Checklist to Apply to AmeriCorps VISTA

Applying to AmeriCorps VISTA takes a number of steps. The first two, creating a My AmeriCorps profile, and completing an application, will require you to collect several key pieces of information. The application process will go much smoother if you gather this information in advance. We’ve created this quick check list to help you identify the information you’ll need.

Create a My AmeriCorps Profile

Before you start, gather the following:

  • Your full legal name
  • A valid email address. You will need to receive a message from AmeriCorps to continue, so double check this before you proceed.
  • Your Social Security number
  • Your date and location of birth
  • Your citizenship/residency status
  • Your expected dates of availability
  • Your mailing and permanent addresses
  • A valid phone number
  • Your Zip+4 postal code. Look it up here.
  • Your military/veteran’s status
  • Any interests, skills, experience, or additional information that may be helpful in evaluating your application.

Visit https://my.americorps.gov/mp/recruit/registration.do  to begin.

Once you have created your profile, you will receive a message that will ask you to validate your profile. Be sure to follow the instructions in this message within 72 hours, or your profile will be cancelled. Next, complete your registration, using the information (SSN, last name, etc.) you entered. There may be a delay of up to one hour before the system processes your registration. If you receive a message that reads: There is no record in the system matching your information. Please check the information you entered and try again or contact the My AmeriCorps hotline by calling 1-800-942-2677 please wait several minutes and try again.

Complete an Application 

Once you have logged into your profile, click Applications in the navigation bar, then click Create Application.

Here’s a list of the items you’ll want to have ready: 

Your motivational statement: Prepare this in advance, and paste it into the online application. We would like to understand more about you and your reasons for applying to AmeriCorps, so please share with us why you would like to serve with the AmeriCorps program. The statement can be up to 3,000 characters.

Description of your skills and experience: You can enter a brief description of the skills and experience you added earlier in the application. This can be up to 200 characters. There is also a field to enter any relevant certificates.

Educational history: Enter information on all educational institutions you have attended (i.e. high school, college, graduate school, etc.) you have attended, including the institution’s name and location, your dates of attendance, major area of study, degrees or certificates granted, and date of achievement.

Community service history: List the community service you have done and the organizations that you volunteered with. List your most recent activity first. Your involvement could include serving in neighborhood, school, religious, social, professional, or other volunteer groups; helping out with community service projects; or participating in less formal activities. You will need the organization’s name, city, state, phone number, a description of your involvement, and dates of service.

Employment history: Include your last four positions, or last ten years’ of employment history. Include the organization, city, state, supervisor’s name, supervisor’s phone, supervisor’s email, your title, duties, reason for leaving, and dates of employment. You will also need to provide an explanation of any gap in employment greater than six months not accounted for by AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, work, school, or military service. Or, explain why you have no employment history.

Criminal history questionnaire: A list of every conviction you have ever received is required. It is to your advantage to be completely honest. Don’t feel that this will automatically disqualify you.

References: List at least two people who you know well and who are familiar with your personal background, education, employment, and/or professional skills. You should not ask a family member, peer, classmate, co-worker or friend to serve as a reference. Consider asking work supervisors, clergy, teachers, counselors, coaches, or someone else familiar with your motivation and community involvement. Be sure to have the following information for each reference: full name, email address, title, mailing address, and telephone number. All references will receive a reference request via email.

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