Miliary Family

Miliary Family

We all know that the process of searching for a job can be an overwhelming experience, especially in times when unemployment rates are up. For military spouses, the task of finding employment may be even more challenging and occur on a more frequent basis due to the nature of military life.

Whether having to leave a job and find another due to relocating with their service members to new duty stations, often in unfamiliar territory, or being one of the unfortunate victims of layoffs by employers looking to cut down on expenses, military spouses generally find that they must work longer and harder to find work.

Here are some useful tips that will not only increase your confidence through preparation, but will also make you “stand out” in a group of applicants:

  • Take time to do research so that you can familiarize yourself with a company before making the initial contact. And if you are planning on attending a job fair, find out what companies will be there. Tailor your resume to those firms and their employment needs.
  • Begin your search for a job as soon as you can after your service member receives his or her permanent change-of-station orders. Even in a city where the unemployment rate is less than the national average, you may need six to nine months to secure employment.
  • Since word of mouth is very effective, be sure to tell every military spouse, veteran and retiree you know that you are looking for a job. Companies are generally very eager to hire people who come to them through referrals from current employees.
  • Be open-minded in your search by being willing to look outside the industry you worked in previously. For example, if you’ve been an accountant for a medical practice, why not consider the same position at a local fitness club?
  • According to Deborah Kloeppel of the Military Spouse Corporate Career Network, you should update your resume twice a year rather than waiting until you’ve been laid off or have to relocate with your service member. Utilize the services available at a military base’s family employment program by having a professional take a look at your resume. They may be able to offer some helpful suggestions that will make you shine in the eyes of an employer.
  • Consider the possibility of taking on part-time jobs or projects to get your feet wet, so to speak. Think of them as auditions that could turn into full-time positions as the economy strengthens and a position comes available.
  • Find a friend of family member to role play with before you go for your job interview. And remember, they aren’t therapy sessions so refrain from telling your life story to potential employers. “They don’t need to know about deployments and childcare,” says Kloppel. “That all needs to be worked out ahead anyway.”

By logging onto www.milspouse.org you can check links to job boards that list openings from companies that are seeking to employ military spouses.