Returning veterans, who are leaving the service, have a difficult transition to make from the military to civilian life. The jobs they had may not be there and what is available now is not the same as when they went in. They do have the advantage of the education they received while in the service, what they need is the ability to turn their military education and experience into a well paying and secure civilian job.
The federal government, through their employment site, USAJOBS has information on how the veterans can get an edge in getting federal jobs.
Veterans who are disabled or who were on active duty during certain circumstances on who were involved in military campaigns are given preference in hiring for federal jobs. It does not mean that the aim is to only employ veterans. What it does mean is that the veteran will get extra points over and above what is earned on the test.
The veteran needs to have earned either an honorable or general discharge and must be below the rank of major or lieutenant commander, unless he or she is disabled.
A veteran can claim a 5 point preference if he or she was on active duty from Dec 7, 1941 to July1, 1955 or served on active duty for over 180 consecutive days any part of which was between Jan 31, 1955 Oct. 15 1976, or more than 180 days any part of which was between Sept, 11, 2001 and ending on the day that is declared that last day of Operation Iraqi freedom or during the Gulf War from Aug 2, 1990 to Jan 1992 or in a campaign or expedition that a campaign medal has been authorized for.
Any medal holder or Gulf War veteran who enlisted after Sept 7 1980 or became active from Oct 24, 1982 or later must have 24 months of service, or whatever the full period was they were called for. If you are eligible for a 5 point preference, you just need to claim the preference on your application.
A veteran can claim a 10 point preference if he or she currently has a disability that is related to their time in the service or is currently receiving any compensation, disability retirement benefits, or pension from the military or the Department of Veterans Affairs. Also, anyone who has receive the Purple Heart qualifies as a disabled veteran. The preference is also available for the spouse of some deceased veterans or whose spouse is not able to work because of an injury related to their time in the service or is the mother of a veteran who died while in the service or has a permanent disability. If you feel you are eligible for a 10 point preference, then you need to fill out a 10-Point Veteran Preference Form, a SF-15
More help is available at the Veterans portal including information on Converting Military Experience, Eligibility for Federal Veterans Benefits and Programs and the Transition Assistance Program (TAP)