Print

Career Guides >> Browse Articles >> Military-to-Federal

+2

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.


+2
  • Photo_user_blank_big

    ddog79

    about 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

    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.

  • 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

    almost 6 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

    almost 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

    almost 6 years ago

    I aim to help.

  • Sldrgrl_max50

    sldrgrl

    almost 6 years ago

    4 comments

    Thanx Scoob

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Account Removed

    almost 6 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

    almost 6 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

    almost 6 years ago

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

Govcentral School Finder

Save time in your search for a degree program. Use GovCentral's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

Get Info

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.