Moving? Tips for Military Spouses (and Everyone Else!)

A military spouse who is often being moved has the added challenge of continually starting over when trying to manage his or her career. Fortunately, there are federal agencies in and around military bases all over the world, and these jobs have fantastic benefits.

If you are ready to kick start your federal job search before you leave, here are a few things that you can do well in advance of your move. In fact, you can knock out most of our Ten Steps to a Federal Job® way ahead of time!

Gather Some Intel

Plan your target job search by researching which government agencies are within driving distance of your new location.

For example, if you were moving to MacDill AFB, you would find these agencies on base:

  • Department of the Air Force
  • Defense Intelligence Agency
  • Defense Commissary Agency

The local area to Tampa, FL, also has these federal employers:

  • Department of Defense
  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Social Security Administration
  • Department of Transportation
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • Department of Commerce
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • Department of the Treasury

Network

Although you may think it would be difficult to network when you don’t know anyone at your new base, you can certainly network online, particularly on LinkedIn. Post your resume on LinkedIn and make sure to keep it updated. Advertise ahead of time about your arrival at a new location with a profile statement like this one: “Military Spouse relocating to Tampa, FL near MacDill AFB in June, 2015. Seeking Administrative and Customer Support federal positions in that region.” You can never tell who might read it and find you.

You can also use your account to find employees in the area. For example, there is a local FBI office in Tampa, FL. Look for people with this search: FBI, Tampa, FL. If you find a person listed there, you can attempt to connect with them.

Surf USAJOBS

Go to USAJOBS.gov and search for vacancy announcements at your new location. For example, on the USAJOBS homepage, type in Tampa, FL and see how many jobs come up. See if there are any positions that are of interest and your skills and abilities. Be sure to check off “military spouse” in your USAJOBS profile. Begin to apply within two months of your arrival at the next base.

Build A Great Federal Resume

What about the problem of the military spouse moving around every two or three years? The government HR specialists know this, and they accept this term of employment. Don’t worry about it. Write your resume using our recommended format and apply. For your first federal job application, you will likely apply as a “US Citizen.” After you land your first position in government and gain “status,” and you can then apply for more federal jobs at your next base as a “federal / status employee.”

Check out some of these tips from previous posts for your writing your resume:

Getting Help

Find your local transition service – or Airmen & Family Readiness service (for the Air Force). They offer many training or programs for career development, interview preparation, resume writing or Ten Steps to a Federal Job® courses. Be sure to take the classes to build your skills and knowledge and network with the staff at the transition center.

We are also available here at The Resume Place to give you a Free Project Review and let you know what the next steps are for your federal job search and how we can assist you.

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