Leveraging Your Military Skills to Find Your Ideal Job
By JobOppO DraftSGT
As veterans transition from their service to civilian life, one of the biggest challenges they face is finding a job that matches their unique skills and experiences. With valuable military experience under their belts, veterans have a lot to offer to organizations across industries.
The Challenges Veterans Face and the Unique Value They Bring
Veterans often face various challenges when it comes to job-hunting, primarily because civilian hiring managers may find it difficult to understand military jargon and the nature of military work. Additional obstacles include misconceptions about mental health and difficulties in translating military experiences to civilian positions.
However, it is important for our employers to recognize the incredible value that veterans bring to the table, such as strong leadership skills, discipline, adaptability, teamwork, and a solid work ethic. These qualities are essential in any organization and industry, making veterans valuable employees.
Actionable Tips For Finding Jobs That Match Military Skills and Expertise
Here are some useful steps to follow to help you maximize your military skills and find the perfect job:
1. Identify Your Transferable Skills
To find a job that matches your specific military skills and experience, you should start by identifying those skills that are transferable to the civilian workforce. These can include leadership, project management, communication, problem-solving, and more.
2. Research Industries and Job Titles, don’t just fall into a role.
It’s important to recognise when you are floating into a position rather than doing something you like.
Whenever you are going through resettlement, you may be bombarded by the latest craze hitting the scene (powerboat, fibre optics, commercial diving, rope access technician). Sometimes these careers have a huge paywall to enter, so make sure you are fully informed.
Some industries typically value military experience more than others. Keep an eye on these industries and see which specific job titles would be a good match for your skills. Some examples include:
- Aerospace & Defense
- Logistics & Supply Chain
3. See what qualifications you can carry over from the forces.
The military provides a unique set of qualifications, such as teacher training or knowledge of communications and engineering. Take the time to research and understand which of these qualifications you can transfer over to civilian roles.
These steps should help you leverage your military experience and find a job that matches your skills and expertise. With the right preparation and resources, you can find the job that makes the most of your background and experience.
4. Craft CV's and Cover Letters that Highlight Your Military Background with a Civie Twist.
Your resume and cover letter should be tailored to highlight your military experience and emphasize its relevance to the civilian job you are applying for. Be sure to:
- Translate military jargon into understandable civilian terms.
- Focus on the skills and experience relevant to the job posting.
- Highlight accomplishments and showcase how they have contributed to your overall growth.
Consider something we call a "feature benefit bridge" where you take a feature of your military experience and put it through the "So what?" lens:
- Cpl in the Army for 3 years
- Received some of the highest rated leadership and management training in the UK.
- Promoted to manager and lead the training, development and operations of a team of 8 in various environments
- Involved in appraisals, reporting, day to day management
- Civilian qualifications in leadership and management (if applicable)
- Proven leader with line experience so can slot into a managerial or supervisory role
- Can use proven frameworks that take underperforming teams and get them back on track.
- Can successfully manage personnel in high stress environments.
5. Prepare to Translate Your Experience in Interviews
Have a well-practiced pitch to help hiring managers understand how your military skills transfer to the civilian workforce. This will make it easier for them to see your potential value in their organization.
In conclusion, the key to leveraging your military skills to find your ideal job is to focus on effectively translating your experience and showcasing your transferable skills in a way civilian employers can
appreciate. By following these steps, you can navigate the job market successfully and allow your military background to work to your advantage.