By Joe Silva.
As a Veteran, I am proud of my service. While there are numerous programs designed to help us Vets get jobs, many of the jobs that employers are touting as “Veteran Friendly” are retail jobs, or jobs that require little skill or training. These jobs can be good for transitioning Veterans, especially while they are using the GI Bill to go to school. But once we have degrees in hand, Veterans are still having difficulty getting hired in jobs that require a professional wardrobe as opposed to a name tag.
One of the main problems I had was effectively translating my military experience to prospective employers. I needed to communicate what my skills were, and how I could be of value to them. I found that while most interviewers were quick to verbally thank me for my military service, very few were willing to take a chance on someone with little experience in their industry, just because I had served.
It’s not that those who served don’t have any experience. Far from it, and that is usually the problem. Veterans must find a way to weed through their experiences and pick out aspects that are pertinent for the position they are applying for, and highlight those points.
Veterans tend to write their resumes like they were generating a personal eval, and that is not the case. Resumes don’t serve the same function as a military eval, so why should they look the same or contain the same language? Military jargon can provide a disconnect between you and your potential employer.
Even hiring managers who sincerely want to hire Veterans will have a hard time justifying a new hire to their boss if the Veteran’s resume is unintelligible to them, or does not convey experience needed for that position.
It is highly recommended that all Veterans frequent career resource centers while they are actively looking for employment or while they are in school or vocational training. These centers, called by many different names, are usually free for Veterans, and can be found on most college or university campuses, and at city, county, or state funded employment offices.
Even if you think that you have got it down, these centers will help you with job searches, generating a strong resume, drafting cover letters, and preparing for interviews. Some even offer referrals. Often times, these centers provide computer labs with printers and paper, as well as other resources needed to find employment.
Make sure that your military experience leads to the civilian career you deserve, by effectively communicating your military work experience. And be sure to use your improved resume to apply for jobs posted on MilitaryConnection.com’s Jobs Page.
Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.
Military Connection: Next Step, Civilian Career: By Joe Silva