Ultimate Guide for Military Spouse Employment

By Dawn Smith



The secret is definitely out: military spouses are a work force to be reckoned with. We’re educated and motivated, not to mention flexible. So why does it seem employment resources are hard to come by? Well, because there are so many helpful options, it can be difficult to sort through.
 
Although this is a good problem to have, it’s hard to find a place to begin. MilitaryByOwner has assembled a thorough guide to the most inclusive and information filled federal agencies and nonprofits for military spouse employment seekers.
 
Don’t be tempted to pay private companies to run job searches for you! Many of the following programs are funded because they are used regularly by military spouses for support. If the audience isn’t there, these free resources dry up. Military spouses are have the largest spotlight on them they’ve ever had.  Don’t waste precious opportunities for help. 
 
Federal Programs

Spouse Education Career Opportunities (SECO)
  • This program was designed by the Department of Defense and remains a dominant option to explore a new career or education. The website is packed with information about career exploration, training and licensing, employment readiness, and networking. SECO is an all-encompassing resource which makes it an excellent first step to begin a career search.
Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP)
  • MSEP resides under SECO, but focuses tightly on matching military spouses with companies who are interested in hiring them specifically. At its jobsite portal, MSEP features popular corporation partners such as Amazon, Hilton, and Microsoft. MSEP has recently teamed up with LinkedIn in to make networking easier. 
Military Branch Resources

Each branch of service offers their own versions of spousal employment help, either virtually or on an installation. Branch programs are typically found in their associated community services buildings but can be accessed by spouses of all branches. Resources include job counseling, résumé advice, guidance for applying for federal jobs, and interview techniques. Workshops are often offered which include topics such as job searches and career planning.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • Hiring Our Heroes is a program under the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s affiliate, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, which supplies military spouses support for job hunting. They offer opportunities to attend both virtual and local hiring fairs and résumé services to update skills, employment, and volunteer histories.
  • Through a partnership with Hiring Our Heroes and Academy Women, The MilSpouse eMentor Program matches Protégés and Mentors through submitted profiles. As a team, they begin preparing the employment seeker for job searches by supplying career advice, creating actionable plans for success, and introducing connections to military friendly employers. Military family advocate group, Blue Star Families, has also partnered with the eMentor program and has provided the Blue Star Spouse Employment Tool Kit.
Nonprofit Programs
  • Military Officers Association of America schedules several free military spouse symposia throughout the country each year. With their partner, Hiring Our Heroes, they conduct a full day of information for career oriented spouses. Workshops include: résumé writing, working outside the home, networking, LinkedIn strategies, and transitioning into life beyond the military. 
  • The Rosie Network was founded by military spouses to promote military owned businesses.  Business profiles are featured online and marketed for visibility to those searching to hire military family owned companies. TRN, with partners, offers entrepreneurial support as well as mentoring.  
  • In Gear Career leads military spouses to opportunities for furthering their career paths while simultaneously meeting the demands of a spouse with a military career. They provide advocacy programs focusing on building an experienced network, exploring professional development, and finding support from other qualified spouses. Guidance is offered through their website and in local chapters.
  • The Military Spouse Corporate Career Network pinpoints their efforts for military spouses and their search for career success through employment readiness training and job placement activities. The option to upload résumés for a review by an employment recruiter specialized in interpreting military spouse experiences is available.
After reading through a few of the websites, you will see some cross pollination of groups working together. Organizations are going out of their way to make a difference in military spouses’ lives by providing amazing opportunities without fees. The chances are likely that you have skills employers need and want!