It’s not uncommon for retiring or releasing military members to struggle with resumé writing. The military has its own language of sorts, and after years of speaking the dialect, it can be very challenging to translate your skills into civilian speak. Frustration and irritation are normal. Instead of relief to be back home, releasing can feel like moving to a new country!
Luckily, there are a lot of resources available to the veteran looking to work in the private or public sector. As a veteran, you possess many sought-after skills that you may not even recognize anymore. Spending years with other disciplined, focused, determined, selfless and loyal individuals can make it seem as though these qualities are standard. Don’t sell yourself short!
Here are 5 tips to get you started:
1. Use a military skills translator
Online tools can give you a jump start towards re-thinking your skills for the civilian workforce. This military skills translator at Military.com only requires your service type and position to give you specifically related job suggestions. Transistion Assistance Online is another site which enables translation of MOS/AFSC/Ratings into job opportunities that could be a great match for you.
2. Research companies who hire veterans
Why try to force your way into a career that doesn’t value your previous experience? There are many companies who are known for hiring veterans. US veterans: take a look at Monster.com’s 2018 best companies for veterans list and be sure to check potential employers’ policies on hiring veterans. Canadians can do the same by consulting positions for veterans at jobs.gc.ca and by learning about top civilian jobs for vets.
3. Consult veteran support services
You are entitled to veteran support, so use it. Services and programs have been designed specifically to help releasing military members transition well into this next phase of civilian life. CAF members can consult Veterans Affairs Canada, which provides help for transitioning military members through career transition services, education benefits, rehabilitation and more. US military members can find the same at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
4. Take advantage of your priority status
In serving your country, you’ve earned the right to be more easily employed by government institutions. In the US public service there are hundreds of veteran-friendly jobs that can easily be searched through and filtered once you’ve signed up and logged in. The same is true for Canadian government jobs, where almost all job opportunities prioritize hiring veterans.
5. Use your contacts
Even in the age of online applications and long hiring processes, using your contacts can still be the most helpful tactic in finding a job you love. Your friends, family, and colleagues know you best and are best positioned to connect you to future employers. They can envision you in your new work life and can not only introduce you to potential hiring managers, but vouch for you, too. Trustworthiness is hard to prove with test scores, so utilize your network and let people know you are looking. Not surprisingly, there also exist networks for veterans transitioning to civilian life such as VTN Canada and the US Veteran and Military Transition Center.
6. Bonus Tip: Talk to us!
You may not have the time, patience, or interest to search through all of these options. Perhaps you have already and are still unsure which steps to take next. We’d love to help you into and through this transition time and would be honoured to chat with you about your needs, goals, and aspirations. Send us a message, give us a call, or connect with us via Social Media.