Required Documents and Why They Matter

Hello out there.

I hope you’re learning some new and useful information. Today we approach the topic on REQUIRED DOCUMENTS for applications. I can’t tell you enough how important this is to progress from applicant to interview to “REFERRED”. If there is one thing that you absolutely can’t afford to mess up it’s this part of your application. Obviously your resume must be reflective of your new position, but that’s for a different post altogether. This is also the easiest way to maximize your chances to being “REFERRED” and to get that interview.

Each position that I have applied to has had required documents. This means they are REQUIRED and having talked with many Federal HR professionals this is what separates the majority of applicants for any given position. Often we are searching for a position, review the necessary experience, possible duties etc. But when it comes time to double checking that we have all the requested documents, we are tired and excited and we leave out something.

This seems like an easy problem to solve, but when I last talked to a Federal HR professional, they told me that if they had to guess 85%, yes 85% of applicants submit their application package missing something. What an easy way to get knocked out of the pool. Once again I suggest printing out your job announcement, underlining the required documents, uploading them to your profile before even applying for the positions so you can make sure that you have everything. I can’t tell you how many applications it took for me to just run through websites, downloading fillable forms, saving them to my hard drive and then having to upload them again. So let’s make this easy. allows you to have 10 documents loaded into your profile at any given time. If you have experienced the application process before, having a Cover Letter isn’t typically asked for, so with that out of the way build your profile with the following documents.

  • Resume – obviously
  • Passport – always good to have it on hand to verify who you are
  • OF-306 – needs to be updated with new dates/signature every 3 months
  • College Transcripts – these don’t need to be genuine, as HR will ask you to have authenticated ones sent once you get to the offer stage

That’s it. Now you have at least 7 slots to fill. Since I have federal employment along with military service I also keep my DD-214 uploaded, my recent SF-50, and my SF-15 which is used to file for 10 point preference for disabled Veterans. These are all documents that don’t need any type of date/time stamp. Along with these I have some certifications that I also keep uploaded, so really I just have to check the box when I am in the application portal and within a few minutes of rereading my notes that I’ve taken on the printed version of the questionnaire, the easy part is done. Now the waiting begins..

I think we’ve got that down now. Figure out your truly important On-Hand documents to have. Load them into your profile. Then upload anything else that may be requested. I think I’ve said it 5 times in this post, but be very aware of the REQUIRED DOCUMENTS, don’t let forgetting one be the downfall of your new positions like 85% of other applicants. Looking at this objectively, who wants to hire someone who can’t follow the basic instructions to even applying for a job, I certainly wouldn’t.

Happy Hunting..


OPM Screen Capture of Standard Forms

Links to the OF-306, SF50 and SF15 are attached. They will take you directly to OPM, the Office of Personnel Management where you can download the forms. I suggest printing them out, at least 2 copies in case of a mishap or filling them online if you have that capability, then storing them in your documents list on your hard drive so they are easily accessible. All links are up and running on this date November 15, 2017. I personally don’t recommend going to any other websites other than OPM doing so is at your own risk, and Hey, I gave you the direct links…


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