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Supporting Our Veterans

These 5 Factors Can Make or Break a Veteran’s Civilian Job Hunt


Elena Comperatore

Georgia Area Manager, Hire Heroes USA

Re-entering the civilian job market after military life can be tough, but remembering these five steps can make all the difference.

Service members, military spouses, and Veterans face unique challenges when initiating their civilian job search. Translating military skills, determining a civilian career path or change, insufficient job search strategies, tailoring a resumé, and meeting salary expectations can all be seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

These five factors can help:

Resumé Tailoring

Translating military skills for civilian hiring managers may be the most challenging part of the job search. But many online and in-person services exist to help in crafting a civilian resumé and successfully translating experience.

Job Search Strategies and Job Applications

Taking a strategic approach to applications is important for any job-seeker. Successful applicants apply for positions fitting their skill-set and qualifications, and tailor their resumés to the specific position. Using keywords and phrases from the job description in a resumé will make it more likely to pass Applicant Tracking Systems, which scan the document for relevant keywords indicating the person is suited for the role.

Interview Preparation

Practicing common interview questions with a friend or professional mentor can help job-seekers ensure they can effectively convey their value to a potential employer. It is also important to come prepared with questions of your own. Many online resources and Veteran Service Organizations are available to assist in gathering insightful questions. Since employers often determine hiring decisions off first impressions, it is vital to look your best. You can never be overdressed for an interview.

Post-Interview Follow Up

An important final step is to follow up with employers after your interview, either via email or a handwritten note. Reiterate your interest in the position, mention a topic that you enjoyed speaking about, and send each interviewer a personalized, sincere thank you message.

Use Resources

There are a multitude of resources and Veteran Service Organizations, like Hire Heroes USA, that provide personalized employment services to transitioning service members, veterans, and military spouses at no cost.

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