This section is not a counseling service but will provide information on getting and keeping you focused during your job search. Whether you’ve just separated, want a better job, or become unemployed for any reason, searching for and finding a new job that suits your abilities is challenging and can be frustrating. Service members have all had the opportunity to learn certain skills – problem solving and decision making, logistics handling, and people management – that remain useful in everyday life. So don’t sell yourself short. Veterans Affairs has a website https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits/jobs which allows you to browse job listings, post resumes, and apply for positions. It provides links to the Veterans Job Bank search engine, as well as Google, Simply Hired, and other search engine sites. Veterans can use this site to apply for VA benefits. There are also interactive tools and information available for resume building and training and education resources, and career fairs. (This site replaces vetsuccess.gov.)
Service members who held permanent full time civilian jobs and performed duty (voluntarily or involuntarily) have reemployment rights provided: the member gave notice that he/she was leaving for service; the member was released from service under honorable conditions; the member reported back to the civilian job or submitted an application for reemployment in a timely manner. Note that there is a five (5) year cumulative total on military service under a single employer. The total does not include call-ups during emergencies, annual active duty for training, or reserve drills. For more information contact the US Department of Labor at 866-487-2365 or www.dol.gov.
All honorably discharged veterans who served during a war period are eligible for “veterans preference” when applying for civil service jobs and many companies also extend a similar credit to veteran applicants.
Federal Civil Service
Many Federal civil service jobs do NOT require a written civil service test and are filled through a competitive examination of an applicant’s background, experience, and education. The website Feds Hire Vets is specially designed for veterans, transitioning service members, and families. It is packed with information about federal hiring requirements and procedures, eligibility for veterans preference, tips on being competitive in the federal marketplace, and online training for federal employment. The official site for federal job listings is https://www.usajobs.gov/. This site also provides instructions on how to apply and whether an agency accepts applications via mail or electronically only. To find out if a particular job opening requires a test, contact the listing agency’s personnel department. That information is at USA.gov’s A-Z index of U.S. government departments and agencies.
New Jersey Civil Service
In New Jersey, applications for State, County, and Municipal civil service employment are submitted online only. Job postings are online as well. The application process can be confusing. The Civil Service Commission (CSC) has published a user guide which you can save to your desktop (http://www.state.nj.us/csc/seekers/jobs/pdf/Online_Application_System_User_Guide.pdf ). This has job postings and requirements, information on testing and site locations, and other important information. Parts of the Guide are highlighted in the two page Effective Application Tips and Techniques bulletin. Be sure to claim Veterans Preference. In New Jersey, this means that qualified veterans are placed at the top of an open competitive employment list ahead of non-veterans regardless of their scores. Disabled veterans and veterans are placed on promotional lists according to their scores, but they have preference over non-veterans when a disabled veteran or veteran is at the top of a certification of the list to an appointing authority.
For information on obtaining Veterans Preference on New Jersey Civil Service examinations, you must apply to the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (Phone: 1-888-865-8387) by completing the Civil Service Veterans Preference Claim Form. [PDF] Click here to see if your service qualifies you for NJ Veteran’s Preference. The Civil Service Commission information center can be reached at 609-292-4144.
The US Department of Labor website has a page specifically for veterans’ employment in New Jersey. This includes links to employment services and programs in the state as well as nationally. http://www.dol.gov/elaws/vets/realifelines/stateinfo.htm?state=NJ
The American Legion Career Resources webpage provides links to several employment/business sites including TurboTap, Military.com (Monster), and the Small Business Administration.
The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development suggests that veterans register at the OnRamp website http://www.jobs4jersey.com/jobs4jersey/jobseekers/vet/ to post resumes or have resumes created and reach New Jersey employers. In Bergen County, contact the County Department of Veterans Services at 201-336-6329 for more information. (This site is related to My Next Move, below.)
TRAINING & EDUCATION
Most sources and programs for veterans training and education will be found in the Education tab, but there are a few included here. For service members transitioning to civilian life the Transition Assistance Program provides information and links for services on career selection and planning as well as job listings with salary information.
Veterans with 20% or higher service connected disabilities may be eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) benefits to help them prepare for, obtain, and maintain suitable employment or achieve independence in daily living. This is a multi-track time limited program – benefits must be used within 12 years of separation from active service or the date of disability notification, whichever is later. http://www.benefits.va.gov/vocrehab/index.asp
Veterans who cannot afford suitable job interview clothing can visit Supportive Services for Veteran Families where new and used clothing is available for free to veterans who qualify. The program is part of Catholic Family and Community Services and is located at the Father English Community Center, 435 Main Street, Paterson. Contact them at 973-592-1393. Women vets can also contact Dress for Success Hudson County, 121-125 Newark Avenue, Jersey City at 201-395-0202.
JOB RELATED ONLINE RESOURCES
My Next Move.org http://www.mynextmove.org/vets/ provides Service members and Veterans with information about skills, salary information, job listings and more for over 900 different careers in various industries. Search for careers by keyword, browse industries that employ different types of workers, or search for jobs by military occupation code or title.
Career One Stop.org http://www.careeronestop.org/ReEmployment/Veterans/Default.aspx provides employment, training, career planning, and financial and emotional guidance for life after military service.
http://www.monster.com/ — Employment search engine for all types of jobs. Also offers help with resume and cover letter preparation. Fee structure, if any, unknown.
http://www.indeed.com/ — Employment search engine for all types of jobs. Enter the area where you want to work. Postings have basic job descriptions and salary information.
http://www.federaljobs.net/index.htm — Fee structure, if any, unknown.