Federal Government Jobs

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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. www.tollbrothers.com.
  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. www.wellsfargo.com.
  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. www.walmart.com.
  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. www.homedepot.com.
  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. www.som.com.
  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: www.facebook.com.


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. www.linkedin.com/about-us .


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 www.salesforce.com.


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. www.boeing.com.


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. www.caterpillar.com .

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. www.ge.com.


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 Amazon.com.


  • 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)

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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.

About The Author

John Henry Weiss is the author of OPERATION JOB SEARCH, A Guide for Military Veterans Transitioning to Civilian Careers. He is the founder and owner of Weiss & Associates, a nationwide executive search firm targeting the education and communication industries. His recruiting activities focus on securing candidates, both veterans and non-veterans, for positions in sales, marketing, finance, and technology. John began his career as a teacher in Chicago after graduating from De Paul University with degrees in Sociology, Education and English. Subsequent work experience included corporate positions in sales, marketing, product development and editorial with major education and technology companies such as Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Apple Computer.