Veteran Job Finder
80% of the service members the military discharges every year will not have a job lined up, according to Hire Heroes USA. This statistic is proof that one of the hardest challenges you will face as a veteran is deciding how to move forward with pursuing career options. You’re about to undertake a task you know so little about – being a veteran job finder. Most veterans don’t know where to begin with finding a job because in the military, job assignments are given. The service member’s only responsibility is to execute the job’s mission.
Although finding a job is no easy feat for anyone, with veterans’ preference in the civilian world, the job search is only one of the many hurdles you will jump across. At Empire Resume, we are experts at helping you and other military veterans jump hurdles by successfully transitioning into civilian life and turning challenges like these into opportunities.
“Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.” – General George S. Patton
This article will discuss how you can turn your job search into a viable career opportunity. We will go over the best job sites for veterans and show you some military headhunters who will work on your behalf to find the best job match for you.
Key Documents Veterans Need to Find a Civilian Job
Before we begin, let’s focus on the key documents you will need to perform your job search. These documents include:
- Military to Civilian Resume and Cover Letter.
Your military to civilian resume is a summary of your achievements, background, employment experiences, and education. The cover letter is a brief, one-page letter providing an introduction to you and your talents. The cover letter contains skills that connect to the career opportunity you’re applying for to show why you’re the best person for the job.
Please understand that the military to civilian resume and cover letter go hand in hand in your job search. Both documents work together to assist a civilian employer in considering you as a candidate.
Are you finding jobs you like without a properly prepared resume and cover letter that highlights your experiences, accomplishments, and education? Without these documents, your dream job is out of reach. Check out Empire Resume Career Services where we will transform your resume to get you the civilian job you deserve.
- DD 214
A copy of your DD 214 is an important document to have as you begin finding jobs. According to USA Jobs, to claim veterans’ preference, you must provide a copy of your DD 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, or other acceptable documentation. The DD 214 is your proof of military service.
If for some reason you cannot locate your DD 214, you can request a copy free of charge with the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.
With your military to civilian resume, cover letter, and DD 214 in hand, you are well on your way to finding the job you want. The most difficult part of the job hunt is knowing where to search and breaking through all the noise on the internet today.
Approach the Veteran Job Search with Caution
Be cautious as you submit your information through the internet and make sure you are using well-known and credible or trustworthy job sites for your search. The VA reports that veterans looking for work are especially vulnerable to hiring scams and fake job offers, and their activity and public profiles on legitimate job search sites can attract the attention of fake job recruiters and other con artists.
The last thing you want to happen is for a spam, scam or fraudulent site to get a hold of your information and use it in ways you didn’t authorize. A veterans’ specialist with Hire Heroes USA suggests veterans should watch out for three common job scams:
- Spoof (fake) website
Pay close attention to the URL or web address.
- Suspicious email address
Be wary of anyone using gmail.com or yahoo.com.
- Unusual interview platforms
Interviews with chat options requesting personal information opens the door to identity theft.
For more information on job scams and military records scams, review the VA’s article on scams regarding job offers.
Best Job Sites for Veterans
Because the team at Empire Resume cares about the safety of your job pursuit, below you’ll find our recommended list of the best job sites and job resources for veterans:
RecruitMilitary helps civilian employers connect with veterans. Services are free to veterans and their spouses during the job search.
ClearanceJobs serves as the largest career network for veterans with security clearances to fill jobs that safeguard the nation.
USAJOBS connects veterans with federal job opportunities throughout the world and provides resources to help people find the right jobs.
Hire Heroes USA offers free job search assistance to military member, veterans and spouses.
Military.com is the largest free veteran job board. You can find jobs with military-friendly companies and even search for jobs by industry.
Feds Hire Vets is a network created by military veterans and hiring authorities whose mission is to serve those who served by connecting veterans with employers who value their skills and experience.
Robert Half offers a veterans job board to help veteran job seekers find rewarding careers with like-minded companies.
G.I. Jobs provides a job board to help veterans and transitioning service members search for a career. They also help with helping veterans choose the right college.
I’m sure you hear about LinkedIn quite often. Most people think of LinkedIn as a social networking site, but it’s also a job finding platform.
The best part is veterans like you can receive a free, one-year premium career subscription. This is a part of LinkedIn’s commitment to helping you connect with jobs across the U.S. Click the link to discover more about LinkedIn for Veterans.
Google Helps Veterans Find Jobs
Another helpful resource is the world’s largest and most popular search engine — Google. In 2018, Google joined the ranks in helping veterans find jobs. With Google, you can use your MOS to help you find a job that overlaps with your military skills.
Simply perform a Google search by typing “Jobs for Veterans” in the search box. A blue search box will prompt you to enter your military occupation code. Once your code is entered, Google will provide a matching list of civilian jobs for you.
To learn more about Google’s initiative to help veterans and their spouses, refer to Google’s video or explore its website for detailed instructions on how to search for jobs using its veteran job finder tool.
Federal Government Jobs and Veterans’ Preference
Veterans’ preference is an important option to consider as a veteran seeking to find a job working for the federal government. Veterans’ preference gives employment preference to veterans for federal jobs and is based on a point system. The system includes factors such as:
- Type of discharge
- Type of service
- Disability rating
According to VA for Vets , the government fills job vacancies in two ways, competitively and noncompetitively. With the competitive process, jobs are advertised to the public on sites such as USAJOBS.gov. These jobs are open to the general public and anyone can apply. With the noncompetitive process, the jobs are not publicly announced and veterans are given special consideration.
To discover more about the federal hiring process, veterans’ preference and information on determining whether you meet the eligibility requirements for veterans’ preference, check out our Veteran Recruiting article and VA for Vets at the link above.
Keep in mind that if you begin searching for federal positions prior to transitioning out of the military, you will not have your DD 214 available. While this doesn’t keep you from actively searching for a job, because you can certainly begin your job hunt with your military to civilian resume and cover letter, if you’re looking to apply for government positions right away, the absence of your DD-214 may hinder you from applying until you have the document in your possession. However, there is a work-around with the VOW Act.
The VOW Act Works to Your Benefit When Applying for Jobs Prior to Transitioning
One way to apply for jobs without your DD 214 is to submit a certification, as allowed through the Veterans’ Opportunity to Work (VOW) Act. According to a memo on VOW by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM),the government must treat active duty members as veterans and preference eligible when they submit a certification.
The certification is basically any written document stating that the service member is expected to be discharged or released from active duty no later than 120 days after the date of the certification.
Some veterans may decide to get help with finding a civilian job. The help can come in the form of military headhunters or executive recruiters. Research shows that headhunters and recruiters are essentially the same, even though most recruiting firms make attempts to differentiate the two. In fact, Merriam-Webster Dictionary’s definition of headhunter is as follows:
Headhunter: A recruiter of personnel, especially at the executive level.
Now that we have a clear understanding of what a headhunter is, let’s take a look at some companies that offer headhunting or recruiting services for veterans and transitioning military members.
Lucas Group is a military recruiting firm that works with companies to place qualified talent in key positions. The firm serves Senior Military Officers, Junior Military Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers and Military Technicians.
Bradley Morris is the leading military recruiting firm specializing in finding jobs for transitioning military and veterans.
Orion Talent is the nation’s largest military recruiting firm. The firm provides job opportunities for transitioning military and veterans seeking a career change.
Alliance provides transition services for JMOs and enlisted military members and help them secure employment.
Cameron-Brooks is the best JMO recruiting firm for military-to-business transitions. The firm’s founder is responsible for the book entitled, PCS to Corporate America.
All headhunters or recruiters are not created equal. If you are interested in taking this path to find a job, do your research and choose the recruiting firm that will meet your needs and put you at ease about the job search process.
Once you’ve found a recruiting firm, don’t take a backseat on your own career search. This is the time for you to take a proactive approach and be open, honest, and as detailed as possible about what type of job you’re looking for.
Want to hear more about military headhunters or recruiters? Read the 7 Tips for Using Headhunters, an article located in Military.com, by Tom Wolfe, author of Out of Uniform .
Finally, attending both in-person and virtual job fairs is a great way to get a jump start on your job search. Job fairs can be found in your local city, college, and even military bases. Headhunters and recruiters usually host their own career conferences with their select few lists of companies.
Job fairs and conferences make your search easier because several companies are located in one space and you’re free to talk to the hiring representatives and gain more information on the company. You may be able to land an interview on the spot after giving a hiring representative your military to civilian resume. If not, at least you will have obtained the contact information of a company representative so you can stay in touch as you continue your job finding journey.
As you begin your search for a civilian job, there may be discouraging moments where you don’t hear back from hiring managers for a few months, but don’t let it stop your search. This is a normal part of the process. The act of searching for a job is much like having a full-time job. It takes time.
With the tips we provided throughout this article, planning, preparation and help from our recommended resources, your search will be handled with less stress and before you know it, you’ll be walking through the doors of your first civilian job in no time.
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.