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Veterans' Job Resources

Dateline: 12/08/97

It's no secret that Persian Gulf Vets enjoy a certain amount of well-deserved glory. They probably have little trouble finding jobs these days, based on the technical training they received in the military. But, it was particularly tough to find a technical job in the Nam Era, especially based on military training. Employers (among others) tended to shy away from Nam Vets, because of all the controversy over the war. On the other hand, back then high-tech was a Pong Game and an eight-track tape player, so technical jobs were more scarce than today. After my discharge from the Navy, although I was highly trained and skilled in electronics, I was a school bus driver, a clothing salesman and an auto factory worker before I landed a high-tech job. Nine years later, it was a retired Navy Chief Petty Officer of the same era that gave me my high-tech break. He was in the know.

Many social and technological changes have taken place since then, and today, even Nam Vets are a sought-after resource by employers in the know. Employers not in the know consider military training as equivalent only to an Associate Degree or a certificate from a trade school. They don't realize that our exceptional training, skills, discipline and leadership experience transfer to civilian jobs far better than what we learn in college. I did both. College was a beer bash compared to my military training.

There are tons of resources on the Net for veterans and soon-to-be veterans. Just go to a search engine such as Infoseek and search on veteran. But, most veterans' sites link to other veterans' sites. You can get caught in a vicious circle if you don't keep track! Disappointingly, few list jobs. Nevertheless, I was determined to find resources that specialize in jobs for veterans, especially from employers in the know. I gave it my best shot, but here's all I found. Pretty skimpy!

In compliance with the Veterans Readjustment Appointment (VRA) authority, the Feds train and hire qualified veterans for government jobs, including disabled veterans.
  • How to Apply - For federal jobs.
  • Federal Jobs Digest - US Government jobs in communications, computing, engineering and other fields.
  • FedWorld - Search US Government job announcements.
  • Jobs at Individual Federal Agencies - At Statejobs.com, links that go straight to agency job pages. (Scroll down the page.)
  • USAJobs - An A-Z jobs list for current federal employees, former federal employees with reinstatement eligibility, and persons with special appointment eligibility (e.g., VRA above).

America's Job Bank
Most state employment offices help veterans find jobs and provide free job counseling, testing, training referral and placement services. Eligible veterans have priority, with disabled veterans receiving the highest priority. Here, you may conduct your job search nationwide or hot link to your state's employment services, courtesy of the US Public Employment Service.

Defense Outplacement Referral System
DORS is not for job seekers, but I thought you'd like to know about it. Don't poke around too much, as the Feds warn against it if you're not an authorized user. It's for registered employers to search résumés submitted by military personnel, federal civilian employees, and their spouses, at over 300 transition offices worldwide. I tried to find a listing of these offices on the Web, but didn't. I did find a document at the US Department of Veterans Affairs which explains that you'll find out about these transition offices in a program called Operation Transition, at least 90 days prior to your discharge.

Hire Quality
Offers jobs listings for military candidates who are departing the US military. You must register to see the job listings, and they ask for a bit too much in my book. My spot check revealed more technician and engineering jobs than anything. Be sure to check several industries, even if they seem only vaguely appropriate. For example, electrical jobs were listed in Maintenance with titles such as Installation Technician, while diesel technician jobs were listed in Transportation. Amazingly, with the current IT worker shortage, there is nothing listed in Computers at this time. Actually, there aren't a heck of a lot of jobs listed period. Hopefully, they'll list more down the road.

Transition Assistance Online
Founded by former military members and The Army Times Publishing Co., they help service members and veterans transition to civilian jobs, by offering résumé posting, job listings, career event schedules, relocation assistance, inexpensive résumé software, and more. Advertised in military publications.

Vets.Com Magazine
An ezine with job listings (mostly by no-fee recruiters) and lots of Internet-based resources for veterans, their families and friends.


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