Job searching can be a challenge for anyone. For many veterans, searching for civilian employment is even more difficult. According to Prudential Financial Services, 69% of former service members say that finding a job outside of the military is a challenge. From creating a resume to explaining their experience to finding a good fit, the job market is full of obstacles for the men and women who serve our country. Luckily, countless resources exist to help make the process easier. Check out these tips to jump start your job search!
1. Civilian-ize your resume.
You may have the perfect set of skills and experience for a position, but you can still be overlooked if the hiring manager cannot make the connection on your resume. Spell out any acronyms and change military titles and terminology to equivalent civilian terms that reflect your responsibilities. Start by entering your job title and duties into the Skills Translator on Military.com for guidance on how to explain your position in a way that is easy to understand.
2. Emphasize soft skills.
Skills and experience are important, but they are just one piece of the puzzle. The military also teaches valuable soft skills that can set you apart in the job search. Use networking events and interviews to showcase your communication skills, initiative, leadership abilities, and other traits that you developed during your service.
Other veterans are a great resource to utilize as you conduct your search. Talk with them to understand what challenges you may face and how to overcome them. Once you get an idea of how your military skills will translate, identify roles and companies that might be a good fit for you. Research the organization to find other veterans currently working at the company who may be able to offer advice and/or make an introduction. Reach out those individuals and try to schedule “informational interviews.” This is a casual opportunity to learn about the company culture, the role responsibilities, and what the hiring authorities are looking for in their next hire. Even if the company isn’t currently hiring, building these relationships can lead to prospects in the future.
4. Fill in the gaps.
As you network and set professional goals for yourself, you may notice a need for continuing education or training to reach those goals. If you need to learn a new skill, consider online classes through a local university. Numerous institutions offer online certification programs that expand upon skills you may already have. The federal government also offers education and training programs for veterans preparing to enter the workforce.
If you are looking to start an impactful career as a civilian, contact Greene Resources and let us serve you.