We’ve all been there. You’ve perfected your resume and cover letter, sent out countless applications, and finally landed an interview. You are face-to-face with the hiring manager when you are asked the dreaded question “So tell me about yourself.” What do you say? You wonder if you should disclose that you are a military spouse. It’s a big part of who you are, but will revealing this information help or hinder your employment prospects?
When it comes to being a Marine spouse, moving every few years is just one of many obstacles you face. Finding a new job each time you relocate is another challenge. Switching jobs every two or three years is becoming increasingly more common, so you shouldn’t let that next Permanent Change of Station (PCS) stop you from finding your dream job. If a company asks about why you’ve switched jobs often, you should offer an explanation. If they don’t ask, there’s no reason for you to disclose your status as a military spouse.
Do your research ahead of time. Many organizations have military-friendly hiring initiatives, and more than 400 organizations are part of the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) that pledges to recruit, hire, promote, and retain military spouses. Knowing the company and its mission statement will help you decide how much personal information you should reveal. If the organization actively promotes military spouse hiring initiatives, especially if you found the job announcement through a military spouse forum such as the MSEP Job Search tool, it is to your advantage to share information about your status as a military spouse.
The skills you learn as a military spouse are also highly sought after in the workplace. You are flexible, adaptable, independent, and loyal, all traits that would make you an asset to any organization.
Most companies look for a return on their investment for hiring and training someone that ideally results in productivity over an extended period of time. For larger companies, you could suggest transferring to another office should you need to relocate. Throughout the pandemic, many companies learned how effectively certain jobs can be done in a telework environment. If these are not options, there are other employment opportunities with companies that would love to have a Marine Corps spouse on their team.
To learn more about reimbursement and/or spouse employment resources, please contact your local Family Member Employment Assistance Program office. For more information on interview techniques and military spouse friendly companies,
You learned about the importance of a personal financial plan during the Transition Readiness Seminar; now is the time to put it into practice.
Finding a civilian job can take a lot of time and effort. Here are 5 great tips to get you started.
Find out how to negotiate a civilian salary when your previous one was based on the military pay system.