This article was originally published on ComeRecommended.com.
Happy Veterans Day to all who have served the United States (and their families). We know the job market can be tough once veterans return to civilian life. In honor of the holiday, let’s look at some ways to make the job search a little easier for you.
Here are some job search tips for veterans:
Highlight your skills on your resume.
One of the most challenging parts of the job search for veterans is translating their military skills into civilian skills on a resume. A well-crafted resume is essential to making it to the next round of the hiring process. If you don’t translate your skills, you’ll be lost in the shuffle.
“Whether you were a sharpshooter in the Army, a diver in the Navy, or had another profession in the military, there are marketable skills you developed in your career that apply to the civilian workplace,” according to RealWarriors.net. You just have to get creative.
Stop thinking about the specific tasks you completed in your job and focus on the soft skills you developed. Leadership, ability to excel under pressure, independence, attention to detail, and meeting deadlines are all qualities hiring managers look for in job candidates. If you’re struggling, Military.com has a skills translator you can use.
Look for opportunities specifically for veterans.
There are many opportunities designed specifically for veterans in the job market. Embrace them. Job Mission, for example, is a coalition of companies committed to hiring 200,000 veterans by 2020. More than 100 companies are involved in the program, including Amazon, AT&T Inc., United Airlines, and more.
Plenty of other companies have made independent commitments to hiring veterans. Walmart and Sam’s Club plan to hire 100,000 veterans by 2018. Starbucks plans to hire at least 10,000 veterans and active duty spouses in the next five years. Look for companies where you think you’d like to work and see if they have a veterans hiring plan. Take advantage of these opportunities.
Reach out to your network.
Another great approach to the civilian job search is to use your network. You probably have a pretty large network from your military career. See if those people (and others) can help you land a job now. Forty percent of jobs come from some sort of referral, so asking your network for help is encouraged.
If you don’t think your network is very strong, there are lots of ways to expand your reach. For example, more than 20,200 veterans and military spouse have landed jobs in the last three years thanks to the Hiring Our Heroes network. They host various job fairs and workshops for veterans to network and succeed in the job search. Veteran networks are really powerful because veterans want to help fellow veterans land jobs.
There are many other resources you can use to succeed in your job search. Look for career sites, job fairs, and other places to explore your options. Work on building a personal brand to really stand out. If you’ve been out of the game for a while, get someone to look over your cover letter and practice your interviewing skills.
Veterans can really do well in the civilian job search, and there are a lot of people who want to help you do so. Take advantage of every opportunity you find and be open to a career path you never expected. Happy Veterans Day and thank you for serving our country!
What other advice do you have this Veterans Day for those entering the civilian job market?