I had the privilege of volunteering as an employment coach this week at Hiring Our Heroes, a national program that hosts employment workshops and job fairs across the country for military veterans and their spouses. Lots of employers participate in these events, and for good reason: Veterans arrive in the private sector job-ready. As an ag lender, FCSAmerica has an additional reason to recruit vets: About 45 percent of armed service members come from rural America and understand our customers and their businesses.
I have participated in other recruiting events aimed at veterans. I leave each one impressed by the men and women who serve our country. At this week’s event, held at the Bellevue Lied Center, I coached a handful of veterans, reviewing their resumes and offering suggestions for translating their military experiences into skills that private employers could understand. I want to share some tips that might help others looking to move from military to civilian employment.
- Recognize that you have job skills that set you apart from many other applicants. No matter the rank, no matter the assignment, veterans leave the military as proven leaders who know how to work in teams, think critically and plan and execute projects.
- Highlight these skills on your resume and in job interviews. Don’t worry if the software you used in the military isn’t the same as that used by a prospective employer. The software didn’t get the job done; project planning and teamwork did.
- Rid your resume of military jargon. Again, your skills are what will get you the job. Describe what you did in terms that a private employer can understand and appreciate.
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