Veteran Students

Veterans dressed in full uniform for a gun salute

Below are resources to help you in the career exploration and preparation process, this list is in no means exhaustive but will hopefully help you as you develop and achieve your career goals.

Things to Think About

As a student veteran, there are a few important things that you may want to think about as you search for internships and full-time employment.

  • As you think about your career, consider the value your military background brings to a position and organization!  Remember some employers appreciate the unique skills a military veteran can bring to their position.
  • Many Civilian employers may not understand Military terminology on your resume. Consider how you will highlight your leadership, discipline, and technical skills on your resume.
  • Converting Military Experience to Civilian Careers -- The Military to Civilian Occupation Translator helps service members match military skills and experience to civilian occupations.
  • You may have many questions about how to enter the civilian workforce after completing military service.  Check out “From the Armed Forces to the Work Force” By Eilene Zimmerman a NY Times Article that addresses common questions.
  • Your veteran service may qualify you for Veteran Preference in competitive and non-competitive Federal government appointments.

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Career Resources

There are many valuable career resources for veterans. Here are some of our favorites:

Resume Writing for Veterans (PDF)

Transition Assistance Program (TAP) Provided by the Veterans Employment Service is a three-day workshop that will help you take stock of your current situation, explore career options, set goals, make achievable plans and develop the job research and job-seeking skills you’ll need to turn those plans into reality A full-service military-to-civilian recruiting firm. Veteran Owned and operated with over 140,000 Jobs in their exclusive database of openings.

Transition Assistance Online A comprehensive career website for job searching, career tools, finding military friendly companies, job fairs, and transitions guidance for Veterans.

Federal Jobs for Military Veterans Federal employment information for Veterans, transitioning service members, their families, Federal HR professionals and hiring managers

Minnesota's Veterans Employment Services (VES) Minnesota VES operates through theJob Service to provide employment assistance to the Minnesota veterans population. Veterans Employment Representatives are available to assist with a wide variety of job-search, job-placement and career-related issues.

Connect with Professionals and Peers

Meeting with former veterans who made the transition from student to professional or others who work in your career area of interest can be a great way to get career advice and find leads on positions.  Below are a few ways you can find people in industry who might be able to help.

  • Ask family, friends, advisors, community leaders or instructors if they know any student veteran professionals who you can speak with for advice on your career plans. Contact your collegiate office and ask about any alumni mentoring opportunities and be aware of other mentoring programs such as American Corporate Partners (ACP) which pairs veterans with a seasoned professional at 40 top companies.
  • Professional associations are groups of people who work in a similar industry that meet to conduct professional development and to network.  Research professional associations related to your field that may also be for military veterans populations.
  • Attending organization meetings can be a way to find professionals eager to help you navigate the world of work.  To find professional groups try a simply Google using key words such as “Veteran professional association”.
  • Create an account on the online professional networking site and join groups such as the “US Military Veterans Network” or “The Value of a Veteran” or “Military Network”.  
  • Join student groups that relate to your professional goals.  This is a great way to network with your peers and many groups bring in professionals in the field to speak with students. You may consider connecting with the Student Veterans' Association a student led organization of former and current members of the military.
  • Attend career fairs, organization information sessions/networking events, and employer panels to expand your professional network.  View campus events at Handshake

Feeling overwhelmed at the thought of contacting a professional? You’re not alone!  Calling a stranger and asking for advice makes most students a little nervous.  To get some tips to help you through this process, simply call your career center and ask for an appointment with a career staff member.  We will coach you on what to say when you call a professional, what kinds of questions to ask and how to make the best impression.

Your Legal Rights

As a student veteran, you may have concerns about experiencing discrimination within your job search or career and how to handle this should it arise.  Below you will find some resources to help you understand your rights if you encounter discrimination in a job interview or in the work place. To learn about what constitutes an illegal interview question and how to handle it if the situation happens in a job interview read the article title Handling Improper Interview Questions written by career experts from the National Association of Colleges and Employers.  If you experience discrimination once you are in a job, check out Dealing with Discrimination: Tips for Employees.

  • The Uniformed Services Employment and reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) prohibits discrimination in employment, retention, promotion, or any benefit of employment based on your uniformed service. The Department of Labor, through the VETS, provides assistance to all persons having USERRA claims.
  • The Veterans' Employment Opportunities Act (VEOA) makes a willful violation of veterans' preference a Prohibited Personnel Practice. If you are a preference eligible and you believe an agency violated any of your rights under the veterans' preference laws or regulations, you may file a formal complaint with the Department of Labor's Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS)