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What are you looking for former military leaders to provide to your organization?



Is it planning? Personnel development? Integrity? Ability to handle demanding high stress?
Just old leadership?

2 November 2018 9 replies Military to Civilian Transition



Henry ("Hank") Stevens Fort Lauderdale, FL

I am going to be REAL BLUNT (but respectful) here. As a decades-long recruiter and now vocational counselor, my job was/is to separate the human wheat from the human chaff and match the talents of the candidate to the TALENT-demand of the position I was looking to fill.

My first pass at the resumes was to look for those who could communicate well - in writing. I would use writing errors as a rationale to move a resume from the incoming center stack to the left-hand/reject stack. Now, I KNOW that our communications here is informal but geez, your question, "What are you looking for former military leaders to provide to your organization?" made me shudder.

Point being - do NOT give a recruiter an excuse to put your resume in the left-hand/ reject stack because of an error in writing - be it grammatical or spelling. To do so is to suggest that you either do not care about doing things the right way, or you don't know what the right way is. In either case, a recruiter may just not have the time to look past the error(s) to the leader who is lurking under the errors.

[Sorry to be so blunt but . . . . . ]

10 November 2018 Helpful answer


George Wilhelmsen Rochelle, IL

I think I can sum it up as calm and respectful leadership. The business world these days has changed with the generations - the old approach of "fire and brimstone" to rally the team has changed with it. That doesn't mean you can't push and drive - those elements are still needed. You have to do it in a respectful manner. That is the challenge.

You have to have a degree of emotional intelligence working with the younger generations that are starting to fill the ranks as the baby boomers retire out.

3 November 2018 Helpful answer


Richard Krout Detroit, MI

The one thing I will add is "GRIT." Veterans can cut through a tremendous amount of adversity, and get the job done. Mission Accomplishment is always the number one priority. And, by accomplishing the mission, you're essentially taking care of your people and your own goals.


Tom Adam El Segundo, CA

As someone who's been recruiting a lot longer than I sometimes care to admit, I will tell you that the most common reason applicants give me for wanting to move on from their current company is lack of growth opportunities. Therefore, someone like yourself coming into a management or leadership position would be of great value to a company by demonstrating a history of having nurtured the careers and advancement of people reporting up to you.


Nate Bryan Fort Wayne, IN


First off, I would like to thank you for your sacrifices you have made for your country. I have recently transitioned from the Air Force after 21 years, so I understand what its like to be unsure of what is expected of me in the civilian workforce. Don't doubt your skills you have acquired over your military tenure. They are very marketable and desired by many companies, but you must be able to translate those skills into the position you apply for. While going through my transition, I was given some training on how my military training and experience can transfer into todays job market. That helped me tremendously when I started applying for positions.

Don't take what Henry said wrong. He is correct. If you don't convey your message clearly and concisely, you will be passed over. It is something I have had to learn myself. It comes with some pride swallowing, but it will be worth it when you can easily communicate your talents into what is needed. You have to remember that you are entering a new chapter of your life and that there will be younger, less experienced in some cases, individuals that are hired over you. It is nothing more than they have more relevant market experience. It will take some work to get to the level you are leaving the military at. Don't let that discourage you. It is our, as current and former military personnel, tenacity and resiliency that makes us who we are.

Best wishes,
Nate Bryan


Ken Vennera Norristown, PA

Robert-- thank you for your dedication and service. Agree with the ACP Advisor-- it is all of the above and then some. People view military as having a level of persistence, discipline, determination that is not necessarily found in the civilian world. The ability to "pivot" and do well while being flexible. In short, the ability to get things done. Wish you the best in your endeavors.


Richard Buck San Antonio, TX


There are in my mine 5 strong areas I look for.
1- Attention to details
2- Leadership (team building and development)
3- Knowing when to lead and knowing when to follow
4- Thinking out of the box
5- Remembering no one is left behind


Richard Buck


ROY VALE San Antonio, TX

Our company is seeking entrepreneur minded individuals. It may sound corny but all it takes is all you got. We have business models for candidates who want to be their own boss. A small business opportunity supported by a billion dollar organization could be your next journey! Transitioning military and/or veterans can Build or Buy an insurance agency with us. Roy Vale, CLU - Farmers Insurance Group
Career Development and Agency Acquisitions


ACP AdvisorNet Staff New York, NY

Hi Robert,

The short answer is “all of the above”. Each of those skills is highly valued in the civilian workforce, and service members like yourself bring years of experience to the table when moving to the corporate sector. Take a look at the links below for a brief overview of how your service can benefit you - and your employers - in a civilian role.

Also, feel free to connect with advisors on our community page from a handful of different industries to get an idea of what each profession looks for in military hires. These advisors will have the greatest insight for you.

I hope this is helpful, and thank you very much for your service. I wish you all the best!


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