How to Get a Job at USAA
Have you ever wondered what it’d be like to work in a company with one of the largest office buildings in the country? That’s what you’d experience if you got a job at USAA’s McDermott Building.
Founded in San Antonio, Texas, by 25 U.S. Army officers, USAA is an insurance, banking, and investment company serving 12.4 million members. With more than 35,000 employees nationwide, USAA employs people who embrace diversity and inclusion and believe in their mission and values. If you want to know what it takes to get a job at USAA, we’ve you covered.
Basic Requirements to Work at USAA
Below are the basic requirements for getting hired at USAA. All candidates must:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Have a high school diploma or GED
- Be authorized to work in the United States
- Applicants who accept a contingent offer of employment must satisfactorily meet all requirements of the comprehensive background check, which includes drug testing
- Complete an Employment Eligibility Verification I-9 form
- Complete all job-related assessments
Think you’re qualified to work at USAA? Here’s what you’ll need to move forward.
6 Things You Need to Get a Job at USAA
To land your dream job at USAA, these six things have proven to be helpful:
- Flawless Credit and Background
- Fast Application Submittal
- Be a Qualified and Competitive Candidate
- Well-Targeted Resume
- Interview Skills
Let’s look at these in detail, starting with credit and background history.
1. Flawless Credit and Background
The background checks for employment at USAA are quite stringent. Many of the positions require a high level of security clearance because of the level of sensitive information to protect. Anything beyond minor traffic tickets or very minor incidents, and you might have a challenge getting hired.
USAA conducts thorough background checks, typically going back at least 5 years. This is dependent upon the job requirements. The background check, conducted by a third-party company, consists of contacting prior employers, and even a credit check.
The credit check involves identifying information, such as your name, address, previous names and addresses, and Social Security number. It also shows the debt you have incurred, including credit card debt, mortgage and car payments, student and other loans, and your payment history of those debts and loans, including late payments.
If you land a job at USAA, you have the potential to handle consumer credit and finances. In this case, the company needs to know how you manage your own credit and debts.
2. Fast Application Submittal
Hiring authorities at USAA indicate that the company will receive well over 100 applications for a single job vacancy. Therefore, time is of the utmost importance.
Be sure to submit your application ASAP and ensure your resume is targeted. Taking too long is a sure-fire way to reserve a spot at the bottom of the stack. To avoid being put at the bottom, it’s best to apply 48 hours after the position has been posted.
3. Be Qualified and Competitive
According to Sean Passmore, former Military Hiring Advisor at USAA, applicants need to understand the difference between being qualified and being competitive.
In cracking the code on USAA jobs, he says “If a job seeker meets the minimum requirements, he/she is qualified. If he/she meets most or all the preferred requirements, he/she is highly qualified.”
He goes on to explain that if a significant amount of time passes before a highly qualified candidate applies, the candidate is not competitive.
It’s possible to knock yourself out of the competitive category due to time because the recruiter will have already found other highly qualified applicants. Here’s the bottom line: To increase your chances of landing an interview, be qualified and competitive by applying ASAP with a well-targeted resume.
4. Well-Targeted Resume
Every job hunt begins with having a great military to civilian resume.
Before you can snag an interview at USAA, your resume must be well-written and well-targeted for the specific position you’re applying for. Your resume should not contain acronyms, military or industry jargon that won’t translate well with everyone. Additionally, ensure your resume is clear of typos and grammatical errors.
To make your resume stand out from the rest, make sure you do your research on the company. Use relevant and industry-appropriate keywords that make you stand out. Some of the keywords you can use include:
- Insurance Claims
- Total Loss
- Banking Solutions
- Insurance Solutions
5. Interview Skills
If you are selected for an interview, remember to make your first impression a lasting one. If a video interview is conducted in the comfort of your home, be sure to dress professionally just as you would if you were to go on-site.
During the interview with USAA hiring representatives, don’t be afraid to show your interest by asking questions. As we always say at Empire Resume, interviewing is a two-way street. While USAA will certainly do its due diligence to make sure you’re the best candidate, you should prepare for the interview so you’ll be able to decide whether they are the best company for you.
For an in depth discussion, review our article on three things hiring managers look for when interviewing military veterans.
Finally, take some time to familiarize yourself with the STAR method. USAA suggests you format your interview question answers in what they call the STARS format to have a great interview.
STARS is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, Result, Skills, and here’s how the format works:
- Situation: Describe the context within which you performed a job or faced a challenge at work.
- Task: Describe your responsibility in that situation.
- Action: Describe how you completed the task or endeavored to meet the challenge. Focus on what you did, rather than what your team, boss, or coworker did.
- Result: Finally, explain the outcomes or results generated by the action taken.
- Skills: Skills you used to be successful – includes hard (technical) and soft skills (leadership, teaching, etc.).
Always be sure to end with a wrap up. This includes a final summary line to reinforce your success and results for the question.
The STARS format makes you a memorable candidate because it makes it easy for the interviewer(s) to understand your skills and how your experiences will make you successful at USAA.
6. Referrals: A Powerful way to get hired at USAA
Using referrals affiliated to USAA is a powerful tool for getting hired quickly at the organization. Vice President of Talent Acquisitions, Laurie White, said, “Members of the military, other USAA employees and employee referrals will get a closer look by employers for job openings within USAA.”
So, if you know someone who works at USAA, ask them if you can include them in your referral list and don’t forget to document their information in your application.
USAA Employee Benefits
Did you know that USAA is a top 10 military friendly employer? They provide a flexible and meaningful place of employment for military families. USAA is truly a company that knows how to take care of its people.
In October 2021 USAA announced its increasing minimum pay from $16 to $21 per hour, or $43,680 annually. Besides the pay, the company offers one of the best benefit packages in the industry. Below is a list of its many benefits for employees:
- No medical, dental or vision insurance premium increase in 2022
- Childcare Reimbursement for employees making less than $100,000 base salary
- New college scholarship program for employee dependents with a financial need
- New paid leave program for family events such as caring for a sick family member
- Family support benefit up to $20,000 to cover adoption, surrogacy, and infertility treatment expenses
- Physical, Financial and Emotional Wellness Programs
- Medical, prescription drugs, and telehealth
- Behavioral health
- Dental and vision
- Life insurance
- Retirement Savings Plan (401k)
- Pension Plan
- Short and long-term disability
- Paid time off
- Company holidays
- Bereavement leave
- Parental benefit
- Adoption assistance
- Healthy Points
- Employee Assistance Program
- Onsite fitness centers, relax rooms, and energy zones
- Onsite health clinics
- Recreation programs and facilities
- Reimbursements for remote employees for fitness and recreation
- Reimbursements for weight management and smoking cessation programs
- Commuter benefits
- Child and dependent care reimbursement
- Service awards and recognition
- Education assistance program
- College admissions assistance
- Tuition assistance for certifications and degrees
- Orientation and initial customized training
- Business seminars, speakers and workshops
- Self-study, classroom and distance learning options
- License prep, exams and continuing education
- Career development planning
- Leadership development programs
USAA Hiring Process
The USAA job application follows 4 steps which are application, applicant screening, interviews (including multiple phone, in-person or video interviews), and the ideal candidate selection. Unsuccessful candidates will see a “no longer under consideration” notification after logging in to their USAA careers portal.
Although the length of the entire process is hard to define, the process typically takes 4-7 weeks.
- Apply: USAA accepts applications through its online Career Center. You will have the opportunity to set up a logon ID, create a profile, submit your resume, apply for the positions that interest you and build a job search agent. You are encouraged to apply for a specific position due to the high volume of job seeker profiles USAA receives each day.
- Applicant Screening: If you meet the position’s qualifications, you will be notified via email with instructions for any employment assessments that are required for the job. If received, you should complete the assessment prior to the next step in the process.
- Interviews: If you have received a follow up email and have completed all the assessments, you may be selected to continue in the process (not every candidate is selected for an interview). If selected, a member of the staffing team will contact you for an interview. The interview determines if you are a good match for a position. If so, you’ll have a formal interview with a member of the hiring team.
- Candidate Selection: After the formal interview, a hiring manager will review the feedback from interviewers and select an applicant for the position. Applicants who accept a contingent offer of employment must satisfactorily meet all requirements of the comprehensive background check.
How Much Experience is Needed to Work at USAA?
USAA offers a variety of career opportunities based on your unique experience. They provide several options for starting a new career where USAA will provide you training “from the ground up.” These positions are in Claims Adjusting, Mortgage Servicing and Customer Service.
Each career at USAA has exciting career progression opportunities and includes paid training.
Where do You Want to Work?
USAA has operations in various cities across the U.S., including:
- San Antonio, TX (corporate headquarters)
- Austin, TX
- Charlotte, NC
- Chesapeake, VA
- Colorado Springs, CO
- Plano, TX
- Phoenix, AZ
- Tampa, FL
- Remote Positions
Be an Employee and Join USAA in Giving Back for its 100th Anniversary
USAA has a service first mentality and prides itself on supporting its communities and giving back. For example, they support many charities and give grants to various organizations. In fact, in early December 2021, USAA announced a multi-city pitch contest for veteran entrepreneurs where they have the opportunity to win nearly $300,000 in prizes. These efforts to boost the veteran entrepreneur community is in celebration of USAA’s 100th anniversary in 2022.
As an employee, you’ll be given volunteer days to go out and support charities, nonprofit organizations, and give back to the respective community where you work. At USAA you can not only help USAA members reach their financial goals, but you can impact the entire community with the spirit of giving.
Did you enjoy this article? Be sure to share with a fellow veteran or military member and put our military blog on your Chrome or Explorer Reading List. Next week, we’ll be back with more military-to-civilian career transition insight to help you land your dream job in the civilian workforce.
Dr. Phillip Gold is President/CEO of Empire Resume and has vast experience writing resumes for both professionals and servicemembers transitioning from the military into civilian roles. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and was responsible for leading nuclear missile security. Phillip is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and holds a BA in Communications from The Ohio State University, an MS in Instructional Technology, an MBA in Finance, and a PhD in Finance.