Federal Job Hunting Process

Seeking a new job is a multi-faceted process, not merely a one-step event where you construct a resume and send it to hundreds of Internet job boards and company career pages. Many veterans make this common mistake. It costs them dearly in time and adds to the frustration of entering the civilian workforce. There is a better way and we will help you work through it.


Job Hunting is a Process
Job Hunting is a Process


Job-hunting is a process, or operation, which has two parts.

  1. Defining an objective.
  2. Designing strategies to accomplish the objective or mission.

First, let’s concentrate on defining the objective; what kind of civilian work you want to do. To do so, you must first learn who you are. Street wisdom might tell you that discovering who you are is a lengthy task that involves counseling by a psychologist or career coach. It sounds like a daunting task, one that many veterans have neither the time nor inclination to undertake. There is a better way, one that you can do on your own and achieve remarkable results.


All you need is pen and paper, or your digital tools like an iPad or similar, to record your thoughts. Begin by recording, from highest to lowest, the the five things that interest you most. Here is an example.

My Interests

  1. Architecture.
  2. Environmental matters.
  3. Technology, particularly social media.
  4. Financial investing.
  5. Building things.

Now list five things that you are good at doing, your abilities. Here is an example.

My Abilities

  1. Designing interior spaces.
  2. Leading a team to accomplish a mission.
  3. Managing money.
  4. Verbal communication.
  5. Creating digital images of the natural environment and tall buildings.

Now, you are ready to think of occupations that mesh your interests and abilities. Here are some examples.

Occupations that Synchronize with Your Interests and Abilities

  1. Hands-on construction work in trades like carpenter, electrician, plumber, foundation excavator, roofer, structural steel worker.
  2. General contractor for constructing residential or commercial buildings.
  3. Interior designer.
  4. Landscape architect.
  5. Real Estate developer.
  6. Architect.
  7. Residential or commercial building sales representative.
  8. Housing development manager.
  9. Rental property manager.
  10. Bank mortgage officer for residential or commercial construction projects.

Writing Your Objective

So far, you have defined your interests and abilities, and potential occupations that mesh the two. The next step is to write an objective to focus your job hunting efforts. Here are some examples of objectives.

  • To find a job as a sales representative with a residential or commercial builder.
  • To find a job as a hands-on worker in the trades with a large commercial builder.
  • To find an entry-level job as an architect with a commercial architectural firm.
  • To find a job in the mortgage department of a local bank.
  • To find a job as an interior designer.

Now that you have defined your objective, you are ready to search for potential employers. Begin by Googling each of the ten occupations. The result will be a list of companies to target for your job search. Here are some of the companies I found when I entered several of the occupations.

Employers Who Need Workers Like You

  1. Toll Brothers. This is the nation’s largest luxury homebuilder. The company offers hands-on construction jobs, sales positions and project management jobs.
  2. The Trump Organization. Trump specializes in large-scale commercial development and construction in the USA and abroad. Google “trump employment” for careers in various locations.
  3. Wells Fargo Bank. This bank is the leading home mortgage lender and hires both entry level and experienced workers to evaluate mortgage risk and approve or deny loans.
  4. Walmart. The world’s largest retailer hires many skilled workers for hands-on and management jobs. As a Military Friendly company, Walmart makes a special effort to hire qualified veterans and their spouses as well.
  5. Home Depot. The nation’s leading home goods retailer has over 2,000 stores across the USA. New stores open each year providing jobs for workers with your interests and abilities. When you go to the website click on Careers and then click on Veteran’s Transition.
  6. Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. This is the nation’s leading architectural firm. Skidmore designed the new 104-story, One World Trade Center building in New York City, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. It is based in New York City and has regional offices throughout our country and abroad.
  7. Local Realtors, Banks and Builders. Access the vast array of potential employers in your geographical area by conducting an online search. Go to Craig’s List first because it is the leading site for local job postings.


This month we will explore two robust industries that provide many job opportunities. They are Technology and Manufacturing.


You can slice this industry into many parts and we advise caution because a subtle change is underway. The technology industry of the past focused on hardware like desktop and laptop computers, smart phones, digital tablets and the like. That world is changing. Going forward, technology will focus on mobile apps, social media and the cloud. There are many entrepreneurial companies in the new technology space and a number of large multi-national companies that dominate. Here are three leading the pack.


This is the world’s leading social media company, which has morphed from a personal messaging app to an important business player. Facebook has over one billion users across all five continents. It generates revenue primarily from advertising. Consumer and investor confidence in this company’s future is reflected in the stock price, which has risen from $25/share in 2013 to $115/share as of this posting. It’s founder and CEO is 33-year-old Mark Zuckerberg, who is not only a smart and passionate techie worth billions of dollars, but also a generous philanthropist who has donated hundreds of millions of his own money to charitable causes. Facebook has offices in all major cities across the USA and in many foreign countries as well. Check out job opportunities at:


LinkedIn, recently purchased by Microsoft for $25.5 billion, is the leading site for employment networking and finding job opportunities. If your interest is in the business of employment and you have significant social media abilities, this company should be on your target list. .

This is world’s leading cloud company. It is based in California and has regional offices scattered around the USA and abroad. The CEO is Mark Benioff, a leader in the technology industry who has a reputation for caring about employees, customers and the community. He has created a diverse workforce that gives special attention to women and veterans. The company offers high-level technical positions as well as positions in field sales, finance and marketing. Check the career pages at


How many times have you heard that manufacturing is America is dead? While it is true that a number of manufacturing companies have moved to Asia and Latin American, manufacturing is still alive, well, and offering many exciting and well-paying jobs right here in America. In fact, 15% of our GDP is generated by manufacturing, and the industry employs approximately 13% of our workforce. Here are some of our best manufacturing companies to explore for job opportunities.


This is the world’s largest airplane manufacturer with home offices in Chicago and manufacturing facilities throughout the country. It employs approximately 170,000 workers in a wide array of jobs ranging from highly technical positions to hands-on jobs in one of its manufacturing plants. One of its largest manufacturing facilities is located in Charleston, South Carolina. Boeing is a very military friendly company. When you go to the website, click on “Careers” and then click on “Veterans.” Be sure to check out the Military Skills Translator, a device to help match your military skills with civilian jobs at Boeing.


This Peoria Illinois-based company is the largest US manufacturer of heavy equipment for agriculture, building construction and earth moving. It has made a definite commitment to hiring preferences for veterans. Go to the Careers page to explore job opportunities for veterans and to read the biographical sketches of veterans employed by Caterpillar in executive and managerial positions. .

General Electric

GE is one of our largest manufacturers, and one of the most military friendly companies in America. Go to the website and click on the Site Map. Then click on Careers, and then on Jobs for Veterans. The company manufactures products for aviation, homes, businesses, the petroleum industry, the power industry and the transportation industry, just to mention a few of its market niches. Be sure to view the list of job fairs that GE attends or sponsors.


The job market in America continues to be robust and there are jobs waiting for those who know how to find them. Tune out the political and media hype about the sad state of our economy. With an unemployment rate of just under 5%, there has never been a better time to find a job. If you implement our job hunting rubrics, you will find a job that provides good compensation and job satisfaction as well.

This month you learned how to write a job objective to focus your job hunting efforts. In our August blog, we will discuss an important strategy in the job hunting process: preparing a resume and digital profile for the civilian workplace. Stay tuned!

To expand on the content of this blog, read Chapter 1. Self-Assessment, Aptitude, Fulfillment, Mission, Purpose, which you will find in my book, OPERATION JOB SEARCH, A Guide for Military Veterans Transitioning to Civilian Careers. Available at bookstores or at


  • Job-hunting is a two part process: defining objectives and designing strategies.
  • The first step in the process is to discover your interests and abilities.
  • Selecting a career that requires your interests and abilities will provide job satisfaction and substantial compensation.


  • Goals: How to Get Everything You Want, Faster Than You Thought Possible. Brian Tracy. Barrett Koehler. c2010.
  • Veteran’s Preference (Vets receive hiring preference for federal government jobs)

Helpful Career Planning Tools 

Visit our other informative site

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.


Job-hunting can be an exciting activity, especially in good times as we enjoy now. This may fly in the face of the negative reports you hear about the job market from the talking heads on TV, candidates for public office, and others who have an agenda. To put it all in perspective, good news does sell newspapers and magazines, or boost TV ratings. It is bad news, true or contrived, that makes the headlines. We will elect a new president and many new members of congress in 2016 so expect to hear about the “terrible job market” as candidates continue to invent and trumpet “bad news.” In reality, good times are rolling, and veterans who know how to go about job hunting will find work that brings a good salary and job satisfaction.


However, what about the many job candidates who complain they have not found anything after submitting hundreds of resumes to multiple job boards? Well, job hunting is more than preparing a dynamite resume and sending it to internet job boards. Job-hunting is really an operation. It begins with writing a well-defined objective followed by written strategies to accomplish that objective. Writing a good resume is only one activity in this process. Let’s take it step by step.


First, define your objective. A well-defined objective will keep your job search focused. It is not merely stating, “to find a job that pays well and will be satisfying.” That is a flawed objective. For example, after much self-examination you learn that you are interested in sports and in meeting people. You are a true extrovert. In addition, you played on school and military teams and you were considered a team leader. With this particular interest and knowledge of sports, a job with a professional team would be a good place to look for a job. Now, your objective might read, “To find a marketing or sales position with a professional athletic team.” If you live in the Northeast Corridor, your target could be any of the following: the Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees; Washington Redskins; or the Pittsburgh Penguins. If you live in the Midwest, look at the Chicago White Sox and the Minnesota Vikings. West Coast residents can target the Los Angeles Dodgers and many other pro teams.


After defining your objective, the next step in the operation is to design strategies for accomplishing the mission. Here are some general strategies to get you started:

  • Prepare an operations center, (aka, home office) in your home to conduct your job search.
  • Craft a resume that translates your military experience into civilian terminology.
  • Post your profile on LinkedIn. Make sure it is in harmony your resume. Join the LinkedIn Veterans User Group
  • Research the websites of your target Military Friendly companies for job opportunities in your area of interest.
  • Learn the names of the president, hiring managers and human resources director by conducting a google search, reviewing the company website, and reviewing LinkedIn.
  • Check your local convention center website to learn about upcoming trade shows or conferences. Attend conferences of interest to meet hiring managers personally.
  • Practice for interviews by playing question-answer with a trusted friend. Learn to speak using civilian terminology.
  • Learn what is considered appropriate dress for attending trade shows and interviews.
  • Become technology literate, and prepare to articulate your technology skills to hiring managers and human resources directors.
  • Ask for the support of previous co-workers and bosses who will speak to your abilities and character. It will help your cause if you include a letter of reference along with your resume.

These are general strategies. Flesh them out to meet a particular situation. In future blogs on this site, I will go into detail on these general operation strategies. In the meantime, make this your cardinal rule for job hunting: Employers do not hire resumes, Tweets or Facebook postings. They hire veterans who contacted them personally to present their candidacy. Securing a job is all about building personal relationships.


In addition to the basic three industries, food, shelter, clothing, there are other industries offering plentiful job opportunities. Two of the best are Travel and Entertainment, and Insurance. There industries provide jobs spanning everything from Assistant Marketing Services Representative, to Sr.Vice President for Sales, to President.


This is what I call a happy industry. It is increasing exponentially and includes guided tours, ocean cruising, professional sports, theme parks, TV and radio programming, and the movies. Here are some of my favorite companies in this industry.

Baltimore Orioles

In addition to fielding a winning team and having a profitable balance sheet, this team is community conscious and employee friendly. When I checked their website,, I found the following openings: Information Systems Assistant; Spanish Translator and Media Relations Assistant.

Another place to look for jobs in major league baseball is a website called MLB Team Careers. This is a clearinghouse for jobs offered by every major league baseball team. Recently, I found the following interesting job postings: Director of Human Resources, Kansas City Royals; Executive Legal assistant, Philadelphia Phillies; After School Academy Baseball Coordinator, Washington Nationals; Cybersecurity Network Administrator, Chicago White Sox.


This TV channel is the premier spot for financial news and telecasts a variety of programs every weekday from six AM to seven PM. The TV hosts are knowledgeable in everything financial including employment matters. When I reviewed their website,, I found the following job postings: Producer; Strategic Content Analyst; Publicist; Reporter; Director of Marketing, and many more

The Walt Disney Company

Disney is the global leader in family entertainment and has been in business for 90 years. It offers employment at many different levels at locations around the world. It enjoys a sterling reputation for customer service and for treating employees like family. In addition, Disney is a Military Friendly company. To learn about current job openings, go to the website,, click on careers and then open “Heroes Work Here.”


Many workers consider the Insurance industry a boring place to carve out a career. Forget everything you have ever heard about the Insurance industry because this is one of the best for long-term employment. Why? Insurance companies have been in business for hundreds of years because customers and employees benefit from their services. The reason why insurance companies rarely go out of business is that some of the brightest workers in the world called actuaries build their business model. They assess risk by evaluating hundreds of variables and then pricing their products, policies and annuities, accordingly. Here are some of my faves.

United Services Automobile Association (USAA)

The United Services Automobile Association is a Military Friendly multiline insurer that hires veterans by the hundreds for jobs in every state. Visit their website., for recent job postings. They not only cater to veterans, but also to their spouses. Check out their Junior Military Officer (JMO) program, which helps veterans through their transition to civilian careers.

Northwestern Mutual

Northwestern specializes in life and property insurance, and is based in Milwaukee Wisconsin. It has been in business since 1907, employs over 6,000 workers and has assets totaling $120 billion. The story does not stop there. The company is community conscious in the extreme. One of their hallmark programs, the Northwestern Mutual Foundation, provides funding to find a cure for childhood cancer. Check the website for job opportunities,

State Farm Insurance Company

State Farm is a multiline insurer working across the country. It is the nation’s largest automobile insurance company. Jobs at State Farm include selling, marketing, claims adjustment, underwriting and other specialties. Their sales offices are are independently owned and operated by agents and their family members. See what they have to offer at


This multiline insurer has been in business since 1851, which indicates it is doing something right for both employees and customers. Few companies in America have been in business for 165 years! In 2016, MassMutual’s dividend payout to policyholders exceeded $1.7 billion. It ranks in the top one hundred companies in the Fortune 500 List and is highly rated for providing executive employment opportunities for women. MassMutual provides multi-million dollar support for many community initiatives and is highly ranked for diversity employment.

MassMutual has earned Military Friendly status from several ranking organizations, including, G.I. Jobs Magazine, and Military Spouse ( The company is firmly committed to helping military veterans and their spouses make the transition to civilian employment. To view job opportunities go to,


In our July newsletter, we will explore methods for learning about your interests and abilities and how to channel them toward career goals. In addition, we will list additional robust industries and companies offering job opportunities for veterans.


  • Job-hunting is an operation, not merely a matter of sending resumes to job boards.
  • Construct a job-hunting objective that echoes your interests, abilities and experience.
  • Building a personal relationship with the hiring manager is a vital strategy for winning a job offer.
  • Focus your job hunting efforts on Military Friendly companies.


OPERATION JOB SEARCH: A Guide for Military Veterans Transitioning to Civilian Careers. John Henry Weiss. Skyhorse Publishing Inc. c 2016

Networking for Veterans: A Guidebook for a Successful Military Transition into the Civilian Workforce. Michael Faulkner and Andrea Nierenberg. Pearson Learning Solutions. c 2012

Helpful Career Planning Tools 

Visit our other informative site

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Veteran’s Employment Opportunities Abound

Good times are here again for all veterans seeking employment opportunities. This year is off to a roaring start with the unemployment rate standing at an astounding 5%. Economists consider an unemployment rate of 5% to be full employment after factoring out seasonal and structural unemployment. In addition, a look at the monthly jobs report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that we are adding in excess of 225,000 jobs each month. It does not get much better than that!

Puzzle pieces concept for employment within the United States of America.

Reinforcing the promise of employment are the statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau about the steady flow of legal immigrants into the United States, which at last count numbered one million per year. They are coming to the USA for one reason, jobs.

What kinds of jobs are available? The short answer is everything from entry-level positions to jobs in senior management. Airlines are seeking entry-level customer services reps and reservationists. Big Box retailers, like Walmart are seeking experienced truck drivers at a starting salary of about $75,000 plus excellent benefits. Investment companies like BlackRock, an asset management firm, have postings on their career pages for a variety of finance related positions. Posted jobs include Web Infrastructure Engineers. A quick look a Craig’s List reveals a wide variety of local jobs. And, there are numerous federal government jobs available, which you can find on this website. There is no reason why any veteran should be out of work in these good times.

Companies in most industries, particular those considered “military friendly companies” are seeking veterans to fill many jobs cutting across all functional lines throughout the entire United States. Who are these companies? What opportunities are they offering? Let’s consider companies in just three industries; food, shelter, and defense.

The Food Industry

All people need food to survive regardless of the economic cycle. This robust industry includes companies like Walmart, Acme, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Costco, McDonalds and Chipotle. They are always seeking employees for a variety of jobs across the USA. We are not talking about the stereotypical “store floor” jobs like shelf stockers, but behind the scene jobs like sales reps, marketing managers, and human resources managers. You never see these people on the store floor. For example, I just reviewed the Career pages for one of our favorite military friendly employers, Costco. I found jobs not only at hundreds of store locations, but also at the home office in Issaquah Washington, and at many regional offices scattered throughout the country. The jobs spanned every imaginable occupation from Pharmacist to Customer Service Representative to Lawyer and Accountant. Costco is a community conscious employer, noted for treating its employees with dignity and respect. When you are on the Costco website, go to the Jobs page and click on “Costco and Veterans. And, when you are in a Costco store check out the hot dogs at their food counter. For a buck-fifty, you get a huge hot dog and a 16 oz. soft drink. That’s the reason why Costco sells in excess of 150 million hot dogs each year. Costco operates its own hot dog manufacturing facility because no one supplier could produce that many in any one year. It’s the same for rotisserie chickens; 150 million sold each year. This smooth marketing giant is looking for job candidates with a long-term career horizon.

The Shelter Industry

This industry includes everything from residential and commercial construction to the manufacture and sale of products found in the finished buildings, like doorknobs, windows, floor tile, and appliances. Some of the companies in this flourishing industry are the upscale homebuilder, Toll Brothers, and home goods retailers like Lowes and Home Depot. Residential and commercial building is booming and this industry offers hands-on jobs in the construction trades for carpenters plumbers, painters and electricians, structural steel workers, and many others. In addition, there are jobs in corporate infrastructure for supply chain managers, information technology managers and human resources directors.

One of our favorites is Home Depot, a military friendly company. I reviewed their website and found many excellent job opportunities. Some of them are: Sales Consultant, Roanoke VA; Installation Services Manager, Raleigh NC; IT Developer, Atlanta GA; and Security Officer, Tempe AZ. Go to their website for more job listings and be sure to read what Home Depot does for veterans.

The Defense Industry

Companies in this huge industry are constantly seeking veterans for a variety of technical and non-technical positions. Military friendly leaders in Defense are: General Electric, Lockheed Martin, Pratt & Whitney, and Raytheon. GE, one of our all-time favorites, is moving its corporate headquarters from Connecticut to Boston and that move alone will create hundreds, if not thousands of new jobs for veterans in the Bay State.

A favorite in this sector is Pratt & Whitney. Air force veterans will know why. Pratt has a very successful record of obtaining government contracts for all types of military aircraft and aircraft components. Their latest win from the Department of Defense was a $1.4 billion contract for F135 aircraft engines. To meet the completion deadline, Pratt will hire thousands of new employees to fill a wide range of technical and non-technical jobs. The company values the discipline and skills veterans have, and actively recruits candidates with military experience.

On Tuesday, April 12, 2016, Pratt & Whitney released the following statement on their webpage: F-35 Joint Program Office Awards Pratt & Whitney LRIP 9 Contract for F135 Engines. Go to the website for more information about this contract and remember to look for job openings. You will find them listed under United Technologies, Pratt’s parent company, Under Careers, look for U.S.Military and note what they have to say about veterans. They even provide a Military Skills Translator to help veterans translate their military skills into civilian terms. You will find a wide array of job opportunities that include the following: Financial Planning Analyst, Hartford, Ct; MBA Intern, Rockford, IL; F135 OT&E Field Service Representative, Edwards Air Force Base, CA; and, Server and Storage Specialist, Rockford, IL.

Moving Forward

In our June article, we will focus on the process of job-hunting for veterans. It is more than just crafting a dynamite resume. Also, we will list more of our favorite industries, and companies in those industries offering jobs for veterans. Stay tuned!


This is a very robust job market. All veterans will find well-paying and meaningful jobs if they follow the guidelines for civilian job hunting. You can find them in my book, OPERATION JOB SEARCH, A Guide for Military Veterans Transitioning to Civilian Careers. It is available in paperback and eBook from Amazon, B&N and Skyhorse Publishing Inc.

Veteran’s Resources

Occupational Outlook Handbook, U.S. Department of Labor, c 2016, JIST Publishing Co.

This helpful resource lists thousands jobs by industry. It describes each job, the required qualifications, the approximate salary, and the number of anticipated job openings for the next five years. It is available in paperback and eBook from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Jist Publishing.

Helpful Career Planning Tools 

Visit our other informative site

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.