Tag Archives: veteran

JOB SEARCH TIPS FOR VETERANS

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Transitioning Military and Veterans have a huge range of skill sets.  They have acquired a wealth of knowledge, skills and competencies from serving our country.  The training and education that they received during their military service is transferable to those skills being sought by the companies and organizations looking to hire.  In addition to these valuable skills, the Veteran brings a unique sense of leadership and teamwork to any organization!

Veterans also understand the commitment to achieving organizational objectives and goals.  In addition, they have demonstrated the ability to work effectively and efficiently within multi-cultural environments. So when an organization hires a Veteran, they are bringing an individual on who is committed to serving both an organization and this nation through their continued service.

Prior Military personnel also have technical skills in highly sought out arenas, such as; IT, Communications, Security and Medical technology to name a few.  Many Veterans also hold the required security clearances that are needed for some government contract and Federal positions.

START THE TRANSITION: 

The typical military transition process should be started as far out as 24 to 18 months, don’t wait until you are out!  Many transitioning military don’t get the chance to start up their transition this far in advance. If given the 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.

Many Veterans join the service young, maybe even straight out of high school.  They may serve 20 years or more and then retire. Perhaps they haven’t served that long and had just never had to write a resume or career document ever!  So the first thing they want to do is create, update, and tailor their resume.

GATHER DOCUMENTS:

When they sit down to write their resume & career documents, there is so much they have achieved & accomplished while serving their country. I always suggest  to gather all your evaluation reports, service awards and letters of commendations.  Include all documents that speak about themselves all throughout their military career.

DECIDE A CAREER FIELD:

Some may already know if they want to stay in the same field and pursue opportunities within that field.  Still many Veterans may want to make a career change. Veterans need to figure out what career they want to target when they transition out of the military. It would behoove them to have a target for their job search needs. This will ensure their resume will showcase their career highlights and will make them shine in their job search. Hands down the most important thing that a Veteran can do to improve their chances are:

  1. Tailor their resume to the actual position that they are applying to. I can’t stress that enough.  One should not just have one general resume to distribute to all the jobs he/she may be applying to.
  2. I usually recommend to Veterans to think about what they have done in the past 10 to 15 yrs and have them create one master resume/career document. From that master document they will be able to take and insert the information to create a resume they tailor to each position that they are applying to.

So the easiest way I tell people to do it is to take their master document and pull apart the job announcement that they are planning to apply to.  Go through that job announcement and develop some industry keywords and phrases for that particular position, next you will include those keywords & phrases into your new resume.  The reason they need to do this is to ensure that their resume will pass through the applicant tracking system that many organizations are utilizing nowadays in order to weed out hundreds of applicants.

Many Veterans have been out of the workforce for a bit and they probably have not had the experience of getting their resume passed through a computerized applicant tracking system.  Since Veterans have been out of the job search for a few years now, they have not had to write their own resume or apply to a job before. They also may not be aware of the latest resume trends and have a tough time figuring out how to tailor a resume.

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COVER LETTER:

Cover Letters just like the resume should speak to the job announcement as well! This is a key piece of information that many job seekers don’t take the time to do.  What I tell my clients is to do your homework.  Find out what the hiring manager or the Human Resource managers name is.  Ensure to include their name on the cover letter and address the cover letter to that person.

This will show them that you actually took the time to do the research and learn about the organization. This is one sure fire way to stand out in your cover letter! Many job seekers utilize the generic “TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN”.  This may not get you noticed.  Start off your cover letter with an introduction with a few sentences and then add some bullet points to compliment your resume.

In the end, the qualities a Veteran has includes respect for others, pride, honesty and a sense of belonging, it enables Veterans to adapt into any organization. Many transitioning service members and Veterans are eager to serve. Let’s face it the military instills discipline and work ethic into them from day one!  Follow these job search tips and you will landing interviews before you know it!

If you still have any questions regarding your resumes or federal application process feel free to drop us a line! We’d love to hear from you!

Dannielle Ramos Rash is an Army Veteran and Founder of First Class Resumes & Career Services.  http://www.first-classresumes.com/She is a Certified Federal Job Search Trainer (CFJST), Certified Federal Career Coach (CFCC), Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches.  Dannielle provides dynamic resumes & career documents for job seekers around the globe. 

 

Top 5 Ways to “Civilianize” your Résumé

Does your résumé have too much military language in it?  Well worry no more; it’s time to learn how to transform your military skills and education into a dynamite civilian résumé! Now that your getting out of the service, it’s time to get ready for the next chapter in your life; a civilian career!  Your most important tool in your arsenal is your résumé during your job hunt.  However, getting your military service to convert over and be understood by the civilian world can be difficult.  We have listed the top 5 ways to “civilianize” your résumé.

It only takes 10 Seconds!

How long should your résumé really be? You should always aim for one page for every 10 years of work experience/military service and no longer than two pages.  However, the question you need to be asking yourself is: Will it pass the 10 seconds?  A civilian hiring manager sees hundreds of résumés to find a handful of qualified potential candidates.  Your résumé has to first survive this initial process.  Let’s assume that each candidate’s résumé will get 10 seconds of the hiring manager’s attention.  During those 10 seconds the hiring manager has to immediately find the keywords that match the position being sought.  If you feel your background and experience deserves more than one page, make sure all the great accomplishments are on the first page!

Speaking about Accomplishments:  

Organizations hire job seekers for their potential, their experience or a combination of both.  If your Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) has a civilian equivalent and you want to stay in that field, by all means highlight that information on your résumé.  If on the other hand you’re not staying in your current field then you should be selling your potential more than your experience.  The most important in either case, is how well you perform in the job.  So instead of listing your job descriptions, rather list your accomplishments.  It’s your accomplishments that sell you and your potential, your work experience sells your past. Ultimately, I assume you want to look towards the future in your career, not your past.

“Civilianize It”

Most of what you did in the military service may make sense to our civilian counterparts.  However, there are some positions, tasks and functions that have very little or no civilian equivalence.  (Grenade Handler)  The fact that you were assigned as your unit’s S1 or S3 shop, may get lost in translation.  You don’t need to take them out of your résumé, but rather “civilianize” it!  Therefore, it might read “Maintained and kept up-to-date personnel records for more than 400 employees; reduced financial error rates by two-thirds in one year saving $70 million.”  These positions are significant positions with a huge amount of responsibility.   Therefore you should translate it into a language a civilian manager can understand.

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Take out the Alphabet:

There is much about your military experience that works in your favor!  The issue lies within most military folks typically don’t know how to “civilianize” it.  In addition, the hiring managers don’t understand the military terminology.  This is the biggest challenge in being recognizable to these companies. i.e.. (TRADOC, SITREP, FORSCOM, DOD) etc.

Most military service members are under the impression that they should completely remove all things military in their résumés.  However, going to this extreme can be a mistake. There are hundreds of civilian employers that want to hire you because of that military experience! Whether you’ve been in 4 years or 20 years, transitioning Military & Veterans need to ensure they demonstrate the value to an employer as well as make your career document visually appealing to the hiring manager!

Training & Development:

Most civilian organizations enjoy hiring military folks. The reason being is they are already trained.  In addition, many prior military already have college degrees.  Don’t worry if you don’t hold a degree, most Veterans have a considerable amount of technical training from their military service.  Don’t forget to utilize your GI Bill if you want to continue with your education.  That being said, companies also like to hire educated folks, especially the ones who have served and performed well in a stressful environment, such as the military.  Therefore, make sure you keep these in mind when creating or updating your résumé.  Don’t forget, it only takes 10 seconds!