Job Tips for Transitioning Military

By Joe Stein

During this time of increased military activity, everywhere across the country more military personnel are transitioning back to civilian life. Many times beginning pursuit of new employment when he or she returns home.
 
Returning back from military duty can create some unique challenges for a Job Seeker. Below we have listed some tips (many unique to your situation) for you to consider in your search.
 
 
·        Start Early – This tip is for those stationed military personnel who have not yet returned to Western New York.Start your job search preparation months prior to your separation date. Be sure to have your resume completed and your references established. Begin reviewing WNYJOBS.com each week to create a list of industries and employers you want to target when you are back home.
 
·        Don’t Underestimate– Don’t underestimate the skills you developed in the military. Many returning from the military don’t realize the important training and life lessons they have accumulated during their time. Refrain from automatically applying for only the most entry-level positions or thinking that what you have done can’t possibly apply outside of the military.
 
·        Don’t Be Apologetic – Suppress the urge to apologize for your absence whether it is years due to enlistment or months due to deployment. Military service is not your typical “gap in employment” and should not be treated as such. Don’t apologize for your service time or your lack of civilian experience.
 
·        Are You Bi-Lingual? – If you were stationed somewhere for a period of time you may have picked up the native language. This additional language may prove beneficial in your job search. Make sure, if you did become bi-lingual, that you have this skill listed on your resume.
 
·        Seek Friendly Employers – It is not completely surprising that some employers will have a better reputation than others when it comes to hiring from the military. Some organizations actively recruit transitioning military and even make it known how much they value this experience. Seek out those employers when applying. Proper networking or an internet search will uncover names in your specific area. They will not only prove friendly while seeking employment, but their attitude also should assist you in internal movement within the organization.
 
·        Pursue High-Security Positions – Generally, your clean military record will mean that you have a higher capacity for security clearance than others. Focus on facilities where this ability to easily receive clearance will be an asset. These include but are not limited to Department of Defense contractors. At the very least, you will prove to be an easy pass on the standard background check.
 
·        State Transferable Accomplishments – Accomplishments that are purely military jargon will not mean a lot to a Recruiter reviewing your resume. Write your resume so that it can be easily understood by a civilian with no military background. My suggestion is that you examine closely all that you did during your time of service for accomplishments that are transferable, especially if you served a leadership role in the armed forces. 
 
·        Appear Civilian – By this I mean that you have the appearance of someone who has transitioned back. Do not wear your military uniform to the interview. Be respectful, but do not answer questions with “Yes Sir” or “Yes Ma’am”. Practice providing answers that, while concise, will have detail to it.
 
·        Reinforce Positive Image – Do reinforce the positive perception of someone who is punctual and confident. Arrive early to your interview. Greet everyone warmly and confidently. Display the life skills that you have gathered during your service time.
 
·        Network – There are a number of organizations and websites that assist in military transitioning back to civilian life, or just serve as a networking tool. Jump in and join or participate in different organizations. Your networking may just land some nice job leads for you.
 
Hopefully, you had been searching WNYJOBS.com regularly in pursuit of your return to Western New York. Our website and paper provides a detailed display of who is hiring in the area.
 
Job searching may initially feel foreign to you, depending on how long you have been in the military.  Stay confident and you will find the position you desire with a company who values your special experiences.
  
As always, best of luck in your job search.