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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 7: Meeting a Recruiter

Sell Yourself: Speak Professionally
During your time in the military you should have had ample time to learn to speak in front of others. Public speaking is extremely important in fire and rescue. As a firefighter, you will be expected to give presentations to members of your department and members of the community alike.

Public speaking is often referred to as the number one fear in the workforce. Tackle that fear early on. If you have to, sign up for speaking classes at your local community college or through the local Toastmasters. There is no substitute for the ability to list yourself as an accomplished public speaker on your application.

Wear a Suit
Always wear a suit or coat and tie. Wearing business attire shows that you hold yourself to the highest standards, and that is what a recruiter is looking for in a candidate. Many prospective recruits make the mistake of showing up in their every day street clothes. This does not go unnoticed and there is a high probability that your resume or application will end up on the bottom of the pile. If, for some reason, it is absolutely not possible for you to wear a suit then make sure you tell the recruiter before hand so they know.

Ask Questions
Be prepared with a list of questions you have for the recruiter. This is your chance to get clarifications to questions you might have about an agency you are interested in, common job tasks, or about general career advancement. Make sure your questions are relevant and aren’t already answered through general literature.

Don’t Be a Know-It-All
Don’t try to impress the recruiter with your knowledge (or perceived knowledge) of the government. You’re there to get information from the recruiter, not to give it. Even if the recruiter is telling you something you already know, listen intently and be thankful for the information.

Listen and Be Courteous
When you meet with a recruiter there will be opportunities for you to get your questions answered. Don’t interrupt or cause disruptions if the recruiter is speaking to someone else or isn’t answering your question as quick as you would like. Be courteous and wait for the appropriate time to interject or clarify your question.

Don’t Use Military Jargon
Even though you are transitioning to a military-friendly environment, remember that not all government employees are former military and may not understand or appreciate certain language, words, or attitudes. Always act and speak professionally in front of a recruiter. Even if you find out that the recruiter served in the same unit as you at some point, be professional and don’t accidentally start talking like you’re in boot camp.

Be Early
Do not be late, especially if you have a one-on-one meeting with the recruiter. Plan to arrive at least 15 minutes early. If you are meeting a recruiter at a job fair, remember that recruiters will usually not forget the first few people they talk to, even if they end up talking with dozens more throughout the day.

Expect Tough Questions
Why do you want a government job? Do you have anything questionable in your past? When was the last time you used drugs? Those are just a few of the questions that you will be asked during your application process. Be prepared to answer them quickly and honestly even as early as your first meeting with the recruiter. Always remember that if you lie, they will find out and your career will be over before it even starts.

Be Prepared to State Your Goals
You should list out your career goals before you even make a meeting with the recruiter. Be true to yourself and be honest, but don’t be stupid. If you’re talking to a recruiter about one specific career paths, don’t go into a lot of detail about your long-term career aspiration to work in a position which you are under-qualified for.

Remember that You Are Talking to a Government Official
The authorities and responsibilities bestowed on government officials can be very serious. You must always be professional and courteous to everyone you encounter. Your attitude and demeanor must convey the embodiment of these principles to the recruiter.


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  • Photo_user_blank_big

    ddog79

    almost 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.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    SFCRaymondrThibault

    almost 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.

  • Scot_max50

    darrocs

    over 5 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.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Seven7777

    over 5 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!!

  • Capitol_dome_max50

    Chris_Cosgriff

    over 5 years ago

    16 comments

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

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Account Removed

    over 5 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 5 years ago

    I aim to help.

  • Sldrgrl_max50

    sldrgrl

    over 5 years ago

    4 comments

    Thanx Scoob

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Account Removed

    over 5 years ago

    Veterans' Employment Opportunities Act of 1998, as amended
    When an agency accepts applications from outside its own workforce, the Veterans' Employment Opportunities Act of 1998 (VEOA) allows preference eligibles or veterans to compete for these vacancies under merit promotion procedures. Veterans who are selected are given career or career conditional appointments. Veterans are those who have been separated under honorable conditions from the armed forces with 3 or more years of continuous active service.
    Purpose of the Law
    Improved Access: The intent of the law is to open up opportunities to veterans that might otherwise be closed to them because agencies were increasingly limiting announcements just to "status" candidates - i.e., those who were already civil service employees. This law requires an agency to allow eligible veterans to apply when the agency will accept applications from individuals outside its own workforce. ("Agency," in this context, means the parent agency - i.e., Department of Defense, not Department of the Army.) Veterans' preference, however, does not apply to selections made under merit promotion procedures.

    Improved Redress: The VEOA also allows a preference eligible who believes an agency has violated any of his or her rights under the veterans' preference laws or regulations, to file a formal complaint with the Department of Labor's Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS). If VETS is unable to resolve the complaint within 60 days, the veteran may appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). The law also makes a willful violation of veterans' preference a prohibited personnel practice under law.

    Who is Eligible
    To be eligible for a VEOA appointment, a veteran must be honorably separated and either a preference eligible or have substantially completed 3 or more years of active service. ("Active Service" under this law means active duty in a uniformed service and includes full-time training duty, annual training duty, full-time National Guard duty, and attendance, while in the active service, at a school designated as a service school by law or by the Secretary concerned.) A veteran who is released under honorable conditions shortly before completing a 3-year tour is also eligible.

    How to Apply
    Agency announcements will say when veterans eligible under this law may apply. The veterans will be rated and ranked with other merit promotion eligibles. Those who are among the best qualified may be selected by the appointing official, but veterans' preference is not a factor. If selected, the veteran will be given a career or career conditional appointment, as appropriate.

  • Sldrgrl_max50

    sldrgrl

    over 5 years ago

    4 comments

    Thanks for your information however, what can a veteran who does not fall into either of the above categories (5pt; 10pt; or VRA preferences) do? Can you explain the VEOA of 1998? And are all former servicemembers who served 3 or more years continuously, with a honorable or general discharge eligible to claim this?
    Thanks

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Account Removed

    over 5 years ago

    Get your resume done early and go see a vet counsoler.

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