Step-by-Step Guide to Employment for Military Spouses

military spouse employment guide

Military Spouse Employment Step-by-Step Guide

  • The portability factor
    • Does the portability of a career drive your choice?
    • Are you wanting to find jobs in career fields that can transfer easily?

Prepare Your Mind

  • Prepare your mind
    • Prepare your mind by listening to a podcast for military spouses about the type of work you have chosen.  Or you might listen to podcasts about resumes/interviews/networking to prepare yourself for the hiring process.  Here’s a list of podcasts to get you started.
  • Identify a Focus
    • What career field should you pursue?
    • What career path within a chosen field?
  • Research the jobs/career field you are interested in
    • Skills needed
    • Education needed
    • Experience needed
    • Pay
  • Evaluate Your Skills
    • Skills & Credentialling
    • Degree completion
    • Relevant industry certifications (PMP/Agile Scrum Master/ Lean 6 Sigma)

Set Goals

  • How much do you need to make?
  • Will you need childcare?
  • Do you need education/training?  Can you afford it?

Education and Training

Evaluate and Translate Your Skills

  • Translate your Story/skills
    • Translate your volunteer experience
    • List transferable skills
  • Resume
    • Format – Functional and chronological, which is best?
    • Build a master resume with all employment experience (5 -6 pages)
    • Professional summary (1 – 2 pages) tailors
      • Catalog your accomplishments, awards, publications
      • Education and training (translated skills)
  • Identify your marketable skills
  • Cover Letter
    • Make the cover letter personal.
    • Sympathize with the company’s issue(s).
    • Be Detailed
    • Offer yourself as a solution.
    • Send a paper copy of your cover letter(with resume) directly to the hiring manager.

Elevator Pitches and Business Attire

Networking and LinkedIn

  • Professional photo/headshot
    • Use for attending virtual career fairs
    • Use for networking on LinkedIn
  • Networking
    • Hiring events
      • Have resume ready
      • Be ready for an interview
  • LinkedIn ( ii-xvii –

Goals (Make 200+ connections, join 20+ veteran/interest groups, follow 20+ companies)

    • Customize it for Yourself
    • Create Your Account
    • Add Your Profile Picture
    • Add a Background Picture
    • List Your Job Title
    • LinkedIn Summary
    • List Your Experience
    • List Your Education
    • LinkedIn Endorsements – don’t get hung up
    • List Your Accomplishments
    • LinkedIn Interests
    • Building LinkedIn Connections
    • Build the Relationships
    • Location – define where you are looking
    • Making Contact
    • Close it Out
  • Conduct Informal Interviews
    • Use services available to military spouses to practice interview
      • Base employment offices
      • Nonprofits and companies
  • Find Mentors
      • ACP mentorship program is a free 1-year program for military spouses

Strategic Job Searching

  • Strategic job searching (how to search for a job)
    • Veteran and military spouse job boards
      • Remote work
      • Freelance work
      • Industry-specific
      • Recruiting/staffing agency
      • Go directly to the company
      • Find matches with CareerRecon’s tool
  • Apply for jobs
    • Target Your Resume
    • Target Your Cover Letter
    • Network within the company


  • Prepare for interview
    • Research company
    • Tailor your weakness and strengths to still highlight why you are an asset to the company
    • Highlight your measurables
    • Make sure to communicate clearly you want the job
  • Interview follow-up
    • Send a thank you note for the opportunity to interview