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Transitioning Out of The Military? Six Steps For A Successful Job Search

According to Hire Our Heroes, a non profit dedicated to helping veterans, over one million veterans are unemployed and another one million will be leaving the armed forces over the next five years and looking for work. If you’re among this group, there are things you can do to increase your odds of landing a job in the civilian sector.

  • Start with a resume re-do  
    You want your resume to reflect your accomplishments in a way that is understood by those who don’t have a military background. You can’t assume that recruiters or hiring managers will know what your specific role involved.

    Think of actions you took that provided value. When you are describing yourself and what you have to offer, be sure to mention skills to back it up. A list of descriptive adjectives means nothing without those actions and experiences. Be numbers oriented. For example, instead of “Managed team” say “Directed and trained a team of 40, successfully coordinating timely execution of intelligence tasks.” Employers want to see how you succeeded in your role.Steve Davison, Operations Recruiter, OBE

  • Look for Military-Friendly Companies
    There are organizations that actively promote opportunities for veterans. They may advertise or, at the very least, post on their web page or social media channels their veteran friendly status. Bonus points if you actually see success stories or testimonials from veterans currently employed at the organization.
  • Find jobs that match your skills using a Military Skills Translator (MST)
    This will translate your skills and match you to suggested jobs that make the most of your qualifications. See an example of one HERE.
  • Start your search early
    An average job search can take months up to a year. Get your plan in place and head in the game as soon as you can. Even small steps now, while still actively deployed, can make a difference.
  • Get on Google
    Google recently introduced a feature where you can search for jobs using your Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) code.
  • Leverage your LinkedIn Page
    Not on LinkedIn? You need to be!  The key is to maximize and list your experiences in layman’s terms, without the military jargon. In addition, check the LinkedIn For Good Veterans  page to see what services they offer to help vets, which currently includes a free year of LinkedIn Premium.

Don’t underestimate phone screen and interview prep!

Practice explaining what it is that you did in the military to non-military folks, so you are ready for a screening call from a recruiter or an interview with the manager. Learn how to simply explain what you did for work, what you were responsible for, who you worked with and the training that you received.  If your interviewer doesn’t understand what you did, they won’t know if you are qualified for the position!
Lilian deLascurain, Operations Recruiter, Oldcastle APG

Recruiters and hiring managers are constantly searching for candidates who have your discipline, leadership qualities, motivation and perseverance. Follow these tips to set you up for job search success!

Photo credit: Pixabay

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Filed under Veteran Job Search

Making It Easier For Veterans To Find Jobs

milVeterans bring a variety of desirable skills and qualifications to the workplace, including dedication, loyalty and commitment to get the job done. Despite this, it can be a challenge for them to find civilian jobs because many job descriptions are written in a way that does not correlate to a veteran’s job title.

“Most job search sites don’t take into consideration military job titles, sub-specialties and specialized training, leaving veterans with a more complicated, lengthy job search, says Chris Garrie, VP of Recruiting for Oldcastle.

Like many employers, Oldcastle wanted to hire more veterans, and wanted a way to make the job search easier for them. So, they decided to team up with Monster.com and Military.com to create a Military Skills Translator (MST).

What is a MST?
Simply put, a Military Skills Translator is an online tool that veterans can use to search for jobs by choosing from a drop down menu that lists their service, pay grade and military job title. Results from the search include jobs that may be a match for the veteran, including some that the veteran may not have previously even thought of.



According to Joel Burris, a US army veteran who works as a Corporate Recruiter for Allied Building Products, “This is a great tool that I wish existed when I was job searching.  I liked being able to add my specific training and immediately see what roles were a match. It’s a great starting off point.”

If you’re looking for companies that have Military Skills Translators, a good place to start is Military.com.  Veteran friendly companies there are actively seeking veterans for employment. In addition, you will find job search advice and resources on that site, as well as on some of the company pages.

P.S. Looking for more career advice?
Check out this post: 4 Easy Action Steps For Veterans Transitioning To Civilian Jobs.

Know a veteran looking for a job? Please share this post!

If you’re a veteran interested in a job at Oldcastle, check out our sites:

Oldcastle’s Military Skill Translator (MST)

Oldcastle’s Military Page On Military.com


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.

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Filed under Job Search, Veteran Job Search

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