Searching for a new job can be a daunting task for anyone. Being a military spouse can often make the process even more challenging. Explaining gaps in employment can be difficult, especially if you are concerned about identifying yourself as a military spouse. However, there are many organizations that recognize the value of employing military spouses, particularly companies that participate in the Military Spouse Employment Partnership.
What is MSEP?
MSEP is a part the Department of Defense’s Spouse Education and Career Opportunities program. The goal of MSEP is to help military spouses establish employment connections to find a rewarding career by partnering with corporations, many of them Fortune 500 Plus companies. There are currently 162 MSEP Partners.
Applying for a job through MSEP
Spouses can apply for jobs with MSEP Partners through the MSEP Career Portal. You must register to access the portal, by providing:
- Contact information
- Employment preferences
- Work experience
- Educational background
Once you have created an account, you can generate up to five resumes, allowing you to tailor your resume to specific openings or fields. After creating a resume, you are ready to start searching for jobs. A basic search will allow you to search by job title or geographic location. An advanced search can be conducted by company, industry and job type.
Indicating your military spouse status
In the past, you may have wanted to conceal your status as a military spouse from potential employers. When applying for positions with MSEP Partners, please be sure to identify yourself as a military spouse! MSEP Partners recognize the skills that military spouses possess like flexibility, adaptability, and organizational and leadership skills.
A great place to identify yourself as a military spouse is in your cover letter. Your cover letter should expand upon the skills listed on your resume, but it’s also a great place to highlight life experiences that can translate into on-the-job skills. Think about your experiences as a military spouse. Maybe you’ve had to move frequently. Perhaps you’ve been a “single parent” when your spouse has been deployed. These types of experiences often help you develop qualities and skills a potential employer values, such as:
- Organizational skills
- Resilience, flexibility and adaptability
- Multi-tasking abilities
- Problem-solving skills
- Cultural awareness
- Networking and communication skills
- Leadership skills
- Strong work ethic
When you identify your skills in your cover letter, be sure to cite instances where you’ve used those specific skills. For example, you could explain that having to handle multiple moves has honed your organizational skills. After a move, you’ve likely had to establish a network of friends and connections in your new community, building networking and communication skills along the way. If you’ve managed a household on your own, perhaps that experience helped you develop problem-solving skills and multi-tasking abilities.
If you find yourself in need of a new job, particularly one that is potentially flexible and portable, look no further than the MSEP Career Portal. MSEP Partners value the skills and abilities of military spouses and recognize their challenges as well. Be sure to identify yourself as a military spouse when applying for positions with an MSEP Partner. It can only work to your advantage!
If you need information or personalized assistance with employment or education opportunities, visit the Spouse Education and Career Opportunities website or call 800-342-9647 to talk to a SECO education or career counselor.