Former service members bring a wide array of skills to the civilian workforce including mastery of sophisticated technology, discipline, critical thinking, leadership and an understanding of global social issues. However, transitioning from the military to a new career can be stressful, exciting and even overwhelming. There are four resources listed below that can help veterans brush up on their job hunting, writing and interviewing skills and provide critical support in searching for companies that hire veteran employees.
The first hurdle a veteran often faces in the job search is the inability to match their military job titles or skills with the civilian counterpart. CareerOneStop has a military-to-civilian occupation translator where you can insert your military job code and find the most suitable civilian match. Unfortunately, not all military jobs translate into the civilian job market, which is why CareerOneStop has a skills profiler. This allows you to browse skills needed for particular jobs or create a profile of your skills that matches you to applicable jobs. Additionally, CareerOneStop has sample resume, cover letters and interview questions to get you ready to apply for all types of positions.
2. Feds Hire Vets
Federal job opportunities are available across the country and even around the world. Feds Hire Vets is a resource to help you understand the meaning of veteran preference, discover how federal jobs are filled and learn about appointing authorities that can help veterans find a job. This web resource also has information about additional training and resources for selecting the right educational program veterans can receive with their GI Bill and a page full of frequently asked questions to help veterans and their families understand how to be competitive in a federal hiring application. Once a veteran is confident about their chances, Feds Hire Vets is linked to USAJobs.gov where they can create a profile and start filling out applications.
3. Hire Heroes USA
Hire Heroes USA is a nonprofit that provides free services for transitioning military trying to find civilian employment. Veterans are partnered with an expert transition specialist to help them connect with companies that want to hire veterans. Transition specialist also help write resumes and translate military terminology. Hire Heroes USA provides workshops across the United States that help veterans learn important networking and interviewing skills. Some workshops even have panels of industry leaders to teach veterans about hiring processes within civilian companies.
4. Small Business Association
Instead of finding a typical job, veterans can also start their own business with resources from the Small Business Association (SBA). The Veterans Business Outreach Program features a number of success stories and offers business plan workshops, concept assessments, mentorship, and training. The SBA also offers programs to help veterans find funding and loans for their future endeavors. There are several programs that have in-person or online entrepreneurial classes to give veterans extra training in business fundamentals to help them succeed. There are even special workshops for women and service-disabled veterans.
As you re-enter the civilian workforce gather as much information on the companies and positions you are wanting to work for. Then create a resume and cover letter that focuses on your unique skills and experiences that will help you contribute to the company. Always remember to have an upbeat mentality and smile on your face when meeting new people because you never know where the next job opportunity will come from.
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