Transition Benefits: Critical Steps to Applying for Federal Jobs

Story Number: NNS111102-11Release Date: 11/2/2011 4:19:00 PM
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From Department of Navy Office of Civilian Human Resources

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy Office of Civilian Human Resources reminds Sailors considering post-Navy career options that those interested in continuing to serve in a civilian capacity should begin preparing for that transition as soon as possible.

There are hundreds of different occupations for civilians with the Department of the Navy (DON) - from aircraft mechanic to zoologist, says Jean Mercer, director of the DON's HR Systems and Business Transformation. Additionally, notes Mercers, the federal job opportunities "literally exist across the globe, from the hills of Tennessee to the deserts of the Middle East. We find that veterans' experience and skills easily transition to one of our many civilian careers."

Before applying for a job, veterans should secure all the necessary documents they need to attach to their federal resume, recommends Mercer. Veterans should retrieve their SMART transcripts to detail their military training and education. These will need to be uploaded with their federal resume.

To obtain SMART transcripts, visit Veterans should also compile information (DD Form 2586) from VMET (a DEERs login is required); and military service record information on awards, medals, ribbons (documented on DD Form 1650/3), service evaluations and letters of commendation.

Before searching for federal jobs, veterans should find out how their military occupational specialty or rating relate to federal civilian jobs. Maryland's mil2fed webpage provides a crosswalk of military occupational specialties or ratings to civilian occupations by occupational codes, title, and position type (white collar or blue collar).

The DON's Credentialing Opportunities Online webpage also provides veterans with information on civilian occupations relating to their military occupational specialty or rating, collateral duty/out-of-rate assignment, or officer designator or collateral duty/assignment.

Writing a government resume is different than for the private sector. Related training is offered exclusively to veterans through TURBOTAP, the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) classes, resume writing courses offered by Fleet and Family Service Centers and tips provided by the Shipmates to Workmates program Information also is available at hosted by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the DON Office of Civilian Human Resources (OCHR) webpage dedicated to veterans

Next, veterans should go to and use the built-in resume builder to setup their USAJOBS account. Once the resume is created, veterans should search for occupations which most closely match their military training and skills. Searches can be made by location, desired salary/paygrade and more. Mercer says it is critical to pay close attention to the instructions and key information on the job opportunity announcement. The announcements will list who may apply, how they will be evaluated, geographic location of the job, salary, etc., as well as requirements such as security clearances, medical examinations, travel requirements, shift work, and more. Saving your searches will allow you to receive email notifications as new announcements are posted.

OCHR's webpage (noted above) provides tipsheets about how to setup the account. If, after working with the FFSC counselors, applicants have questions navigating the USAJOBS process, the OCHR Employment Information Center is available to answer questions via or 1-800-378-4559.

The DON remains committed to improving the applicant's experience, reducing the time to fill vacancies and securing quality candidates for DON positions. Civilian careers in the Department of the Navy offer real world challenges with real life rewards - careers where purpose and patriotism unite.

A civilian career with the federal government is one of the opportunities that should be considered by separating Sailors including those affected by the Enlisted Retention Board (ERB).

For the latest ERB information, visit Navy Personnel Command's ERB website

For more news, visit

Sailors and Marines man-the-rails aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) while entering Pearl Harbor for a port visit.
Official U.S. Navy file photo.
August 31, 2011
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