How to Get a Job on a Military Base
The military transition to life outside of the armed forces is like chartering unknown territory to you as a veteran. But what if you could remain connected to the mission and comradery that you’ve come to know over the years? In this article, Empire Resume will discuss how you can get a civilian job or even a federal job on a military base.
Beware of Outdated Resume Writing Strategies
As a veteran job finder, the act of getting a job on base with a DoD entity or agency is a process. And, it’s a process that has changed over the years.
One of the questions we receive from our veteran clients at Empire Resume is how many pages should my civilian resume be? Just not too long ago, job applicants seeking positions on base were expected to have a 5-page resume consisting of copy and paste job descriptions and knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs).
The method of copying and pasting job descriptions and KSAs was an effort to match keywords in the hopes of getting the hiring manager to notice resumes.
However, keyword stuffing is an outdated resume writing strategy. The attempt to manipulate the system is shunned upon today. Additionally, it does not offer a hiring any real insight into the value an employment candidate brings to the table.
Get Your Job on a Military Base in 4 Steps
Gaining employment on a military installation is much like getting a regular civilian job off base. Get your job on a military base by taking these 4 steps:
1. Build an Outstanding Resume and Top-Notch LinkedIn Profile
Your path to gaining successful employment on a military installation begins with transforming your military experience into an outstanding resume and creating a top-notch veteran LinkedIn.
Your resume should be a maximum of 2 pages or less and highlight your qualifications and achievements.
For a professional, online introduction of you, your skills, and what you can do, simply use your LinkedIn profile as an extension of your resume. Your LinkedIn will serve as a way to network with key hiring managers and company recruiters, even while you’re sleeping.
2. Write a Cover Letter
A cover letter works alongside your resume to catch the attention of hiring managers. To get their attention, you must tailor your cover letter to each hiring manager, by name.
A cover letter is essentially your 30 second elevator pitch. According to Forbes, your cover letter is a personal introduction that summarizes:
- Who you are;
- What you do; and
- Why you’d be the perfect candidate
Using a template or writing a generic cover letter will give off the impression that you’re not really interested in the job. Going this generic route with your cover letter will show a hiring manager that you didn’t spend the time and effort on it.
In addition to tailoring your cover letter to the hiring manager, to get a job on a military base, you must:
- Identify and target the decision maker
- Personalize your cover letter to the job
- Apply for the position (complete the application form, etc.)
For more information, please visit Empire Resume’s articles on how to tailor your cover letter and identifying the decision makers.
3. Mail the Resume and Cover Letter
In addition to applying for the jobs through the required online platforms, take the time to physically mail a copy of the resume and tailored cover letter to the hiring manager at your potential place of employment directly.
Next, prepare for the job interview begins once your application is complete, the pre-interview jitters will begin to kick in. This is normal, but you can combat interview anxiety with preparation.
Applying for civilian and federal jobs through online platforms such as USAJobs is only a part of the equation. Veterans must act when it comes to applying for jobs on base.
Although you’ve applied for jobs online and mailed your application, don’t sit and wait to hear back. Sometimes, hiring managers get overwhelmed with the hiring process and forget to reach out whether they want to interview you or not. It’s up to you to take the final step and follow-up.
Following up is a key part of the process of snagging a job on a military base. Imagine how many jobs people did not get because they failed to act and follow-up on their application.
After the job interview, you should follow-up each week for several weeks through email. Following up includes asking:
- Have you received my application?
- Is the position still available?
- Any chance you know when interviews may take place?
Following up can mean the difference between getting a job on a military installation and sitting by the phone or computer, waiting to hear from the company. And, don’t worry about being a bother because this is one way of showing your interest in the job.
Empire Resume Helps Veterans Get Jobs on Military Bases Nationwide
The team at Empire Resume is here for to help you when you’re ready to pursue your search for a career on a military base.
We understand that going through the military transition assistance program is not a one stop shop for preparing military members for life outside of the military, when it comes to civilian employment.
We offer the following services for military veterans:
- Custom built and ATS optimized resume writing
- Well-crafted cover letter, tailored to hiring managers
- Unique follow-up letter to give the recruiter a reason to call you back
- Creating killer LinkedIn Profiles
At Empire Resume, our services are for military veterans, by military veterans. Our difference is what separates us from everyone else including our exceptional credentials, free resume reviews, outstanding customer feedback, proven job search guides and resources such as our military to civilian blog, and our satisfaction guarantee.
We’re able to relate to your needs, take your military performance evaluation to create a military to civilian resume that will get you the job you deserve. We’ve helped thousands of military veterans, and we’d appreciate the opportunity to do the same for you.
Dr. Phillip Gold is President/CEO of Empire Resume and has vast experience writing resumes for service-members transitioning from the military into civilian roles. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Air Force 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.