5 Job Search Tips for Veterans

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Guest blogger Sarah Landrum of Punched Clocks offers some simple yet incredibly important tips for veterans looking for work. If anyone deserves a little help, it’s certainly you guys.

Being a veteran looking for a job can be difficult. You may find yourself changed by the military and uncertain of the future of your professional career. If you’re asking yourself where you should go from here, take a look at these suggestions.

1. Self-assess.

Ask yourself some thought provoking questions that will lead you in the right direction. Think about the career choices you considered before you joined the military. If they still sound interesting to you, consider pursuing those possibilities. Ask yourself:

  • What skills and hobbies do you enjoy? Perhaps you can look for jobs that include those things. If what you did in the military translates into a civilian career, look in that direction.

  • Do you want to relocate? Think about looking for jobs in new places if you want to start fresh somewhere. Explore all possibilities.

2. Gather your information to wow your employers.

Go through your paperwork and records and start gathering and organizing information about yourself. File information regarding:

  • Education

  • Honors

  • Awards

  • Organizations

  • Military experience

  • Volunteer work

Use anything you think might be helpful in a resume or job interview. After you’ve gathered all of your information, create a portfolio to keep it organized.

3. Craft a resume.

The job market is competitive whether you’re a veteran or a civilian. A great resume stands out amongst the others that come flooding in when a position opens. Don’t be shy! You’re expected to make yourself sound amazing on a resume or cover letter.

This is your chance to be proud of your accomplishments and brag about yourself — in a tasteful way, of course. Make sure to properly translate your military skills into civilian skills. You can easily do this through military-to-civilian skills translators.

4. Find a Military-Friendly Employer

There are plenty of employers out there who are willing to work with veterans. You should choose an industry that interests you and a career field that will work with your military background.

Some industries that military veterans should consider are:

  • Banking and financial services

  • Telecommunications

  • Science and technology

  • Engineering

  • Insurance

The top 10 best companies for military veterans include Verizon, AT&T and USAA. Take your time and remember that you’re allowed to be picky.

Choose a career field that appeals to you and offers good benefits. Look for a job that you can see yourself working for a long time. If you want to branch out from what you did in the military, this is your chance to do so.

5. Make your military experience valuable.

Your time in the military was meaningful and valuable. You need to express that sentiment to your future employer, especially in a job interview.

Think about the skills you possess and what you learned during your military experience and since your discharge. How would those skills be valuable to a civilian employer? Maybe you learned to be detail oriented. Discuss a time when you had to work with an individual who you didn’t see eye to eye with. Explain how you’re able to work hard and succeed under pressure. If you possessed a leadership position, talk it up. People love listening to interesting stories, so use yours from your past military career to demonstrate who you are.

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