Working for the US Government as a military veteran is a natural fit due to its emphasis on service, quality performance, and contributions to the nation’s wellbeing that military veterans already bring from their service. When exploring opportunities in Government service, from the Local to Federal level, be sure to cast your net wide and in places where you least expect to find great opportunities.
The Federal Work Force. There were 624,000 military veterans employed by the federal government in FY2015. That amounts to about 31% of the little over 2,000,000 jobs in the Federal Executive Branch agencies. The Department of Defense and all its related agencies from Intelligence to Logistics is a large organization that is both downsizing and expanding. Some traditional roles are downsizing while new opportunities in technology, cyber defense, and intelligence are looking to fill positions. One of the best benefits that military veterans bring to these roles is an active security clearance that can make the hiring process easier.
The 10 Highest Federal Executive Branch Agencies Employing Military Veterans. These agencies and departments employ the greatest number of military veterans in the federal government.
- Air Force
- Defense Activities
- Homeland Security
- Veterans Affairs
Source: FY2015 Employment of Veterans in the Federal Executive Branch.
Local, County, and State Government Jobs. There is not an overall centralized process to help direct military veterans to job opportunities at the local, county, and state level. Military veterans must seek out the individual hiring website and opportunity listing for each hiring entity. The good news is that the vast majority of local, county and state organizations all use online hiring websites.
The Hiring Process Can Be Long – Pursue Multiple Opportunities. Due to strict hiring policies, minimum job posting periods, and budget issues as only a few of the most common reasons, securing a government position can be a lengthy process. The best way to overcome this frustration is to seek out and apply to multiple positions at multiple levels of government. This way you will not be waiting on one specific opportunity, but have multiple opportunities ongoing.
The hiring process for military veterans can be lengthy for a government position, but the opportunity to work and serve the community is incredibly rewarding. Have a strong plan to find multiple government opportunities for a great future and the opportunity so you can evaluate multiple job offers.
Top Tips To Aid In Government Hiring:
- USAJOBS. The US Government uses the USA JOBS (https://www.usajobs.gov/) website to place and advertise the vast majority of open positions. Be sure to follow the specific and stringent application and hiring instructions. Resume format, proper use of terms and the exact language in the job posting requirements is critical.
- FedsHireVets. The US Federal Government website, FedsHireVets (https://www.fedshirevets.gov/) has a wealth of advice, opportunities, and success stories to make understanding and applying for federal jobs easier.
- The Local, County, State, and Federal Government have varying degrees of military veteran hiring preferences. A military veteran preference provides the applicant some form of hiring “credit” for their military experience which will often give them a higher priority in the hiring process. The Federal Government has a veteran preference for hiring disabled veterans classified 30% or higher by the Department of Veteran’s Administration (VA). The hiring of disabled veterans has been one of the fastest growing categories in government military veteran hiring. Follow the documentation guidelines for discharge documents, Department of Veteran’s Affairs letters, and other required documentation precisely.
- Troops to Teachers. Is a program that helps military veterans coordinate the hiring process, coordination, and certification process to qualify to teach in a local school throughout the United States. Find more information at Troops to Teachers (http://www.proudtoserveagain.com/).
- Networking. Contact and network with officials at the Local, State, County and Federal level for their tips how to find and navigate the hiring process. Their tips and advice how to show your Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSA) for open positions is crucial.
Share Some of Your Ideas How to Successfully Get a Government Job!
About the Blogger:
Chad Storlie is a Retired US Army Officer, the author of Combat Leader to Corporate Leader and has published over 230 articles in over 110 publications on military veterans, career advancement, business, leadership, strategy, education, financial planning, and national security topics. Chad excels as an author, mentor, speaker, and teacher showing business leaders and military veterans how military skills make lives, careers, and businesses better. Chad is an adjunct Professor of Marketing at Creighton University. Chad has a BA from Northwestern University and an MBA from Georgetown University. Follow Chad @CombatToCorp and www.CombatToCorporate.com.