Military Spouse Employment Summit Tips for Job Seekers

Posted by Rob Riggins

The Military Spouse Employment Summit, the brainchild of Sue Hoppin founder of the National Military Spouse Network, provided a series of speakers sharing career and job search advice with a military spouse focus. Some of the tips for job seekers:

John Berry, Director Office of Personnel Management (OPM), discussed OPM’s move away from Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs) to using resumes for sourcing new employees. John shared good job search advice no matter if you’re looking for a job with an agency or a private sector company:  Tailor your resume to the goals and skill requirements of the positions you apply for, and do your homework ahead of an interview. Learn the goals, initiatives and culture of the organization before you walk in the door.

Carol Cohen with iRelaunch stressed the importance of including volunteer experience on a resume, particularly to fill in employment gaps. This experience should be presented similarly to paid experience, using business terms and quantifying accomplishments. If you’re out of a job, volunteer experience can lead to employment either with the organization or through the networking opportunities. And volunteering can help you find your passion.

Carol also relayed the story of a woman who did her difficult tax return so well that when she went to H&R Block to have them check the return, H&R Block offered her a job on the spot as a tax preparer. She didn’t take the job, but did include that information on her resume under her freelance tax preparation work.

ClearedJobs.Net’s Kathleen Smith presented Using Social Media in Your Job Search and shared that, while you can debate whether it’s a good or bad thing, recruiters have fully embraced the use of social media to find out more information about job seekers. Be sure to craft your social media profiles so they are job search and employer friendly, and check your privacy controls on a regular basis.

Phil Dyer discussed the importance of potential entrepreneurs really knowing themselves. Two great self-assessment tools are found at and

Michael Mahone with OPM shared that military spouses are eligible under noncompetitive hiring authority, but it’s not a preference nor a selection priority. Military spouses must include their military spouse status on their resumes to take advantage of the authority.

Jim Gatusso, Director of Recruiting for CSC, reminded job seekers to make a recruiter’s job as easy as possible. It’s critically important to communicate why they are the best fit for a specific job through their cover letter, customization of their resume, and in any phone/in-person interviews.


This entry was posted on Friday, November 04, 2011 6:49 pm

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