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“This job is open to” … you! How to filter job announcements

When you’re searching for a VA job, you will find a lot of information in the job announcement (JOA), so it’s important to understand what you’re reading. Having a good grasp of the filters available to you helps you narrow your search to find exactly the job you’re looking for.

At VA Careers, our searches already filter out other federal agencies and show you just jobs on our team. However, you can also filter by hiring paths, which define who is eligible to apply for specific positions. Knowing your hiring path is a good first step towards a successful application.

Here are some of the common hiring paths to a job at VA.

Open to the public

This is an easy one. If you filter by this category, you’re going to see jobs that are open to pretty much everybody. While there may be some exceptions, you’re a U.S. citizen, you meet the baseline qualifications for these jobs.


Here’s a popular category on our team. If you have been separated from the armed forces under honorable conditions after 3 or more years of continuous military service, or if you are eligible for Veterans’ Preference, you are qualified to apply for jobs that are filtered by this hiring path.

Military spouses

Another popular one for us. As a military spouse, you may be eligible to apply to some competitive service positions. While you must meet specific requirements to be eligible for this hiring path, this is the filter you want to use if you want to see jobs that embrace military spouses.

National Guard

Since we provide up to 15 days of leave to National Guard members, it only makes sense that we’d have a hiring path for them. Select this filter if you want to see jobs open to current National Guard members or transitioning military service members.


If you are a student, we offer programs that provide paid opportunities to work at VA and explore a job serving Veterans while completing your education. Use this filter to show you the internships available for current students.

Recent graduates

There are many programs for recent graduates that offer career development with training and mentorship. For those who have graduated from a qualifying educational institution or certificate program, typically within the last two years, this filter will show you what is available.

Federal employees

There are numerous paths available to current and former federal employees. You can filter for competitive service, excepted service, internal to an agency, career transition, and more. Those who qualify for these positions can also apply to jobs open to the public (we did say “everybody”).

How to use filters

As you begin your job search, the filters are going to show you all the various hiring paths we’ve discussed and a few more besides. On, you can find these filters:

  • In the “Top Filters” tab on the right of the screen on desktop
  • In the “Filter” option at the bottom of the screen on a mobile device

Select the filter (or filters) that apply to you and continue your search.

However, if you’re searching through individual jobs, or a friend sends you a link to something that looks perfect for you, you can find the hiring path information right inside the job announcement, too. Just look for the section that’s labeled “This job is open to” and you’re all set.

Work at VA

While it is important to read the entire job announcement to confirm things like location and qualifications, filtering your job search by hiring path can save you some time.

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