Being able to carve out the right career path and obtain meaningful employment is important for veterans and service members transitioning to civilian life.
There is a lot to consider for veterans beginning a job search, like what types of benefits they are eligible for, whether to seek a role with the government or with the private sector, how to find employers who are committed to hiring veterans, and how to translate military skills for a resume.
Luckily, there are many resources designed to support veterans, transitioning service members, and their families when it comes to finding a job or advancing a career. If you are a recent veteran or transitioning service member seeking some guidance in your job search, here is a list of job resources, job boards, and general employment-focused assistance for veterans. While certainly not an exhaustive list, what follows is a collection of various types of job resources for veterans that can help those who:
- Desire a position with the federal government
- Are interested in starting their own business
- Need resources for female veterans
- Require information geared toward military spouses
- Want to work for a military-friendly employer
Veteran Job Resources and Job Search Assistance
If you’re seeking assistance with some of the basics of job searching, there are plenty of employment resources that include job boards and jobs sites for veterans and information on crafting resumes and cover letters and filling out job applications. You will also find that many of the resources go beyond the basics, and provide information and tips uniquely beneficial to veterans looking to enter the civilian workforce or advance their careers.
These include tips on connecting with military-friendly employers, translating your military experience into civilian terms, transitioning into a civilian workplace environment, starting a veteran-owned business, and navigating and understanding your benefits.
Your state and local government may provide a variety of job resources for veterans. The local Veterans Affairs office is a good starting point when seeking out your options regarding employment and training opportunities and other benefits. Through the VA website, you can access VA for Vets, a resource to help veterans who work for the federal government or veterans interested in making the transition to a civilian careers with a job with the VA.
Veterans Employment Center
The Veterans Employment Center is a resource provided by the federal government designed to support veterans in various stages of their job search, including those who:
- Have a service-related disability
- Are seeking additional job training
- Have or wish to start their own small business
Veterans with disabilities that limit or prevent them from working may qualify for vocational rehabilitation and employment benefits, which can include assistance with job searching or job training. Or, if you have a business or want to start one, you can register your veteran-owned small business with Veterans Affairs and receive support.
The site also connects you to the U.S. Department of Labor, where you will find resources for building a resume and searching for job opportunities from employers committed to hiring veterans. There are also tools to help veterans explain their military skills and experience in civilian terms and create a profile that can be easily shared with potential employers.
Veterans Employment and Training Services
The Veterans Employment and Training Services site, from the Department of Labor, has employment information and expertise for veterans, transitioning service members, and their families. You can search for jobs, get one-on-one assistance, and learn about different career and training options.
It also includes the e-VETS Resource Advisor, which was designed to assist veterans, service members, and their families in navigating a range of information, including employment. The e-VETS Resource Advisor is integrated with the National Resource Directory, an online directory of resources for veterans. It’s designed to help employees understand their rights under federal employment law.
A unit of Monster Worldwide, Inc., Military.com has a career section with an array of tools for job seekers, including a job board, transition resources, and information about military-friendly employers and frequently chosen careers for veterans. There is also a section for military spouses.
VetJobs is an established site that has been around since 1999. It is sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. On this site, job seekers can search openings and post their resumes. It is free to register on VetJobs, and there is an option to subscribe to a monthly newsletter for veterans. The website has information about upcoming career fairs, articles with advice on career planning, a career assessment test, and more. There are also resources for military spouses.
Militaryhire.com is a site created and maintained by veterans and hiring managers. It has a job board, and job seekers can upload resumes, apply for jobs, and find information about upcoming job fairs. There is also content with advice for your job search and career development, on topics such as “10 Questions Military Veterans Should Ask Before Accepting a Job Offer” and “How to Get Noticed By a Recruiter.”
Do you need help spelling out your skills on your resume and cover letter? Jobsaurus is an additional job resource for veterans that might be worth bookmarking. It is a translator that can also help you find the right words to describe the experiences and skills obtained in the military in civilian terms.
Preparing to Enter the Workforce
Are you a new veteran who needs help preparing to enter the workforce? Perhaps you need assistance with your transition into the civilian workplace or with determining the right career options for you. Read on for more employment and career assistance for veterans.
The mission of G.I. Jobs is to help make the process of finding employment simpler for veterans. It provides advice for veterans on how to find a job as a civilian. It also has a military-to-civilian pay calculator and advice about how to craft a resume and how to prepare for an interview. One feature of the site is interviews with recruiters from companies that hire service members. This allows veterans to read employers’ firsthand experience with hiring veterans. It also includes a newsletter and social media pages.
National Veterans Foundation
National Veterans Foundation caters to the crisis management needs of veterans. It includes an employment section with a list of job openings. There is also a section called “First Steps,” which can help veterans through some of the initial phases of transitioning to civilian life.
An internship program through the Department of Defense called Operation Warfighter works with civilian agencies to offer temporary or part-time internships to injured and ill service members at military medical facilities in the Washington, D.C., area. These opportunities allow wounded service members to gain useful experience while in recovery.
Job Sites for Veterans Seeking Government Employment
Visit USA Jobs if you are interested in obtaining a federal job. The website contains an overview of the federal application process. In addition, you can create a profile, which allows you to save searches and choose to receive updates on jobs you may be interested in. You can also upload your resume, make it searchable for recruiters, and apply to federal jobs online.
Feds Hire Vets is a website operated by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management designed specifically for veterans looking for a federal job. It has several resources that can inform you on whether you qualify for certain preferences. If you look for federal positions, you may be eligible to apply under special hiring authorities for veterans. It also has a page called Vet to Vet, where veterans can share their personal experiences with one another.
VAforVets is an initiative through the Veteran Employment Services Office for those looking to transition into a career with the VA. Human resource professionals help connect you with resources for finding employment as a veteran. In addition, there are job listings for both federal and private-sector jobs, and information on deployment and reintegration services.
Resources for Female Veterans
Female veteran job resources are aimed toward helping women find employment and advance their careers as civilians. The Department of Labor’s Women Veteran Program exists to ensure the DOL VET programs serve men and women veterans equally. The website contains factsheets and webinars with information about female veterans in the workforce. It also includes links to other resources, such as the VETS website.
Joining Forces for Women Veterans and Military/Veteran Spouses Mentoring Plus is a mentoring program through the Business and Professional Women’s Foundation. It’s aimed at female veterans and military spouses looking to obtain fulfilling employment, advance in their careers, or start their own business. Volunteer female mentors provide support and accountability for women who want help with professional development.
Assistance for Military Spouses
Military.com offers content geared toward military spouses, with information on living with the military, understanding your benefits, and coping with transition. A membership with Military.com gives military spouses access to GI Bill®¹ information, a GI Bill® calculator, and military skills translator.
The Veterans Employment Center can help direct military spouses toward helpful career resources. Spouses who are eligible for the Department of Defense’s Spouse Education Career Opportunities can access career resources, networking opportunities, and employment counselors. Through SECO, military spouses can get assistance with obtaining additional training or education and connecting with employers who are committed to hiring military spouses.
Getting the Most Out of Veteran Job Resources
Any of the resources mentioned here will give veterans the information they need regarding benefits, tools for finding employment, advancing their careers, and transitioning successfully into the civilian workforce. Here are a few more tips to consider:
- Start out with one of the skills translator tools so you can add your skills to your resume in civilian terms. It will also help you determine what terms to use to search current job openings, as well as what language to use when describing your experience to recruiters and human resource personnel.
- Use resume-building resources to craft a resume formatted and written in a way that makes sense to civilian employers and helps you get noticed by recruiters.
- Search for veteran job fairs happening near you. Attending a job fair will give you the opportunity for exposure to companies that want to hire veterans. It will give you a chance to meet potential employers face to face and even complete an on-site job interview.
- The search function on many of these job sites and job boards for veterans allows you to search specifically for military-friendly jobs. This lets you narrow your search only to employers who are interested in hiring someone with your specific experience.
- Some job sites for veterans allow you to make a profile for free. Consider creating a profile, particularly if it allows you to upload a resume and become visible to recruiters looking for veterans like you to fill their job openings.
Take advantage of the content provided by many of these resources. It’s there to guide you through complicated topics like veteran benefits and the trickier aspects of making the transition from active duty to the civilian workforce. Whether you are looking to advance your career or entering the civilian workforce for the first time, taking advantage of the various resources provided for veterans, service members, and their families will help ensure your next move is a successful one.
¹GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.