General Recruitment and Hiring FAQs

OCHCO staff photo (diverse group of men and women wearing pink) at Spring into CISA: In-Person Hiring Event. Group is in front of event branding and computer screens.

CISA is hiring! We are always searching for diverse, talented and highly motivated professionals across several career fields to continue our mission of securing the nation's critical infrastructure. As most know, the federal hiring process is different than applying for a position in the private sector. While the process can be confusing to navigate, we have gathered our most frequently asked questions and provided answers to assist you in applying for a position with CISA.

How To Apply

Where can I find CISA’s job announcements?

There are several paths to federal employment with CISA!

Please visit and keyword search for “Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.” 

Applications are also accepted through the DHS Cybersecurity Talent Management System (CTMS).

How do I apply through USAJOBS?

Create your account on; upload your resume and supporting documents, as requested in the announcement. Click the “Apply” button on the announcement, attach your resume, supporting documents, and answer the assessment questions. You may also be directed to submit a longer USAHire Assessment. 

What is the Cyber Talent Management System (CTMS)?

The DHS Cybersecurity Service is supported by a new federal personnel system called the DHS Cybersecurity Talent Management System (CTMS), which will modernize federal hiring through a new, streamlined hiring process, competitive compensation structures and meaningful career development opportunities. 

How do I apply through the DHS Cybersecurity Service? 

To learn more about available opportunities, please visit the DHS Cybersecurity Service portal. You can download a brief overview of the application process, including information on how to apply and what to expect. 

Do I have to apply through USAJOBS? 

We always recommend that you apply online to any job announcement that interests you. CISA also hosts hiring events where eligible and qualified candidates may be selected. Learn more about special recruitment opportunities and the documents needed when applying. Candidates not eligible for at least one of the special recruitment opportunities must apply to CISA's vacancies online or through CTMS

How do I participate in a CISA career fair or hiring event?

CISA participates in both virtual and in-person hiring events. The best way to participate is to find career and hiring events CISA is attending and then register to attend. You can also subscribe to our distribution list or follow us on social media to find out about our upcoming events. Some of these events are one-stop hiring events, where qualified and eligible candidates can meet with recruiters and hiring teams, interview with hiring officials and receive a job offer as part of the event. Others are more general or targeted to specific populations, like veterans. Learn more about hiring events and how to prepare.

How can I stay up-to-date on future job opportunities?

To receive email notifications when new CISA positions are announced, set up a “saved search” on (account creation is required) with keyword “Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.” Find us on LinkedInTwitterFacebookInstagram, and YouTube. You can also check our hiring events page to be the first to know when CISA will conduct the next hiring event! Finally, subscribe to receive email updates on one or more of our careers subscription topics.

Hiring Process

I applied and did not hear anything back. What does this mean?

Applications go through a pre-screening process before reaching hiring managers for review. USAJOBS will notify you if you have been referred to a hiring manager or did not pass the pre-screening process. You can also check the status on your USAJOBS application dashboard or reach out to the contact information at the bottom of the announcement. You can view the announcements for positions that have closed by accessing your USAJOBS application dashboard. 

What is a tentative job offer?

Congratulations! This means you have been tentatively selected for a position with CISA. All tentative offers of employment are contingent upon the successful completion of pre-employment requirements listed in your tentative offer letter. 

I just received my tentative job offer! When should I give notice to my current employer?

After receiving your tentative job offer, you will begin the pre-employment process, which includes drug testing and a background investigation. You should not give notice to your current employer until you have been notified you have successfully completed all pre-employment requirements and have a firm offer in hand. A CISA HR Specialist will reach out to you and coordinate a mutually agreeable official start date. You’ll then receive an official firm offer letter with a reporting date and instructions.

How long does the pre-employment process take?

The pre-employment process can take weeks or months depending on the depth of the background check and your responsiveness to the different steps (i.e., drug testing, completing security forms, etc.). 

General Hiring FAQs 

Do I need a clearance to apply?

No, you do not need clearance to apply. If you are selected for a position, a CISA staff member will provide you instructions on how to begin the necessary clearance process once you accept the tentative job offer.

What is the difference between the levels of security clearance?

Public trust is a suitability check for a low-risk federal position, but it is not a security clearance. Non-Critical Sensitive, Critical Sensitive and Special Sensitive require more in-depth background checks necessary for access to increasingly sensitive information. They are also known as Secret, Top Secret and Top Secret/SCI. Details about the different levels of security clearance are available on USAJOBS Help and FAQ pages.

What does promotion potential mean?

Promotion potential is the highest advancement level that a position can reach. Generally, once an employee in the General Schedule reaches the highest promotion level in his/her position, they need to apply for positions that have higher promotion potential in order to receive further promotions.

What entry-level opportunities does CISA offer?

CISA offers entry-level positions based on prior work experience or education level. Learn more about our programs tailored for students and recent graduates

What types of cyber certifications are required to seek employment at CISA?

Cyber certifications are not a requirement for employment at CISA. Once onboard, CISA invests in all its employees with training money that can be put towards a certification. This will be a discussion with your supervisor when you develop your performance plan and individual development plans.

However, our employees often find these certifications helpful to their work:

  • CompTIA – Security+ ISC2
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
  • EC-Council – Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
  • ISACA – Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
  • ISACA – Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
  • PMI – Project Management Professional (PMP)
I do not possess any cyber experience. Can I still apply?

Yes, you can still apply to positions based on your level of education. CISA also has opportunities in many other career fields, such as human resources, security and risk analysis, chemical security, stakeholder engagement, supply chain management, critical infrastructure, telecommunications, business, finance, legal, communications, and privacy. Opportunities are located in the Washington D.C. metro area as well as within CISA’s regional areas. Explore our mission areas and career opportunities now. 

Is remote or hybrid work available?

Yes, CISA is proud to offer flexible schedules and work opportunities. As a growing federal agency, remote and hybrid work is vital in keeping our workforce connected across the nation. Many positions are eligible for remote work and hybrid/telework opportunities, dependent on the duties of the individual position.  

What will my work schedule be?

Your work schedule will be negotiated with your supervisor at the time of hire and/or during your first week onboard. Most CISA positions are full-time; many positions are eligible for flexible work schedules and/or remote work or telework opportunities. Work schedule information and available flexibilities are also listed in the job opportunity announcement. 

What will happen during my first few days as a new employee with CISA?

You’ll attend a robust orientation that will help acclimate you to the organization and introduce you to benefits and other important employment information. You’ll also meet your sponsor (a current CISA employee who will familiarize you with your new office), receive security briefings, receive your credentials and IT equipment, and, finally, meet your supervisor and team. For most employees, the orientation and onboarding activities are completed virtually. CISA's onboarding team will be with you every step of the way!

Contact Us

Still have a hiring related question? We're here to help! Send us an email at to access our team of recruiters who are happy to give you further guidance.

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