The New York Times recently featured an article entitled, “From the Armed Forces to the Workforce” by Eilene Zimmerman, that addresses frequently asked questions regarding military to civilian job searches and resumes. For example, it answers the questions: Should you work with a recruiter? and How do you translate your military experience into terms that executives and hiring managers can understand? The following are excerpts from the article:
The fact that you drove a tank or carried a weapon shouldn’t define your civilian career. So keep an open mind and think of your skills — aircraft repair, electronics, project management — rather than your military job title, said Craig Griffin, a principal at Bradley-Morris, a recruiting firm based in Atlanta that specializes in placing veterans.
It’s important to quantify your experience and to be specific, Mr. Whalls said. Rather than describing your role as simply “logistics” or “maintenance,” provide details, like “insured over 95 percent maintenance readiness of unit’s operating equipment totaling over $22 million, despite reduced staff,” he said.
One area the article didn’t touch on that I want to reiterate is for you is to only utilize job search services that work at no charge to the military job seeker. There are plenty of free ones available, including military headhunters / placement agencies, job boards and job fairs.
There are also some “pay-for” services that military job seekers may decide to take advantage of, such as military resume writing (in case you choose not to use the free TAP/ACAP resume assistance) and career coaching (to help you understand where your MOS best fits in the civilian world). Just make sure the resume or coaching service you are considering is specific to the military and can offer some genuine testimonials from satisfied military customers.