Are you ready to transition out of the military? Many veterans make a few mistakes when they make their transition into the civilian workforce. When departing the military you have many options. This is a topic that will impact your life in numerous ways, so take some time to seek out and absorb this information.
The typical military transition process should be started as far out as 18 months. Many transitioning military don’t get the chance to start up their transition this far in advance. Nevertheless, if given this chance to jump start the transition process, take full advantage of the time to get your ducks in a row, so you are well prepared.
Failing to Plan:
Veterans need to figure out what career they want to target when they transition out of the military. It would behoove you to have a target for your job search needs. This will ensure your resume will showcase your career highlights and will make you shine in your job search. Take the time to figure out what you want to be when you grow up.
Toot Your Horn:
The military tends to take away the focus of the individual. During your career the military showcases team accomplishments and not so much on each individual. Although team work is vital, ensure to give yourself recognition for what you brought to the team. Also, how you can and will add worth and value to the employer. By performing your research in advance, you should be able to identify your prospects and what skills will fit into which companies.
Many veterans don’t use the many resources that are available to them. Each military installation has many resources and programs to assist you with your transition. In addition, you may be approved for unemployment insurance benefits if needed. Check with your local transition office to see what resources they may have to assist you. Take advantage of the many classes and resources that are available to you. In most cases they are free and you are entitled!
Most Veterans don’t typically know how to “demilitarize” their military skills and service. Many civilian hiring managers have never served in the military. This makes it difficult for a hiring manager to see how you fit into their corporate culture, especially if these potential employers don’t speak the military lingo or terminology. Just make sure to eliminate the military language from your resume and career documents.
As far as the number of pages for a resume, it depends on the individual and their experience or lack thereof. However, don’t write a 2 page resume just to create one. One should ensure to highlight their career history. As long as you can concisely quantify your accomplishments and be able to explain how you enhanced a project or role, then it may be necessary to craft a 2 page resume. If you feel compelled to utilize a 2nd page, just make sure to be strategic and ensure the information is relevant.
If the hiring manager specifically asks for a one page document, then send them what they ask for. If you send them a 2 page document when they specifically ask for a one page resume, yours may end up in the trash can. Keep in mind when it comes to a resume never follow the “one size fits all” approach.
I would also like to add when performing your research find out which corporate managers have military backgrounds. They’ll be glad and willing to hire like-minded workers. Don’t play it safe and not utilize your military connections to land a job. By all means tap into your military network!
The reality is 80 percent of jobs in the civilian world are landed through networking. Contact all of your former colleagues and merely ask them for leads and references. It may ultimately be one of your best assets in your job search!
For transitioning military there are many Veteran career fairs you can attend. In addition to seeking out recruiting firms that specialize in placing veterans is also recommended. Don’t forget to explore all employment options, such as federal, state as well as civilian opportunities. Don’t settle for the first job offer that comes along that may not be the best fit.
There are many services offered from agencies such as the VA, veteran service organizations as well as county operated veteran services. These agencies can be particularly helpful to veterans who are seeking to transition. You would be surprised on the amount of services out there to assist veterans with their transition besides the VA or the DOD.
Take advantage of all the benefits afforded to you. There is a plethora of military benefits out there waiting to be utilized. The number one benefit that comes to mind is the GI Bill. If you never took advantage of the GI Bill while you were serving you need to take advantage of it now! You earned it!
Finally once you land your new career in corporate America, make sure you hit the ground running. Just like in the military, you only get one chance to get off to a great start once you get your “boots on the ground”.