For those that are transitioning out of the military, or are in the drilling status with the Guard/Reserves, finding a civilian job can be difficult. Many people don’t know where to look, how to write up a resume, or use their military skills and experience to translate into civilian terms. There are jobs that cater specifically to veterans or those that are currently serving. We’ve put together a list of resources to help those needing to find a job. Remember: you may not find your perfect job right away, but this is a great start!
First thing’s first: What you need to have uploaded to your computer is: Resume, Cover Letter [optional, but strongly suggested], DD-214, and any school transcripts. To get most school official transcripts, you will have to pay a small fee. You can obtain an unofficial transcript for free.
You can use the Military Skills Translator to help translate your military skills into civilian skills and that will help with resume writing. Army COOL is a site where you look up your MOS and it gives you a list of credentials and certifications that coincide. If you are a member of the National Guard or Reserves, you may be able to receive GI Bill reimbursement for licensing and certifications test fees. Qualifying members of the Guard and Reserve can now receive reimbursement of up to $2,000 per test. The benefit has been available to Active Duty service members through the GI Bill since 2002, and was extended to qualifying members of the Guard and Reserve in January 2006.
When building your resume, employers prefer for it to be in .pdf or .doc format. Many sites will ask you to copy and paste your resume. If you wish to avoid formatting issues when copying, it’s best to have your resume in .doc format. You do not have to list every single job you’ve ever had on your resume. Employers prefer to look at jobs that have relevancy towards the position you’re applying for. JobSpice is a resume builder site where you can save your resume as a .pdf and a .doc.
If you haven’t already, create a LinkedIn profile and post your resume on there – make sure you use a professional looking picture, not one of you with sunglasses on or decked out in your gear. LinkedIn is the most professionally used site, and you can get better results in job searching.
The next most important helpers are the Vet Reps in the Department of Labor Job Centers all across our country. Veterans always have the highest priority service and training opportunities. They provide all follow on care for Soldiers who are not located near a military base or no longer have access to services. They would also know the above information.
It is also important to network with Vet organizations in the local community such as the Vet Center, Voluntary Service Organizations (Purple Heart, American Legion, VFW, Disabled American Veterans, and Vietnam Veterans, and VA staff nearby for the same reasons as well as connection to other services.
Every state also has a state veterans office. Soldiers should also contact them for assistance and information. They can find out the office by googling their state’s name plus veterans office–for example, Alaska State Veterans Office. Those staff have a wealth of knowledge, benefits, and services.
Reservists & Guardsmen, please refer to this link for a bit of insight on your employment rights. You do have rights!
Not everyone is great with interviews and some questions can be hard to answer on the spot. So, prepare yourself by taking a look at the 64 Toughest Interview Questions. You will be interviewing about the job of interest and your previous employment. Look the interview directly in the eye, don’t fiddle with your fingers/thumbs, and try not to say “um, uh…” a lot. Call the interviewer by name, and even if the interview didn’t go well shake the hand of your interviewer, thank them, and tell them you hope to hear from them soon. This will let them know that you’re still interested in the job and confident.
Below are a few job searching sites that should help pave a path for your future employment. Sometimes, you do have to travel outside of your area and maybe even look into moving. Lastly, always research the company that you’re applying for! The company doesn’t have to be a Fortune 500 company, but it should be legitimate. It also helps in the interview to know about the company.
Do not get discouraged if you don’t receive a call back within the first week or two. Many of these companies get hundreds of applications a day and it may take time to review yours. If you receive a couple of rejection e-mails, don’t get discouraged! You will find something! Also, do not bog yourself down with applying to 50 jobs a day. You’ll get burned out. Limit yourself to a maximum of about 10 a day. The application process will get tiring.
If you have need any assistance or have questions, you can e-mail [email protected]
USAJobs - A job listing site for the federal government, ranging from GS-03 to GS-15 jobs in nearly every field. If you are a veteran, you should have your DD-214 uploaded to this site as it is very important for employers to see it.
Show Your Stripes – A job listing site specifically for veterans! It is sorted by metropolis and includes various job listings from multiple sites.
Raytheon ; L3 Communications ; Bell Helicopter ; General Dynamics – All of these are large companies with multiple government contracts, and they have positions all over the world. Knowing Arabic really helps with the overseas jobs, as there are multiple in Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
Check your local “City of [xxxx]” website for local job listings.
Temp Agencies – many temp agencies has positions that are temp to hire or direct hire. Getting a job through a temp agency is nothing to be ashamed of. Many vets have formed lifelong careers out of a job found through an agency.
The official Army web site for employers is Heroes to Hired (H2H)
Military OneSource also has a job resource corner to help out veterans and spouses.
Shooter Jobs - From overseas high risk contracting jobs to local armed security and law enforcement, Shooters has you covered. We don’t cover admin jobs ,only armed/physical security and instructor positions.
Orion International - Free Career Placement Services for JMOs, NCOs, and Enlisted Technicians.
Ranger Land Systems - Ranger’s core business is the repair and maintenance of tactical and non-tactical vehicles and support equipment.
Operation Working Veterans - a non-profit organization to provide veterans with real opportunities to transition into the workforce with an emphasis in the oilfield and related service companies.