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Military Spouse Preference for Federal Jobs

Rebecca Alwine
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tagged: federal jobs, military spouse preference, careers
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USA jobs working for America

We’ve all heard the rumors. Somehow being a military spouse can help you get a federal job. But how many of us actually know someone who used that preference? Or have used it successfully ourselves? Here is the REAL story behind military spouse preference and federal jobs.

  1. You have to be qualified for the job. Yes, I know this is common sense, but so often veterans and spouses assume that if you meet one of the “preference” categories you are given a job. Not so. You have to meet the basic qualifications and PROVE them to the computer that scans the applications. Pay attention to keywords and phrases that the job announcement uses, as well as clearly outlining your work history. You must include salary, hours per week you worked and references. Follow the Resume Builder on usajobs.gov to make sure you get all the required parts
  2. You have a two year window to use this program at each duty station from the date the orders were issued. This is tricky because you could get orders within weeks of your report date or months in advance. Our current orders were dated in September of 2012. So I have two years from that date. We didn’t move to Arizona until November of 2012. *Note: these must be permanent change of station orders, not TDY or for training.
  3. You have to register with your local Civilian Personnel Office (CPO). The Priority Placement Program (PPP) allows you to claim military spouse preference for CONUS federal jobs. You will need to provide a copy of the orders bringing you and your spouse to that installation as well as your marriage certificate. At that point, you can chose the preference when you apply for federal jobs.
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