There are many job search tools for veterans and those transitioning out of military careers back into the private sector.
Many have used Google in their job searches. They released special enhancements to its search engine aimed specifically at military people searching for new jobs. Prior, it was only possible to search for new listings using Google to access job data rather than have the search engine help career seekers find job search results tailored specifically for them.
You read that correctly. Google has developed algorithms designed to help military job seekers get search results targeted specifically for them.
Type Jobs for Veterans into Google and Press Return
Typing the phrase “jobs for veterans” into Google brings up a new page with a prompt for the user to enter your military occupational specialty code or MOS. Google then compiles search results based on that specific type of query or request based on the code you enter.
Google Search Results for Military Job Seekers
When using the Google “jobs for veterans” search term associated with your own military job code or MOS, the results you get will depend on several factors.
Using Marine Corps MOS code 0149 (Substance Abuse Control Specialist) brings up results in Google that are targeted to “0149 Marines Enlisted” and include more-or-less relevant results including (at the time of this writing) Registered Nurse positions, caseworkers, RN case managers, auditors, and other jobs.
Using Non-MOS Codes to Search for Jobs Using Google
When using an Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC) rather than an MOS, relevant results are still possible. Using the AFSC 3N052, which designates a military broadcaster, a variety of jobs come up in relevant categories including publishing, broadcasting, internet media jobs, etc.
It’s true that your results will vary depending on the nature of the job code and availability of specific jobs that match skill sets represented by that code. It is definitely worth experimenting with the algorithms.
Job Sources via Google
An official video published by Google states, “Google brings together job openings from across the web into categories that match the skills you’ve gained in your military role.” But where do these jobs come from?
In many cases they are offered by the usual job seeker clearing houses such as Glassdoor, Careerbuilder, LinkedIn, etc. Clicking on the jobs you find via Google will bring up a description of the job and an option to click through button to the website advertising the job application.
Applying for Jobs Found via the Google “Jobs for Veterans” Search
When you click on a link to apply for jobs, you’ll discover using this veteran job search tool you are not applying for a job through Google nor using Google as the delivery system for your application.
Instead, you are taken directly to the job ad as posted by the company on its website, job board, or other source. Once you click to apply, you are leaving Google to a third party (assuming the job advertised is not with Google itself).
This means you will need to create a login and profile for any job sites you haven’t already signed up for prior to exploring now using the jobs for veterans search phrase in Google. Be prepared to upload a headshot, resume, cover letter, and any other required documentation each time you click through to a new job opening.
Google is not responsible for the interaction between job seekers and hiring managers, etc. All interactions that happen between job seeker and hiring officials are between two third parties.
Google cannot assist job seekers beyond the search tools it provides unless otherwise specifically indicated on the official site.
What If I Don’t Have A Military Occupational Specialty Code?
The Army and Marine Corps both use MOS codes. The Navy and Air Force do not use the same system. Navy has “ratings” and the Air Force uses Specialty Codes.
However, Google instructional materials for this new algorithm tends to use the term “MOS” as a catch-all phrase to mean any code that designates an Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps or Coast Guard career field.
It’s best to enter the career code for any branch of service. Then check the results rather than assume that no results will appear just because the branch of service does not use the same specialty code as the Army or United States Marines.
Some Search Results Are Specifically Targeted, Others Are More General
In cases where a military occupational code entered into the Google search box is a direct match with jobs, you may see results specifically labelled in the same career field. Others may bring results that are more loosely based on skill sets suggested by the military job codes.
In some cases, MOS codes may not reveal any job openings at all. This may be due to a need to further refine the search algorithm, but it also may suggest a general lack of opportunities in that career area at the time of the search.
Use a Broader Search Term
In some cases, less refined searches work too. For example, after typing Jobs for Veterans into Google, you may be able to use a one-word or two-word search phrase instead of a military specialty code.
Typing in the word “ammo” brings up zero results (at the time of this writing), but typing “safety” brings up job results. The list of opportunities specifically target careers with safety as a main feature of the job such as flightline operations at a local airport, Homeland Security, etc.
Tips for Searching For a Civilian Job Using the Google “Jobs for Veterans” Search Phrase
There are several ways to help yourself find the most relevant jobs for you using Google’s jobs for veterans search tool. One of the most important tips? Don’t limit yourself to searching with your own MOS or military job code.
You may be a military dental technician, a military broadcaster, or an investigator. There are many equivalents to this type of work that may not come back in a rigidly-defined search just by your own code.
Don’t Limit Your Search to Your Own Branch of Service
One trick is to search using another occupational specialty code used by a branch of service other than your own. Compare the job results that come up when searching for the Marine Corps equivalent of an Air Force Specialty Code or a tangentially related career.
Here is a good example. Those who work in aircraft maintenance for a specific military airframe may wish to look at the occupational codes for other military branches that do similar work, but on other aircraft. Could a simple matter of training on a different air frame make the difference in finding suitable jobs or not finding them?
Don’t Just Search for Your Own Career Field
While it’s true that helicopter maintenance issues may be radically different than for fixed-wing aircraft, are there opportunities for those with maintenance experience to cross-train into a different type of work? Can a journalist also be qualified for public affairs work?
Some jobs are harder to classify than others. A Navy firefighter may not have any trouble finding work that translates, but what about someone who works in an Air Force supply room or as a linguist?
Google searches for these jobs may reveal more results when looking at opportunities that put high value on one aspect of the job you are familiar with, but are not necessarily within your own specialty code. Google military specialty codes that are not your own to see what other opportunities await people with your general skills in addition to more specific training.
Experiment with Google Searches
Another trick you can try to find military jobs or military career field-related jobs is to use Google’s search phrase “jobs for veterans” and add the MOS code, AFSC, or other military career field code in the search using Bing, Yahoo, etc.
You may find plenty of generalized results in some cases, but more specific results in others depending on the career field and other factors. The idea here is to compare the results you get in multiple search engines. Those results may inspire you to look in different areas than where you began. Others may have you going back to try a different tactic inspired by what you find.
Non-Google search engines may or may not be working on their own versions of this Google algorithm. You can still use them as alternatives to get different results or confirm there are no additional results possible for your current search.
Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter for Air Force Television News