Step 1. Networking
The Veterans Recruitment Act (VRA) offers special hiring programs for retiring and separating military (disabled or non-disabled). The best opportunity for a direct hire is a military job fair. You must be well-prepared with an internship or USAJOBS resume, like the samples in this book.
Step 2. Find Your Agency and Job Title
When choosing your agency and job title, veterans can use the various military skills translators to determine how you can translate your military positions and experience into job title for government or private industry. You will need to blend the titles of your matching positions from your recent military career, plus your college major and determine what federal job titles will be right for you.
Step 3. Programs for Students
Investigate various opportunities and programs for veteran students to obtain internships or apprenticeships, such as the Wounded Warrior Programs and Internships and Apprenticeships.
Step 4. Finding The Right Positions For You
Many student veterans apply for internships or positions with military services as a civilian or with Department of Defense agencies in order to continue a military- or defense-focused career path. Alternatively, if you are seeking a position outside of DOD or the military, then you should look at other agencies where you can use your skills and college education.
Step 5. Analyzing Federal Jobs For You
As a veteran applying for a federal job, you are eligible to receive 5 points for your military service or 10 points if you are a disabled veteran with 30% disability or more. However, in order to receive the extra points on your application, you MUST show that you are Minimally Qualified for that position. Read the vacancy announcements carefully to make sure that you have the education, qualifications, and specialized experience for the position.
Step 6. Federal Resume Writing
Step 7. KSAs, Questionnaires and Cover Letters
Check out the resume sample for Brandon Billings which demonstrates KSAs in the Work Experience section of the resume with keywords and description from a career as E-5, USCG in Maritime Security, Law Enforcement, Investigation and Communication.
Step 8. Apply for Federal Jobs
Make sure you know what documentation you need to submit to document your military career. Submit these documents into USAJOBS as early in the application process as you can. All veterans are required to submit a DD Form 214, Military Discharge (Member Copy 4). Veterans claiming 10 Point Preference are also required to submit a completed SF-15 and, supporting documents outlined on the SF-15.
Step 9. Track and Follow Up
If you write to a human resources specialist by email, be sure to add to the subject line that you are a veteran (5- or 10-point veteran), along with your name. It could help with responses to your email and the understanding of your hiring programs.
Step 10. Interview for a Federal Job
In order to prepare for a behavior-based interview, write about your military leadership, teamwork, training, critical thinking, and your accomplishments ahead of time. Make sure they are relevant for the agency’s mission, the position knowledge, skills and abilities, and that demonstrate your dedication to achieving your past and future objectives.
Another great resource for Veteran Federal Resumes: Military to Federal Career Guide, 2nd Ed., and Cd-ROM. Also available as an eBook. Order and receive copies of your sample veteran resumes right away.