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How to Determine Your Veteran’s Preference Before Applying for a Federal Job

Have you served in the military and do you have a veterans’ preference? Here are ways to determine if you have a veterans preference prior to applying for a Federal position.

Basically, the law states that disabled veterans or veterans who served on active duty in the Armed Forces during certain specified periods of time or in military campaigns have preference over non-veterans. The preference exists in both hiring from competitive lists of eligible candidates and in retention during reductions in the Federal work force. Preference is a uniform way special consideration is given to qualified veterans who are seeking Federal jobs.

Requirements to be a veterans with preference are defined in Section 2108 of Title 5 of the United States Code. To have preference you must:

  • have a general or honorable discharge;
  • when applying for Federal positions, eligible veterans must claim preference on their resume or application – for a 10-point preference, form SF-15 must be completed;
  • military retirees at the rank of major, lieutenant, commander or higher are not eligible for preference unless disabled veterans;
  • preferences is not given to Guard and Reserve active duty for the purposes of training.

There are also types of preferences, a 5-point preference and a 10-point preference based on when and how a military member served. If the process of applying for a Federal position with preference seems confusing to you, consider having a professional resume writer prepare your application. Using a resume writer who is familiar with federal specifications can mean the difference between getting that coveted Federal job or still wondering how to apply for it.

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