Executive Order 11103 states that returned Peace Corps and AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers are granted noncompetitive eligibility for 12 months upon successful completion of service terms. Federal agencies can, therefore, hire Peace Corps & AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers more quickly and with less competition. This is a great way to transfer the experiences you gained as a volunteer into federal service.
Noncompetitive Eligibility for Peace Corps and AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteers
After successfully completing your Peace Corps or AmeriCorps VISTA service, you will have up to one year to use your noncompetitive eligibility. Federal agencies may extend your eligibility if you go on to serve in the military, study at an institution of higher learning or participate in another activity that, in the agency’s view, warrants an extension. Agencies can only hire using NCE if the applicant qualifies for the authority and is minimally qualified for the position they are applying to.
Country directors may include an NCE certification in the final paragraph of the Peace Corps description of service for all volunteers who are eligible to receive the benefit. When applying to positions, you are able to explain to hiring managers and HR specialists the noncompetitive eligibility status that you have by including a copy of this letter.
Do note that regardless of how long you served, you are not eligible for noncompetitive appointment if you resigned from the Peace Corps.
For AmeriCorps VISTA members, those who complete less than one year of service (including training time) will not receive the NCE. AmeriCorps state and national members, and AmeriCorps NCCC members, are not eligible for this benefit. To locate your NCE status, log into your My AmeriCorps account to obtain your AmeriCorps VISTA Verification of Service letter. As an AmeriCorps VISTA member, if hired, you can use your national service year(s) towards calculating benefits such as vacation and retirement.
Where to find Noncompetitive Positions?
To find positions, there are three common places:
- Peace Corps Job Board has positions for returned Peace Corps volunteers.
- VISTA Campus Job Board contains postings for both NCE positions and VISTA leader positions.
- USAJOBS.gov has information. Select the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps Vista filter in search to view all current jobs open to alumni from these programs.
When applying you must include your Peace Corps or AmeriCorps VISTA certification of service documents with your application, and you are encouraged to mention your noncompetitive eligibility status on your resume. Keep in mind as a returned Peace Corps or AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer, you are not considered a federal employee. You may submit your Description of Service instead of a Standard Form-50 (SF-50).
This noncompetitive eligibility does not guarantee you a position in the federal government.