Career Planning for Transitioning Military Members

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Table of Contents

1. 6 Tips To Secure a Job After Serving Your Country
2. Ready To Start Your Resume?

If you’re worried about transitioning out of the military and getting a civilian job in a different field, you’re not alone. A new 2018 study just revealed that more than half of new veterans didn’t feel ready for the transition.

In order to make this challenging jump from one realm to another more manageable, it’s best to have a solid plan of action for your transition. This kind of preparation can be the differentiating factor in landing a great job that fits your skills and goals for the future and one that leaves you feeling stifled and unsatisfied.

Follow these six tips to get the ball rolling and so you can ready yourself for the civilian workforce!


6 Tips To Secure a Job After Serving Your Country

1. Find the Career Right for You

The first step in transitioning out of the military is to choose the right career field. Ideally, you should find a job that allows you to use some of the skills and knowledge you gained from the military or your past experiences. This part of the transition is tough, but there are many organizations out there that offer help for transitioning veterans. These organizations provide career counseling services, resume help, interview advice, and more. This should be your first stop if you don’t know which career is the best one for you.

Some former military members look to careers in similar fields, such as law enforcement, government, or military contractors. John Thomas, a former member of the U.S. Army, found his calling after his service in the federal government. He says, “After serving in the military for four years and getting my degree, I went to work for the Government Accountability Office in Washington.” The federal government gives veterans preference during the hiring process, allowing former military members like Thomas to land great jobs.

2. Get Access to Educational Programs

The next step for those transitioning out of the military is education. Some military members go directly from high school into the service and skip college. When they are ready to leave the service, they sometimes consider getting a university degree to make the career transition easier. If you want to do this, you’re in luck. The federal government offers veterans tuition assistance programs to make a college education more affordable. The GI Bill gives former service members access to higher education.

Thomas took advantage of this after he left the military. “College wouldn’t have been possible without the GI Bill,” he says. “After the service, I got my undergraduate degree and didn’t have to take out any student loans.”
Military Veteran Unemployment Rate

3. Use Your Military Skills and Experiences to Your Advantage

It’s also important to use whatever skills and experiences you have from the military to help further your career. Solving problems, managing other team members, following instructions, and working on projects are all military skills that also work for civilian jobs. There is also a way to match your military job description and skills to a comparable civilian position.

Military experience also helps differentiate candidates from other civilians. Thomas used his experience in the military and skills he learned to make his civilian job application stronger. “The Army deployed me to Europe, and I learned a second language, which made me stand out during the job search,” he says.

4. Master Resume and Cover Letter Writing

Another key part of successfully transitioning out of the military is creating a strong resume and cover letter. If you don’t have a resume, look at helpful online resources to get an idea of the format. You should include your military service on your resume. List the jobs that you performed throughout your time in the service.

It’s also essential to customize your resume for the job you want. That means looking carefully at the job description and matching skills and the employer’s must-haves with your talents. Additionally, an engaging cover letter can go into further detail about how your military service makes you a top candidate for a civilian job. Be sure to research different cover letter styles before writing your own.

5. Ace the Interview

Successful job applicants also interview well with the employer. During your interview, you should talk positively about your journey transitioning out of the military. This is a place where you can consult career counselors for help. Career experts recommend going into an interview with a solid plan.

That means you should be ready to talk about moments in your military career where you have solved a problem or made things better for your fellow supervisors and team members. During a great interview, a candidate should demonstrate value, commitment, and something special.

6. Connect With Other Veterans

Another way you can find success transitioning out of the military is by connecting with other veterans. There are lots of veterans’ community groups around the country where you can find other people like yourself who have made a successful career jump. Networking with other veterans who may manage companies or know of open positions is a great way you can utilize this resource. It’s also important to get real-life advice from those who have been through the transition from a military life to a civilian one.


Ready To Start Your Resume?

Now that you have some tips to help you plan for transitioning out of the military into a civilian job, it’s time to put some attention into your resume. Start by using the resume builder from MyPerfectResume, which makes the process simple, straightforward, and fast. There is no writing experience required to make a perfect resume with this useful tool. Then you can get ready to find the right job in the civilian world.