4 Easy Action Steps for Veterans Transitioning To Civilian Jobs

hardhatFirst off, thank  you for your service to this country! It takes a special person to serve. As a veteran, you bring many valuable qualities that employers desire in the workplace. However, sometimes these qualities and skills can be lost in translation. If employers can’t find you, they can’t hire you!

1) Make sure that you have a LinkedIn profile (and that it’s up-to-date)
LinkedIn is becoming increasingly important for everyone in their job search. Recruiters rely on it heavily, and it’s the first place an employer will go to do more research about you.

2) Re-do your resume for a civilian audience
There are a lot of terms, jargon and codes that are familiar to you, but will not be familiar to the person reading your resume. A former veteran will know the terms, but the odds of that person reading your resume are slim. The goal of your resume is to highlight accomplishments. You have to translate what you did in the military to terms that a non military person will understand. There are Military Translators that can help. Here’s one: http://www.military.com/veteran-jobs/skills-translator/

Along the same lines, your LinkedIn profile should be civilian friendly.

3) Be “At ease” in the interview
It may come naturally to say “Yes, sir,” but you do not have to be that formal in the interview process. Interviews are professional, but the trend now is for a more conversational back and forth.

4) Understand that a civilian carer path is more fluid
In the private sector, the hierarchy is not as strict or as set in place as the military. While there can be set paths for rising up in an organization, things in the corporate sector operate differently and on a different timetable. In addition, once you land the job, know that navigating corporate culture is going to take some getting used to.  The chain of command, how people act, the environment and expectations will be different from what you’re familiar with.

One Last Thought
Never forget that you are valued! Veterans ARE sought after for civilian jobs due to their dedication, commitment, adaptability and many other strengths. There are many veteran-friendly companies that want to hire veterans. And yes, we are definitely one of those companies! Capitalize on your attributes from your military service, follow the advice in this post and you will be well on your way to finding your next job and career.

Know another veteran looking for a job? Please share this post with them.

Thank you for reading!

P.S. Looking for more career advice? Follow our Resources For Veterans Board on Pinterest.

This post, by our Social Media Specialist, also appears on LinkedIn.


Oldcastle is North America’s largest manufacturer of building products and materials. With more than 2,000 locations throughout North America, we are in constant pursuit of the next generation of successful decision makers, leaders and problem solvers. Learn more about joining the Oldcastle team HERE.

Follow Oldcastle Careers on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and Facebook for jobs and career advice. And, don’t forget to join our NEW Talent Community to receive a monthly e-mail newsletter with expert advice on the job search process.


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Filed under Careers, Interviewing, Job Search, job search advice, job search tips, Resumes, Veteran Job Search

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