Good Hobbies & Interests To Put On A Resume In 2023

By Hannah Morgan | Career Sherpa - Reprinted with permission

Figuring out what hobbies and interests to put on a resume can be tricky. Not only is it wise to choose some that you can relate to the job, but it's not always clear where you should put this section in the first place! This guide will help you choose some good interests to put on a resume if you're serious about getting hired. When You Should Consider Putting Interests & Hobbies on Your Resume. Whether or not you put an "interests and hobbies" section in your resume depends on a few factors. There's no perfect rule for this, and what you should do depends on your experience and the job you're trying to land. Typically, it's wise to leave this section out of your resume if you're a professional with many years of experience. Focusing on your skills, work experience, and certifications is better in those instances. Those details will provide plenty... Read more

VA Home Loans: Big Savings for Veterans

By VA Careers | U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs © 2023, Reprinted with permission

Are you thinking about buying a home but are worried about money for a down payment, a low credit score or even a previous bankruptcy or foreclosure? You may want to check out your heard — earned VA home loan benefit. There are several benefits to using a VA home loan. When using a VA — backed loan guaranty, if the sale price of the home is at or below its appraised value and you have enough entitlement to cover the value of the home, then a down payment is not required. There may be some fees and closing costs to cover, but you don't have to worry about private mortgage insurance. Additionally, disabled Veterans may have some fees waived, which makes a VA home loan an even more affordable and attractive option. If you have experienced a bankruptcy or foreclosure, VA home loans are designed to get you back on your feet, as quickly as... Read more

How To Respectfully Decline A Job Offer (Email Examples)

By Hannah Morgan | Career Sherpa - Reprinted with permission

Figuring out how to decline a job offer can be a bit daunting at first. You don't want to be disrespectful or burn bridges, but you also need to make it clear that you're no longer interested in the role. This guide will teach you how to respectfully decline a job offer without any awkwardness. How to Respectfully Decline a Job Offer. When you're searching for your next career opportunity, getting a job offer can be a jump-for-joy moment. However, there are times you know you just can't accept the offer. This happens more than you may think, and there are many reasons why you might decide to pass. Whether it's because you received a better offer from another company or this opportunity doesn't feel right, here's how to decline a job... Read more

4 ways military spouses can enhance their job search

By VA Careers | Career Sherpa - Reprinted with permission

You may not be on the front lines, but military spouses like you are fighting your own battles at home every day. It's that spirit of dedication, resilience and adaptability that we recognize today on Military Spouse Appreciation Day, and what makes military spouses like you so valuable to employers. Finding a new job is never easy, and your unique circumstances can make the job search quite the challenge. However, there are some things you can do to make finding an exciting career a little easier. Embrace change. You're an expert at welcoming change, so why not try one that will make your search for meaningful work a little easier?... Read more

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Good Hobbies & Interests To Put On A Resume In 2023

By Hannah Morgan | Career Sherpa - Reprinted with permission

Figuring out what hobbies and interests to put on a resume can be tricky. Not only is it wise to choose some that you can relate to the job, but it's not always clear where you should put this section in the first place!

This guide will help you choose some good interests to put on a resume if you're serious about getting hired.

When You Should Consider Putting Interests & Hobbies on Your Resume

Whether or not you put an "interests and hobbies" section in your resume depends on a few factors. There's no perfect rule for this, and what you should do depends on your experience and the job you're trying to land.

Typically, it's wise to leave this section out of your resume if you're a professional with many years of experience. Focusing on your skills, work experience, and certifications is better in those instances. Those details will provide plenty of insight and take enough room on your resume to make it stand out.

It's also wise to leave off hobbies and interests if you have a relatively long resume. Resumes should be short and to the point. Most recommend that these documents be one or two pages long.

If you already have enough material to paint a compelling picture of your qualifications with a single page, you can leave out your hobbies and interests.

So, when should you include this information on your resume?

Including hobbies and interests will benefit recent graduates with little work experience.

When you don't have much work history to provide, including a section about your interests is a great way to stand out among other candidates. It can give hiring managers more insight into who you are and what unique skills you can bring to the position.

While hobbies and interests usually occur outside the workplace, plenty could apply to your desired job. Talking about interests also works in your favor when they relate to the company or position. Think of it as an opportunity to show transferable skills that the hiring manager may want to see from an employee.

When deciding whether or not to include information about your hobbies and interests, consider what you know about the company. Perform your research, understand the company's values and culture, and see if any of your interests apply. If they do, putting them on your resume can reassure hiring decision-makers that you share similar values or interests.

One final point. If you have an unusual hobby or interest, including it on your resume may help you be more memorable.

Examples of Interests & Hobbies to Put on Your Resume

Of course, not every hobby or interest you have deserves a spot on your resume. If you want to leave an impact on hiring managers, you must choose what hobbies you include.

Here are examples of interests that could work in your favor.

Writing

If you're a writer, whether published or not, consider including it on your resume. This interest puts your communication skills on full display.

Communication is crucial for any position and is one of the most sought-after skills. Seeing something like writing on your resume could significantly boost your chances of moving forward in the hiring process.

It doesn't matter what form your writing takes. Whether you're a published novelist or run a successful blog, it proves that your communication skills go beyond the workplace and in-person interactions. A good communicator is a major asset to any team, and including this hobby on your resume shows you have what it takes to make meaningful contributions.

Volunteering

Hiring managers love to see candidates with volunteering experience. In fact, data shows that managers are more inclined to go with candidates that mention volunteering on their resumes than those who don't.

There are a couple of reasons for this.

First, volunteering shows that you have the commitment to help others. If you've volunteered with organizations that align with the company's values, you're set. Employers like to hire good and kind people, and those with volunteering experience typically fit the mold.

Secondly, volunteering shows initiative. No one is forcing you to take time out of your schedule to do good in the world. Hiring managers often feel that people who take the initiative to volunteer will do the same in the workplace.

Finally, listing your volunteer experience on your resume shows good organizational and leadership skills. Those are both fantastic traits that employers look for when hiring new people.

Travel

Traveling is another great interest to put on your resume. However, you must not overstate your commitment to traveling. Otherwise, hiring managers might worry that you'll request an excessive amount of time off!

Assuming you do this, this hobby could work in your favor for a few reasons.

The first is that it implies that you're adaptable and unafraid to step out of your comfort zone. If you love to visit new destinations and unfamiliar cultures, you're probably willing to adapt into the new company and adjust your work style.

Traveling also indicates that you're curious about new things. That could benefit you because employers want people who won't hesitate to think outside the box and be innovative.

Putting this interest on your resume can also point to great organizational skills. Traveling can be challenging, and anyone who does it frequently will likely know how to keep their ducks in a row regardless of their surroundings.

Reading

Reading is a lot like writing because it highlights valuable skills employers want from job candidates.

It doesn't matter what genre you prefer. Reading provides mental stimulation and exercises the brain. People who read often usually have a wealth of general knowledge and know how to focus on a variety of tasks that are put in front of them.

Reading can also boost your communication and comprehension skills.

Music

Music seems like a broad interest to include. But whether you love making it or simply listening to your favorite artists, it's a good interest to put on your resume.

When you enjoy listening to music, you benefit from good stress management. Music often makes people happier, leading to less anxiety in the workplace.

Plus, it strengthens your learning skills and abilities to memorize fine details. With how much the work environment changes, showing that you're eager to learn can make all the difference.

If you like to make music, you bring many relevant workplace skills. Making music requires creative thinking, determination, and a willingness to work hard to get things right. Those are traits that employers love to see.

Photography

Photography is more than snapping photos on your smartphone! It's a real art form that taps into many unique capabilities.

When you compose the perfect shot, you bring a concept to life while harnessing your technical skills. Those traits are relevant to many positions.

It's also a creative hobby employers love to see for jobs requiring out-of-the-box thinking. Pair that with the interpersonal skills required to be a successful photographer, and this interest can paint a positive picture of your character.

Sports & Exercise

Sports, exercise, and activities that promote general physical wellness are all great interests to put on a resume.

If you play sports, specify what you play and in what context. For example, do you play on an official team? This distinction matters because team sports can point to many relevant workplace skills.

When you play as part of a team, you must master communication and interpersonal skills. There are also moments to flex your leadership capabilities and collaborate with others. Those traits all apply to jobs in various fields.

Even if you don't play sports, you can provide details about exercise and physical fitness.

Staying fit and active requires self-discipline. It's also a masterclass in patience, seeing results, and bouncing back after disappointment. You say a lot about your personality when you include sports and exercise on your resume, and they're all good things that employers want out of new hires.

Outdoor Recreation

Outdoor activities can include a myriad of things. For example, you might enjoy long hikes on the weekend or camping excursions a few times a year. Even something you can do in your backyard, such as gardening, applies.

This is a good interest to put on your resume because it shows you're well-balanced.

While employers like to see people showing dedication in the workplace, they understand the importance of having a healthy work-life balance. When employees put all their focus on work, they can experience too much anxiety and face the risk of burnout.

Spending time outdoors is a great way to unwind. Having it as your hobby indicates that you understand how to achieve that all-so-important balance, separating your work and personal life to achieve better mental and physical health.

Dance

Dancing is a combination of physical exercise and artistic skills like music. You get the best of both worlds and including this hobby on your resume puts this all on display.

Dancing is a great way to alleviate the workday's stress, showing that you can maintain a healthy work-life balance. It's also inherently collaborative. Don't be afraid to mention the type of dance you do to give hiring managers a better idea of what skills you're bringing to the table.

For example, dancing as part of a troupe shows that you have great collaboration skills. It also highlights your ability to communicate, work with others, and deliver an amazing final product.

Dancing is a complex activity that requires great concentration. Dancers often have higher cognitive performance while flexing their creativity whenever they hit the dance floor.

Making Art

Last but not least, we have the hobby of making art.

This is another general interest you can go into further detail about to help employers learn more. There are many art forms out there, and what type you perform can clarify your unique skill set. For example, you can mention doing still-life paintings or making pottery.

Whatever the case, hiring managers like to see this hobby for a couple of reasons.

The first is that it's the epitome of creative thinking. In the workplace, you may have to think outside the box to come up with unique solutions to everyday problems. If you're in a creative field like marketing, there are transferable skills that directly relate to the job.

Art also requires critical thinking, which can help you in any position. Artists employ their critical thinking skills to make thoughtful decisions about their work. That can benefit you in the workplace, no matter what industry you're in.

The creativity you tap into while making art also points to difficult-to-learn traits like inventiveness, imagination, and problem-solving. While people can develop those skills over time, employers often prefer to bring creative people in to harness those skills from day one.

The Right Way to List Interests & Hobbies on a Resume

Knowing what hobbies and interests to put on your resume is only half the battle. There's a right and wrong way to include them.

What you don't want to do is make this section overshadow the rest of your qualifications. While hobbies can paint a picture of what you'll bring to the company, hiring managers will prioritize your skills, experiences, and qualifications. Putting interests at the forefront isn't a good look.

It goes against standard practices and may even frustrate hiring managers wanting to get to the core of their qualifications. Some employers may think that putting interests and hobbies at the forefront means that you're trying to mask the fact that you don't fit the job requirements.

Think of your hobbies and interests as more of a supplement. They shouldn't be the main focus, but they can add a little extra value to your resume if needed.

Formatting Tips

Adding a section for hobbies and interests is easy.

Create a separate section titled "Hobbies" or "Interests." You can also call it "Personal Interests" or another variation.

Whatever you decide to call it, move this section down to the bottom of the resume. It should come after contact information, work experience, and education. This section should never trump those important details.

When it comes to formatting, simplicity is best. How much information you provide depends on what you want to say about the hobby and how lengthy your resume already is. If it's packed to the brim with information, it's generally better to keep it straightforward by listing each hobby or interest with a bullet point.

You can provide additional details if you need to use this section to compensate for your lack of professional work experience. Keep the bullet points but add a brief one-line description.

In this description, you can offer additional details. Focus on your achievements with the hobby.

If possible, quantify the interest with a number. For example, you can include how many hours you've put in, how many shows you've competed in, first-place positions in competitions you've won, etc. Quantifying the hobby adds credibility and makes this section more scannable.

Don't go over the top with the hobbies and interest section. These additional details can help you get further in the hiring process, but they can also work against you if you focus too much on your interests. Keep it short and scannable.

The Value of Choosing Interests That Relate to the Job You Want

Before you consider putting interests and hobbies on your resume, think about how they relate to the job. Listing a few unrelated off-hours activities doesn't provide much value.

If you want this section in your resume to benefit your chances of moving forward in the hiring process, the best thing you can do is choose interests that relate to the job in some way. When you do that, you're proving to hiring managers that you're a better fit for the job. It goes beyond basic qualifications and shows that your true passions can help you see success in the role.

For example, say that your favorite hobby is creating digital art in your spare time. If you're applying for an ultra-technical job like accounting, where art isn't needed to succeed, that tidbit of information can show that you bring critical thinking to the table. However, it doesn't say anything about your actual work performance and what you have to offer.

However, the hobby is directly transferable if you're applying for something like a job in digital marketing. A hiring manager would see that and think you have unique skills that can help the company from day one.

Research the organization, read the job description thoroughly, and learn more about the company's culture. Use that information to connect the dots to your relevant hobbies. Your research will help you understand what employers want out of job candidates, empowering you to tailor your resume perfectly.

Conclusion

Now that you know some good interests to put on a resume, it's time to brainstorm which ones apply to you. Once you have some candidates, pick ones that relate to the job you want.

While it's not always the right move to include your hobbies on a resume, doing it properly can benefit you!

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VA Home Loans: Big Savings for Veterans

By VA Careers | U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs © 2023, Reprinted with permission

Are you thinking about buying a home but are worried about money for a down payment, a low credit score or even a previous bankruptcy or foreclosure? You may want to check out your heard — earned VA home loan benefit.

There are several benefits to using a VA home loan. When using a VA — backed loan guaranty, if the sale price of the home is at or below its appraised value and you have enough entitlement to cover the value of the home, then a down payment is not required. There may be some fees and closing costs to cover, but you don't have to worry about private mortgage insurance. Additionally, disabled Veterans may have some fees waived, which makes a VA home loan an even more affordable and attractive option.

If you have experienced a bankruptcy or foreclosure, VA home loans are designed to get you back on your feet, as quickly as possible. With conventional loans, you could wait years to qualify for a home loan, but with VA — backed home loans the typical waiting period is two years for chapter 7 bankruptcy, one year for chapter 13 bankruptcy, and two years following a foreclosure.

If having a low credit score is a concern, a VA home loan could still make home ownership possible. VA does not have a minimum credit score; if one is imposed, it is by the private lender and you can always shop a different lender. But, given that VA is guaranteeing a portion of the loan—essentially telling lenders that VA will cover 25% of the risk—many banks and mortgage companies will accept FICO scores that are lower than what they accept for conventional loans.

Here's the breakdown of your earned VA Home Loan entitlement:

  • Veterans using the VA home loan are generally not required to have a down payment.
  • Veterans using the VA home loan also aren't required to carry any mortgage insurance, which saves borrowers hundreds of dollars on their monthly mortgage payments.
  • Veterans using the VA home loan benefit enjoy limited closing costs.
  • VA home loans have very competitive interest rates.
  • Veterans aren't charged any prepayment penalty if they are able to pay off their mortgage earlier than required while using the VA loan guaranty.
  • VA provides assistance to help Veterans retain their homes during periods of temporary financial difficulty.
  • The VA home loan benefit can be used multiple times throughout the Veteran's life.

For more on the top five benefits to using the VA home loan guaranty, check out this video.

To learn more about any of these topics or your VA home loan benefit in general, be sure to also check out the latest episode of the SITREP.

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How To Respectfully Decline A Job Offer (Email Examples)

By Hannah Morgan | Career Sherpa - Reprinted with permission

Figuring out how to decline a job offer can be a bit daunting at first. You don't want to be disrespectful or burn bridges, but you also need to make it clear that you're no longer interested in the role.

This guide will teach you how to respectfully decline a job offer without any awkwardness.

How to Respectfully Decline a Job Offer

When you're searching for your next career opportunity, getting a job offer can be a jump-for-joy moment. However, there are times you know you just can't accept the offer.

This happens more than you may think, and there are many reasons why you might decide to pass.

Whether it's because you received a better offer from another company or this opportunity doesn't feel right, here's how to decline a job offer gracefully while protecting your professional reputation.

Respond Promptly

When declining a job offer, responding as quickly as possible is the most important thing to do. Put yourself in the hiring manager's shoes. You likely went through several rounds of interviews, and the key decision-makers considered many candidates before deciding you were the one who deserved the offer. A considerable amount of time and resources went into that decision.

The last thing you want to do is keep them waiting. Prolonging your response will only inconvenience the would-be employer. Waiting several days or weeks will make you look unprofessional and likely burn bridges with that company.

If possible, try to respond within 24 hours. It's a courtesy that minimizes delays for the hiring manager, allowing them to go with their second choice.

Of course, give your decision ample thought. If it takes you a little more than a day to decide that it's not right for you, that's alright. But be prompt!

The quicker you respond and decline the job offer, the better. Hiring managers can move on, and you show your respect for their process and investment in time.

Keep the Email Brief

Being straightforward is the best policy when declining a job offer. Many people feel somewhat guilty when sending what is essentially a rejection letter. However, you don't need to go into a ton of detail or create a lengthy apology email.

Resist the urge to go overboard. There's no need to send a lengthy explanation or shower the hiring manager with compliments. That's a nice sentiment, but it's too much.

At the end of the day, try to keep your email concise. Shorter emails take far less time to read. Plus, they're easier to stomach.

A lengthy message full of overblown apologies and niceties can actually come off as inauthentic. Most prefer that you get to the point, provide some brief context, and respectfully decline the job offer.

Show That You Appreciate the Offer

While you should keep emails concise, it's also wise to show some appreciation. Rejections can be difficult, even for a hiring manager! No one likes to hear "no," and an overly simple email may result in negative feelings about you. Showing some appreciation nips that in the bud.

Again, think about this situation from the hiring manager's perspective. Considerable time and effort went into this hiring decision. If you send an email without acknowledging the investment of time the company made, you may come off as ungrateful or cold.

That's enough to make potential employers not be eager to offer you an opportunity in the future, which is the last thing you want. The goal is to come off as appreciative, ensuring that the hiring manager knows you gave this opportunity the consideration it deserves.

Make sure to thank them for the opportunity while still keeping the email brief. Recognize the time and effort they put into you as a candidate. Thank the recruiting team, and show that you appreciate the thought they put into this decision.

This small detail goes a long way and immediately shifts the tone of your rejection email. Start with a message of appreciation, and it'll soften the rest of your email.

Explain Why You're Declining

Honesty is always the best policy when rejecting a job offer, and it's a good idea to briefly explain why you made this decision. Doing so helps the hiring manager understand your reasoning, and it adds another layer of professionalism that could help you maintain a connection with this company.

Something as simple as "I'm declining this offer" won't cut it. Not explaining your reasoning may rub the hiring manager the wrong way, making them feel they wasted time and resources exploring your candidacy for the position.

Think of your explanation as a way to placate negative feelings and show that you've given this decision some thought.

You don't have to go into the nitty-gritty details. That's especially true if you decline the offer because you don't agree with the company's values or are disappointed with the negotiated job offer. You must avoid potentially insulting the hiring manager or organization; going into too much detail increases the risk of that happening.

Once again, short and sweet is the best approach when giving your explanation.

You can be transparent without going too deep into your thought processes. For example, you could say that after further consideration, the job doesn't feel like the right move for you at this point in your career. Alternatively, you can say you've accepted a job offer elsewhere or decided to stay in your current position.

Whatever the case, make sure it's true. Hiring managers understand that these things happen, so there's nothing to be gained by lying.

Hiring managers may follow up for additional feedback after you send your rejection email. Many companies do this to understand how competitive their job offers are and find ways to improve their hiring process. That's when you can provide more details if you wish.

But for your email declining the job offer, keep it simple.

Be Open to Connecting in the Future

Finally, mention that you'd like to keep the door open for future opportunities. This is a small detail that many job-seekers miss.

You never know when your paths will cross again. There could be a time in the future when you want to explore opportunities at the company again. That's why it's important to protect your professional reputation and not burn bridges.

State that you'd like to stay in touch. You can even use LinkedIn to connect with the people you meet during the hiring process. It's a great way to expand your professional network while keeping the door open for the future.

Reiterate your general interest in the company. Despite this opportunity not being the right fit, showing that you want to stay connected proves that you did care about this position and were genuinely interested in getting a job. It makes the entire process worthwhile, and the hiring managers you interact with may feel inclined to check up on what you're doing later when another position opens up.

Email Examples for Turning Down a Job

Figuring out how to decline a job offer after going through a lengthy hiring process can feel uncomfortable.

To make things easier, we have a few example emails that will guide you in the right direction.

Deciding to Accept Another Offer

Here's a common scenario. When you're searching for jobs, you may get multiple offers. When that happens, you'll have to decide which job is right for you and decline the job offers you receive from any other employers.

This example email works well because it explains the candidate's reasoning while showing appreciation for the opportunity.

"Dear Mrs. Johnson,

Thank you so much for the generous offer to join your team. I've enjoyed learning more about [COMPANY] and appreciate your time interviewing me. As we've discussed, I've admired and supported [COMPANY] for many years and fully intend to keep doing that.

However, after further consideration, I've decided to accept a position at another company that I feel better suits my skills and future career plans.

I would like to stay in touch via LinkedIn. Again, I thank you for your time and consideration. Best wishes for your and [COMPANY'S] continued success, and I hope our paths will cross again in the future.

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]
[YOUR PHONE NUMBER]
[YOUR LINKEDIN URL]"

Realizing the Role is Not the Right Fit

In our next example, the candidate receives a job offer. However, they realize it's not a good fit for what they want to do and where they want to take their career. This is another scenario that happens quite often.

When declining the job offer, this candidate explains their reasoning in a way that most hiring managers will understand. The rejection shows maturity because the job-seeker is self-aware enough to know that they wouldn't be fully committed to this job.

"Hello, Mr. Smith,

I'm flattered to receive such a great offer. I appreciate your consideration and all the conversations we've had in the past few weeks. Meeting you and learning about your marketing firm's work was a pleasure.

While I've enjoyed learning more about [COMPANY], I've decided to pursue another role. After careful consideration, I've come to the conclusion that I'd rather focus on project management than writing or editing, as I believe that it better suits my career moving forward.

It's been great meeting you and your team, and I wish you nothing but continued success. I hope that our paths will cross again sometime in the future.

Best Wishes,

[YOUR NAME]
[YOUR PHONE NUMBER]
[YOUR LINKEDIN URL]"

Staying at Your Current Job

Sometimes, you go through the entire job search only to realize that the best career move is to stay at your current job. That's the case with the candidate in our next example. They made the difficult decision not to accept a job offer because they believed there were more beneficial career opportunities at their existing company.

This email works well because it's thoughtful and remains professional. It doesn't insult the company or come off as ungrateful.

"Dear Mrs. Brookside,

Thank you for offering the senior management position at [COMPANY]. I appreciate you meeting with me these past few weeks and answering all my questions about the position.

After careful consideration, I've decided that now isn't the best time to leave my current role. I've realized that moving to [CITY] isn't feasible for my family, and my current employer has made accommodations and shifted my responsibilities to better align with my career aspirations.

It's been a joy getting to know you and [COMPANY]. I hope we can stay in touch, and I'd love to work with [COMPANY] in the future.

Thanks again,

[YOUR NAME]
[YOUR PHONE NUMBER]
[YOUR LINKEDIN URL]"

Discovering the Position Doesn't Fit Your Larger Career Goals

You might find yourself in a situation where you love the company but not the position. This is a situation that arises more often than you realize. Job-seekers will go through the hiring process, learn about the organization, and better understand what the position entails.

Through that process, you might realize that the role doesn't fit your grander career goals. You want to keep the door open for opportunities in this company while declining the job offer. Here's a good example of how to do just that.

"Dear Rebecca,

I'm delighted and flattered by the offer. I've enjoyed learning about [COMPANY], and our discussions about the organization have made me appreciate what you are doing there even more. While I'm incredibly interested in working for your company, I've concluded the position itself isn't the right fit for me at this point in my career.

I'm hoping to steer my career toward leadership and management opportunities. Based on our conversations, I don't see that as possible in this role.

I'd love to work for [COMPANY] at some point in the future, and I hope you will consider me for roles that better align with my goals. Please keep in touch and reach out if a position you feel I can excel at opens up.

I sincerely appreciate the offer and can't express my gratitude enough. It's been a joy speaking with you and meeting your team.

Best Regards,

[YOUR NAME]
[YOUR PHONE NUMBER]
[YOUR LINKEDIN URL]"

Conclusion

Now that you know how to decline a job offer respectfully and concisely, it's time to draft your response.

If you need some help getting started you can always use our example emails as inspiration!

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4 ways military spouses can enhance their job search

By VA Careers | Career Sherpa - Reprinted with permission

You may not be on the front lines, but military spouses like you are fighting your own battles at home every day. It's that spirit of dedication, resilience and adaptability that we recognize today on Military Spouse Appreciation Day, and what makes military spouses like you so valuable to employers.

Finding a new job is never easy, and your unique circumstances can make the job search quite the challenge. However, there are some things you can do to make finding an exciting career a little easier.

Embrace change

You're an expert at welcoming change, so why not try one that will make your search for meaningful work a little easier?

When it comes to positive changes in modern work culture, the rise of remote work has to be at the top of the list, particularly for military spouses. As you go through multiple military moves, there are more jobs than ever that can move with you, and you have the opportunity to grow in a consistent role.

VA has remote positions that run the range of nearly everything we do. Whether it is in clinical fields, such as medical and health, or in nonclinical fields like software development, human services and project management, there's an opportunity waiting for you at VA.

Advocate for yourself

As you relocate from post to post, you've probably collected a diverse skill set. While some employers might see that as inconsistency, those who truly understand life as a military spouse, as VA does, will recognize your adaptability and perseverance.

Managing your household through a move? That's got "project management" written all over it. All the paperwork you manage ahead of deployments? Administrative expertise.

When developing your resume, be proud of the range in your skills. Don't discount skills obtained from volunteering, education or experience. Everything you've undertaken during your spouse's military career has made you eminently employable.

Invest in networking

No one knows the value of networking better than a military spouse. Packing up your entire life and moving to a new place every few years has taught you the value of making connections quickly and using new neighbors as a resource to find your way in a new community — and that can include finding a job.

Military spouses have some of the most extensive and far-reaching connections imaginable. Tap into your network for information about possible jobs. When the time comes to apply, reach out to your network to serve as references, particularly those folks you know from your last posting. These are people who have seen what you can do and likely will be happy to share.

While you're at it, join our communities on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Glassdoor to learn more about opportunities at VA.

Access unique resources

VA offers numerous resources for military spouses like you to tap into and make your job search easier. One of our newest assets is the Veteran and Military Spouse Talent Engagement Program (VMSTEP), which aims to make VA the employer of choice for Veterans and military spouses.

We also use noncompetitive hiring authorities at facilities across the country to place qualified spouses in health care, claims, acquisitions, accounting, IT and even security positions.

Additionally, we maintain an updated list of career and hiring events on our website. These events can be in person or virtual, but in either case, this is the place to meet recruiters and hiring managers who are eager to talk to someone with your experience.

Work at VA

Your distinct perspective can inform what we do and help us better care for Veterans. Join our team and bring your diverse skills to VA.

LEARN more about VA's commitment to military spouses.

EXPLORE the benefits we offer.

LEARN how to navigate the federal hiring process.

SEARCH for your VA career at VACareers.va.gov.

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