Why look for just another job, when you can embark upon a whole new career? Learn about the latest developments in careers for military spouses. With your mobile lifestyle, there are certain portable careers that can offer you and your family stability and future growth. If you have any topics that you would like to see us write about, feel free to email the editor:
Applying For a Federal Job? Use Your Clout

Being a military spouse has its privileges. And there are two in particular that shouldn’t go unused: free employment services on post and hiring preferences designed just for military spouses.

“Military spouses should use the employment readiness programs on post because the most successful individuals surround themselves with others having knowledge, a proven track record and connections,” said Janet Farley, author of The Military Spouse's Complete Guide to Career Success (Impact Publications, January 2008).

These offices provide spouses help with career counseling, workshops and resume writing. Perhaps most important, they have connections with local employers.

And when it comes to applying for jobs on base, often spouses get to step to the head of the line. Hiring preferences are sometimes given to spouses whose military member is assigned to that base.
“If you have a (hiring) preference at your disposal to use, use it,” Farley said. “The point is to get in the door. Once you are there, it’s up to you to move around.”

There are several of these preferences and hiring authorities, but be forewarned, the eligibility guidelines can be a little tricky and are often misunderstood. For example, using a special hiring authority, federal agencies can appoint a military spouse without competition, meaning no other non-spouse applicants will be considered. However, this hiring authority applies to spouses who have PCS’d within the last two years and live within a reasonable commuting distance.

Other military spouses may be eligible for these specific hiring authorities based on the active-duty member’s disability status or upon the service member’s death. Any federal agency can hire using these programs.

The Military Spouse Preference is a separate hiring program that is meant to ease the disruptions of military life on the spouse’s career. Its eligibility criteria are similar to the hiring authorities described above. However, this preference applies only to positions within the Department of Defense and only to current or former federally employed spouses. This means, if you worked for DOD in Germany and you move to Hawaii, you get preference for DOD jobs in Hawaii. If you have never worked for DOD, you are not eligible for the preferred spouse status.

Also if you are a military spouse who once served on active duty, there is an additional set of special hiring authorities that may apply to you, such as the veterans’ hiring preference and the Veterans’ Recruitment Appointment.

Finally, if you are a spouse or former active-duty service member who has a disability, the Schedule A Hiring Authority allows veterans who have been rated 30 percent disabled or more to have job placement preference. There are additional programs that secure job appointments specifically to disabled veterans.

Jobs listed on will specify if either of these preferences are available for that position. Check under the “Who May Apply” section of the job announcement.

Your local career services office on post can direct you to the programs available on your installation.

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