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10 Steps to a Government Job - For Military Service Members

10 Steps to a Government Job - For Military Service Members

GovCentral and Military.com

Step 6: Applying for the Job

Applying for a job can often be nerve-racking. There are many unknowns that have be dealt with and overcome. One of the biggest hurdles to overcome is standing out against the “competition.” In this section we’ll go over a few ways to highlight your military service to help you stand apart.

But first, here’s a word of warning. Don’t expect your military service to be your golden ticket. It is quite likely that you’re not the only service member applying for the job. Departments are looking for candidates with the complete package, so these suggestions will work best only when you couple them with the rest of the advice found in this guide.

Leverage Your Veteran’s Status

As a veteran, you have a leg up on the competition when it comes to getting a job with the federal government. Make sure you completely understand how your military advantage works for you—the following section describes how to determine your veteran’s preference points, and the best way to apply for a civil service job.

Because the Federal Government recognizes the economic loss suffered by citizens who have served their country in uniform, the Veteran’s Preference system was created to restore veterans to a favorable competitive position for Government employment, and acknowledge a larger obligation owed to disabled veterans.

Veteran’s Preference Points

Veteran’s preference points are used when civil service examinations are part of the hiring process conducted by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and related agencies, for most service jobs including Veterans Recruitment Appointments (VRA), and when agencies make temporary, term, and overseas limited appointments. Preference in hiring applies to both permanent and temporary positions in the executive branch’s competitive and excepted services.

To receive preference, you must have been separated from active duty in the Armed Forces with an honorable or general discharge. You must also be eligible under one of the following preference categories:

• Five points are added to the examination score or rating of veterans who served:

- Between Dec. 7, 1941, and July 1, 1955.

- For more than 180 consecutive days at any point between Jan. 31, 1955, and Oct. 15, 1976.

- During the Gulf War from Aug. 2, 1990, through Jan. 2, 1992.

- In a campaign or expedition for which a campaign medal has been authorized, including El Salvador, Grenada, Haiti, Lebanon, Panama, Somalia, Southwest Asia and Bosnia.

• Ten points are added to the examination score or rating of:

- Veterans who served any time and who have a disability connected to their military service or are receiving compensation, disability retirement benefits or pension from the military or Department of Veterans Affairs.

- Veterans who received a Purple Heart qualify as disabled veterans.

- Unmarried spouses of certain deceased veterans and spouses of veterans unable to work because of a service-connected disability.

- Mothers of veterans who died in service or who are permanently and totally disabled.

Note: Military retirees at the rank of major, lieutenant commander, or higher are not eligible for preference in appointment unless they are disabled veterans. This does not apply to Gray Area Retired Reservists – those who will not begin drawing military retired pay until age 60.


Using Your Veteran’s Preference Points
Using your Veteran’s Preference Points is actually relatively simple. You simply claim preference on their application or resume when applying for Federal jobs. Applicants claiming 10-point preference must complete Standard Form (SF) 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference, and submit the requested documentation.

Applying for Federal Employment
The easiest way to apply for Federal employment is to go to the office of personnel management web site – USAJOBS – (www.usajobs.opm.gov) and follow the simple instructions. You will notice that part of the process requires you to indicate whether or not you are you are eligible for veteran’s preference points. Once you’ve selected the job that interests you, you will be given specific details on application process for each job.


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    CALLA66

    over 5 years ago

    50 comments

    VETERAN PREFERENCE IS BUNCH OF LIES IT HAS MORE LOOPHOLES IN IT THAT A PSEGGETTI STRAINER, THE GOVERNMENT IS ANTI VETERAN ANTI AMERICAN. OUR OWN GOVERNMENT DISCRIMINATES AGAINST WOMEN VETERANS ITS ALL LIE.

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    frankwgonzalez

    over 5 years ago

    4 comments

    Great information on the things you think will get you hired but I am sorry to report it is not what you know or what you have done its who you know and who you have pissed off that is now in the hiring authority position. NETWORK! NETWORK! NETWORK! Its all about who you know. You may be the Lords gift to mankind in your area of expertise but if you don't know the right poepl to get you hired you won't get the job even if you are recommended. I recommend the following as well: 1) If you are not recommended appeal the decision and fight for it, the last thing they want is a congressional inquiry or a DAV inquiry into discrimanatory hiring practices. 2) Apply VERY early in the job announcement posting. 3) Know someone where you want to work.

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    kencpotishnak

    over 5 years ago

    4 comments

    This is all great for the guys that just got out of the service or the ones that are still in but how about us Vietnam guys that have over 25 years experience in something else that has nothing to do with what we did in the service. I have built a career as a Maintenance Manager in the casino world were everybodies problems are mine. I had to know something about 6 different trades, not saying I had to be an expert in them all, but I had to know them to run crews to make repairs in the casino/ hotel world. Had to know building codes in Plumbing, Electricial, Fire and Board of Health.
    I was laid off twice last year and only worked 5 months all year and I'm still out of work. Yes I'm going on 60 years old and have school loans to pay for my kids schooling taxes and what have you. Companies see all this experience, total it up, see how old I am and you never hear from them. I have applied to some of these jobs on Govjobs.com in the past and never heard from them. I have applied to 28 other jobs and still out of work. Don't let anybody tell you your age doesn't matter because it does.

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    BonnieOBrien

    over 5 years ago

    4 comments

    I recently did a project with the DoD for their hiring and recruiting. I worked on USAJobs from the hiring side as well as the candidate side. There are are certain things that most candidates are unaware of:
    1. Sometimes the hiring group will hire based on the paperwork and never meet the candidate.
    Because of this, it is very important to ensure that when candidates self nominate that they mirror the job description within their resume and not making sure that the apprpriate key words are being used.
    2. Applying to the government is different than applying for jobs in the private sector. For government jobs you need to make sure that the resume and application contains EVERY job, training class, certification, education, award, etc. is included. The data should incllude EVERYTHING you have ever done.
    3. Applicants should make sure that the MEET all qualification criteria.

    You do not need a professional resume writer for government jobs if you have all the information on past employment because the format doesn't come out the same way you put it in.

    Good Luck!
    Bonnie@placementprofessionals.com

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    rustyday

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    for 6 months i have been applying to jobs on usa jobs.com i have 5 points i must b doing something wrong..when can i get a break.. i have two sons i raise on my own and $ is so tight.. im a hard team player ive been in construction for 13 years after the navy.. im so broke i had to go back to the reserve.. its been a real rough year.. i dnt mean to sound like a sap. sry.. everything was stolen from me this year.. wife job truck and my boys bikes.. and it sucks cause the federal gov says they will help but 240 dollars doesnt help and wth the banks calling everyday, ahhhh, im staying positive for my boys though. they need me to be tough so i will for them.. if u know anyone who needs help in phoenix let me kno cottonfieldracing@yahoo.com

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    retarmygal

    over 5 years ago

    10 comments

    should be-folks at Nc CPAC DO NOT care

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    retarmygal

    over 5 years ago

    10 comments

    Carden: I too have been applying for jobs at Fort Sam and Lackland and have paid professionals to write my resume-ALL to no avail. I think the whole government hiring process is messed up and the folks at NC CPAC do care. Lot's of inbreeding going on I bet! Nothing will get done because of that for sure! Makes me wonder if we REALLY want to work for the Army as civilians if there is this kind of incompetence. 10 pt veterans pref, BS in HR, MBA, 21.5 years of varied Army leadership, mgmt and KSA experience and 13 years of corporate experience and I still see "not among the best qualified therefore your resume was not referred to the hiring agency." Give me a break. IF I am NOT among the best qualified (or you for that matter ;-) what are they hiring? Sad sacks, as you say, and incompetents. The more things change the more they stay the same. I agree-the ALL should be REPLACED.

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    carden

    over 5 years ago

    12 comments

    I think your 11 steps is a good artice - but for 5 years I have applied for positions at the North Central US Army CPAC for Ft. Sam Houston Texas and have yet to get a bite on my resume. My resume has been through 7 re-writes and the last time it was co-authored by a representative from the Office of Personnel Management and rated at a GS 11-12 level only to be turned down cold by the North Central CPAC. Even my Military Service was insulted by a Mr. Hanson who is a Human Resource Representative at this very Office. But guess what nothing was done I wrote the appropiate people reference these issues and guess what nothing got done. Veterans do not have the advantage as you say they do with the US Army North Central CPAC office, even the director is a lame duck. They do not think they have to answer questions and they act like they are untouchable. This is the largest buch of sad sacks I have had the displeasure of dealing with. My opinion they all should be replaced.

    Kenneth J. Carden
    SFC US Army retired
    210.296.4742

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    ddog79

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    I'm not sure of the answer to darrocs' question as to the documentation, I only have my own experience as a point of reference. I applied for and was interviewed for a VA job while I was still on active duty as a Marine. I got the phone call about two weeks later with the job offer. I started work at the VA while I was on terminal leave, one week prior to my retirement date. I was told by our human resources person that I would not get paid by the VA for that week since I was still being paid by the military. I was please to find out two weeks later that she was wrong. I received my military and government pay for the one week overlap period. I assume it was legal since no one has said anything to me for the two years I've been a gov worker.

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    SFCRaymondrThibault

    over 5 years ago

    12 comments

    I always kept my documentation up to date. I was the only one on site in Salopi Turkey/ Zakhu Iraq in 1991 Operation Provide Comfort, 21st/22nd TAACOM Logistics with a NATO Secret Clearence. The Oficers had to depend on an SFC to update and brief them NCOS get it done.

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    darrocs

    almost 6 years ago

    2 comments

    I am getting ready to retire from the Army soon and cannot find any documentation on whether or not I can start a GS position while on PTDY and Terminal Leave. Can anyone out there point me in the direction where I can find this documentation? Thanks.

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    Seven7777

    almost 6 years ago

    2 comments

    Vietnam "era" vet. Desert Shield/Storm vet. Iraqi freedom vet. I have been in and out of the Military due to the treatment that vets have faced sinced the 70's when they try and re-enter civilian life. I've seen all the horrors. After Desert shield/Storm, I just knew that it was my last hoorah! Joined the Resrerves and worked in the private sector (on the civilian side). No respect. Mar 2003, I was called back to serve. Imagine that. Well, i tried it one final time and my unit got deployed in June 2006. My bubble was busted because my wife has severe rhumetoid arthritis. I could not go. Don't know what has happened to my unit but; I sure wish i could be there with them. At least i'm working in the private sector. right? Yeah. Got laid off in Mar 2008. Still laid off. Been applying everywhere. Attending Job-fairs etc....Am i bitter??? No. I just miss the military. Hoorah!!

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    Chris_Cosgriff

    about 6 years ago

    16 comments

    Unfortunately, the document is not available offline at this time. We'll work on creating a document version.

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    Account Removed

    about 6 years ago

    Is there any way to view this article as a Word document? I'm currently going through ACAP and would like to share the article with the other military members in my group that will be separating soon. Thanks.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Account Removed

    over 6 years ago

    I aim to help.

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