The Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), an organization whose vision is to develop and promote a culture in which employers support and value the military service of their employees, is partnering with the Employer Partnership of the Armed Forces (EPAF) to provide hiring employers with the ability to post available jobs and for service members to post resumes, search for jobs, and make a connection with potential employers through www.EmployerPartnership.org.
Category: Career Development Tips
For Questions please contact:
John Gutierrez, Operations Manager
Bob Hope Patriotic Hall
1816 Figueroa Street, 4th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90015
The Veterans America’s Job Center Has One Mission:
To provide high quality, comprehensive career and employment services exclusively to veterans. Many of our team members are veterans themselves and we are uniquely qualified to assist you in the transition from the military to civilian workplace, to prepare you for the job search, assist with vocational training opportunities and provide the support you need to advance in your career.
• One-on-One Career Coaching
• Workshops including: Resume, Interview Skills, Linked In and more
• Educational and Vocational Training Opportunities
• On-the-Job Training Opportunities
• Access to computers, internet, phone, fax and copier
• Direct referrals to our on-site partners, offering a full range of services to veterans and their families
For more information: (213) 742-9560
Bob Hope Patriotic Hall
1816 S. Figueroa Street, 4th Floor, CA 90015
After serving in the Marines and Army Reserves, Elliott McKenzie struggled to find his new identity as a civilian. From dropping out of college, experiencing homelessness, then eventually landing a job with the help of the Call of Duty Endowment, his transition was a balance of highs and lows.
Like many veterans, adjusting from the high tempo and hyper-aware environment from deployments was a challenge. In a place like Ramadi, Iraq where McKenzie kept his head on a swivel at all times, he didn’t face the same threat when he went home. READ MORE…
When it comes to looking for a job, your resume is one of the most important tools you have. It’s one of the best ways to showcase your unique skills and experience to employers, which is the first step to getting the interviews (and job) you want. READ MORE
- Chronological Resume Template
- Functional Resume Template (Education-Focused)
- Functional Resume Template (Skills-Focused)
HOW DO WE CONNECT TALENT WITH OPPORTUNITY?
RecruitMilitary’s goal is to engage transitioning and civilian-experienced military veteran men and women in the most meaningful way. Some will discover new possibilities in our magazine, others will target jobs through our website, and still others will find success face-to-face with employers at our job fairs.
RECRUITMILITARY CONNECTS EMPLOYERS WITH HIGH-QUALITY VETERAN TALENT
When you apply for a position online, you usually receive an automated message thanking you for applying, followed later on by either an invitation to interview, or a rejection email.
Those invitation and rejection emails you receive are from an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), and it means that your resume/application either did or did not match the combination of required education, experience, keywords, and the position description was asking for.
Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are used by most employers today. In fact, 75% of large companies use an ATS for receiving and reviewing applications.
Veterans may be getting the short end of the stick when it comes to ATS’s. Veteran Job seekers may have never had to apply through ATS, and are used to using Federal resumes through USA Jobs or simply sending a resume directly to a recruiter.
Also, as a Veteran, you are likely not used to applying for positions in a way that agrees with ATS software needs. For example, Veterans are used to using acronyms, and will incorporate them into resumes. If the acronym is not pre-programmed into the ATS software, however, it wont pick up the word and the applicant may be scored lower in the candidate pool because of the perceived missing keyword. It is safest to spell out all keywords in online applications and resumes.
So, knowing what you know about ATS’s and recruiting practices, how do you ensure you meet the needs of the computer, to get in the hands of the recruiter?
Below I have outlined 5 opportunities in an application to align your content to ATS technology, boosting your chances of receiving an interview:
- When you apply through an Applicant Tracking System, your resume usually gets pasted into plain text for ease of use for the reader. Because of this, if you have your resume in nontraditional formatting, you could be eliminated from the candidate pool.
- Common mistakes: Putting your name, address or contact information in the header or footer of your resume won’t paste into plain text through ATS’s. If a recruiter filters out applications with missing information, you’ll be eliminated. Also, if you have a “creative” resume format with text boxes or lines dividing the resume vertically, some of your resume information may not be pasted, resulting in large chucks of experience missing for the application.
- In most position descriptions, you’ll see required and preferred qualifications summaries. To ensure that both the ATS and the reader see these qualifications clearly, put them in the first 3rd of your resume.
- Common mistakes: If you don’t put a professional summary in your resume, you’re losing out on serious keyword-matching real estate. Your summary is a great way to incorporate everything the ATS is looking for, all within the first few lines. It also allows you to speak to your level of education, years of experience, and areas of expertise, so that when it gets in the hand of the recruiter, you easily demonstrate your value and goodness of fit for the job.
- Hard skills refer to the qualities of the job you must know, like technical skills, software knowledge, or direct practice knowledge. If the position lists skills and/or experience that relate to your ability to perform the role, ensure you are highlighting those areas in each of your previous work histories to hit not only the keywords, but the frequency of the keywords as well.
- Common mistakes: Don’t copy and paste keywords directly in your resume to hit the right terms and satisfy the algorithm! ATS’s are smart, and they will rank you not only on whether the keywords occur, but also on how frequently the words occur, and how well they are integrated into text (so, listing “Project Management” 5 times in a row on your resumes and changing the text to white won’t work in your favor).
- Many opportunities online also note preferred personality qualities in a candidate, like “innovative”, “passionate” and “able to work independently”. These are soft skills that relate to culture fit for a company, and are tracked by the ATS as well.
- Common mistakes: Many job seekers don’t think that these qualities matter, because they don’t relate directly to the position. Don’t make this mistake – rate higher in the applicant pool by incorporating these buzzwords in your professional summary or cover letter in your application. You can include these words in your professional summary to boost your ranking, and give yourself a leg up over other candidates that only focus on the hard skills.
- Other keywords that occur in a position description online could relate to industry-breadth. These words could be “technology” “Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems” or “Veteran services”. These words usually occur within the initial summary of the position, and relate to industry knowledge.
- Common mistakes: Don’t take these terms lightly. A company will want to hire someone who may already have industry-related experience and will have a shorter learning curve once hired. To outline your industry knowledge, ensure you identify these keywords and incorporate them into your resume, ideally across multiple work histories.
Digging Deep: The Top 3 Most Common Applicant Tracking Systems and Their Features:
Taleo: This is the most common ATS by far, with over 40% of companies today using Taleo for their sourcing needs. This ATS does not pick up plurals, and tense changes in your resume can mean the difference between a rejection and an offer. For example, if a hiring manager searches “Planning Events” and you list “Event Planning,” your resume might not be recognized as a match.
- Companies that use Taleo: Starbucks, Nike, Marriott, Nintendo, Tesla, Kaiser Permanente, Nordstrom, Boeing, Walgreens, HP, US Bank, United Airlines.
Greenhouse: This ATS does not parse resumes into plain text, so creative formatting may be acceptable if applying through Greenhouse. Also, Greenhouse ranks applications based on frequency of keywords. For example, a resume with “Project Management” listed 6 times will be ranked higher than one with it only 2 times.
- Companies that use Greenhouse: Airbnb, FitBit, Pinterest, Snapchat, Instacart, TripAdvisor, Reddit, Warby Parker, BuzzFeed, J.D. Power.
iCiMS: This ATS parses resumes to search for the skills listed in the position description. Because of this, it is important to precisely match the exact skill that is listed online. For example, if you write “Project Manage” and iCiMS was instructed to look for “Project Managed” it will not pick up the match and will rank your application lower. Also, iCiMS uses knockout questions for application, and you’ll get flagged for selecting “no” for these.
- Companies that use iCiMS: FedEx, Sony, Amazon, Uber, Goldman Sachs, Samsung, and Southwest Airlines.
Tailoring your resume and application to individual jobs can be tiring, but if you make it a habit to identify the ATS, apply the right keywords, and focus on highlighting your relevant experience, it becomes easier over time.
Also, job seekers who integrate tailoring into their applications see 3X more call backs and invitations for interviews, so it is worth the effort! I hope these tips have helped you to boost your confidence in your applications and in your ability to show employers why you’re a top candidate for a position. Try working with the ATS, and give yourself a leg up over other applicants!
You’re almost there. Your resume landed you an interview and now it’s time to seal the deal. So what’s the best way to prepare?
To find the answer, I looked back on my interviews, sifted through research, and most
importantly, asked employees from today’s most coveted companies. I tried to find deep insights beyond the typical “sit up straight!” and “dress to impress!” tips we hear too much.
Below you’ll find the 12 best tips to help before, during and after your interview.
1. Research Earnings Calls, Quarterly Reports & Blog Posts
In today’s world, content is king. Goldman Sachs publishes quarterly reports, Microsoft records its earning calls, and every startup has a blog.
With so much out there, I’m baffled that few of us look past the company’s homepage. It’s like we’re writing an essay on The Odyssey without quoting a single passage from the book.
Example: If you’re interviewing with Google, here’s two ways to answer: “What’s Google’s biggest opportunity in the next 5 years?”
- Weak: “I think wearable technology will be big because Google Glass and Apple Watch represent a new trend that shows…”
- Strong: “Call me geeky, but I was listening to Google’s quarterly earnings call and was blown away by the fact that display advertising hit over $5 billion in the past few years. Therefore, I think that…”
Neither answer is wrong, but the latter says much more. It shows you’ve done your homework and give answers rooted in data.
2. Use Google Alerts
Keeping up with company news is hard, especially if you’re interviewing with multiple places at once. That’s why Google Alerts is a savior; it’s a tool that emails you anytime a new story appears for a specific term. That way, you learn about current events without searching for them.
Example: If you’re applying to Creative Artists Agency, follow these steps:
- Go to www.google.com/alerts
- Type in “Creative Artists Agency”
- Put in your email address if you’re not already logged in to Gmail
Soon enough, you’ll get updates on CAA and have more ammo for your interview.
3. Use Social Sweepster To Clean Your Facebook & Twitter
Nowadays, 91% of employers search your social media for any red flags. While most people tell you to watch every single thing you upload, there’s a much easier solution. Use Social Sweepster, an app that detects pictures of red solo cups, beer bottles, and other “suspicious” objects. It even detects profanity from your past posts! Now, that’s f%$king awesome!
“Too many recruiters reject candidate because of something they found on their social platforms” Social Sweepster CEO Tom McGrath says. “We help you create the first impression on your own terms.”
4. Schedule For Tuesday at 10:30 AM
According to Glassdoor, the best time to interview is 10:30 AM on Tuesday. Remember, your interviewer has a world of responsibilities beyond hiring. They’re responding to emails, balancing projects, and meeting tons of other candidates so it’s crucial to consider when they’ll be in the best mental state to meet you.
10:30 AM Tuesday is the sweet spot because you:
- Avoid the bookends. On Mondays and Fridays, employees gear up for the week or wind down. By the same token, avoid the first or last slots of any workday.
- Avoid lunchtime. Immediately before noon, your interviewer may be too hungry to concentrate; immediately after, they may be in a food coma.
But there’s a caveat. Research shows it’s best to take the earliest interview slot “in circumstances under which decisions must be made quickly or without much deliberation because preferences are unconsciously and immediately guided to those options presented first.”
Bottom line: if the firm is hiring for a job starting in a few months, try to interview late morning between Tuesday through Thursday. If the firm is hiring immediately, grab the earliest slot.
5. Craft Your “Story Statement”
Though most interviews start with the same prompt (“tell me about yourself” or “walk me through your resume”), we blow it off with boring answers like:
I studied [major X] because I really care about making a difference in [industry Y] as you can see through my last job at [company Z]…
This answer is like tearing out the first 200 pages of your autobiography. You leave out everything that gives meaning to why you want this job in the first place. What was your moment of epiphany? How did your childhood influence you? Why does this job move you? Most people don’t answer these questions. They start and end with their professional experience, leaving little to inspire the interviewer.
Next time, use what I call a “Story Statement,” which is a Cliff Notes of your autobiography.
Example: Here’s an amazing Story Statement that Teach For America fellow Kareli Lizarraga used for her interviews.
I grew up in California and Arizona after immigrating to the United States when I was four years old. Since neither of my parents went to college, I relied on my high school teachers to help me apply to top universities. With their support, I was able to attend the University of Pennsylvania. Then I spent a summer at a Washington DC law firm, which represented low-income students and helped me realize that my passion lay within creating educational opportunities for all.
I decided to become a teacher because I see myself so deeply reflected in the stories of so many students in your schools – and that’s why I’m so excited about the opportunity to interview with you today. Like my teachers did for me, I want to impact the next generation of students by supporting them and understanding the experiences they’re facing.
A Story Statement shows that you’re a person, not just a professional. It also makes it easy for your interviewer to predict the next chapter of your story. For Kareli, Teach For America is a logical next step. Of course, if she interviewed for Apple, she may change her Story Statement to include an early experience with her first computer and talk about how her passion for tech grew from there. For a Bain interview, she could mention how she started problem solving at a young age and now wants to do it on a big scale.
Chances are, we’ve all had experiences we can connect to where we’re trying to go. It’s just a matter of selecting the right ones to tell our story. That said, if you struggle to craft your Story Statement for a particular interview, you might be applying for the wrong job.
6. Wear a Subtle Fashion Statement
We already know dressing well makes a difference. But what if we took our attention to detail a step further? That’s exactly what Morgan Stanley analyst Julio German Arias Castillo did for his interviews.
“Wear something that represents your culture or background,” he says. “In my case, I always wear a pin of the Panamanian flag on my suit lapel. Most of my interviewers ask about it so it becomes a chance to discuss my upbringing and love of my homeland.”
Julio created a conversation starter with his clothing. Depending on the company, you can be more playful: wear a bracelet from your recent travels to India, a tie with a quirky pattern, or — if you can pull it off — a small mockingjay pin if you’re a Hunger Games fan. As long as it’s subtle and tasteful, your fashion statement can build rapport through fun conversations about your hometown or mutual love for Katniss Everdeen.
7. Prepare for The “What’s Your Weakness?” Question
Most people overthink this question and give a canned answer like “I’m too much of a perfectionist!” Others give a genuine answer but still fall short of what this question is really asking. It’s not about admitting your weaknesses. It’s about showing how you overcome them. What systems have you put in place? What progress have you made? Include those thoughts to strengthen your answer.
- Weak: “My weakness is that I struggle to run efficient meetings…”
- Strong: “I sometimes struggle to run efficient meetings. But I’ve worked to improve by drafting an agenda before every meeting, sending it to all participants, and then following up with a recap and clear action items so everyone knows what to do moving forward.”
8. Brainstorm 3 “PAR” Anecdotes
Your interview is as memorable as the stories you share. Many people have fascinating experiences but forget them when they’re on the spot. To remedy this, have three anecdotes ready to plug into your interview. Your anecdotes should follow a simple format:
- Problem – what was the situation?
- Action – what did you do to solve it?
- Result – what changed afterwards?
With this format, you can adapt your PAR anecdotes to fit a variety of questions such as “tell me about a time you worked with a team” or “when have you struggled most?”
Example: University of Pennsylvania Senior Hunter Horsley has a terrific PAR anecdote for his interviews.
- Problem: “When I worked on Lore, an education tech startup, our big marketing challenge was finding a way to get professors to try our product. Ads are inefficient and competitors like Blackboard and Canvas had sales teams call IT administrators to sign multi-year contracts — a very slow and expensive process. We needed to move faster.”
- Action: “We realized that students preferred our product so we teamed up with about 200 students from 100 colleges. They developed a custom outreach plan for their campus and we provided resources to support them.”
- Result: “This was highly effective in creating awareness with professors. In fact, it became a competitive advantage. During our first two semesters, our team of 15 people drove adoption that outpaced a competing product launched by Pearson at the same time. An additional benefit was that the approach created brand affinity. Because professors heard about the tool from students instead of an ad, the value proposition came across more authentically.”
9. Think Aloud on Analytical Questions
Some interviews include tough analytical questions. Whether you’re solving for an exact number (“what’s the EBITDA of Company X?”) or rough estimate (“how many ping pong balls can fit in a Boeing 777?”), it’s important to talk through your thinking. Don’t just give an answer; show how you got there.
Example: Consider these two answers to “How many lawn mowers are there today in the United States?”
- Weak: After 45 seconds of silence, you blurt out “75 million!”
- Strong: You’re talking the entire way through, sharing your calculations and assumptions.
“Let’s start from the top down. Assuming the US population is 300 million and each household averages 3 people, then we have 100 million families in the US. Let’s assume urban households don’t have lawns to mow and therefore only suburban and rural families buy lawnmowers. If roughly 25% of America is urban and 75% is suburban and rural then we have 75 million households that own a lawnmower.”
(side note: it’s okay to make assumptions and for those assumptions to be off. But that’s why you need to communicate them first).
This is a great way to show your communication skills alongside your analytical ones. Plus, if you make an error, it’s easier to know where you went wrong and fix it.
10. Ask Questions That Kill Two Birds With One Stone
At the end of your interview, it’ll be your turn to ask a few questions. This is a perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone – that is, asking a genuine question while conveying something new about you. Most people just do the first part and forgo a final chance to impress the interviewer.
- Weak: Will this role provide opportunities to work in emerging markets?
- Strong: I’m passionate about languages and minored in Arabic in college. Will this role provide opportunities to work in emerging markets in the Middle East?
- Weak: Are there opportunities for community service?
- Strong: I used to work with Habitat for Humanity and was so grateful for the opportunity to give back. For a full time employee, are there company-wide community service events that I could take part in?
- Weak: What’s [Company X]’s fastest growing division?
- Strong: According to your quarterly report, your revenues grew by 17%. Is that because of a particular division within the company?
This works beautifully if you haven’t found a natural way to bring up an accomplishment or cite a publication beforehand.
11. Grow A Backbone & Ask This Final Question
This one takes guts — and that’s why I love it. Spredfast Product Manager Luke Fernandez says it’s the “single piece of advice that has consistently made a difference.”
Before your interview ends, ask this one last question: “Have I said anything in this interview or given you any other reason to doubt that I am a good fit for the role?”
“It’s bold, but if delivered honestly, it displays true desire and confidence,” Luke said. “I’ve been commended for that specific question in interviews with Google, YouTube, BCG, Deloitte, Twitter, and Spredfast. In one situation, the interviewer actually said yes and gave me the chance to clarify something that would have otherwise lost me an offer.”
Talk about badass!
12. Email a Personalized Thank You Note
Thank your interviewer within 24 hours of finishing. It not only shows your gratitude, it also combats recency bias if you interviewed early. Not to mention, it opens the door for dialogue even if you don’t get the job. Sometimes, recruiters reach back out on the same email thread months later, mentioning new job opportunities.
Example: Accenture senior analyst Anthony Scafidi shared a wonderful email from Robert Hsu, an interviewee whose follow up email shows how to do it right.
Appreciate your taking the time to chat with me today. I really enjoyed hearing about your two projects so far, how much you love the people at Accenture, and how you’ve been able to continue your community service work even while working. (Hope you had a good meeting with your mentee!) Best wishes on your current project.
Military.com By Janet Farley for MilitaryMoney.com
You’ve served your country proudly and now it’s time to move on professionally. More than anything, you want your transition from boots to suits to be a smooth one. You want to land a good job that pays well. The only thing standing in your way? Your so-called resume.
Explaining to would-be employers what you did in the military in a way that makes sense to them can be difficult. Often, skills, experiences and accomplishments get lost in translation or in the lack thereof. This is where the Military Skills Translator comes in, and you must decide what needs to be translated and what doesn’t.
To Translate or Not To Translate:
That is the question to answer before you start drafting your resume. Will you be sending it to someone within the defense industry? Or will you be targeting employers outside of it?
If the answer is yes to the former, then you may not need to spend a great deal of time translating your job titles, descriptions, awards and training into English.
Those within the defense industry usually understand what you are communicating, but not always. Keep in mind that there are a lot of people who work in the industry who have never worn a uniform and may not fully understand what you’ve accomplished.
If you are targeting a job outside of the defense world, then you most certainly need to translate your skills, experiences and accomplishments into the English Language.
It can be challenging, but not impossible.
From Tank To Cubical:
“You have to be patient because there is no such thing as a perfect resume,” said Philip Lapple, a former M1 Main Battletank Crewmember (19K-Armour Crewman) in the U.S. Army.
Lapple wants to switch career gears completely and get a job in business. To reach that goal, he is currently attending the University of Maryland, University College and working on a degree in Management Studies.
“I really don’t think I will get a good job until I finish my degree but I’m trying,” said Lapple.
In the meantime, he is working on creating a basic master resume that he can tailor to individual job opportunities as they arise.
“On my resume, I try to show that I am a well-rounded package of education and expertise,” said Lapple adding that it continues to be a work in progress.
Lapple has attended the Army Career and Alumni Program (ACAP) courses and has also used the services of the local Army Community Service Center’s Employment Readiness Program.
“You’re not going to get it right the first time or the second time you write it,” said Lapple who finds himself revising his resume each time someone else critiques it for him.
Lapple understands that he needs to translate specific words in order to make his resume work. Rather than say he was a tank crewmember, he says that he was a heavy equipment operator.
To highlight his skills without over emphasizing equipment operation, he puts strong emphasis on leadership.
“My latest version shows words like mentoring, efficiency, and work load planning. I also use the word “team” instead of platoon or squad,” said Lapple.
“I am also physically counting and adding up the dollar value of items that I was in charge of in the military and noting the number of people or employees I supervised,” said Lapple.
“Right now, school is my priority. In my case, I feel like my resume has to show not only practical experience but a degree as well,” said Lapple.
Staying In The Same Industry:
“I have a resume but it’s horrible. I want to make it better in order to be competitive,” said Gary Heinstrom, a U.S. Army Specialist who currently serves as a medic with the 554th Military Police Company based in Germany.
Heinstrom is knee deep in the process of transitioning out of the military. He is considering staying in his career field, but he wouldn’t rule out getting his foot in the door to federal employment in any field either.
“I just started the process of getting out and there is so much information coming at me at one time. It’s overwhelming but it seems necessary at the same time,” said Heinstrom.
If Heinstrom does indeed try to stay in the medical field, he may find that the level of translation needed for his resume differs from those needed by Lapple.
In some military career fields, such as those in the medical field, there may not be as strong a need to translate some of the skills, abilities and experiences for the civilian counterpart. In or out of uniform, patient care, record-keeping and specific medical procedures and protocol are universally understood with the career field.
“Instead of saying that I was a medic, I am writing that I was a health care specialist. I am also a certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), and that is the same in or out of the military,” said Heinstrom.
Heinstrom says that he is also making it a point to quantify his accomplishments and avoid the use of personal pronouns.
For More Assistance:
Translating the military words on your resume into civilian ones can be challenging. You don’t have to do it alone, though.
Visit your transition assistance office or the family services and support center’s employment readiness program. On either doorstep, you’ll find expert one-on-one counseling assistance or available classes, free of charge.
For your own research the following websites offer excellent military-to-civilian translation tools:
Here are some word for word common translation examples:
Job Titles Examples:
You can also get ideas on how to effectively translate your military experiences by looking at the civilian job descriptions or vacancy announcements for the jobs that interest you.
- Commander = Director or Senior Manager
- Executive Officer = Deputy Director
- Field Grade Officer = Executive or Manager
- Company Grade Officer = Operations Manager or Section Manager
- Warrant Officer =Technical Specialist or Department Manager
- Senior NCOs = First-Line Supervisor
- Infantry = Security Force
- First Sergeant = Personnel Manager
- Squad Leader = Team Leader or Team Chief
- Supply Sergeant = Supply Manager or Logistics Manager
- Operations NCO= Operations Supervisor
General Terms Examples:
- AI= additionally skilled in
- combat = hazardous conditions
- company = company, department or section
- medal = award
- military personnel office = human resources
- mission = task/function/objective
- military occupation specialty/classification = career specialty
- squad/platoon = team or section
- reconnaissance = data collection and analysis
- regulations= policy or guidelines
- security clearance= security clearance
- service members = employees
- subordinates = employees
- TAD/TDY = business trip
Next Steps: Finding The Right Job:
Ready to polish your resume, and connect with employers looking to hire veterans? Join our Job Board today!
The VA has compiled their top tips to help veterans seeking employment. These tips will help veterans identify areas where they can improve and how to navigate the job-seeking process.
Ask family members, friends, and other veterans to put you in touch with the decision-makers at the places you would like to work. Contact those people and ask for an informational interview. Unlike job interviews, informational interviews let you talk with potential employers about your strengths and experiences. Even if they are not hiring, the people you connect with may be able to refer you to others who are — and they themselves may keep you in mind for future openings.
2. Emphasize character
Your skills and certifications are important, but civilian employers also want to know about your broader experience and understand how you applied your skills. Use your cover letter, résumé, and networking conversations to emphasize situations in which you took initiative, demonstrated flexibility, exhibited leadership abilities, and performed for the good of the team.
3. Translate your credentials
Most of your military training can be applied to your post-military career. However, most states and the federal government require their own licenses and certifications for jobs including flying planes, treating patients, and operating certain machinery. Find out whether you need to take an exam or a recertification course to make use of your military credentials.
4. PACE yourself
From your time in the military, you may already be familiar with PACE planning — the primary, alternate, contingency, and emergency plan for each undertaking. As you begin your search for civilian employment, recognize that your top job choices may not work out. Identify your top job picks, positions you can live with, and positions that you’d rather not take, and apply to all of them. As long as the work won’t aggravate any health concerns, don’t hesitate to take a less desirable position to pay the bills while you look for something else.
5. Use veterans’ preference
The federal government gives preference to job-seeking veterans over many other applicants. Not all military service qualifies someone to receive veterans’ preference, and so it is important to understand the specific requirements. For more information about veterans’ preference visit the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s VetGuide.
6. Reduce stress, increase confidence
Employers want to know whether your personality will fit in well with their other employees’ personalities. Put your best foot forward at job interviews by keeping your stress levels down. Get plenty of exercise, rest, and engage in normal social activities. If you start to feel anxious about your job search or any other matter, contact your VocRehab Counselor for support.
7. Ready your paperwork
Every Veteran knows the value of his or her DD214 (Report of Separation) or DD2586 (Verification of Military Experience and Training) for VA-related purposes, but these documents are also important as you prepare to enter the civilian workforce or go back to school. Make sure you have copies of your DD214 and DD2586 to show your employer or school so that it can verify your military service, training, and experience. It may also be helpful to provide transcripts of any military training and coursework you completed.
8. Prepare for a new culture
The cultures of the civilian workforce and the military are different. Know in advance that you may feel disoriented for the first few weeks in the civilian workforce, and take your time in getting used to the new work culture.
9. Take control
Career advancement in the military is linear and highly structured: You move up the ladder one step at a time. In comparison, civilian career development is less regimented. Take control of your career development: If you want to learn new skills, identify a course at your local college, university, or other institution of learning and discuss it with your supervisor. Think about how horizontal career moves will help you broaden your skills. And don’t be afraid to talk about your career development goals with your supervisor.
10. Connect to VocRehab
VocRehab helps veterans and servicemembers navigate the transition from military to civilian employment. VocRehab offers counseling, training, education, and other services to help prepare you for your next mission.
ACP’s free Mentoring Program connects post-9/11 veterans (Protégés) with corporate professionals (Mentors) for customized mentorships. ACP assists veterans on their path towards fulfilling, long-term careers, whether the veteran is job searching or newly employed.
Typical mentorship goals include:
- Résumé review and interview preparation
- Career exploration and understanding job opportunities
- Career advancement once a position is obtained
- Work-life balance
- Small business development
- Leadership and professional communication
An ACP mentorship is a yearlong commitment. ACP encourages Mentors and Protégés to connect for monthly discussions to advance the veteran’s goals.
Each mentorship is supported by an ACP staff member who offers customized resources, training and suggestions and to help the pair build a successful mentorship.
ACP’s staff personally pairs every applicant, hand-picking a Mentor for each Protégé based on career compatibility, experience level, location and personal interests. Every Mentor and Protégé has a phone call with an ACP staff member to communicate preferences, which are then taken into account during the pairing process.
Most mentoring pairs are long-distance and communicate primarily through phone, videoconference and email exchanges.
ACP’s Veteran Protégés