Servicemembers and veterans seeking post-service employment have a number of resources to assist them on their career path, but not everyone who reaches out has good intentions.
Claims of job-opportunity fraud among current and former military members filed to the Federal Trade Commission doubled from 2016 to 2017, according to a VA blog post. These scams take many forms, but most involve “phishing” attempts - emails or websites that appear to be sent from recruiting agencies or businesses, but instead are knock-offs designed to trick job seekers into providing personal data.
The scams can be complex, but there are some ways to avoid problems, according to the VA piece:
- Check website and email addresses against official company webpages and domains before providing any personal information, clicking any links, or downloading any application forms.
- While you may find yourself in need of military records when claiming benefits or filling out applications, don't fall for fraudsters who claim to “expedite” records requests. The VA's eBenefits site offers guidance for getting such records, including your DD-214 form, yourself; those seeking records from the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) can head here for detailed instructions and forms. Need expedited forms? Call the NPRC (314-801-0800) or the VA (800-827-1000) and skip the email solicitations.
- As with most scams, be careful if a job-related interaction seems too good to be true. One popular type of fraud involves a solicitation that promises a job interview via chat - the interviewee “gets the job” after a short conversation, then is asked to provide all manner of personal information for a position that doesn't exist, opening themselves to identity theft.
More Ways to Search Safe
“Before placing any sensitive personal information, or your resume, on any job boards, do your due diligence to ensure that site is reputable and trustworthy,” said Col. Brian Anderson, USAF (Ret), director of career transition and member services at MOAA.
These sites take multiple forms, Anderson said, and transitioning servicemembers and veterans may want to engage and network on multiple platforms depending on the career they're after.
Some sites may offer military-themed career advice and listings (Hiring our Heroes, FASTPORT), others may have a wider general audience (LinkedIn, American Corporate Partners, SCORE, TheLadders.com), and still others focus on a specific sector (Medzilla's medical listings, federal jobs at USAJOBS.gov, jobs requiring a security clearance at ClearanceJobs.com, association/nonprofit jobs via Association CareerHQ, human resources posts at the Society for Human Resource Management, or information technology openings at Dice.com).
MOAA's online career center also includes a job board available to Premium and Life members, along with links to networking events, webinars, individualized career services and other transitioning assistance.