12 Secrets Military Spouses Don’t Know
About Military Spouse Hiring Programs Designed to Help Them Get Federal Jobs
New Book Helps these Job Applicants Manage a Complicated and Confusing System – The Stars are Lined Up for Military Spouses,
Kathryn K. Troutman with Bobbi Rossiter, USMC Military Spouse
BALTIMORE, MD | May 1, 2019 / Kathryn K. Troutman
Frequent moves, erratic job histories and family responsibilities all stack up as hurdles the military spouse must overcome when seeking quality employment in America. A 2018 Blue Star Families report notes that, as a result, the unemployment or underemployment of these spouses is the major reason two-thirds of military families are undergoing financial stress. And while the federal government has developed programs to help employ spouses of enlisted personnel, the difficulty of applying and a lack of understanding of the process often results in these applicants giving up.
#MilitarySpouseAppreciationDay #milspouse #MilitaryAppreciationMonth
Now leading federal jobs expert Kathryn Troutman is shedding light on the path forward with her new book The Stars Are Lined Up for Military Spouses for Federal Careers, 2nd ed.
“The military spouses have been sacrificing so much to support our country’s military mission,” points out Troutman. “In return I want to support the spouses so they will get fair consideration for employment by the federal government, especially right at the bases where they’re stationed.”
To give military spouses new insights, the author has identified a dozen secrets military spouses need to know to vault over the obstacles and get hired by Uncle Sam.
Secret #1: There is no more registration for federal jobs with the Priority Placement Program for Spouses (PPP-S) or any other program. PPP-S, which was a program to get military spouses into Department of Defense (DoD) positions, went away April 1. If previously registered in PPP-S, participants were deactivated on that date and can now use USAJOBS to apply to any position for which they feel qualified
Secret #2: Military spouses must upload their service member’s PCS Orders (), their Marriage Certificate, and the PPP Checklist[R1] (for DOD jobs only) into USA-Job’s application system to utilize the MSP hiring authority. Even if an applicant is very qualified, missing paperwork makes them ineligible.
Secret #3: Military spouses can apply to “Federal Employee” announcements on USA-Jobs that allow military spouse applicants. The key here is to search for a green widget on the job posting that looks like two wedding rings hooked together. That’s the sign that military spouses are eligible for that particular opening.
Secret #4: Some “Military Spouse” positions are identified on USAJOBS under their own category. To find these openings, scan down the list of hiring paths and find “Armed Forces.” Military spouses is one of two categories you’ll find under this heading. By entering your job category at the top and checking the box by military spouses, you’ll see the listings. The good news is that the number of military spouse positions listed on USAJOBS is on the rise. In fact, these opportunities have increased 70% over the past year.
Secret #5: Military Spouse Preference is not a preference. It’s only a hiring program. The program making the USAJOBS openings possible was created through Executive Order 13473 in 2008. But unlike vets applying through Veterans’ Preference and getting priority, the military spouses are competing on the same level with other types of qualified applicants in special categories. But equal is good and the next secret shows why.
Secret #6: With “Military Spouse” and “Federal Employee/Military Spouse” positions, Veterans’ Preference is not applied. With the Military Spouse and Federal Employee announcements there is an equal playing field among the applicants: Federal employees, VEOA veterans, Military Spouses, Schedule A applicants – all all of the other Special Hiring Authorities.
Secret #7: U.S. Citizen / “Open to the Public” job announcements are open to military spouses, but Veterans’ Preference is applied here. Many military spouses don’t know vets’ preference applies for the public announcements, and they get discouraged when their applications are frequently beat by the veterans who “are high in the list”.
Secret #8: Military Spouses can add their PCS military career history to their federal resumes. That way, they will be easily identified as a Military Spouse and gaps in their work history will be understood. This is a new idea developed by author Kathryn Troutman. She was looking for a way to make the resumes of military spouses stand out. Her book, The Stars Are Lined Up for Military Spouses for Federal Careers, 2nd ed., provides six excellent sample fed resumes that show how military spouses can best present their atypical background that is dedicated to the military service career. SEE SAMPLE:
Secret #9: Now military spouses can apply for as many Military Spouse Positions as they want. Many of these jobseekers still think they can only apply for one Military Spouse position per installation. There are no limits to the number of announcements that a spouse can apply to. However, E.O. 13473 only grants acceptance of one permanent federal position per PCS move.
Secret #10: Another improvement: EO 13473 can be used for the full-time Active Duty military spouse is at each installation, instead of the former two years. Troutman notes that the original rules were very difficult. The spouse had to get family situated and adjusted, and also land a job in two years on base. No more!
Secret # 11: It’s much easier to land a federal military spouse position at the larger bases where there are more opportunities. But how does one know how many federal jobs are at an installation? While writing her Stars are Lined Up for Military Spouses, 2nd Edition, Troutman submitted a Freedom of Information Act inquiry to discover how many federal jobs are at each base. This info is in her book.
Secret #12: Free help is available for military spouses for their federal job searches right on the bases. It is provided from most ACS offices on U.S. Army bases; Fleet and Family Support Centers on USN[R3] bases; Military & Family Readiness Centers on USMC[R4] bases; Military & Family Readiness on USAF bases; and same with USCG offices. The transition and employment readiness staff can help with both federal resumes and USA-Jobs. A list of Certified Federal Job Search Trainers and Certified Federal Career Coaches is available online.
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WHO SHOULD BUY THIS BOOK. Military Spouses, Active Duty Military Whose Spouses Are Interested in Fed Careers, Military Transition Counselors, Employment Counselors, Federal HR Specialists, EEO Specialists, Federal Managers.
HOW TO GET THE BOOK. The Stars Are Lined Up for Military Spouses, 2nd Edition is now available on both Amazon and Resume Place. Individual book price on the Resume Place site is $14.95 + $7.00 shipping. There are multiple order discounts available there too.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: KATHRYN TROUTMAN has been a pioneering resume designer since 1996 with her first-ever federal resume. Now she has designed a cutting-edge federal resume format for military spouses.
Troutman also created the curriculum, Ten Steps to a Federal Job, which is taught by Certified Federal Job Search Trainers in every military service and at more than 200 military bases worldwide. The author has written 28 books on federal resume writing. She is President of The Resume Place, Inc., www.resume-place.com.
For further info, contact: Kathryn Troutman,