If you're a veteran struggling to get hired after returning to civilian life, you're not alone.
It's estimated that between 200,000 and 250,000 veterans return to civilian life each year, and many of them find it hard to secure a job after serving.
So, why are veterans struggling with the job search? And what can these veterans do to up their chances of getting hired?
Often, veterans struggle to translate what they did in the military to civilian hiring managers and recruiters.
However, there are things you can do as a veteran to make yourself stand out in the job search.
Translate Your Skills
Comb through your military resume and circle EVERY word that relates to the military.
There's probably a lot of circles on that resume, right?
The key thing to be aware of here is that civilian hiring managers and recruiters may not completely understand that military lingo.
If you have too much military jargon on your resume, sit down with someone and have them help you translate your skills into civilian terms.
Once you translate those skills into more common terms, you'll see a change in the reaction people give you when applying for jobs.
Beef-Up That LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn is the top source for recruiting any type of professional role.
That being said, you, as a veteran, need to make sure your LinkedIn profile is top-notch.
You can do this by making sure your profile is keyword optimized using the skills you translated on your resume.
By doing this, you'll become more searchable on LinkedIn, which means more recruiters will be able to find you.
Recruiters LOVE hiring veterans -- but they need to be able to find you!
Make Military Service Known, But Don't Go Over-The-Top
In the hiring process, you are a business-of-one. As a business-of-one, you need to effectively market yourself to potential employers.
This is why it's crucial that you pay attention to the message you're sending when applying for civilian jobs.
Many veterans may not realize that the message they're sending about themselves is that they were in the military, they miss the military, and that they ARE the military.
This kind of phrasing can send the WRONG message to civilian hiring managers and recruiters.
For example: many veterans choose to put their military pictures as their LinkedIn profile picture.
That can send a rigid message to potential employers. Instead, veterans should have a civilian picture with a neutral background in their profile.
Veterans sacrificed a lot to serve their country, and they should be incredibly proud of that.
However, that pride shouldn't interfere with the next steps in a veteran's career.
Ask For Help
This step can be a tough one for anyone to take, not just veterans.
During the job search, a lot of people think that they should be able to find work on their own.
However, asking for help in the job search isn't a sign of weakness -- it's an incredible career tool!
A lot of people are thankful for the time you served in the military, and they probably would like to return the favor in some way.
So, let them! See if they can help you with networking opportunities and sharpening your career tools.
And remember: you'll be able to return the favor one day. If someone helps you now, you could help them in the future by perhaps mentoring them, or introducing THEM to new opportunities down the line.
Asking for help during the job search does not mean you're looking for a handout.
The career and professional world revolves around networking. The more you do it, the more you'll be able to pay it forward.
Veterans spent a portion of their lives serving their country selflessly, and their service is greatly appreciated.
By marketing their unique experiences correctly, veterans can go through the job search faster and get hired quicker.
There's tons of information on things like interview prep and cover letter writing. Your next BIG career move is just one click away.
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