When it comes to advice on how to get a job, there are numerous resources that provide direction on how civilians can prepare and find the perfect job but there hardly any resources for military veterans and retirees. Job hunting in the civilian world, as it is, is incredibly overwhelming, especially when you are transitioning out of the military. Good news is each branch of the military has different experiences associated with them, which help distinguish you from other potential interviewees. If you are a military veteran or retiree, your career does not have to end once you leave the military, so we have created these easy steps for you to follow in order to land that perfect job!
Understanding the Civilian Job Market
When it comes to transitioning from the military to the civilian world, it is especially important to keep in mind that not everyone understands the military, despite their best attempts. Most employers are interested in hiring veterans and military retirees not only because of their patriotism, but because they want employees who have high level of discipline and integrity. So what do employers look for in an applicant? Quite simply, they will hire someone who can do the job; so now, all you have to do is convince your potential employer that you are the person who can do the job.
Marketing Your Skills and Accomplishments
Before you will receive any goodwill for your veteran status, you will have to market your skillset. The key is to focus on what you did in your previous position and any skills you gained by that position, not what the job was. Below is a generic list of some skills that could be associated with a position you may have held in the military.
- Led and supervised a squad/company/battalion of up to __# Soldiers
- Responsible for the health, welfare, morale, and training of __# Soldiers
- Responsible for the maintenance and accountability of various equipment and vehicles
- Assisted in planning, coordination, and execution of tasks assigned to the squad/company/battalion.
- Counseled and mentored Soldiers to improve job performance, unit cohesion and professional development
- Performed various clerical tasks such as record keeping
- Completed evaluations for __# Soldiers
- Conducted morning meetings
- CPR/EMT Certified
This is simply an example of some possible ways to phrase your work experience for a position you held in the military. To learn more, it is highly encouraged that you sign up for Transition Assistance Program (TAP) classes as early as you can, even if it is a year or more before you leave the military. Through these classes, you will learn how to better define your job skills, pinpoint the jobs and areas you can claim to have experience, and can provide further civilian job interviewing tips.