Many veterans are drawn to federal government jobs because of their desire to continue serving their country, because of the benefits, because of veterans’ preference hiring initiatives, and — at least in some cases — translating military skill-sets to federal civilian work makes sense. But in the era of sequestration, many veterans are finding that the federal job market has become increasingly competitive. In such an environment, it makes sense to broaden the job search to private sector companies. And, yes, military veterans can be competitive in applying for corporate jobs.
Here are a few tips for veterans seeking to expand their job search:
Corporate America wants to hire you.
The Top 100 Military-Friendly Corporations listed by GI Jobs are certified by Ernst & Young. And they really do want to hire veterans! Many of these corporations use online application systems, and veterans need to understand the importance of conveying military experience in terms of corporate job qualifications. Recruiters need to possess a clear picture of how you can contribute to their company, and find the right “fit” for you based on the skills and abilities you developed during military service.
Your resume must use corporate terminology.
Your resume is key to demonstrating your skills and abilities to the corporate world. But, to be effective, your resume cannot use military-speak (or military acronyms). You need to translate your experience into something that the private sector will understand. Your resume must clearly introduce your skills and abilities while demonstrating that they are transferable to the corporate mission, services, and programs. If you use their terminology to show your experience, you’ll be well on your way to having an impressive resume that can get you hired into a new career.
Here are some tips for building your corporate resume:
Your resume is the most important document after leaving military service.
As a veteran, you are familiar with the importance of documentation. Once you leave the military world and enter the private sector context, your most important document is your resume. No question. Your resume is what makes the difference between employment and unemployment. It is the key document that shows private sector employers who you are, what qualifications you possess, and why you would be an asset to their organization. Since this is such an important document — a document essential to your future — great care and attention must be placed on crafting a resume that accurately reflects your military career in private sector terminology. This can be challenging, as military language and experience is often hard to translate. Consider professional writing help by an expert resume writer to help you make your case.
Your private sector resume must be targeted.
Regardless of context, a one-size-fits-all approach to resumes simply doesn’t work in a competitive job market. Your resume simply must be targeted to the job: it has to match the qualifications and skills required. And you must convey your experiences, skills, abilities, and qualifications without military acronyms and in easy-to-understand plain language. If you use a general resume that employs military-speak, you will NOT get interviewed. Review specific job announcements and craft your resume to reflect the announcements.
Part 2 of this series will focus on specific examples of how to translate military experience in a way the private sector can understand…