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News > Attention to detail can help spouses land jobs
Attention to detail can help spouses land jobs

Posted 7/15/2011   Updated 7/15/2011 Email story   Print story


by Kelly Deichert
Air University Public Affairs

7/15/2011 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- Federal jobs are available, and knowing how to apply may help spouses get a paycheck.

"Before you apply at all, make sure you're qualified," said Kevin Myers, the employment assistance consultant for the Maxwell Airman and Family Readiness Center.

Myers tells spouses to read the announcement carefully and tailor their resumes for the position. No one should copy the announcement or misrepresent skills. Instead, applicants need to match up their skills to the job requirements.

Most Maxwell job descriptions are posted on Some applicants can apply through the site, while other positions may have different requirements.
Nonappropriated positions are listed on

"Military spouses should be very diligent in searching and applying for positions on USAJOBS," said Jennifer Collins, the lead human resources specialist at the Maxwell Civilian Personnel Office. "Consider utilizing the resources in the Airman and Family Readiness Center to ensure they're capturing all of their work experiences in a good resume format."

Collins advises spouses to avoid common errors during the application process. For instance, people may self-nominate for a position even though they do not meet the eligibility requirements. Sometimes applicants will not submit all the required supporting documents.

"Applicants should educate themselves first before applying for positions on USAJOBS," she said. "All personnel are encouraged to contact the civilian personnel section should they have questions about recruitment or their individual qualifications."

The website - - offers guidance as well. Myers also tells his clients to be patient - the process may take months. Applicants can track their status on USAJOBS.

If the position is not filled, it may be reposted. "If [spouses] feel they are qualified, they should resubmit," Myers said. Sometimes reviewing the announcement and adjusting the resume will help spouses land an interview.

Federal jobs are available off base, too. Myers told spouses to avoid tunnel vision. "Don't think that Maxwell is your only option for federal employment," he said.
Federal agencies that carry support functions require a variety of employees. "Don't narrow your scope of opportunity," he said.

The AFRC offers multiple workshops including federal employment searches July 22, resume writing July 27 and Aug. 10, and interview techniques Aug. 17. Call 953-2353 for information.

The civilian personnel section is open from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily in building 804, NW 204. Call Collins or human resources officer Don Comstock at 953-6119 for information.

Spouse preference

The Certain Military Spouses, E.O. 13473 hiring authority was designed to provide employment access for certain individuals negatively impacted by their military spouses' relocation, incapacitation or death. The use of this hiring authority is completely at the discretion of the selecting supervisor. Spouses must apply to a job announcement on USAJOBS and must be qualified for the position.

Eligibility is available under three different circumstances:
1. The applicant is married to a member of the armed forces who has been issued orders for a permanent change of station, or PCS.
· The spouse must be indicated on the PCS orders.
· He or she must have been married on, or prior to, the date of the service member's orders.
· The spouse must relocate with the service member to the new duty station.
· Noncompetitive appointment is limited to the geographic area as specified in the PCS orders
· A spouse may receive only one noncompetitive appointment under this authority per PCS.

2. The applicant is married to a member of the armed forces who retired with a disability rating at the time of retirement of 100 percent; or retired or separated from the armed forces and has a disability rating of 100 percent from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
· There is no limit on the number of appointments under this authority.
· Applicants are not restricted to a geographical location.

3. The applicant is an un-remarried widow or widower of a member of the armed forces killed while in active duty status.
· There is no limit on the number of appointments under this authority.
· Applicants are not restricted to a geographical location.

Spouses are eligible for a noncompetitive appointment under this authority for a maximum of two years from the date of the service member's permanent change of station orders, with documents verifying the member of the armed forces is 100-percent disabled or documents verifying the member of the armed forces was killed while on active duty.

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