By Debbie Gregory.
One of the most important things for veterans to remember as they apply for jobs: civilian recruiters don’t speak military. You may have the right skills, the perfect training and tons of experience. None of that matters if the company you are applying to doesn’t understand how your military job translates to the civilian sector.
Twenty veterans teamed up with Internet giant Google in a recent career development workshop. The purpose of the workshop was to learn how to market military experience to a civilian employer.
“You really want to help connect the dots for recruiters like me who do not know about the military,” said Swati Dostli, a recruiter for Google. His other tips for veterans: get rid of the military jargon, show how your experiences while serving match the skills companies are looking for, and use numbers to help quantify the translation for civilians.
Dostli told the participants that as they strip their resumes of military camouflage, some questions the veterans should ask themselves are: “What is my skill set, and how does it translate to some of the core competencies, such as innovation, communication, problem solving skills, and decision making?”
As part of the company’s annual week of community service, the recent workshop was one of 15 that the Google Veterans Network has hosted in 12 cities across the nation.
The Google employees, several of whom were former military themselves, helped the veterans polish their resumes. They also gave one-on-one coaching, interview tips and job search advice.
So what is the number one tip for veteran job seekers, from a former Navy SEAL now working at Google?
“Use numbers,” said Harry Wingo, who was a SEAL for 6 ½ years and now manages veterans programs out of Google’s D.C. office. “(Say) ‘I improved things this percent’ or ‘these are how many personnel I worked with,’ ‘this is the dollar value of some of the equipment that I used.’ That translates. Numbers are the language of business.”