Ten years ago, President Barack Obama signed an executive order establishing the Veterans Employment Initiative, to promote the hiring of veterans by the U.S. federal government and serve as a model for the private sector. He and other government officials recognized that the training veterans receive during their military service, as well as their motivation for public service, is essential to fulfilling federal agencies’ staffing needs.
The federal government offers several online resources to assist veterans in preparing for new jobs and careers, learning about the federal hiring process and identifying current job opportunities. Three of the most valuable resources every veteran should use while making a career transition are:
• BLS.gov The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ site is a treasure trove of information about hundreds of occupations and their experience and educational requirements, salaries, geographic locations and more. The amount of data on this website is vast. Most importantly, it includes employment forecasts through the year 2026, allowing you to explore job opportunities on the rise.
• FedsHireVets.gov This is a unique site to find information on federal employment for veterans, transitioning military servicemembers and spouses. It includes details on the federal hiring process, veterans preference, and special veterans programs with numerous federal agencies (such as VA, and the departments of Defense, Homeland Security and Labor). In addition, you’ll find information on the Military Spouse Preference Program and Military Spouse Network. Note that although this site was developed for veterans, some of the positions are open to nonveterans.
• USAJobs.gov This is the U.S. government’s official website for listing civil service opportunities with federal agencies, operated by the Office of Personnel Management. As of Oct. 1, job opportunities for veterans varied widely – from security professionals to accountants to environmental protection specialists, and hundreds more.
In August, the U.S. unemployment rate was 3.6 percent nationwide. But for veterans, the unemployment rate for that same period was only 3.4 percent, making August the 12th consecutive month the veteran unemployment rate was lower than the nonveteran one. These statistics are nationwide averages and can vary significantly from state to state, so be sure to do your research.
Wendy Enelow is co-author of “Modernize Your Résumé: Get Noticed ... Get Hired” and “Expert Résumés for Military-to-Civilian Transitions.”