If you’re a veteran reading this, thank you for your service. These brave individuals put their lives on the line to keep us safe. The work they do is important. They learn incredible skills while in the service too. Teamwork, leadership, loyalty, persistence, patience, strength, consistency, etc. Having worked with lots of ex-military job seekers, I can tell you there’s one main reason why their transition from the military to the private sector is such a challenge. They don’t know how to translate their military experience into something non-military hiring managers can understand.
When it comes to job search, there’s a language and communication process you must use to get (and keep!) the attention of hiring managers. Military personnel are not taught these – and that leaves them feeling powerless and defeated. That’s why you and they need a Career Coach/Resume Writer who specializes in assisting transitioning military and veterans.
Tips To Help Veterans Power Up Their Job Search
Veterans are good at following directions. The conditioning they get in the military really supports a no-nonsense, let’s-get-it-done attitude. Their consistent efforts pay off. With that in mind, here are some of the things military job seekers can do to get their search in gear:
Translate your skills.
Understanding how the work you did in the military is relevant to working at a major corporation may not seem obvious, but with some help assessing the skills and strengths used on-the-job, you can translate them into the skills most needed by private sector employees. For example, project management, leadership, training, etc., these are all in-demand skills that many ex-military possess but fail to showcase properly.
Beef-up the LinkedIn profile.
As the #1 recruiting tool for companies today, getting yourself found on LinkedIn means having a fully optimized profile. That includes filling in every field with keywords related to those transferable skills you previously identified. Recruiters search on these terms, so the more they are in your profile, the more likely you will be in their search results.
Make your military service known, but not overpowering.
While it’s important to list your military experience, you don’t want to give the impression that you long to go back. Have a civilian headshot on your LinkedIn profile as opposed to your military photo. Why? This helps recruiters picture you in their company more easily.
Ask for help!
Those who serve in the military tend to have a hard time asking for help. Pride gets in the way. Now is not the time to shut people out and go it alone! First, people want to help. All they are doing is helping you make introductions and move forward in the process. It will still be up to you to land the job. Moreover, once you make the transition, you’ll be able to job-it-forward and help others. Networking and helping people in your network is a big part of being successful in the private sector.