Returning to the civilian workforce after serving in the military can be a daunting challenge. If you are feeling uncertain about your future prospects in the post-service phase of your career, you are not alone. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources to help you get started with your job search, and having experience as a military veteran can actually give you a big advantage in the process, as you have acquired skills necessary to succeed in any profession.
Recruiting experts recommend the following strategies to help you accomplish a successful career transition from military service to the civilian workforce:
- Start Early
Do not wait until you are just a few weeks away from your military discharge. The job search is a difficult process, and may sometimes take longer than anticipated. Start off by sorting all of your files, educational degrees, and military training/service certificates. Missing or lost records can be found at http://www.va.gov.
- Explore Multiple Options
Do not just grab the first opportunity you come across. Unless you are absolutely sure of the direction you want your career to take, it is not a good idea to follow a single path in your employment search. Keep an open mind and educate yourself with all the available information. There are countless military-friendly employers and staffing agencies that can help make the transition.
- Get Ready to Learn
As a veteran, you will be surprised at how competitive the job market is and how much there is to learn. The more open you are to learning new things, the easier the journey will be. Learning becomes even more important if you have chosen a career path that requires education/training that you don’t currently possess. Consider pursuing additional certifications or training courses to help gain an edge.
- Translate your Military Experience into Civilian Skills
Demilitarize yourself! In order to get a job offer, you need to show the hiring managers that you can adapt to the civilian workforce. Try to avoid using military-specific jargon in your resume and interview responses, and think about how you can translate your experience and accomplishments into your vision for how you can help a business succeed. If you need help with this, you can check out some online skill translators.
- Create a Strong Resume
Once you have translated your military acumen into business-specific qualifications, you can draft a strong resume listing your experience, accomplishments, and skills. While the content of the resume is important, it is equally important to be clear and concise in getting your message across. If you could use some assistance, a professional resume writer or an online resume builder can help you craft a resume that is perfect for the job you are seeking.
- Sell Yourself
Think about the ways in which you can describe your military experience using the buzzwords recruiters are looking for. Tell them how your military service has inspired qualities such as self-accountability and natural leadership. Explain how your military experience will help you be a great asset to the business. Don’t be modest, your unique experiences and accomplishments give you an edge over a non-military job candidate.
- Use the Right Job Search Medium
Using staffing agencies or veteran-specific job boards such as www.vetjobfindah.com will make your job search easier by giving access to employers who are looking to hire veterans like you. You can also visit your local government employment office, which will not only provide assistance with the job search but will also help you get access to training and educational programs.
The process of making a career transition can get overwhelming sometimes. Don’t get discouraged if you are rejected in an interview. You worked your way up in the military through hard work and determination, and you can do the same in the civilian job market!