Support Group Helps Veterans Navigate Federal Job Application Process
By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, April 14, 2009 Navigating the federal job application process can be mindboggling, but veterans can have a personal guide thanks to a new Military Order of the Purple Heart Web site.
MOPH offers veterans its new Vetsjobs.net site as the answer to the puzzle, given that the Labor Department estimates 100,000 new federal jobs will open in the federal sector, the group’s national veteran employment officer said.
“There are lots of places that you can go to get information. However, this is one place that you can gather enough information to intelligently apply for a federal job,” Don Nichols said. “We knew that the younger generation of veterans probably could use a little bit of help knowing where to go, how to go through the process of applying for a federal job and understanding how the system works.”
The site contains information about how to register with www.usajobs.gov, the official Web site for seeking federal employment. This is in addition to links to each state’s employment service, the Labor Department, and the Office of Personnel Management.
Veterans also can find information about how veterans preference affects their job search, and watch a video featuring a former active-duty Marine Corps gunnery sergeant, now a reservist. The gunny helps put the federal job search in a language veterans understand, and he’s qualified on both fronts: he served in both Iraq and Afghanistan and is currently a federal employee working for the Veterans Affairs medical facility in Muskogee, Okla.
“We wanted to develop a video to talk somebody, or walk somebody, through the process [of applying for a federal job],” Nichol said. “We wanted to have somebody do that that was young, about the same age as the persons getting out of the military, [and who] had some experience with applying for a federal job.”
The video, validated by two Veterans Affairs offices, contains a downloadable presentation that goes through each of the talking points of how to register to apply for a federal job, Nichols said. Veterans can learn how to register with USAJobs, how to do a resume step by step, how to tie that resume to the knowledge, skills and aptitude criteria for a particular job, and how to complete the assessment process.
Veterans who take advantage of the site also will be kept in the loop if a new job in their chosen career field and geographical area becomes available.
“All [this] information resided somewhere out there on the Internet, but it’s just knowing how to get to it,” Nichols said. “So, we’ve tried to pull it all together in one spot. We think these are the most valuable resources.
“We think it’s going to be very helpful for veterans who are applying for a federal job,” he added.
The Web site has been active for a couple of weeks, John Bircher, MOPH’s national public relations director, said. It was announced only yesterday because MOPH officials just participated in a “very successful” job fair and wanted to add video from the event, Nichols said.