5 Tips for Getting a Job at the Department of Defense

Department of Defense Job Tips

  • Create Your Resume
  • Prepare for the Background Check
  • Search Carefully
  • Consider Enlisting
  • Have the Right Skills

The Department of Defense is the government agency responsible for protecting the freedom of all citizens, which makes getting a job at the Department of Defense a little harder than you might expect. Also known as the DOD, this government agency lists all available jobs online to help you see which jobs are right for you.

Create Your Resume

Before getting a job at the Department of Defense, you need to have a strong resume. Unlike other government departments that have different steps associated with different job openings, the DOD requires that all applicants go through the same process. Whether you want to apply for an entry-level job in a local field office, or you want to apply for a higher paying job, you must submit your resume first. Your resume must clearly explain where you went to school, any education that you have and all the skills that make you a good fit for that open job.

Prepare for the Background Check

The DOD requires that all job applicants go through an extensive background check. Once it receives your resume, it will determine if you are a good fit. The HR department will then do an interview over the phone. If you make it through that stage, you’ll have the chance to meet with hiring directors in person. Those who make it through this phase will need to pass both a civil background check and a criminal background check. The civil check shows that you do not have any financial problems that may cause you to sell or steal government information, and the criminal check shows that you are free of any felonies or criminal charges.

Search Carefully

Getting a job at the Department of Defense requires that you search for open positions within the department and on official government websites. You can search for open positions with a specific pay grade, those in certain parts of the country or by job title. Make sure that you read each position carefully and only apply to those you can do. If you consistently apply for jobs above your pay grade, the DOD may prevent you from applying for future openings.

Consider Enlisting

According to the Department of Defense, it has opportunities available for all types of veterans. The DOD will go out of its way to hire veterans who want a civil job. While going to college may qualify you to work for the defense department, you should also consider enlisting. Joining ROTC while in college, enlisting in the Army Reserves or National Guard after college or spending four years in the service may increase your chances of getting a job at the Department of Defense.

Have the Right Skills

To get a job with the DOD, you need the right skills. The skills that you need depend on the job you want. Administrative workers often need strong organizational skills, a positive attitude, and basic skills relating to filing, taking notes during meetings and answering phone calls. If you want to work in an executive position, you may need up to 10 years of experience and an MBA or an advanced college degree. Other positions are open to those who are in good physical shape and those who can lift as much as 100 pounds.

The Department of Defense hires thousands of new employees every year. Those workers get access to benefits like tuition reimbursement, paid time off and health insurance. While getting a job at the Department of Defense isn’t easy, having a great resume and preparing for an extensive background check can help you land a government job working for the DOD.

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