When it comes to reentering the workforce, it can be a different experience for everyone. This change can come at various points in one’s life and it can be even a bit more challenging for those making the transition from the military to civilian workforce. During this period, there are many factors to consider.
Here we share 7 of our best tips and practices to help ease the transition from the military to civilian workforce.
1. When it comes to your skillset, it is important to build upon your already-existing skillset. Before you start applying for jobs you want to be able to start adding new, recent or updated items to your resume. What does it take to get to the new career you want? For example, this could be through a new IT Program certification, taking an online course or volunteering at a company to start a career in information technology. Check out these career services to get some ideas on the best path forward.
2. When building your resume, be sure that it is done functionally and not necessarily chronologically. Focus on the skills that really highlight why you would be a good fit for the jobs you are applying for. If you are unsure how to build your resume, seek out service though various professional groups or ask your fellow friends and colleagues if they could review.
3. You must put yourself out there. Once you are confident in your abilities and have a rocking resume, it’s time to get out there. Ensure your resume can be found by recruiters or job searching sites via sites such as Careerbuilder.com, Indeed.com or Linkedin.com. Sitting face-to-face with a recruiter is also an option if you still need that extra push back in the workforce.
4. Take things into your own hands by being bold. Yes, you already have a great resume and some great experience, but what sets you apart from other applicants? You may need to get out there and reach out to various HR departments or personal connections to secure in-person or phone meetings. Making a personal connection is always a great way to get your resume moved to the top of the pile.
5. Being in the military is very different from a traditional job. There are different ways to seek advice and guidance to make sure your transition is as smooth as possible. Seek out groups of other military veterans or groups that may offer like-minded advice. Some of these individuals have been through the same process, so seek out their opinions and take the criticism constructively.
6. Once you land your interview, things are just getting started! This is an exciting time and you want to do all you can to outshine the competition. If you are asked about your time in the military, discuss this briefly, but don’t solely focus on that. Make sure to emphasize your skill set and work ethic rather than the time you spent away.
7. Lastly, keep an open mind. When going through this change, be open to new experiences and opportunities. With the reality of reentering the workforce, you may have to make some compromises which can inevitably lead to great things. Don’t set unrealistic guidelines that limit you to a very small pool of options. Instead be open to part-time positions, contract work or even short-term jobs.