While some military occupations, such as doctors, are the same whether you’re in the military or in the civilian workforce, others require translating your military skills to the lingo of the private and public employment sectors. Finding a job as a veteran can be difficult, but here is some advice on making a smoother transition into the civilian workforce.
Many people in the private sector will not know the the military lingo you are accustomed to using, so it is important to translate military terms in previous job titles and achievements from your service into terms that hiring managers and interviewers can understand. Even if you are looking for government jobs, you shouldn’t assume they know military vocabulary.
Target your resume based on the kind of job you’re looking for. Not all of your military involvement or achievements may be necessary to include based on the job you want. By including only your most relevant occupations, training and achievements, you will create your strongest statement for why an employer should hire you.
Translate job titles and descriptions to remove military jargon. For example “Infantry Senior Sergeant” could be translated to “Manager of Tactical Operations.” For an idea of how your military occupation code translates to civilian standard occupational codes, you can use the O*NET Crosswalk Search by entering your military code or title into the “Military” search field.
Create a full list of military achievements to accompany your translated resume separately. If you realize an interviewer also has a military background, you can leave this behind knowing they will understand your service background and may influence their decision to hire you.
A military veteran can be a valuable asset to a company because of their specialized skills and other qualities such a work ethic, discipline and leadership. By displaying your military skills in a way recruiters and interviewers can understand, your job search and transition into a civilian job will be much easier.
Have you successfully transitioned from military to civilian life? What are your recommendations for making this a smoother transition for other veterans? Comment below!