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An Official Web Site of the United States Government
Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Become a PMF

Find a Job

Preparations

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 transcript (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

The majority of 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. 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 Advanced Degree Transcript

Finalists may upload an updated resume and/or updated advanced degree transcript on the Apply Site of the PMF TMS; only the most current version will be accessible by registered agency users. Finalists may send updated resumes and/or new supporting documents directly to the contact identified in the appointment opportunity if requested or instructed to do so in the How to Apply instructions.

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 pmfapplication@opm.gov, 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 on USAJOBS at https://www.usajobs.gov/Help/faq/job-announcement/security-clearances/.

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

UPDATED: 11-16-2020