9 Mistakes Veterans Make With Their Federal Job Searches

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Today, the process of recruitment is far more complicated than in early 00ies. The requirements are really high, and they are different for any kind of job. If you do not know them, you will hardly write a proper resume. This is especially important when we are talking about the federal job which is the number one choice of retired military people.

The matter is that when we are talking about federal jobs, the resume is the only thing available to reach the companies that you are interested. So you need to know how to write it well. In this article, we are going to reveal 9 biggest mistakes you can make while applying for a federal job. However, let’s start from the basics to understand why federal jobs are so attractive and what makes them a perfect choice for veterans.

Why do veterans choose federal jobs

As we have already mentioned, the variety of jobs is huge in different sectors, but in most cases, the retired militaries pay their attention to the federal jobs. This can easily be explained by the fact that they want to continue serving their country but in less complicated and dangerous conditions. They are dedicated to public service, understand the importance of security matters, and have enough technical skill and knowledge. We think that veterans should explore government sector to make it stronger and share their knowledge and experience with those who know nothing except for the federal job.

In 2016, 44% of all full-time employees in federal sector were veterans, says The Washington Post. Despite the changes in administration, we think this number will continue to grow.

How to apply to federal job position

We have already mentioned that the resume is the only way you can apply for the federal position. Thus, we will mainly concentrate on how to create the most effective resume making it suitable for any governmental job. Additionally, we will provide you with a couple ideas where to find the job.

  1. Use different terminology

When writing a resume, you may forget or ignore the fact that military service is absolutely different than the federal jobs. Perhaps, you do that intentionally as you think that a person who hires employees should be aware of all possible terminology. However, no one will even pay enough attention to the resume that is written in unclear languages. Thus, it’s better to translate lingo into the common language, explaining how your military duties and knowledge can be applied in the public sector.

The same is with acronyms and abbreviations. Give their explanation immediately, or even better avoid them in your resume.

  1. Make it long

Many candidates ask whether the resume should be long or it’s better to make it short and simple. With the federal jobs, the average length of a resume is about 4 pages. Here, you need to include everything about you, starting from your birthdate and up to your accomplishments ins school. Even though you may have almost nothing to tell, you’d better dwell upon some key factors, skills or personal characteristics. Use examples, feedbacks of your colleagues, or even describe the situations that happened to you before. This is always better than nothing.

  1. Clarify the dates

You may not even notice that all the dates in your resume are messed up. You just write the information you know and do not care about the chronology. In fact, this is a common problem for everyone, no matter the position they want to apply.

If you want to create a first-class resume, you need to get rid of all mess and built a clear chronology for each point that you mentioned.

  1. Structure is important

When you start to work on dates, check whether you distinguished your education, working experience, military service experience, your professional skills, your personal characteristics, etc. This is an important part of any resume, no matter what kind of job you apply.

Thus, when you start to work on your resume, make sure that you’ve decided on the blocks to include and information that you want to introduce in these blocks.

  1. Check whether you added the skills

When a person who receives your resume starts to check it, he or she does not want to guess what kind of skill you’ve got when doing this or that job. It is crucially important that you clearly write all your skill and personal characteristics explaining why exactly they will be of use when taking this position.

For example, if you write that you have been a head of a division, it says nothing. It’s better to tell that you are able to organize the team, find a common language with different people, that you’ve got excellent problem-solving skills. To prove this information, add that what kind of position you’ve taken in your military service career.

  1. Include the information suiting the vacancy

Another huge mistake that you may make is ignoring the vacancy requirements. If you want to get a job, you need to create a resume that will suit it. Thus, it will be always better to write several resumes each featuring the skills and characteristics that are more suitable for some positions. If you have no idea how to organize this information, you may ask for a professional help by ordering resume writing service.

  1. Add a cover letter

A cover letter is important for everyone who applies for a job. Here, you can additionally explain why you are a good candidate for this position and what the company will get by hiring you. Explain the reasons why you want to take it by dwelling upon how your personal characteristics can be implemented in this job.

  1. Check different departments

Many applicants stay by a certain vacancy, however, there are multiple other job opportunities in other departments. If you make your searches wider, you will definitely find a perfect job faster. To increase your chances to find a good job, regularly check different positions and sooner or later you will find something perfect.

  1. Using only one job aggregate

It may seem obvious that different job aggregates have the same positions, but in fact, each of them features different vacancies. Besides, when we are talking about federal jobs, it’s always better to follow special websites that provide federal jobs, not the positions in private companies. Refer these websites for finding a perfect job for you: usajobs.gov, cpol.army.mil, whs.mil, donhr.navy.mil. They have a plenty of options for the veterans, and you will definitely find the position for you.

These are 9 common mistakes that every veteran makes, and all these mistakes are common to everyone who wants to find a job. We hope that this small research will be useful for you in your job search and you will discover new opportunities after fixing everything in your resume and the process of job search.

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Charles Ebert

Charles Ebert has over 10 years of progressive Career Consulting and Human Resources experience working in a variety of industries such as entertainment, medical device, higher education, healthcare, financial services, and insurance.



He’s an pro-active career coach working with companies and individual clients managing career planning, outplacement, job search strategy, resume writing, interview tips and salary negotiations.



Charles’ motivates and inspires clients to implement career strategies and life planning goals and objectives.



He has innate skills identifying life’s true purpose and passion. He coaches clients in the importance of perseverance, attitude, intent, and purpose which leads to results.Versatile and astute professional, equipped with extensive knowledge developed from active participation in several courses and training involving a diversity of fields.



Charles is recognized as one of the most sought-after resume writers; especially in the areas of business administration, human resources management, IT, research, project management, education, and sales.

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