Getting a Job on Capitol Hill: For Veterans

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TRIANGLE, VA - NOVEMBER 10: A U.S. Marine holds a U.S. flag during a naturalization ceremony November 10, 2014 at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Virginia. Service members, military veterans and civilians take part in 40 naturalization ceremonies across the country from November 7 - 14 to honor Veterans Day and become U.S. citizens. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

TRIANGLE, VA - NOVEMBER 10: A U.S. Marine holds a U.S. flag during a naturalization ceremony November 10, 2014 at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Virginia. Service members, military veterans and civilians take part in 40 naturalization ceremonies across the country from November 7 - 14 to honor Veterans Day and become U.S. citizens. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

By Rebecca Gale

Getting a job on Capitol Hill can be tough, even for the politically savvy with long resumes and starred credentials. But it can be a vastly different experience for veterans.

HillVets, a nonprofit focused on veterans issues, is looking to add to the number of veterans in the Capitol Hill staffer ranks, and recently distributed  “A Veteran’s Guide to Getting a Job on Capitol Hill.”

The guide encourages veterans to submit their resumes to HillVets and sign up for job email lists. When veterans apply for a position, they should let HillVets know, and see if there are additional contacts within the HillVets network that can assist in landing an interview.

Much of the information is the oft-repeated Capitol Hill advice: Decide what kind of job is best suited to your skill set, seek a home-state connection, spell check and review your cover letter and resume. HillVets gives the cold, hard truth regarding compensation: “You are likely going to make less money as a Hill staffer than you did on active duty.” Overall, the guide is encouraging, and provides a resource for veterans who want to work on Capitol Hill, which can otherwise be a difficult place to land employment, especially without relevant Hill experience.

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