For Veterans: All the Benefits of Home

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You saw your share of moving in the military. Now, as a veteran, maybe you’re thinking about settling down. Thanks to your service, you’ve earned good benefits on the home front. Check out these loan and assistance programs as you make a place for yourself in the civilian world.

Your final move in the military

Most service members transitioning out have one year to complete a final military move at government expense. Plan early and visit your installation’s relocation support offices as you organize your move. You can also find more information at Move.mil.

VA Home Loans: Helping you to become a homeowner

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers substantial help with home buying. You don’t have to be a first-time homebuyer to take advantage of VA Home Loans.

  • Purchase a home at a competitive interest rate with a Purchase Loan, often without requiring a down payment or mortgage insurance.
  • Cash-Out Refinance Loans are for homeowners who want to take cash out of their home equity to take care of things like paying off debt, funding school or making home improvements.
  • Obtain a lower interest rate with the Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan.
  • Eligible Native American veterans may be able to participate in the Native American Direct Loan Program to finance the purchase, construction or improvement of homes on Federal Trust Land.
  • Veterans with a permanent and total service-connected disability can get help purchasing or building an adapted home with an Adapted Housing Grant. The grant can also go toward modifying an existing home.

The VA also has good information, tools and assistance to help smooth your way to a new home. Make sure you read over the eligibility requirements to determine what benefits you can receive.

Premier Retirement Communities: Armed Forces Retirement Homes

If you’re over 60 and had 20 or more years of active service, you might want to check into Armed Forces Retirement Homes. AFRH currently has two communities — in Gulfport, Miss., and Washington, D.C. Contact them to see if you can apply.

Additional Resources for Housing Assistance

  • National Resource Directory: When you decide on a location for your new home, you can always check the VA’s National Resource Directory for more location-specific housing assistance.
  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development also sponsors housing counseling agencies throughout the country that can provide advice on anything from buying a home to foreclosures and credit issues.
  • Having difficulty? Late payments can happen. Don’t beat yourself up — instead, address it. Your community is here to help.
    • Military OneSource offers financial counseling for retirees and those service members discharged under honorable or general under honorable conditions for up to 365 days after their retirement date, End-of-Tour date or discharge date.
    • Visit the VA website for information on what to do when payments can’t be made or financial troubles arise.
    • The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development also provides resources on avoiding foreclosure.
    • If you or someone you know is at risk of homelessness, contact your local VA medical center; call 877-4AID-VET (877-424-3838); or visit va.gov/homeless. VA can connect you with resources to get you back on your feet.
    • You don’t have to go through life’s hardships alone. Your military community can help get you, your loved ones or friends you care about through the trying times.

Building Your Federal Resume

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A federal government job is often a great transition for military personnel. But a resume for a federal job is different from a civilian resume. It’s longer, more detailed and includes specific job-related terminology. Follow these resume tips and build your resume using the Resume Builder at USAJobs:

  • Collect your assets. Make sure you have these things gathered:
    • Contact information for your former supervisors
    • Performance appraisals
    • Awards
    • Letters of recommendation
    • Military documentation like your DD214, ACE transcripts and Verification of Military Experience and Training
    • Any additional information that could help you stand out as an applicant
  • Create a master resume that includes your work history, skills, accomplishments, volunteer work and training. Edit it for accuracy and clarity.
  • Use the federal agency’s online resume builder.
    • Copy and paste sections from your master resume into the online resume builder website of the federal agency that you are applying to.
    • You can also create a hard copy of your resume if a federal agency requires one.
  • Choose your words carefully.
    • Human resources staff, or a computer program, will scan your resume for job-related key words and phrases.
    • Incorporate key words and phrases from the “Duties” or “Qualifications” section of the job vacancy notice into the “Work History” section of your resume.
  • Fill in the details
    • Showcase details that demonstrate your past responsibilities and your work ethic.
    • Use numbers to quantify your accomplishments. Point out, for example, that you “reduced department expenses by 30 percent in the first six months.”
  • Check spelling and accuracy. 
    • Proofread your resume.
    • Have a friend or family member proofread it.
    • Find a federal employee or someone with human resource experience to review your resume, if possible.
    • Read your resume backwards to catch spelling or typos.
  • Submit your resume and follow up. Make sure the receiving agency received your resume. Follow the agency’s policies and timelines to check the status.

Here’s more help

  • Most federal jobs are listed on the federal government’s USAJOBS site. The site also lets you create an account, online profile, and save your job searches.
  • Feds Hire Vets is operated by the Office of Personnel Management. It has lots of good intel about federal employment for veterans and transitioning service members.
  • Your installation’s Transition Assistance Program has more information and employment support.  

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