Programs to Help Veterans Find Jobs

When returning from service, one of the first priorities for many veterans is finding employment. However, this can be a struggle.

A high number of veterans may only have experienced employment through their work in the military, and will be underprepared for a civilian job search. If you have never looked for a civilian job before, you may also have never created a resume or attended a job interview. Fortunately, there are many organizations and programs available to help veterans find civilian employment.

You can use veteran job search portals to browse jobs specifically suited to those who have worked in the military, often matching your military skills with civilian jobs. There are also many programs to connect you with employers who have committed to hiring veterans. Several of these organizations also offer vocational training or assistance in finding civilian licenses. You can even receive advice on creating a resume or attending a job interview to help you land your dream job.

VA Employment Resources

As well as its programs designed for health and financial benefits, the Department of Veteran Affairs has a number of resources to help veterans find employment. The Department of Veteran Affairs provides a list of potential employment opportunities online through programs including:

  • The Veterans Employment Center, which allows veterans to list their skills in their own online profiles. Employers then search the profiles for skills needed in their businesses. The Employment Center also provides a number of other resources, such as advertising veteran career fairs.
  • Vetnet, which is an online resource providing career training to veterans looking for jobs. This includes job skills and preparation, as well as information on how to start your own business. The site also links to an online job search database.
  • The GI Bill is known for its educational benefits, but these also include vocational training placements to directly learn skills on the job.

US Small Business Administration (SBA)

The SBA created the Office of Veteran Business Development with the intention of helping veterans start their own businesses, rather than looking for work elsewhere. This site provides information and advice on how to start, grow and succeed in your business. The SBA also funds the Women Veterans Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE) and the Entrepreneurship Boot Camp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV). Each of these programs helps members with their specific needs in starting and managing their own businesses.

American Legion

The American Legion provides several kinds of support for veterans and their families, including a career center. This has a variety of resources, including a job search portal in which you can find jobs based on your location. There is also a Military Skills Translator available, allowing veterans to see which jobs they could apply for with the skills they used in the military. In addition, the Legion advertises upcoming veteran career fairs and presents information on entrepreneurship and running a business. Veterans can find useful advice for their job searches, such as creating professional networks and using interview techniques. You can also find advice on how to use your benefits for maximum efficiency, such as choosing the right kind of training with benefits from the GI Bill.

CareerOneStop

CareerOneStop has a specially designed Veteran and Military Transition Center to help returning veterans find work suited to their needs and skills. Veterans can create their own profiles using their existing military skills, and CareerOneStop will help to match those skills to possible civilian jobs. Veterans can also find help and advice on job searching skills, such as creating a resume, writing a cover letter and how to prepare for a job interview. They can then use the site to browse potential job openings. Business owners who have committed to hiring veterans can also use the site to find candidates for open positions.

AMVETS

American Veterans (AMVETS) provides a number of career resources, supported by the Call of Duty Endowment (CODE). Its volunteers help to find jobs in local communities for veterans seeking work, as well as their spouses. AMVETS also has several useful resources such as career assessment, which helps you decide on the kinds of jobs for which you might be best suited. You can also find advice on creating your resume and a “personal brand” for use in the marketplace. There is a tool to locate local job centers near your location, and a list of useful education resources.

VetJobs

This online job portal has been designed to assist veterans and transitioning servicemembers in finding work. Employers can use the site to find the best candidates for their companies, and veterans can search for jobs and post their resumes for employers to view. You can also take a career assessment test and find links to upcoming job fairs, as well as receiving information and advice on job search and application skills.

Federal Employment

As a result of the Veteran Employment Initiative, the federal government offers many job opportunities to returning veterans. This includes implementing a Veteran Preference hiring policy, in which veterans will sometimes be placed above other applicants when competing for a position. Other programs to help veterans find Federal employment include the following:

  • USA Jobs is an online job search portal for all available Federal positions
  • The U.S. Department of the Treasury Internships, while unpaid, are intended to benefit wounded Veterans by providing them with work experience
  • The Family Member Appointment helps military spouses find work
  • Operation Warfighter is the Department of Defense’s internship program, also offered to service members who are wounded, ill or injured

Local Career Programs

As well as large, nationwide organizations, you may be able to find smaller, local groups within your state to help you find work. Many of these have been developed to provide jobs based on transitioning military skills to the civilian workplace. There are several programs to help provide commercial driver’s licenses to those who operated vehicles while in the military, for example. These are funded by grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Many states also have programs allowing those who served as medics to receive licenses as emergency medical responders, licensed practical nurses or nursing aides. Some states also allow private employers to establish veteran-preferential hiring policies.

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