Wednesday, January 4, 2017

7 Tips for Landing a Civilian Job in 2017

With the new year comes new resolutions. As a service member, one of yours may be to successfully transition or retire from the military. And while there are many, many aspects to making the transition, we’ve compiled seven tips to keep in mind as you plan your transition.

1. Start Early: At Orion, we usually begin working with military professionals who are approximately 18 months from their planned start date. It’s never too early to start preparing! Here’s a timeline to get you started.

2. Drop Military Jargon: Many civilian Hiring Managers may not understand military acronyms, nicknames, or even titles, much less what they imply as far as experience or ability.

3. Translate your Military Experience: This is a biggie! It's a necessary step in order for you to know what civilian jobs or industries may be right for you but also so that Hiring Manager understand you. My Next Move is a very useful resource recently introduced as part of the White House's Joining Forces initiative where you can search for career fields based on your interests, browse career fields by industry, or, most importantly, enter your MOC and translate it directly to a civilian career field. Read more on this here.

When making the translation on your resume, list all positions with specific and quantifiable detail. Quantify how many people worked for you and the dollar amount of the equipment, budgets and programs for which you were responsible. Treat your achievements and assignments as programs, and include details relevant to the position for which you are applying. Find out more here.

4. Be Flexible: At Orion, we are able to help thousands of veterans find civilian jobs each year, but those who remain flexible on industry or even location often fare the best.

5. Do Your Research: Research various industries and careers of interest. You should also research any companies in which you are interested or with whom you have an interview.

6. Brush Up on Interview Skills: Many transitioning men and women have never interviewed, so it’s important to get comfortable and make the best impression you can. Click here to learn more about interviewing.

7. Read Professional Development Books: We've seen a significant difference in the success rates of military job seekers who have invested the time to read professional books and materials as they prepared for their transition versus those who choose not to. The investment you make now will pay dividends when you interview. Click here to check out our Suggested Reading List.

Remember to incorporate these seven tips into your transition, and you’ll be on the way to a great civilian career. Happy job hunting in 2017!

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