering). Do not copy and paste directly from word processing software (e.g. Microsoft Word) directly into the USAJOBS resume builder. Special characters and hidden codes in the word processor document will not translate correctly. While these codes and characters will not affect the evaluation of your qualifications, it will affect the appearance of your resume.

We strongly recommend using plain text in the USAJOBS resume builder. If you are copying text from a word processing package, paste it into a plain-text editor like Windows Notepad, then copy the resulting text from Notepad and paste it into the USAJOBS resume builder. This extra step will strip special characters from the text.

If you experience problems while using the USAJOBS resume builder, contact USAJOBS directly. NASA cannot provide any direct assistance with using the USAJOBS resume builder.
Social Security Number
NASA does not require your Social Security Number as part of the application process.
Education
Most entry-level professional, engineering, scientific, auditing, and acquisition jobs with NASA require specific degree or coursework.

For Aerospace Technology (AST) positions, applicants are required to show successful completion of a standard professional curriculum in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's degree with a major in an appropriate field of study, such as engineering (not engineering technology), physical science, life science, or mathematics. You can find out more about educational requirements from the job announcement.

If you are interested in applying for positions open under the NASA Distinguished Scholar authority, it is essential that you fully document your education including your grade point average (GPA) on your USAJOBS resume. This information is necessary to evaluate your qualifications at all grade levels. Additionally, Distinguished Scholar positions at the GS-07 level require a break-out of your GPA in your major field of study. Please include that information in the block labeled "Relevant Course Work, Licensures, and Certifications" in section 2: Education, of the USAJOBS resume.

Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet the above requirements if you can show that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States. It is your responsibility to provide such evidence if requested.

The job announcement will list any degrees or specific courses required to meet the minimum qualifications. To receive consideration for positions with specific educational requirements, you must provide specific degree or detailed course information that shows you meet said requirements.

Degrees must be from accredited colleges/universities. For a list or more information, go to www.abet.org.
Professional Publications
Use the Professional Publications area of the USAJOBS resume to list any relevant publications you authored and the publication date(s). List only those that are most recent and/or significant to the job announcement.
Contacting Your Current Supervisor
Indicate if we may contact your current supervisor. If you indicate yes, please be sure to include your supervisor's name and phone number in the corresponding section of the USAJOBS resume.

Applying Online with NASA STARS


General Guidelines
Once you have completed your USAJOBS resume and located a NASA job to which you wish to apply, simply select the 'Apply Online' button. Once you choose which USAJOBS resume you wish to use, the following will occur:
  1. You will be transferred from USAJOBS to the NASA Staffing System.
  2. You will review your resume as NASA extracted it from USAJOBS. If your resume exceeds 32,000 characters (including spaces), you will be returned to USAJOBS to edit your resume and reapply. A short series of screening questions will confirm your interest and eligibility. These questions verify that you meet the area of consideration requirements, and that you are interested in the type of appointment, grade level, and geographical location of the position. They are broken into separate tabs and are applicant (e.g. do you have federal or NASA experience) specific or vacancy type specific (e.g. Pathways, Executive Resources).
  3. If you are applying for an SES position, we will ask you to complete the SES Executive Core Qualifications (ECQ) and SES Executive Technical Qualifications questions. The ECQs have a total 32,000 character limit (including spaces) and the TQs have a 32,000 character limit (including spaces). We strongly recommend that you complete your answers off-line before starting the application process. To facilitate this, the questions are outlined in the job announcement. We also recommend you use a plain-text editor. If you copy and paste from word processing software like Microsoft Word, you will introduce code characters that inhibit the readability of your answers.
You must complete all of the questions and submit your entire application package to receive consideration.

Resume Limit
NASA limits resumes to 32,000 characters (including spaces) but not including the field headings provided by the USAJOBS resume builder.

When you apply for a NASA job, our system will check your resume length. If your resume is too long, you must return to USAJOBS, edit your resume, and reapply.


NASA Specific Questions


Lowest Acceptable Grade
If the vacancy has multiple grades listed, you will be asked to select the lowest grade you are willing to accept FOR THIS POSITION. The grade you will accept is essentially a salary range. More information on Federal salaries can be viewed by visiting the Office of Personnel Management web site.

In many cases, the position will be filled at only one grade. By submitting your application, you are agreeing that grade is acceptable. If the position is being filled at several different grade levels, you must select the lowest grade you will accept. If you qualify, you will also be considered at higher grades (but only grades listed to be filled in vacancy), but you will not be considered for anything lower than the grade you indicate.

If you are applying for a Senior Executive Service (SES) position, this answer defaults to "00".

Most NASA positions are established using the General Schedule (GS) pay scale. This term refers to one of the federal government's system for categorizing and defining jobs. It also determines how much you will be paid. For more information on grade levels and salaries, you can view current federal salary tables by visiting the Office of Personnel Management web site.
Duty Location
Some announcements are open NASA-wide or at multiple centers. In these cases, you must identify the locations for which you would like to be considered. You will not be considered for any locations you do not select. Only the NASA locations relevant to this announcement will appear on the list. View a map of NASA duty locations

Be sure to select all of the locations you will consider for a given vacancy at the time of your application. If you apply to a vacancy more than once, only your latest application is given consideration.
Recruitment Source
This question asks you to provide information about how you found out about this vacancy. You may select only one answer. If you attended a recruiting event, you will be asked to select the applicable recruiting event.

We use this information to determine the effectiveness of our recruiting activities. Your answer does not affect your consideration for NASA positions.
Resume Review
The first thing you see is how your resume looks to NASA. You will be offered an opportunity to review the resume you submitted for this vacancy. At this point, we will advise you as to whether or not your resume meets our length requirements.

Even if your resume meets our length limitations, we recommend that you review it carefully to be sure that you submitted the proper resume, and that all of the information you want us to consider is there. The resume information on this page is exactly what we will be using to evaluate your qualifications. If something is missing, you should return to USAJOBS to ensure that the information is not in a field we don't use.


Supplemental Questionnaire


NASA Employment Status
  • Not Currently a NASA Employee - Select this answer if you are not currently working as a NASA civil service employee. Employees of NASA contractors are not considered NASA employees.
  • Permanent Employee - Select this answer if you are a NASA employee working on an appointment without a time limitation.
  • Term Employee With Conversion Eligibility - Select this answer if you are a NASA term employee who is eligible for conversion under the NASA Term Conversion Authority. If you meet the criteria, you may apply to any NASA vacancy for which you believe you are qualified, even those open only to permanent NASA employees. You do not receive preference in employment, but will be considered equally with other NASA employees. If you are not currently a NASA term employee who competed under an announcement offering conversion eligibility, you are not eligible under this authority.
  • Term Employee Without Conversion Eligibility - Select this answer if you are a NASA term employee who did not compete under an announcement offering conversion eligibility.
  • Temporary Employee - Select this answer if you are a NASA employee on an appointment limited to one year with the possibility of an additional one year extension.
NASA Center
If you have identified yourself as a NASA employee, we require that you identify the center for which you work. Select the Center that employs you (payroll center). This may be different from your geographical Center. You will also be asked to provide your UUPIC. We make this easy with several ways to search for your UUPIC. Simply select your name from the search results.
Repromotion Consideration
NASA employees who are on grade and/or pay retention as a result of reduction-in-force or reclassification are entitled to first consideration for vacancies up to their previous permanent grade level. This does not apply to employees who have accepted voluntary downgrades.

If you are eligible for repromotion consideration, you must answer yes to this question and provide the date of your downgrade. You will only receive special repromotion consideration for positions for which you specifically apply. It does not entitle you to mandatory selection, but if you are qualified, it does ensure that the selecting official will review your resume (and those of other repromotion eligibles) before considering any other candidates.
Federal Employment History
This information is necessary so that we can determine your eligibility for consideration. If you have never been a Federal employee and answer "no" to the initial question, you will not see the questions on "Current Grade" and "High Grade."

Current Grade - If you are currently a Federal employee, on any type of appointment, enter your current grade information.
  • Pay Plan: Enter a two character designation, normally alphabetic.
  • Grade: Select a two character numeric designation. If your current grade is in a pay banded or other system using alphabetic designations, please convert your grade to an equivalent General Schedule (or Wage System) numeric grade, if at all possible. If it is not possible to do this, please enter your grade as "00".

High Grade - Enter the highest pay grade you have held on a permanent basis and the dates that you held that grade. If you completed the "Current Grade" information, that information will automatically appear in the "High Grade" fields. If your "Current Grade" and "High Grade" are not the same, you may enter different information in the "High Grade" fields.

Do NOT include the grade of a position you held on a temporary promotion. A temporary promotion is one that has an "expiration date." Normally your personnel action will say "Promotion NTE Date."
  • Pay Plan: Enter a two character designation, normally alphabetic.
  • Grade: Select a two character numeric designation. If your highest grade was in a pay banded or other system using alphabetic designations, please convert your grade to an equivalent General Schedule (or Wage System) numeric grade, if at all possible. If it is not possible to do this, please enter your grade as "00".
  • From Date: The date you entered the position.
  • To Date: The date you left the position. If you are still employed in this position, select "c" for the month/day/year.
Note: We recognize that this question is also on your USAJOBS resume. However, NASA requires your grade to be numeric and USAJOBS does not. To ensure that our system processes your information properly, we require a number for this answer.
Special Employment Program Eligibility
Some vacancy types ask for special hiring authorities for which an applicant may be eligible. These authorities have very specific eligibility requirements. Select any appropriate employment category or authority that applies to you.
Veterans Recruitment Appointment
If you are a qualified and eligible veteran, the VRA authority provides a way for you to be non-competitively appointed to a position at or below GS-11 (or an equivalent grade in another pay system, e.g., Federal Wage System). After two years of successful employment, you are converted to a permanent career or career-conditional appointment. You may be eligible for a VRA if you fall into any of the following categories:

You may be eligible for a VRA if you fall into any of the following categories:
  • Veterans who are entitled to disability compensation, or who were discharged or released from active duty because of a service connected disability.
  • Veterans who served on active duty in the Armed Forces during a war or in a campaign or expedition for which they received an authorized campaign/expedition badge/medal;
  • Veterans who, while serving on active duty in the Armed Forces, participated in a United States military operation for which they were awarded an Armed Forces Service Medal (AFSM); and
  • Veterans who have separated from active service within the last three years (38 USC 4211(6)).
If you meet one or more of the first three categories, you have permanent eligibility under the VRA authority. If you qualify as a recently separated veteran, you must be appointed within three years of the date of your last separation from active duty.

NOTE: As of March 24, 2004, individuals in possession of either a Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal or a Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and who meet all other eligibility criteria, are eligible for VRA appointments.
Veterans Employment Opportunities Act
This authority allows eligible individuals to compete for vacancies that are advertised under Merit Promotion procedures (i.e. limited to current or former Federal civilian employees in competitive service positions) if we are accepting applications from individuals outside of NASA. You are eligible for consideration under VEOA if you are eligible for veteran's preference or have been honorably discharged from the armed forces after 3 or more years of continuous active military service. (Active Service is defined in title 37, United States Code, as active duty in the uniformed services and includes full-time training duty, annual training duty, National Guard duty, and attendance, while in the active service, at a school designated as a service school by law or by the Secretary concerned.)

Current Federal employees on career or career conditional appointments will not be considered under this authority, and MUST compete under NASA merit promotion procedures.

If you would like more information about this authority, or about veterans' preference, please review the information on the Office of Personnel Management web site.
Employment Programs for People with Disabilities
The Federal Government's hiring options include excepted service special appointing authorities for people with disabilities. Federal employers are authorized to use these authorities when considering certain people with disabilities (those who have severe physical, cognitive, or psychiatric disabilities or who have a history of or who are regarded as having such disabilities). The authorities provide a unique opportunity to demonstrate the potential to successfully perform the essential duties of a position with or without reasonable accommodation in the workplace.

The amended Rehabilitation Act of 1973 defines a person with a disability as an individual who:
  • Has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more of such person's major life activities (such as: caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working). A physical or mental impairment means:
  • Any physiological disorder, or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more systems such as: neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, respiratory, genito-urinary, hemic and lymphatic, skin, and endocrine
  • Any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities. Has a record of such an impairment (this means that the person has a history of, or has been classified as having a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities)
  • Is regarded as having such an impairment; this includes individuals who are perceived to have disabilities.
Qualified person with a disability: A qualified person with a disability can perform the essential functions of the position in question, with or without reasonable accommodation.

Certification: An individual who has a physical disability is considered to have met OPM qualification standards for either a temporary competitive service appointment or an excepted service Schedule A appointment when an appropriate certification is received from a State Vocational Rehabilitation Agency (SVRA) or the Department of Veterans Affairs. The certification must state that in the counselor's judgment the proposed appointee is able to perform the duties of the position and is physically qualified to do the work safely. The certification must be supported by a medical report and a narrative statement documenting the counselor's conclusions. Factors to be discussed include training, education, work history, modification of job or worksite if needed, and limitations of the proposed appointee.

The certification required for an excepted service Schedule A appointment of an individual who is mentally retarded need only state that the individual has the ability to perform the duties of the position; is physically able to do the job safely; and can maintain himself or herself in the work environment. No medical report is required.

The certification required for appointment of individuals with psychiatric disabilities under an excepted Schedule B appointment must include documentation of a history of mental illness which includes periods of hospitalization or outpatient treatment within the previous two years; a statement by a psychologist or psychiatrist as to the individual's capability to function in the work setting; and a statement indicating that the individual is currently unemployed or has had a significant period of substantially disrupted employment within the previous two years.

If you are interested in being considered under one of the hiring authorities for persons with disabilities, contact a State Vocational Rehabilitation Agency or a Department of Veterans Affairs rehabilitation counselor to obtain a letter certifying your disability. Once you have the letter, you may apply for NASA jobs under this program.
Former Peace Corps Employee
Non-Competitive Eligibility (NCE) is based on status as a former Peace Corps Employee with service noted in resume for verification.
Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV) or AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer
Non-Competitive Eligibility (NCE) is based on status as a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV) -OR- as a former AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) volunteer with status noted in resume for verification.
Military Spouse
Military spouses are eligible under this authority if the active duty military spouse: 1) receives a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) move; 2) has a 100% disability rating; or 3) died while on active duty. Each of these categories has different eligibility criteria that must be met.
Buy-Out/Voluntary Separation Incentive Payment
A buy-out or Voluntary Separation Incentive Payment is a payment made to Federal employees as an incentive to retire or resign.

Indicate if you have ever accepted a buy-out/Voluntary Separation Incentive Payment (VSIP). If you answer "Yes," provide the acceptance date.

If you have accepted a buy-out to leave Federal employment and are reemployed with the Federal government under any type of appointment, for any duration, (temporary or permanent) within 5 years following your separation date, you are required to repay the full amount of the buyout prior to your reemployment. This requirement cannot be waived. More information is available at the OPM website.
Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) / Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP)
A participant in this plan is a current or former federal employee displaced from a Federal agency. To be eligible, you must have received a formal notice of separation such as a reduction-in-force (RIF) separation notice. If you are a NASA employee, you will receive consideration under the CTAP; employees of other agencies are covered under ICTAP. If you are eligible, you will be provided priority consideration for vacancies within your commuting area for which you apply and are well qualified. See the Basis of Rating section in the job announcement for definition of well qualified.

If you answer "Yes" to this question, provide the date you received notice that conferred eligibility.
Ethnicity, Race, Sex
These are the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's categories for answers to these questions. This information is used only for statistical purposes and in no way affects your consideration for employment with NASA. The data is optional for the applicant to answer.

SES Supplemental Questionnaires


Applicants for Senior Executive Service (SES) positions are required to respond to specific questions regarding their qualifications. These questions fall into two groups:

Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs)  ECQs address five critical managerial competencies required by all SES positions across the Federal government. They are designed to determine whether or not you possess the managerial and leadership skills necessary to be effective in an SES position.

Technical Qualifications  The Technical Qualifications are specific to the position for which you are applying. They ask you to provide information about your possession of subject matter knowledge and competencies as they relate directly to the field in which the position is located.

Responses to these questions are considered part of your application package, and you will not receive consideration for an SES position unless you address these items.

Completing the ECQs and Technical Questions
If you are submitting an on-line application, we STRONGLY recommend that you prepare your answers off-line in a separate plain-text editor (.txt file). You can then "paste" them into the electronic application form. Pasting from other software editors like Microsoft Word will introduce incompatible code that will make your answers difficult to read. Special formatting such as bullets and non-alphanumeric characters provided in word processing software will not convert properly. This approach has several advantages:
  • Working off-line allows you to develop your answers in more than one sitting, and helps to ensure that they are polished, concise, and complete
  • Using a word processing or text document allows you to monitor the length of your answers. The ECQs and the Technical Questions EACH may not be longer than 32,000 characters (including spaces). Working off-line means that you can be sure your answer says everything you wish to cover within the length limitation.
  • At the present time, the electronic submission process does not save incomplete answers. Therefore, if you begin your responses in the on-line form, but are unable to complete them and submit your application package, you will lose the work you have done.
Executive Core Qualifications (ECQ's)
In order to receive consideration for this position you must provide a work example for the five Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs). You may answer each question individually, or you may combine one or more of your responses in a single narrative. If you elect to combine responses, you should indicate specifically which ECQs you are addressing in a combined fashion. Regardless of how you approach the ECQs, you MUST address all five items below.
  1. Leading Change  Involves the ability to bring about strategic change, within and outside the organization, to meet organizational goals. Inherent to this is the ability to establish an organizational vision and to implement it in a continuously changing environment.
  2. Leading People  Involves the ability to lead people toward meeting the organization's vision, mission, and goals. Inherent to this is the ability to provide an inclusive workplace that fosters the development of others, facilitates cooperation and teamwork, and supports constructive resolution of conflicts.
  3. Results Driven  Involves the ability to meet organizational goals and customer expectations. Inherent to this is the ability to make decisions that produce high-quality results by applying technical knowledge, analyzing problems, and calculating risks.
  4. Business Acumen  Involves the ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically.
  5. Building Coalitions  Involves the ability to build coalitions internally and with other federal agencies, State and local governments, nonprofit and private sector organizations, foreign governments, or international organizations to achieve common goals.
If you choose, you also may provide a short executive summary of your background and qualifications, either before or after you answer the five questions.

Please keep in mind that your response to all the questions combined can be no longer than 32,000 characters (including spaces).

If you apply electronically, and attempt to submit something longer, your response will be rejected until it meets the length requirements. If you submit your application in hard copy, we will not accept responses in excess of the 32,000 character limit (including spaces), and you will not receive consideration.
Exceptions to the Requirement to Complete ECQ's
If you are a current career member of the SES or have reinstatement eligibility based on prior service under a career SES appointment, you do not need to address the ECQs. This is because the ECQs are designed to evaluate your possession of skills essential for initial entry in the SES. As a current or former career SES member, you have already demonstrated that you meet this requirement. Simply indicate on the NASA ECQ form by checking the appropriate box that you are exempt from answering the ECQs.

If you are unsure whether or not you are exempt from completing the ECQs, the following information may be helpful:
  • Reinstatement Eligibility: If you are a former career member of the SES who successfully completed your one-year probationary period, you are considered to have permanent eligibility to be reinstated to an SES position.
  • Career Appointment: Most SES appointments are "career." If, however, you had an SES appointment with a time limitation, such as a provisional or limited term, you do not meet this requirement. Similarly, individuals who were given non-career appointments, such as political appointees, do not meet this requirement. The simplest way to resolve this question is to review your appointment documents. If they say anything OTHER than "career," you must complete the ECQs.
You may choose to complete ECQs, even if not required to do so. However, there is normally no advantage to doing so.
Technical Qualifications
In order to receive consideration for this position you must provide a work example for each of the technical qualifications. The number of questions will vary, depending upon the job for which you are applying.

Please keep in mind that your response can be no longer than 32,000 characters (including spaces).