As a military veteran transitioning back to civilian life, we commend you for your service. At Employment BOOST, we’re passionate about helping veterans achieve a successful military to civilian transition, which includes finding a fulfilling career that allows you to use your unique skills.
According to the latest data from the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2016, 4.3 percent of all veterans were unemployed, and 5.1 percent of veterans who were on active duty from September 2001 and later were unemployed. We want to help get that number down, and we want veterans who are currently working to be thrilled with their careers. Here are some tips to find a job you are fulfilled by after serving in the military.
Identify Your Strengths
Taking an account of your strengths will help you understand what to highlight on a resume and talk about in an interview. While you may be educated in a specific subject, your time in the military may have changed your interests or cultivated new positive attributes that make you want to pursue a different career path.
You can use a free strengths finder like the HIGH 5 Test to get more insight into your interests and talents that could lead you to the type of career you’d like.
Create a Professional Resume Tailored to Your Ideal Job
Recruiters and employers may get hundreds of resumes for a single position. To stand apart from the pack, your resume should:
- Focus on transferable strengths
- Avoid military jargon
- Be optimized for search engines, so it’s more searchable when uploaded to a job site
- Include language and points that directly relate to the job you’re applying for
You’ve acquired so many new skills in the military. It’s vital to explain them clearly and compellingly on a resume, without confusing anyone because of military-speak.
Build a Network
It can be overwhelming to know where to begin on a civilian job search. Tapping into your contacts and building a stronger network can help bring you referrals for relevant roles.
Stanford University reports that research shows up to 50 percent of American jobs are found through personal contacts. Get back in touch with people from school, let your former colleagues know what you’re looking for, and attend networking events that are relevant to your ideal industry. You can also pair networking with educational opportunities, such as by attending a public speaking group like Toastmasters International.
Grow an Online Presence
Part of job networking today is using social media to connect with those in your industry, and it is vital that you have a current LinkedIn profile. Besides having the ability to create a page that shows off your experience, strengths, and recommendations from others, you can also participate in LinkedIn Groups, which gives you the opportunity to converse with those whose interests and professions align with your interests.
Prepare for Interviews
While your military service is a tremendous asset to your next career, like your resume, you should avoid using military language in an interview and tailor your interview practice based on how you can serve the position or company you’re interviewing with. It’s important to avoid wearing your uniform to the interview, and to not use words like “ma’am” or “sir” in order to relate more to the interviewer.
Take your skills and strengths from the military, and be ready to clearly and concisely relate them to the role you’re interviewing for. Practicing an interview with a civilian will help you be better prepared for typical questions and help you refine your responses. If technology will be used to conduct the interview, such as a video chat, you should also make sure your video camera, lighting, and microphone all work well, too.
Contact Employment BOOST for Help With Military to Civilian Transition
At Employment BOOST, we work with military veterans from all over the country to help them achieve a effective military to civilian transition. We have a wide variety of career services for those leaving the military, including:
- Military resume services
- LinkedIn profile development service
- Interview session
- Personal consultation
Military Career Planning Checklist
Make your military to civilian transition successful with strategic planning and by using techniques that top recruiters and businesses look for today. Use this checklist to stay on track as you plan your new career.
- Identify your strengths
- Create a professional resume
- Build a network
- Grown an online presence
- Prepare for interviews