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An Official Web Site of the United States Government

Become a PMF

Find a Job

Diverse group of people waiting to be interviewed.


There are a few immediate things to keep in mind as Finalists begin the process of securing a PMF position with an agency. It can take a few weeks to pass a background investigation and/or several months to obtain a security clearance (if applicable). This is highly dependent on the background security requirements and clearance levels required at each agency and for the position. Because you'll want to have as much control as possible over when you start your PMF position, it is important to plan ahead. Finalists should review the “Finalist Checklist” under the Resources and FAQs webpages. In addition:

  1. Keep your contact information, resume, and transcripts (if applicable) updated via your applicant user account on the Apply Site of the PMF TMS.
  2. Search for and begin applying to PMF appointment opportunities on the Apply Site of the PMF TMS.
  3. Start collecting information for the background investigation (see additional information below).

Keep Your Contact Info Updated

Most communications from the PMF Program Office and participating Federal agencies are conducted by email (via your personal email address and work email address for those appointed as Fellows). Both current Finalists and Fellows maintain their current contact information by logging into their applicant user account on the Apply Site of the PMF TMS. Upon appointment as a Fellow, the Agency PMF Coordinator from the appointing agency must initially record your appointment and work contact information. The PMF Program Office may record appointment information on behalf of an Agency PMF Coordinator. Fellows can view their appointment information by logging into the Apply Site. We strongly encourage Finalists to update their contact information to include an email address where you can successfully be reached. Many Finalists at this stage switch their email address from an “.edu” account to an email address where they can be reached even after they graduate.

Update Your Resume and Transcripts

Finalists may upload an updated advanced or undergraduate degree transcript on the Apply Site of the PMF TMS; only the most current version will be accessible by registered agency users. If a Finalist does not upload an updated version, agencies will view the version the Finalist submitted when he/she applied to the program.

The resume a Finalist submitted as part of their initial application to the PMF Program serves as a default resume for registered agency users to search and view Finalists on the PMF TMS. Finalists are able to update this default resume on the Apply Site of the PMF TMS. The default resume is different than the resume a Finalist may use to apply to PMF appointment opportunities via Apply Now on the Apply Site of the PMF TMS.

When applying to a specific PMF appointment opportunity, Finalists are required to upload a resume and have the option of including a Message of Consideration/Cover Letter. Finalists are highly encouraged to upload a version of their resume that clearly and comprehensively demonstrates their qualifications, relevant experiences, and skills for the position they are applying to.  Lastly, Finalist must comply with any additional instructions provided by agencies in the “How to Apply” instructions in the announcement.

If a Finalist has a change to their claim for veterans' preference (e.g., updated supporting documentation), he/she should send an email to the PMF Program Office via, along with a copy of the updated documents. The PMF Program Office will review and re-adjudicate accordingly.

For those Finalists who are current graduate students and expected to complete their advanced degree requirements by the August 31st deadline, you must upload an updated advanced degree transcript to continue eligibility and make available to agencies to verify.

Selection as a Finalist is an accomplishment in and of itself! Agencies recognize how Finalists are selected from a large applicant pool and are aware of the rigorous and highly competitive nature of the program. Finalists are encouraged to add a reference to their resume to indicate their selection as a Finalist. For example, "Selected as a Finalist for the Class of 20xx in the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program."

Prepare for a Background Investigation

All new hires into the Federal Government must complete some level of a background investigation before being issued government identification and/or starting their position. If you are offered an appointment, the appointing agency's Human Resources Office will send you the necessary paperwork and instructions. The PMF Program Office does not initiate or perform background investigations.

These investigations can be lengthy and may require you to provide extensive information regarding your background. Completing an investigation can take anywhere from weeks to several months. The most common Standard Forms (SF) used by Federal agencies is the SF 85, Questionnaire for Non-Sensitive Positions, or the SF 86, Questionnaire for National Security Positions. You are highly encouraged to review these forms and start collecting the requested data ahead of time so that you are prepared just in case. Some Federal agencies require agency-specific forms for this purpose; if this is the case, they will inform you. Common forms used for background investigations can be found under the Resources webpage.

Keep in mind that it is common for background investigations to be much longer than normal for higher-level security clearances and for those with any overseas activity (e.g., attended school overseas, resided overseas, relatives overseas, military stationed overseas, extended travel, etc.). Depending upon the circumstance, it is possible that prior background investigations will not transfer from one Federal agency to another and many agencies have unique requirements.

The background investigation process can be lengthy and expensive for the hiring agency. If a Finalist changes their mind after accepting a PMF appointment offer, he/she should immediately notify the Agency PMF Coordinator and agency contact identified in the appointment opportunity; there are most likely other Finalists vying for the same position.

The PMF Program Office is not involved in the background investigation process and cannot answer any questions in this regard. Finalists should contact the Agency PMF Coordinator for questions and the status of their background investigation. Finalists are not able to initiate or fund their own background investigation. The level of the background investigation is based on how the position is classified as and the agency's policies and procedures.

General information about background investigations can be found at the following:


The PMF Talent Management System (TMS) that Applicants, Finalists, Fellows, and Alumni use, includes an Events Management System (EMS). This module enables the PMF Program Office to solicit and manage events specific to program participants. We use this module to advertise events such as Informational Webinars, Agency Meet-and-Greets, training and development, etc. The EMS will include some past events for current Fellows (e.g., PMF Leadership Development Program (LDP) activities).

Participants can learn more by reviewing the “EMS Fact Sheet” posted under the “Resources” section on the Apply Site of the PMF TMS at

Visit the next section to view information on the Hiring Fair.

UPDATED:  08-01-2022