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Veterans Employment Toolkit

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Resources for Veterans

Employment is an important issue for Veterans. Helping Veterans find and obtain employment, as well as advance their civilian careers is a high priority. The information provided here is designed to provide you with answers and resources in finding and obtaining employment, as well as making career decisions and excelling in the workplace.

Looking for help creating a resume, writing a cover letter, or completing a job application?

The Veterans Employment Center (VEC) is the federal government’s single authoritative internet source for connecting transitioning Servicemembers, Veterans and their families to meaningful career opportunities. The VEC is the first government-wide product that brings together a reputable cadre of public and private employers with real job opportunities, and provides transitioning Servicemembers, Veterans and their families with the tools to translate their military skills into plain language and build a profile that can be shared – in real time – with employers who have made a public commitment to hire Veterans. In connection with the First Lady and Dr. Biden’s Joining Forces initiative, the Departments of Veterans Affairs, Labor, Defense and Education, the Small Business Administration, and the Office of Personnel Management, collaborated to design and develop the VEC to incorporate the best features of existing online employment tools.

Trying to describe your military experience, skills, or positions in civilian terms?

The Jobs Thesaurus finds job descriptions to describe a job you held while in the military.*

Need to find job listings or career fairs to attend?

A number of organizations offer job listings and career fairs that are available both in-person and virtually to help Veterans find employment. You can find a full listing of Upcoming Veteran Career Fairs on the Veterans Employment Center.

Interested in a website with workforce preparation and training?

VetNet (*) is a technology-based platform positioned to assist Veterans, transitioning Service Members, and their spouses, find and prepare for meaningful post-service careers.  VetNet is a dynamic and interactive platform, where each week live content will be delivered and focused across three ‘tracks’ of workforce preparation and training.  These tracks include:

  • Basic Training Track: Get ready for the workplace with resume writing workshops, learn and understand paths to work, school, or self-employment…and also connect directly to a database of over one million Veteran-preferred jobs.
  • Career Connections Track: Learn about different career options and opportunities by participating in weekly video chats with industry experts, and get advice from Veterans eager to share their career experiences.
  • Entrepreneur Track: Is business ownership is right for you?  If so, participate in online seminars focused on the nuts & bolts of business ownership, and weekly ‘hangouts’ with experienced entrepreneurs.

Looking for federal employment or internship opportunities?

USAJOBS (*) houses all federal employment listings.

The US Department of the Treasury posts job positions and offers non-paid internship opportunities to wounded warriors and Veterans through the Operation Warfighter and Non-Paid Work Experience programs.

The US Department of State participates in Operation Warfighter, has a Veterans Program Office, and employs military spouses using a hiring mechanism, the Family Member Appointment (FMA).

Operation Warfighter offers civilian agencies the opportunity to provide temporary/part-time internship opportunities for injured Service Members recovering at DC-area military medical facilities.*

Interested in working for the VA?

Visit VAforVETS to search job listings, see job fair postings, and visit the Career Center.

Interested in starting your own business?

The US Small Business Administration (SBA) has an Office of Veterans Business Development (*) that provides Veterans counseling to start, grow, and succeed in their businesses. The site also provides information on how you can get help accessing capital, competing for federal contracts, and creating jobs. In addition, SBA also supports the National Guard and Reserve and their military families when a small business owner is called to serve. Some of their programs include (but are not limited to):

  • Entrepreneurship Boot Camp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV): training in entrepreneurship and small business management to post-9/11 Veterans with service-related disabilities.*
  • Women Veterans Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE): training, networking, and mentorship for women Veterans.*
  • Operation Endure & Grow: online business training for National Guard and Reserve members, their families, and business partners.*

Interested in a specific career field or industry, such as…

Teaching? Troops to Teachers is a U.S. Department of Education and Department of Defense program that helps eligible military personnel begin new careers as teachers in public schools.*

Construction? Helmets to Hardhats connects Veterans to promising careers in construction.*

Environment? Veterans Green Jobs helps Veterans transition into their communities and find career opportunities across all environmental sustainability sectors of our economy. They offer training and experience, directly employ Veterans, and offer entrepreneurial opportunities.*

Welding, plumbing, pipe fitting, sprinklerfitting? The United Association of Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Sprinklerfitters (UA)'s Veterans In Piping (VIP) Program provides returning Veterans with 16 weeks of accelerated welding training. The program is preceded by an additional two weeks of transitional training to help returning Veterans to adjust to civilian life.*

Financial services? The Wall Street Warfighters Foundation prepares disabled Veterans for careers in the financial services industry.*

Were you wounded or injured or have a disability?

Real Warriors provides a descriptive list of programs and resources available to wounded and injured Veterans.*

The list includes:

Interested in what employment services the VA offers?

The Veteran Employment Services Office (VESO) is a strategic program management office that provides employment and career management resources designed to attract, retain and support Veteran employees at VA and across the federal government, including those serving in the National Guard and Reserve. VESO develops and implements innovative and comprehensive programs, procedures and services to support federal Veteran recruitment and VA retention and reintegration. Programs and services include career services in VA, matching your experience to Federal job opportunities, recruitment and career readiness support, disabled Veterans affirmative action program, and human resources support.

Compensated Work Therapy is a VA vocational rehabilitation program that focuses on matching and supporting work ready Veterans with competitive jobs. Additionally, it provides information on consulting with businesses and industry regarding their specific employment needs. Programs at different locations include Incentive Therapy, Sheltered Workshop, Transitional Work and Vocational Assistance, Supported Employment and Post-Employment Supports, and Transitional Residence.

The Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment Service (VR&E) VetSuccess Program assists Veterans with service-connected disabilities to prepare for, find, and keep suitable jobs. For Veterans with service-connected disabilities so severe that they cannot immediately consider work, VetSuccess offers services to improve their ability to live as independently as possible.

Looking for other resources on employment?

The Department of Labor's VETS offers a variety of resources, including information on the Federal Veterans Hiring Initiative, information on USERRA laws for members of the National Guard and Reserve, and much more.*

Furthering your education to obtain employment?

Check out the student Veterans of America, a coalition of student Veterans groups on college campuses across the United States. The coalition's mission is to provide Veterans with the resources, support, and advocacy needed to succeed in higher education and following graduation.*