You are back from the military, trying to assimilate into civilian life. The holidays are upon us and the job market is currently slow. No worries; take this lull to sharpen your job seeking skills and bring that edge to your search that will get you noticed and land you the job you want!
When strategizing a career search, you have to first think about how your military training can be applied to a civilian setting. You might have had great results in conflict resolution. Or, you might have been known for your attention to detail and dedication, in the military. These are valuable skills that employers look for. Additionally, veterans are used to working long hours, which is a point to emphasize when looking for a civilian job. Remember to highlight evidence-examples of success, what attributes got you there, did you receive any awards? We at America’s Job Exchange can help you translate your military skills. Please visit the Veterans Exchange and you will find specific guidance on transitioning and the military-civilian skills translator.
Find Military-friendly Employers
There are many employers out there who are looking to hire veterans. The federal government often gives incentives for employers to hire our nation’s heroes, so know that there are resources and support for you to access. Browse the job search page of America’s Job Exchange’s Veterans Exchange.
Establish a Clear Civilian Objective
Take time to really be reflective to analyze what your strengths and needs are and where you want to achieve growth in your new career. Do some self- assessing, establish clear professional aspirations and take the necessary steps to get there.
Play up Your Skills and Strengths
In the military you have acquired strengths such as leadership skills, individual accountability and precise communication. Showcase these attributes, as they are valuable. You also have the ability to handle stressful situations. This is a huge bonus, appreciated by all employers.
Connect With Recruiters Who Focus on Military to Civilian Transitions
Recruiting entities like America’s Job Exchange can make a real difference to your job search efforts. Browse our site to get information on how to conduct an effective job search.
Prepare for Interviews
Do your homework about the industry and company you are interviewing for, practice speaking in front of the mirror to be mindful of body language, anticipate unexpected questions, strategize how you will dodge difficult or potentially uncomfortable questions without appearing to be evasive and be sure to know the types of questions you will ask the interviewers as that is something they will give you a chance to do. So don’t fumble or wing it, have some questions prepared that you can ask that make you look thoughtful, interested and professional.
Know Your Rights
The federal government has taken great care to ensure that veterans’ hiring rights are protected. The Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance (OFCCP) is big on equal opportunity hiring for veterans and affirmative action. Federal contractors are given incentives to hire veterans and there are stringent rules they need to comply with (VEVRAA) as well as have hiring benchmark goals for veterans in their organization.
You should know too that during an interview, no employer is allowed to ask you why you left the military and if you were honorably discharged. Also, under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), military members who leave civilian jobs for service are entitled to return to their jobs. In fact, the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) increases awareness of the law and resolves conflicts through mediation if needed. For more information about your rights read this article in our Veterans Exchange.
The New Year is your year-now go claim it! We are here to assist as and when you need it.
Best Wishes for a smooth career transition!