Is it possible to apply for a US federal government job where listing says "Internal to an agency"?

There are several listings at USA jobs for an IT developer at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). I think I'm a good match for the job, but it says "Internal to an agency" (as most IT jobs in the IRS).

I'm certain that I'd be a good candidate for the position. How can I apply for a job at a federal government agency if, supposedly, they will only consider employees that are already in the agency?

1 Answer 1


Unfortunately not.

Federal government jobs are very desirable gigs, but often have a lot of restrictions regarding who can apply and when. But unfortunately, the majority of them seek to hire internally.

Positions are generally opened up to the general public when a job posting has not been able to be filled for an extended period of time in which case the position will indicate that it is available to you.

Usually, most positions do not just have one tag. A lot will have things like Internal to Agency, Veteran, and I forget the category name but something like re-employing former staff that had been furloughed. If you can fit into those other categories, then you can apply for the job.

If you haven't applied before, be aware that there's A LOT of paperwork for this. Make sure you review and provide everything that's being asked for you when submitting the job application. For example, you may need to demonstrate enrollment with Selective Service (draft).

Unless you can find another way to fit yourself into one of the categories being asked for, don't bother applying. Your application will be deemed incomplete and rejected. The filters on USAJobs are unfortunately only so-so at making sure they only show jobs you actually can apply to, so always double check before spending the time.

  • 1
    “But unfortunately, the majority of them seek to hire internally.” - This is often a requirement imposed by HR. Hiring within a agency like the IRS is likely done by a centralized office. Depending on the position, that is being filled, it might not be be eligible to be filled by someone outside the agency. USAJobs the centralized website for all government hires will indicate who can apply to a job posting. Often a the manager attempting to fill a position wants to someone from outside the agency, but due to the requirements imposed by HR, the process must demonstrate that it’s required
    – Donald
    Apr 16, 2021 at 9:12
  • I can't speak for IRS specifically but sometimes there will be two different listings for the same opening, one of which is only open to current employees and the other open to the public. Apr 16, 2021 at 19:13

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