When you were in the military, did you always feel that employers would be waiting with open arms for you when you step into the civilian world? But when you apply for civilian jobs, most places don’t seem all that interested to hire you. You are not the only veteran to face this.
So here are some handy tips veterans have shared based on their personal experience to help their brothers in arms.
Choose What You Put on the Resume
Thanks to the military, most veterans get to see a bit of the world, be a part of a team in the combat zone, and learn how to make instant judgment calls in life-threatening situations. You’d think that all these skills and experiences would be enough to land you in a successful career in any field of your choice. Unfortunately, most of those credentials do not make good bullet points on the resume and most employers do not understand them the way you do.
You must realize that your military service experience is not going to get you a mid-management position in a multinational company as soon as you are back home. So you must manage what you put on your resume tactfully. For most jobs, only put the dates of your military service, and nothing else. Add additional details only when they are relevant to the work you are applying for. Avoid putting in military accolades on your resume. The number of your confirmed kills do not impress your employer as much as you think it would. Instead, use the cover letter or the interview to draw their attention to your leadership skills, flexibility, proactiveness, and teamwork abilities.
Spend some time on the internet looking for ways to build better resumes. You will find the latest tips and tricks to impress a recruiter.
Job Search Is a Full-Time Job
It takes a lot of time to edit your resumes and write cover letters for every job you wish to apply for. Treat your job hunt like a full-time job. You must organize yourself, create a routine and dedicate quality time to prepare the prerequisites of any job application. Visit job fairs and research the participants well before you go there. You should also be prepared with your resume, cover letters, job pitches, and for possible interviews. You can also take some help from mentors.
When you search for jobs, make sure that you check the legitimacy of the organization. Do not get jobs out of desperation at firms that do not meet all the federal or state compliance laws themselves. Make sure that you are aware of the compliance checklist required by any firm. You can check the specifics of this checklist like retirement benefits, medical plans, or workers’ comp insurance online. For instance, workers’ comp would ensure that you receive fair compensation in case you are injured during the course of your work, just like you would have been in the military.
Start Planning Early
Start planning your job hunt at least a year before you leave military services. You need not be sure of all the details, but start planning on things like your place to live, what industries might be interested in hiring you, so on and so forth. Help with relocation is one of the benefits in the military. So in case you need to move halfway across the country to look for a job of your preference, you might want to plan early. You can use online resources to help you figure out your next move.
Make as many connections as possible while you are serving in the military. Do it before you leave the forces and start looking for new jobs. You should consider making contacts not only with those still serving, but also veterans who are already a part of the civilian world and making a difference out there. These contacts can broaden your search for a job that can match your skill levels. Maintaining those connections would certainly prove to be a boon when you are struggling to get your foot in the door. Keep those connections organized by locations and industries to build up your network efficiently.
Take Some Time to Recover
Once you are out of the service, take a voluntary break. It will help you to relax and ease your transition into the civilian world. Relaxing does not necessarily mean sitting at home and doing nothing in this context. You can choose to partake in an activity that you find mentally relaxing. You can also partake in an activity that will look good on the resume, or fill up some gaps in it.
Even though most of your military training can be useful for your civilian careers post-military service, you might need additional certifications or licenses for certain industries, like medical jobs or operating heavy machinery. Find out beforehand what kind of licenses or certifications you might need to supplement your military experience to get a job that matches your skillset.
And the most important thing is not to give up. Even though you feel that your military experience has already taught that to you. But too many rejections might take a toll on your self-esteem. So if you start to feel battered down, fall back, get yourself together, and try harder.