The trials of job hunting are numerous for all, but for a post-military candidate it may seem even more challenging. As a veteran on the search for civilian employment, it’s important to be persistent and patient as you look for the perfect job, apply, interview and eventually land it!
Here are some important steps to remember when beginning the transition into your search for a new civilian career.
Keys to a Successful Post-Military Job Hunt
- Use Your Resources. The U.S. government provides many free resources and programs to help veterans find employment. The Veterans Employment Center is a one-stop internet resource for many common post-military job-seeking needs. This online center has resources to offer help with a resume, cover letter, or job application, as well as providing information about location and time of Upcoming Veteran Career Fairs.
For those seeking a more specific training to prepare for the workforce, VetNet is another helpful resource. This internet platform delivers weekly content to help subscribers in the areas they need it: choose from the basic training track, the Career Connections Track or the Entrepreneur Track. There are additional specific government offerings for those interested in business ownership, government employment and for female veterans.
- Know Your Strengths. You acquired many skills, learned a great deal, and performed an enormous service during your time in the military. So how can you list all these characteristics in a way that is honest, accurate, and marketable to employers?
Skills that are useful (and necessary) both in the military and in the civilian workforce include:
- Teamwork skills
- Works well under pressure
- Exhibits a strong work ethic.
It is likely you possess all of these qualities as a veteran.
- Do Your Research. Know a lot of people who hate their jobs? You definitely don’t want to be one of those people. That’s why you should research all the career options and what certain roles really look like before you start applying. That way, you can narrow down your job applications to only positions you’d really like to have.
To look for a job that lines up with a job you held while in the military, try the Jobs Thesaurus. It can match your previously held military job code to possible civilian careers.
- Decide If You Need Additional Education. Undergraduate education, a master’s degree, trade school, technical school? If the job you want requires a degree or certification you don’t have, you may want to pursue additional schooling.
The GI Bill®offers education and training benefits up to 100 percent for veterans (depending on your duration of active duty). You can learn about your specific available benefits here.
- Be Proactive in Your Job Search. Make a list of your career goals, your experiences and what your dream job would be. Cultivate a resume that you are proud of and send it in for many different opportunities.
Keep track of jobs you’ve applied for and when you are supposed to be hearing back from applications. Set deadlines for yourself and make sure you know ahead of time whether you would be willing to relocate for a job.
- Interview Confidently. You’ve carefully executed your job search. You’ve applied for jobs that you would like to have, and that you are qualified to perform. Bring that knowledge with you to each and every interview.
Don’t forget to do background research on the company, the corporate culture and mission statement before you go! It will help with your confidence and make the interview run smoothly (plus it will impress the interviewers).
If you follow these tips and stay persistent in your job search, you will be rejoining the civilian workforce in no time. More importantly, you will be starting a brand new job that will be fulfilling and enjoyable.
GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.
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