Where do you start your career after serving in the Military?
Many men and women who have served our country are often found asking themselves this question after their Military service is completed. The transition from Military Service to the civilian work force can at times seem overwhelming according to 69% of respondents to a Prudential survey. Fortunately for you the training, skills, experience, and work ethic that you have acquired during your service is in high demand by employers and the current unemployment rate for Military Personnel transitioning into the workforce is at an all time low! Now is a great time to start your new career!
Here are some of the best tips from experts on transitioning into the workforce!
1. Start Planing Early
Start your career search well before you are discharged including all your research and preparation of your resume and begin to submit applications in advance of your transition to the work force.
2. Access Your Experience
Do research on your experience in the Military such as your title, specialty and pay and look at how this translates into the civilian work force. Here is a great source for researching your experience and value in the civilian workforce. Many employers do not understand what your experience was in the Military and how this translates to their company and positions they are trying to fill so help them understand the skill-sets that are transferable to their organization. This leads to tip #3.
3. Convert Your Resume
Evaluate your resume and convert your experience into what the employer can understand and the skills that can be transferred. Change ‘Sargent’ to ‘Manager’ for example or convert ‘I drove a Humvee around’ to ‘I was responsible for vehicle safety’. This is probably the #1 tip and most overlooked by Military Veterans transitioning to the civilian workforce.
4. Utilize Military Friendly Networks
Many job boards will cater to Military Veterans looking for employment. A good example is LinkedIn will offer a free one year membership to Military Veterans so look at all the various job boards and the benefits of what they offer and get your profiles and references on these networks updated. You can also search all the Military Jobs on MilitaryBases.com as well.
5. Use Leave Time
Don’t be afraid to use some of your leave time so that you can interview prior to your discharge from the Military. This can speed up the time spent transitioning to a civilian career if you start to interview in advance.
6. Don’t look Military
Now that you are no longer going to be serving you should invest in a business wardrobe appropriate to your target career so a new suite or other attire for interviewing will be a good investment and drop the Military look.
7. Unemployment Benefits
Veterans transitioning into a civilian career can also quality for unemployment benefits so investigate if you qualify and can take advancement of unemployment benefits.
Research recruiters who work specifically with placing Military Veterans with companies that focus on hiring former Military personnel. A quick Google search will reveal companies such as Bradley Morris or Lucas Group that specialize in Military Veteran placement.
9. Career Fairs
Many cities host Career Fairs that are presented by major Online Job Boards such as Career Build, Monster, Indeed, or Job News. Visit these websites and look at their career fair schedule for your local city.
10. Technical and Vocational Career
A large number of companies that are vocational or technical in nature are looking to hire skilled Military Veterans for positions such as Electricians, Plumbers, HVAC installers and service technicians so search local business websites under their career menu to see which of these local companies are hiring.