by Jen Hadac, Senior Candidate Recruiter and Conference Event Manager

So you’ve done your research and have decided to include military recruiters in your career search tool belt.

Awesome! Now what?

I’ve been in your shoes. The whole military-to-civilian transition process can be daunting. It helps to understand the military transition timeline for working with recruiting firms. There are a million timeline check lists out there, but the main criterion is pretty basic:

Either you’re 120 days from starting employment or you’re not. Period.

Ninety days from employment is when employers want to see your resume, so this military transition timeline for working with recruiting firms gives you a 30 day grace period to get everything together. Every recruiting firm is a little different but this is a snapshot of what you can expect working with Bradley-Morris.

If you are more than 120 days of starting your next great career:

  • Remain calm. You are not yet in the window to be presented to employers. Most employers will not consider you a viable potential employee until you are within 90 days.
  • Start working on your resume. Ask your recruiter for samples and assistance. That’s what we do!
  • Work on gathering up the documents that our team will require in order to best assist you.
    • Copies of your last five+ performance evaluations
    • Transcripts (college / SMART) and your VMET
    • Names, numbers and email addresses for three professional references
  • Start thinking about where you want to be, geographically, once you exit the military. Be sure to keep an open mind on geography. The more you put a limit on where you want to live, the more you limit your career opportunities.
  • Create a list of potential employers / industries you are interested in.
  • Create a budget. Know what you need to make in order to handle your current obligations.
  • Review your schedule for the next five months. Create a clear picture of when you will be unavailable, i.e. deployments / underways / prescheduled vacations, etc.
  • Take a look at the BMI ConferenceHire® Military Hiring Events Schedule and start planning on attending one or multiple events once you are within your 90-day window.
  • Keep your recruiter informed on where you stand with the above. Every recruiter is working with multiple candidates and, to be honest, you are not their immediate priority until you are within that 90-day window. You will need to be proactive at this stage. Proactive communication will signal to your recruiter that you are a serious, squared-away candidate and will solidify your recruiter’s attention and commitment to helping you once you are within the interview window.

If you are within 120 days of starting your next great career, (terminal leave date or when you will be able to start a job):

  • You will need to have your resume done ASAP. Ask your recruiter for samples and/or go to “Training Module 2” in your BMI profile for assistance. AGAIN, we can help.
  • You will now be required to provide the following documents:
    • Copies of your last five performance evaluations
    • Transcripts (college / SMART) and your VMET
    • Names, numbers and email addresses for three professional references
  • Contact your recruiter (they should be reaching out but being proactive is key) and go over your career search parameters again to ensure nothing has changed. Be prepared to have answers for the following questions:
  • Where are you willing to be geographically? Remember the more open you are on locations the better.
  • What type of work are wanting to do? In-house Technician, Field Service Engineer, Production / Maintenance Supervisor, etc.?
  • How much money do you need to make? Pick the recruiter’s brain. They are well informed on market trends and what your background has been able to command.
  • What is your availability for interviews? Any limitations due to deployments, watch bill, etc.
  • What ConferenceHire event is going to be the best for you to attend based on your profile?
  • Purchase and/or prepare interview attire and have it professionally cleaned/altered if necessary.
  • We recommend a dark business suit (black, navy or charcoal gray), white shirt, conservative tie and trouser socks for men.
  • For ladies, a blazer and matching pants or a knee-length skirt is preferred. Avoid distracting jewelry, plunging necklines and open-toed shoes.
  • Attend your first ConferenceHire Event: BMI ConferenceHire® Military Hiring Events Schedule
  • BE PROACTIVE (have I mentioned that enough?!). Talk to your recruiter. Ask them to send you the latest job listings. On any given day there are hundreds of open and active job orders in our systems. See what you match with. THE SQUEAKY WHEEL GETS THE GREASE!!!!

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