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Career transition


AIMEE COOK Sheboygan, WI

Hello all, I currently work as a intake specialist at a homeless shelter. I have a criminal justice degree specializing in Homeland Security which encompasses emergency management, risk analysis. I also have a vmet that is 12 pages long, and a joint service transcript five pages long, I served as a welder, military police officer, training and development specialist, operations specialist, and interim intelligence analyst in three different branches, I would like to do something in emergency management, planning on something similar but not law enforcement, or cbp operations any ideas/advice or assistance on how to articulate my experience in a resume or jobs I should look into are greatly appreciated.

28 August 2022 5 replies General



Jeff Martin Ashburn, VA

I’d suggest that you network at the target company or industry. Use LinkedIn to find people already working there and reach out to them. Ask them the process they used to get hired and ask them to help you navigate the hiring process and if they are willing, ask them to submit you as a referral. These activities require much more time on your part but in my opinion would greatly increase your chances for success. Good luck!


Henry ("Dr. Hank") Stevens Fort Lauderdale, FL

Thank you for your service!

What a wonderful question and OPPORTUNITY you have! Now it is time to step back from the daily grind and re-ask yourself, "What do I WANT to do with the rest of my life?"

As a vocational counselor and human resources professional (for many years), I find that most every applicant and employer wants to focus on experience and education. That is too bad because whether looking to fill a position or seeking other employment, the real question is, from the employers' perspective, "What are the TALENTS necessary to do this job?"; and from the applicants' perspective, "What are MY talents and how do they fit in with the demands of the job?"

If you are nodding your head so far, then consider this: having a "good education" means that you CAN learn. Having an appropriate exposure to past like-experiences means . . . . well . . . . not much. But, if you have the talent (which cannot be taught) then you have the necessary building blocks that neither education nor experience can provide.

One simple example: If you were to be hiring for a receptionist position, do you want someone who is an introvert or an extrovert? Would you want someone who is shy or outgoing? I think the answer is apparent as extroversion and an outgoing nature cannot be taught in the classroom or from experience.

All of which baits the question, JUST WHAT ARE YOUR TALENTS?

Almost the first thing I do, when taking on a new client, is to have them take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). That provides an initial assessment of someone's inherent talents. At the bottom of this note, I have provided you with a link to a FREE assessment tool. It helps you come to grips with defining YOUR talents and provides some good ideas about the career direction someone with your combination of talents should look into.

If you want my thinking about the results of this assessment (also FREE to Vets!), please provide me with the letter and numbers associated with each of them. It should look something like I - 20, N - 45, T - 28, & J - 10. Feel free to contact me off this channel at

TALENT trumps education and experience every time!

Here is the link:


Tim Feemster Dallas, TX

I suggest you try Team Rubicon. It is a non profit that works on disaster recovery and founded by and for the military who are exiting their service but not transitioned to civilian jobs yet. Here is the website.

The other responses are also good advice. LinkedIn is a huge resource for finding connections within companies you are interested in pursuing. In today's job market, LinkedIn profile well written and well connected is a big plus. Make sure your descriptions are in the language of the corporate world and not too heavy on the military jargon. Many personnel folks will not be able to translate your skills otherwise.


Kevin Hicks Freehold, NY

Scour the available resources (LINKEDIN, INDEED, USA JOBS, classifieds, etc) and find openings that sound like something you're interested in. Then tailor your resume for that position, using only the relevant military experiences / training that relate to the job opening. Make sure to use the exact naming convention used in the job description since a computer will probably pre-screen all applications.


Kimberly Moore Decatur, GA

Hi Aimee, we always suggest checking out and let us connect you with one of our mentors that can help you through your transition into your new career. However, if that is not feasible for you right now, please find these resources that might be helpful:


I would also suggest that you utilize LinkedIn and network within a target company or industry. Use LinkedIn to find people that are already working where you may be interested and reach out to them. Ask them the process they used to get hired and ask them to help you navigate the hiring process, the culture and any thing that may have an effect on if you want to enter that specific industry/company.

Good Luck!

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