By Kathryn Troutman President, The Resume Place, Inc.
and Ten Steps to a Federal Job Certification Program Director
March 6, (updated March 12) 2018
TYPICAL FEDERAL AGENCIES FOR VETERANS! BUT THERE’S MORE!
Tell me, when you think of military folks retiring or separating and taking their skills to a job in government, what federal organizations come to mind?
I’ll bet it’s departments like Defense, Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs. Such a move is a classic career transition, but it’s somewhat limited.
DHS, DEFENSE AND VA ARE THE MOST POPULAR VETERAN’S AGENCIES, BUT THERE ARE MORE AGENCIES !
About one-third of federal workers are veterans, most of them concentrated in these departments. There are many great and varied careers to be had in these organizations, and obviously they are vital to our country and its future.
You may want to think about branching out to apply your skills and experience in a new domain of federal government, maybe one with an organizational culture that’s quite different from the military. Many veterans feel that way.
The good news is that there are many career opportunities for veterans all across government.
WHAT FEDERAL JOB TITLE IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
So the trick is to decide which federal job is right for you before you start applying for federal positions. You can look the official OPM list of “White Collar” federal jobs. Here’s the list of Wage Grade jobs also.
Locate the resources you’ll need to navigate the preparation of your federal resume preparation, the job search, interviews and the rest of the application process. Resume Place has been writing federal resumes for veterans for many years. It’s important to translate your military skills to the skills needed by a federal agency. See our sample federal resume – in the Outline Format. This format is easy for the HR specialist to see the keywords and accomplishments in your resume.
You can try two approaches to building a bridge from your military experience to a civil occupation in diverse areas of government. You can work with generic business skills that will be applicable in any government organization – say HR, finance or IT, to name a few. Or you can search along the lines of skills that were specific to your military occupation that are also needed in government – counterintelligence, expertise in mechanical technologies, and so on.
GREAT MILITARY JOB TO CIVIL SERVICE JOB TRANSLATOR:
To begin learning how the full range of skills that you developed during your military service can be applied to a career in the civil service, check out this great website that translates your military occupational code to a Civil Service job: www.mil2fedjobs.com.
VETERANS PREFERENCE CAN HELP YOU LAND A FEDERAL JOB
You may think that candidates with private-sector experience have a leg up for many civil-service jobs in departments that are not defense-related. But if you’ve got veteran’s preference, you may find that it’s a big leveler and will give you a shot at jobs that you might have assumed were out of reach.
It’s true that in smaller departments and agencies, you’re less likely to find specialized human resources people whose sole mission is to recruit veterans. Here’s the list of Veteran’s Representatives who can answer questions.
POPULAR FEDERAL JOBS FOR VETERANS – USAJOBS LINKS AND MIL2FEDJOBS.COM LINKS
Here are a handful of pairings of military occupations with civil service vacancies posted on USAJOBS.gov:
- Army Combat Engineer → Construction Control Inspector
- Army Human Resources Officer → Human Resources Manager
- Navy Cyber Warrant Officer → Cyber Information Technology Specialist
- Air Force Financial Management Officer → Financial Manager
- Marines Ground Intelligence Officer → Intelligence Operations Specialist
- US Army Infantryman → Security Administration
- US Army Motor Transport Operator → Transportation / Mobile Equipment Operator
- Navy AWF – Naval Aircrewman Mechanical → Warehousing, Aircraft Overhaul or Transportation Careers
START EARLY! One more thing: If you’re still on active duty and you’re reading this, you’re obviously a forward-looking careerist. So let me share this tip: You can – and probably should – begin applying for federal jobs 120 days before your date of military separation or retirement. Get your Statement of Service from your XO and upload into USAJOBS until you get your DD 214.
And to learn the details of the federal application process, consult our book Federal Resume Guidebook, which includes great samples of federal resumes, including career change federal resumes. Or just send a REQUEST QUOTE for a quote on professional writing and targeting a specific federal position / USAJOBS announcement. We need your current resume and a sample job announcement.