If you have served the United States in the defense, military, or government forces, the federal government recognize your contribution. As a veteran, you have a big advantage over other non-veteran job seekers when applying for government jobs; there are also special employment authorities for veterans. Furthermore, the federal government is the largest employer of veterans with or without disabilities. Therefore, at the end you are rewarded for doing such a noble service to your country.
By law you are entitled with employment benefits, because you served your nation at specific time periods. If you received an honorable or general discharge, you are a potential applicant for federal government jobs. The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) safeguards veterans' employment rights, and bans any discriminatory hiring practice on the grounds of military service.
Since the vast majority of veterans have spent several years working in the military, they find difficult to return to the civilian life. Moreover, they haven't had any experience working for a private company. Fortunately, there is a number of employment assistant programs aimed at veterans looking for employment opportunities. These programs were created to help veterans cross labor barriers in the civilian world.
For instance, some veteran employment assistance services are the Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment Services and the Veterans' Preference, and Transitional services, to name but a few. Managed by the federal government, these programs promote employability and re-employability of veterans, and inform private and state organization about the advantages of hiring a veteran. On the other hand, there are some organizations created by veterans such as Vetjobs.com.
If you consider applying for federal jobs, we recommend you to follow these pieces of advice:
Now let's talk about Veterans' preference. As you can easily assume by the title, it is about giving preference to veterans over other job applicants. However, it doesn't assure you that you will get the job because you still have to cover all the requirements. It does not work in promotions, reassignments, transfers or reinstatements.
Now, who can take advantage of the Veterans' preference option? This is complicated to explain, but you've got to basically be released from active duty under an honorable status. You must also check if you fit into a 5 point preference eligibility or a 10 point preference eligibility. Contact the Department of Labor's Veterans' Preference Advisor for more information.
We strongly recommend veterans to step into the world of job opportunities provided by these federal programs. For instance, the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) can provide you with specialized training courses to overcome barriers at this highly competitive labor market. If you like teaching math or sciences, Troops to Teachers (TTT) program is your best choice. Furthermore, there are organizations that assist severely disabled veterans in the job search; providing them with work-at-home employment opportunities.