If you’re a veteran seeking civilian work, first THANK YOU for your service and second, don’t panic trying to figure out where you should start. There are plenty of resources at your disposal to assist in your job search.
Following is a list of some of the best tools available to veterans when you’re getting ready to transition to civilian work.
Job Translator Tools
Let’s begin with what type of job you’ll be looking for and how you can go about determining what jobs are available to you based on the experience you received during your military career. You should know that corporate recruiters have a difficult time trying to figure out how someone with military experience qualifies for a particular job. Often times the military has what seems like its own language, including acronyms, and unless you’ve come from the military world, recruiters can’t translate the experience.
Because of this, companies started offering tools called ‘military translators’ on their career page that will translate the job you had in the military into job opportunities in that particular company. If you don’t see a link on the career page, type in military translator in the company’s search box. If the company doesn’t offer a translator there are other websites that offer the service. Below is a list of websites that provide military translators.
My Next Move: https://www.mynextmove.org/vets/
I strongly encourage you to use one of these tools and translate your skills into relatable civilian skills to enhance your chances of getting the job.
If you’re getting ready to leave the military be sure to work with your transition office on base. They’ll provide guidance on how to begin the process of looking for a job once you leave the military. Many bases offer career fairs where companies will come to the base to recruit. Transition offices will also provide assistance in drafting a resume.
Each year there are career fairs that are held around the country specifically for veterans.
Consider attending more than one career fair as this is the best way to get in front of a recruiter and/or hiring manager.
Following is a list of some of the companies that organize veterans career fairs. Check their website for dates and locations of the fair.
Another source to find a listing of career fairs is checking the Military Times. http://www.militarytimes.com/
If you have a clearance, check out the jobs and career events at Clearance Jobs. https://www.clearancejobs.com/
TAOnline has been helping veterans transition to civilian jobs since 1996. This site provides a job board, career resources, a listing of scheduled veterans hiring functions around the country, and a military skills translator tool.
The majority of companies doing business with the government use this site to post their jobs. This is one of the only sites that allow these companies to comply with affirmative action labor laws. In addition, there are job search services provided for Veterans as well.
The jobs listed here are from companies that focus on hiring veterans.
This site provides assistance with finding jobs as well as other career resources. In addition, you can locate a VA office in your area to assist you in your search for employment. Many companies network with local VA offices as a way to connect with veterans.
State Workforce Agencies
Veterans can find assistance finding jobs at one of the nearly 2,500 state workforce centers. Partnering with the Department of Labor, workforce centers offer services at no charge. In addition, workforce centers administer the Priority of Service program for veterans. This program requires the state agencies to offer job opportunities to veterans first.
Career Advice/Job Listings
This site offers a lot of resources related to finding the job that works for you.
There are hundreds of jobs boards to search when looking for a job. Airs provides the only comprehensive listing of the majority of job boards.
Don’t forget to use one of the BEST tools in finding a job: networking. It’s easy to get caught up searching the internet daily for your next job; however, it’s estimated that at least 85% of jobs are found by networking. Following is a list of individuals you’ll want to make sure to let know that you’re getting ready to transition to civilian life and what type of job you hope to find.
Fellow military personnel already working in civilian life
Parents of your children’s friends
Acquaintances at neighborhood meetings
Working in recruiting over the past 20 years, I’ve seen a remarkable and welcomed increase in the interest from companies to hire veterans. Don’t feel that because you’re ex-military that you have a mark against you when applying to jobs. Instead, realize that your military service is actually going to give you an edge over non-military resumes in most cases.
In closing, before submitting your resume make sure that you’ve taken the time to match your military experience to the requirements of the job. By doing so you’re aiding the recruiter and in some cases even the hiring manager in understanding that you’re the best qualified for the job.