Applicant Toolkit

This toolkit was designed so that you can quickly jump to any subject.  Set yourself up for success by exploring this resource with information about searching for a job, interview and resume advice, using the , accepting an offer and getting started. 

Apply for a job

How can I find my career fit?

We offer many types of positions such as full time and part time from entry level to professional. search job screen

The home page of , our application system, will display the following options:

  • View All Jobs – View all external job openings posted throughout the 鶹Ƶ.
  • My Job Notifications – Applicants can receive several types of notifications regarding but not limited to: (automated job searches, scheduling of a job interview, adding of references to your application, receiving an invite to apply for a job or to fill out questionnaires.)
  • My Job Applications – All job applications, which include applications in Draft, Submitted or Withdrawn statuses.
  • My Favorite Jobs – Applicants can mark jobs as favorites to keep track of jobs that they are interested in.
  • My Saved Searches –A list of job openings that meet the applicant’s prior saved search criteria
  • My Account Information – External applicants can view and update their name, preferred contact method, address, email, and phone numbers(s).

How do I apply as an internal candidate?

Current USF employees should log in through GEMS self-service to search and apply for jobs.  See the Internal Applicant: Quick Guide for specific steps.

What is the rehire process for former USF employees?

An employee who left employment with USF for more than one year, is treated as a new hire and must complete new hire paperwork prior to starting work. If an employee has been separated from the university for less than one year, the department may appoint him/her by completing an Appointment Status Form and attaching the signed offer letter. Once the rehiring process is completed and updated in GEMS, the employee may access GEMS Self Service to update their personal information.

Are there restrictions for USF/State Retiree Reemployment?

Yes. Reemployment prior to completing the required termination period may result in suspension or loss of your benefits. Find more information here.

Resumes and CVs

What is the difference between a resume and a CV?

A resume is usually one or two pages and lists skills, competencies, notable achievements and work experience.  It should be concise, grouping items by bullet points.

A CV (curriculum vitae) is typically much longer than a resume.  It is used in acadamia, research and medical fields to list such items as teaching experience, fellowships, awards, presentations, publications and research performed.  These lists grow throughout the career and become quite lengthy.

What should I include in my resume?

List job duties, strengths, extracurricular activities and accomplishments. 

See these  for everyone from students to seasoned professionals. 

Should I use a cover letter?  What should it say?

Yes, use a cover letter.  In addition to providing an narrative introduction of yourself, a cover letter demonstrates your written communication ability.  Do not simply repeat what is in your résumé. Rather, focus on providing one or two examples or qualifications that you'd like to highlight.  See . 


Preparing for an Interview

How can I prepare?

Before the interview, it's important to do these things:

  • Research the University.
  • Practice answering questions.
  • Prepare your own list of questions to ask.
  • Know and prepare for the logistics of your interview (Do you need directions? Parking?  If virtual, make sure that you've downloaded any software and tested audio/video).

What types of questions will be asked?

You may be asked general interview questions, behavioral interview questions or a combination of both.

General Interview Question Examples:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What interests you about USF?
  • Describe what motivates you.
  • What is your greatest strength? weakness?
  • Why are you the best person for this position?

Behavioral Interview Question Examples:

  • Tell me about a time when you motivated a team member.
  • Tell me about a time when you dealt with an upset customer.
  • Describe a situation in which you demonstrated your analytical skills.
  • Tell me about a time when you had to work under pressure.
  • Tell me about a difficult decision you had to make.

How should I answer behavioral based questions?

It may help to use the STAR acronym.  Practicing STAR can help you format your answer to ensure that you are answering each part of the question.  

  • Situation: Describe the situation.  Remember that your interviewers were not there and may need a bit of detail to comprehend the situation.  You might choose to describe a situation from a past or current job, volunteer opportunity or internship.   
  • Task: What was the task that you had to complete (or goal to be reached)?
  • Action you took: What did you do in the situation to achieve results? While it's fine to give team members credit, remember to more focus on yourself rather than the work of team members. Use the word "I", rather than "we." What did you do?
  • Result you achieved: What were the outcomes of your actions? For example, this might include a goal reached or lesson learned.

What should I wear?

  • Remember that first impressions stick.  It’s better to overdress than underdress. Even if you've been told that the environment is casual, step up the dress code for your first impression.  
  • Make sure that are comfortable in the clothes you choose.  While you may be dressing up beyond your norm, you don't want to appear uncomfortable in doing so.  Choose an outfit that still feels like "you."
  • Avoid wearing strong perfume or cologne to in-person interviews, as they may be distracting or cause sneezing.

Should I ask questions?

Yes, prepare some questions in advance.  You may also come up with additional questions throughout the interview.  Some good questions might include:

  • What is the work environment like here?
  • What do you like most about working here?
  • What are the next steps in the interview process?

What can I expect post-interview?

Because this can differ from department to department, it's best to include this as one of your questions at the end of the interview.  Ask for next steps and time-frames.

What do you look for in a candidate?

Each role wil have different requirements.  As a University, we value motivation and continuous desire to learn.  

Using our Careers@USF website

How do I register as a first-time applicant?

First Time Applicant? Clicking Register Now on the sign in page opens the profile page. Complete all fields, click “I agree…” and then click Register.first time applicant

How do I sign in as a returning applicant?

Register or Sign in: After clicking “Apply”, returning users log in with user name and password. Once logged in, follow the prompts on each page before clicking next. New users click Register Now.retuning sign in

How do I start the application process?

Step 1 – Start Application

Guided Navigation: Note the steps that show your progress at the side of each page.guided navigation

How do I add a cover letter and resume?

Click Attach Cover Letter & Res to upload your cover letter and resume as one document. After the document is uploaded click Next.

 If you need to add more than one document, see the Need to add an attachment question.

add letter and resume

Can I reuse a resume? 

Yes, your can reuse your resume for future applications.

Can I keep more than one resume on file?

Yes, you can upload multiple resumes as attachments to your profile.

Accepted an Offer

Who can I contact for questions? 

If you have questions, need information, advice or a helping hand, please contact us at (813) 974-2970. We're here to help.

What do I need to do before my first day?  (RightStart)

All new employees are required to attend RightStart on or before their first day of employment. 

RightStart is the process that facilitates the completion of new hire paperwork for all new employees.  RightStart@USF is triggered by the issuance of an offer letter by the hiring department. In the offer letter new employees are given specific instructions about completing  the process.

In order to help you through this process, please be prepared to:

  • Provide documentation that establishes your employment eligibility to work in the U.S. (in accordance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986). View the I-9 form that will identify acceptable documents.
  • Provide your passport, I-94, visa and appropriate immigration support documents based on visa class, if you are a foreign national.

What do foreign nationals need to know? 

INTERNATIONAL SCHOLARS (J-1)

Check-in is required with International Services (IS) for all new J-1 scholars and takes place in International Services (CGS) 101. Scholars may check-in at any time without an appointment. After all immigration documents have been verified, scholars who will be paid by the university will receive a letter which they can take to the local Social Security Administration office to apply for a card (after the scholar has been in the U.S. for ten days). Once this is completed, the scholar will receive a receipt letter from the Social Security Administration which can then be taken, along with all required work authorization documents, to Human Resources for RightStart in order to complete new hire paperwork.

Foreign National employees with another visa status (TN, H1-B) should have met all work authorization requirements prior to coming to RightStart.

If an international employee comes to RightStart without a receipt letter from the Social Security Administration, and they do not have a Social Security card or their documents are not complete, they will be given a memo to return to IS until such time as they have all required documents. Once the employee has been entered into GEMS, they will receive a temporary ID number. This ID number will allow international students to apply for Student Health Insurance. Note: the State of Florida mandates that all international students must have health insurance by the fifth day of classes. For more information, contact the Student Health Services Insurance office. (link) As soon as the employee receives his/her permanent Social Security card (which should take no more than three months) he/she should bring that card to University Payroll (SVC 0077) so that their temporary ID number can be updated in the system with the employee's permanent Social Security number.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS (F-1/J-1)

Check-in is required with International Services (IS) for all new international students and takes place in the Kiran C. Patel Center for Global Solutions (CGS) 101. A schedule of check-in times is communicated prior to the start of every semester. Once the student has completed check-in and all immigration documents have been verified, the student will receive a letter which they can then take to the local Social Security Administration office to apply for a card after the student has been in the United States for ten (10) days. Once this is completed, the student will receive a receipt letter from the Social Security Administration which can then be taken, along with all required work authorization documents, to Human Resources for RightStart@USF. At RightStart, the student will complete their new hire paperwork. This is required to get processed in the GEMS system and on payroll. Please note that students holding a J-1 visa are also required to have a work authorization letter from International Services.

Do rehires need to complete paperwork?

An employee who left employment with USF for more than one year, is treated as a new hire and must complete new hire paperwork prior to starting work. If an employee has been separated from the university for less than one year, the department may appoint him/her by completing an Appointment Status Form and attaching the signed offer letter. Once the rehiring process is completed and updated in GEMS, the employee may access GEMS Self Service to update their personal information.

Where can I learn more about USF's onboarding process?

Click here for more information about what to expect from your first day to your first year.