With the upcoming Veterans Day, we could not ignore the theme of career challenges for former service members and how we can help them today. These days many people in the United States will talk about honoring military veterans for their willingness to serve the interests of their country for the common good of its people. With the being said, even at Veterans Day very few people actually understand how difficult it is for many veterans to adjust to civilian life after the military one. Even after many years people still struggle to re-integrate into the society and return to so-called normal and peaceful life in the community. One of the best ways to do it is to find a job that would be fulfilling and meaningful to a veteran. This way he/she will feel needed which can significantly facilitate the transition process. In this article we would like to help veterans by sharing some useful information on how they can find a job after the service in the military.
Making the Transition Much Easier for Veterans
It has been a confusing and exhausting experience for many veterans to transition to civilian workforce. Sometimes, it seems like companies are not interested in hiring people who have faithfully served the country and that makes it even more confusing in the minds of former service members. The truth of the matter is that civilians (including hiring managers of private sector companies) often have stereotypes surrounding veterans most of which are not true. Such stereotypes can be successfully ruined thanks to smart resume writing and interview preparation. It is all about how a veteran presents himself/herself to a prospective employer. Considering the fact that in most cases former service members have a clear disadvantage by default (when compared to experienced private sector employees), they have to work hard to make their resume and interview flawless. However, with the help of this article that disadvantage can be turned into a benefit if one takes time to implement all of the tips listed below.
Contextualize your experience and skills. It is not enough to list your skills explaining how you used them during combat operations. Keep in mind, that what seems a great accomplishment to you may not be the same for a hiring manager that doesn't know the military context. No decision maker from the private sector company would want to study military background to understand what you actually did and how important it was for the unit/team. In other words, no one would take time to look up the meaning of military terms, titles, duties, accomplishments, etc. It is your job to show how your experience and skills can be used in the company. You have to put your skill set into the context of your prospective employer, demilitarizing (translating) your language so that any civilian could understand.
Tailor your resume. You may be a nice person with excellent leadership ability, great work ethic, and teamwork skills. Those are things that could give you a solid advantage over other candidates. However, those abilities are to be additional, not primary skills on your resume and/or cover letter because they are not a priority for available job openings today. Hiring managers are looking for specific industry skills so make your resume as relevant as you can so that employers would spot those specific experiences and qualifications they are interested in. Before submitting your resume then, check the requirements and make sure the content of your resume addresses those job requirements as much as possible.
Prepare for interview. If you get an interview call that means your resume has done its job and landed you an opportunity to actually be hired. Keep in mind, that's only an opportunity which means you can either make use of it or fail to use one. Every hiring decisions is made only after the interview, no such decision is made based on a resume evaluation. This means you have to prepare for the meeting, especially because civilian HRs have so many stereotypes regarding veterans. For example, they believe former service members usually have problems with anger management. Additionally, decision makers are afraid that post-traumatic stress will inevitably have an impact on one's performance (especially, in a stressful environment). Therefore, you have to come prepared. Learn as much as you can about the prospective employer and job requirements. Be prepared to answer tough questions in a calm manner.
It is important that veterans find not some kind of job, but that employment must be a good fit for utilizing the skills and qualifications of the former service member. This will facilitate the process of transition and help one to re-integrate into the society easily. Just like with any job seeker, being happy with the work is essential for a successful career. It makes no sense to find a job that will be an additional burden on the shoulders. Therefore, here are some of the veteran-friendly industries where former service members can use their skills and experiences gained during the military life.
Weapons and Security. It makes sense to choose weapons and security because veterans would likely have skills and qualifications that are linked to this niche. That is why companies operating within this industry often prefer hiring former service members. A great choice for veterans who wish to use their knowledge of security concepts and weapon use at a civilian workplace.
Department of Defense/Department of VA. Those government agencies are a great fit for veterans who wish to get a civilian job. One of the reasons why former military people would want to choose this option is because that's where they can help fellow service members which would make this kind of work a rewarding one.
Cybersecurity. For the majority of veterans, redundant systems and defense concepts are nothing new. Considering the growing number of cyber intrusions and a shortage of professionals in this area, cybersecurity can become a great option for veterans seeking for a civilian job.
Obviously, there are more industries veterans can try: business, technology, engineering, construction, transportation, retail, healthcare, automotive, energy and environment, etc. Depending on your experience in the army, you can choose what looks more appealing to your career tastes as well as how job requirements match with your skill set. We hope that the aforementioned career tips would come handy for veterans helping them make the transition smoother. If you are the veteran reading this, we would like to thank you for your service. And while we can never repay the debt to the veterans, we can certainly make sure they face fewer career challenges in future. If you need help with writing a military resume, please contact our team via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (888-901-7801) and we can provide a 20% discount for our resume writing service.