Hiring Process Overview
Fairfax County Government's application/selection process includes the following steps. Please note that this list is not exhaustive and the steps are subject to change.
A new job announcement is posted on the county's Current Job Openings webpage. This page is updated weekly, on Saturday.
Jobs are usually advertised for one or two weeks.
Check each announcement for the closing date. Resumes must be submitted prior to midnight on the closing date.
Did you Know?
• You can subscribe to receive weekly notices about new jobs by RSS feed or by e-mail subscription.
Applicants submit their resume online, using a program called AIMS.
On the first visit to AIMS, applicants create an account with a User ID and password, then set up a resume by:
• using the AIMS step-by-step Resume Builder; or
• copying-and-pasting an existing electronic resume (from Microsoft Word or another word processing program)
After their resume has been completed, applicants apply for the job by entering the job number and clicking QUICK APPLY.
Did You Know?
• You will receive an e-mail to acknowledge your resume has been received if you provided an e-mail address with your AIMS account.
• Follow the status of the jobs you've applied for by checking MY STATUS in your AIMS account.
After the job announcement has closed, resumes are reviewed by analysts in the Department of Human Resources (DHR) or by the hiring department. Resumes are reviewed against the job's qualifications and requirements—based on the information in the job announcement—to find the applicants that are the closest match.
Applicants must meet...
• all the Minimum Qualifications
• all the Special Requirements
• as many as possible of the Preferred Qualifications
…to remain in consideration past this part of the review process.
Did You Know?
• The AIMS status for this job will be UNDER REVIEW during this phase.
• In many cases, work experience may substitute for the education specified in the Minimum Qualifications. Likewise, education may substitute for work experience. Read more about equivalencies and how they are calculated.
• In Fairfax County, resumes are read by people, not selected through computer rankings. Attempts to 'beat the computer' by inserting sentence fragments loaded with keywords simply results in an unreadable resume.
Working from the resumes that have passed the first part of the review process, DHR creates a 'Certification List' of the top-rated resumes to go forward in the process.
The Certification List usually includes 10 to 15 resumes, but in some cases that number may be slightly higher or lower.
This Certification List is provided to the hiring department.
Did You Know?
• The AIMS status for this job will be either FORWARDED (if you are on the Certification List) or NOT FORWARDED during this phase.
• Even if you meet the qualifications, you may not be on the Certification List due to the number and/or competitiveness of resumes received. It's normal for applicant pools at Fairfax County to include hundreds of well-qualified applicants.
The hiring department decides which applicants from the Certification List will be interviewed. Not every applicant on the List will be interviewed; however, no less than "half plus one" of the certified applicants will be interviewed. For example: If the List includes ten people, six (or more) will be interviewed.
Interviews are usually conducted by a panel of three, four or more people.
Some interview processes also include a job-related exercise, written test, oral exam, performance test and/or assessment center.
An offer of employment is made to the applicant who was determined to be the best match for the position.
All interviewed applicants who did not get a job offer are notified—usually by letter—of the final outcome of the selection process.
Did You Know?
• You can continue to check MY STATUS in your AIMS account to monitor whether a job has been filled.
Prior to starting work, a background check will be made on most applicants offered employment. It may include checks of:
• criminal background record (initiated by fingerprinting)
• driving record
• credit history (for financial positions)
• professional licenses
Pre-employment Medical Examination
If indicated in the job announcement, an applicant must satisfactorily meet required medical standards for the job in a medical examination conducted by county-designated medical staff.
We hope this overview has helped you better understand the hiring process for merit positions in Fairfax County. Select a link from the list below to continue.