Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Tips for Veteran Job Seekers

Transitioning out of the military and beginning a civilian career can be a little intimidating. While the veteran unemployment rate is shrinking, it is still at 6.8 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

If you are getting out of the military soon and looking for a job, keep the tips below in mind to help make your transition less stressful and more successful.

Prepare. Don’t wait until a couple months from your transition to start thinking about the next step. Job searching takes time, and depending on your career choice, you may need secondary schooling or training to help give you a competitive edge. Orion’s Military to Civilian Transition Timeline is a great tool to help prepare you fully for your transition and career search.

Network. Don’t be afraid to utilize your friends, former military members, and even social media tools like LinkedIn to find out about career opportunities or other training programs. These leads can give you a competitive edge and are much more effective than blindly applying for jobs on a job search board. Orion International’s Military Network on LinkedIn is a great first step for finding out about job opportunities.

Equip. Take advantage of the transition assistance programs that are offered on base, which provide services such as resume/cover letter building and interview preparation. Transition assistance centers are usually privy to positions that are looking to hire former military, increasing your chances of employment exponentially. Additionally, Orion offers base visits throughout the year to help prepare you for your transition by giving you the opportunity to meet with a Recruiter in-person who will work with you to identify your strengths, assess your marketability, and provide career counseling and assistance.

Define. Perhaps the biggest hurdle that military members face is translating their military lingo for the private sector. Make sure that you are familiar with the correct terminology (Human Resources most likely doesn’t know what your specific MOS involves), and translate your military experience on all job search material, including resume, cover letter, etc., and your own speech for a civilian hiring manager.

Examine. With the popularity of social media is today, expect that hiring managers are utilizing this tool to screen potential candidates. Consider cleaning up your social media presence by being mindful of what you are posting and sharing, or apply stricter security settings. Check out additional do’s and don’ts of social networking to help you get started.

The tips above hardly scratch the surface in helping to prepare you for your military to civilian transition. Orion’s Transition Corner offers a one-stop resource for military professionals considering a civilian career, from getting to know corporate America, resume help, interview preparation, and military transition advice from former military members who have gone through the process.

Your transition doesn’t have to be a time of unknown or confusion. Good luck, and happy job hunting!

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