I'd like the process to look like the following:
I see a job to which I'd like to apply. I am new to the site.
I sign in. I upload my resume. I complete in open form a paragraph on why I feel I am a strong candidate. I click apply. Done.
I get feedback automatically on the hiring process (reviewing resumes, narrowing resumes, selected two or three and you are or are not one of them, hired-feedback on why you were NOT chosen for an interview or hired along with suggestions on what I might do to improve). Again...all automated...email status updates, if I elect to see them.
I see the next job to which I'd like to apply. I choose my existing resume or send another. I write a paragraph on why I am a good fit. Apply. Done.
These LONG essays and redundant questions over and over on if when and why I've ever worked for the government should not appear, especially if I haven't. Then the end of the process should not tell me things like, be sure to send all forms necessary or you won't be considered, or don't send forms you dont need to send or you wont be considered, etc. Just tell me! Am I done or NOT based on my status of never having worked for the government! Just keep me in the loop (electronically) on the application process, please. Tell me why you didn't select me. Tell me what I need to improve to get selected. Tell me who I can call with questions. (Some times you do this one now, I should say. Do this consistently for all government agencies and departments. Why the duplication?)
If you do these things you will not only improve USA JOBS.gov, but many of the private application HR processes as well!