You are here

Tips For Getting Hired

Successful candidates know it takes a little extra effort to get to the top. This one hour workshop introduces you to the Department of Energy, in addition to guiding you in creating a competitive Federal resume, it also covers veteran hiring options, and offers important tips to help prepare for the interview. So, If you are new to the Federal government hiring process or just want to improve your odds of getting that critical interview, this training was made for you.


I am a veteran, does that entitle me to a job?

No, you must qualify for the positions you are applying to.

I am a veteran and am interested in federal employment. Where can I find a listing of available federal jobs?

DOE jobs can be found through the jobs tab above or on the USAJOBS website. OPM posts employment openings showing Federal agency hiring opportunities. The website can be found at:

When applying for civil service positions in the Federal Executive Branch, am I considered a former federal employee for having served in the armed forces?


I've applied to so many jobs and I am not being selected or considered. What am I doing wrong?

There could be several factors; the most common is that you are not submitting a federal resume or the resume you are submitting is not tailored to the job you are applying to by addressing the key words in the duty description as it relates to your knowledge, skills and abilities or you are applying to a higher grade level in which you don't meet the minimum requirements for experience and/or education.

I am a veteran how do I know what positions I may qualify for based on my military experience or education?

To determine what federal positions you would qualify for based on your military experience please use the Military Skills Translator Tool located at: which will allow you to cross reference Federal Positions related to your military occupational specialty. In addition to identifying those positions that are related to your military occupation it will provide you with links to current open vacancies in that field that you can apply to. You can narrow your search to specific locations or other criteria within USAJOBS.

How do I claim my veterans' preference?

The vacancy announcement will indicate when veterans' preference is applicable, and what documents to submit in order to claim preference.

What determines whether I am eligible to claim 5-point or 10-point preference?

You are a 5 point preference eligible if your active duty service meets any of the following:
180 or more consecutive days, any part of which occurred during the period beginning September 11, 2001 and ending on a future date prescribed by Presidential proclamation or law as the last date of Operation Iraqi Freedom,
Between August 2, 1990 and January 2, 1992, OR
180 or more consecutive days, any part of which occurred after January 31, 1955 and before October 15, 1976, OR
In a war, campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized or between April 28, 1952 and July 1, 1955.

You are a 10 point preference eligible if you served at any time, and you:
have a service connected disability,
received a Purple Heart.

Is there a limit to the number of times I can use my veterans' preference when applying for Federal jobs?

No. There is no limit on how many times you can apply and claim an entitlement to veterans' preference. However, it is important to remember that veterans' preference does not apply when the agency is using merit promotion procedures to fill a position.

I served on active duty in the armed forces. Am I able to claim veterans' preference when applying for Federal jobs?

Maybe. Not all veterans are considered veterans for the purpose of Federal civilian employment under title 5 United States Code section 2108 and not all active duty service qualifies for veterans' preference. Veterans' preference is based on dates of active duty service, receipt of campaign badges or purple heart, or having a service-connected disability. If you are not sure of your preference eligibility, visit the Department of Labor's Veterans' Preference Advisor at:

Who determines whether I am eligible to claim veterans' preference?

The Federal agency you are applying to for employment will request a copy of the DD-214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, or other acceptable documentation to support and adjudicate your claim for veterans' preference

Does veterans' preference points apply to appointments made under VEOA?

No. Veterans' preference points do not apply to merit promotion announcements using VEOA. VEOA allows certain veterans to apply to vacancy announcements that are open under merit promotions procedures outside of the agency's workforce.

I have never been in the military however; my spouse is a veteran and currently works for the Federal Government. Am I able to claim veterans' preference as a spouse when applying for Federal jobs?

No. When the veteran is able to use his or her entitlement to veterans' preference in Federal employment, the spouse may not use that entitlement at the same time.

I have never been in the military, however; my daughter is a severely disabled veteran and unable to work. Am I eligible for veterans' preference when applying for Federal jobs?

Maybe. Mothers and spouses of a severely disabled veteran are able to claim entitlement to derived veterans' preference when the veteran is unable to use it due to his or her service connected disability.

Where can I get information on special hiring authorities for veterans such as the (Veterans Employment Opportunity Act of 1998 (VEOA), Veterans Recruitment Act (VRA), and the 30% or More Disabled Veteran Hiring Authority)?

You will find the most current information regarding special hiring authorities on the Feds Hire Vets website ( Also, if you have questions about the applicability and use of veterans' preference and these authorities, please contact the agency posting the announcement or where you are interested in working.

What is the Standard Form (SF-15) application for 10-point Veterans' Preference?

The SF-15 is used by Federal agencies and OPM examining offices to adjudicate individuals' claims for veterans' preference in accordance with the Veterans' Preference Act of 1994.

Where can I find the SF-15 to submit as part of my application package?

The SF-15 can be found here:

How do I obtain the signature for the certifying official on the SF-15?

The certifying officer block on the SF-15 is signed by the agency representative. You do not need to have this signed when submitting with your application.

Where do I send the completed SF-15?

The SF-15 and any other requested documentation is submitted to the agency where you are applying for employment.

I am a current Federal employee; can I use my veterans' preference when applying for another competitive position opened under all sources in a different Federal agency?

Yes. There is no limit to the number of times you can use veterans' preference.

I am a Federal employee. When I apply for a position as a VEOA eligible candidate, am I subject to the demographic are restrictions listed on the area of consideration?

No. VEOA eligibles are not restricted to demographic restrictions. Any individual eligible under VEOA, regardless of where they are located, may compete for a vacancy whenever the hiring agency will accept applications from outside its own workforce.