It’s a story that’s all too common: a military veteran transitions to the corporate world with years or even decades of service, yet they can’t find a job commensurate with their level of experience.
Often, it’s through no fault of their own. Some hiring managers simply can’t look past a missing skill or two when comparing a resume with a job description. You may never win in those situations, and that’s out of your control.
What you can control, though, is making your resume as attractive as possible. This starts with translating your military skills into terms that a civilian hiring manager will readily understand.
Highlight Data-driven Accomplishments
I see some candidates who are really proud to highlight the budget size they’ve managed. On their resume, they’ll note they were “responsible for $500 million worth of government assets” or “I saved the government $30 million by making this program more efficient.”
These types of accomplishments are always great to highlight. If you can show tangible results from your military work, this will stand out to a hiring manager. Every company wants to save money!
During your interview, explain the process behind how you were able to save that much money. Ideally, you’ll be able to draw parallels between this process and the role to which you’re applying. Connect the dots and help the interviewer see how your skills will be a financial benefit for their company.
Emphasize Your Leadership and Presentation Skills
Veterans are 39 percent more likely to be promoted to leadership roles than their civilian counterparts. Have you worked on diverse projects in the military and led a team? If so, these leadership skills will translate well into a variety of roles.
Be sure to highlight your presentation skills, too. Typically, military veterans are used to presenting and having clear, concise points for their higher-ups. Particularly in a role like sales, the ability to present information clearly and efficiently is a huge differentiator.
Showcase Your Organization Skills and Attention to Detail
I’m working on a couple of interesting roles right now. One is a chief of staff for a California billionaire. They’re looking for an extremely organized candidate, someone who’s great with schedules. This sounds like a good fit for a person who reported to a general or a major in the military, doesn’t it?
Another area of growth is space. I’ve met with military candidates that are technically savvy on aircraft and avionics. That’s precisely the type of background a company like SpaceX is looking for, and it’s a cool working environment, to boot.
To succeed in the military, you need to be detail-oriented and highly-organized, skills that are assets to any civilian position. Demonstrating your strength in those areas on your resume will go a long way for any hiring manager.
How a Military Transition Recruiter Can Help
As a recruiter, I have a direct line to opportunities at companies across the country. I can advocate on your behalf, pointing out skills or experiences that a hiring manager may not immediately realize are valuable.
Another point I like to make with recruiters: veterans tend to stay longer at a company than their civilian counterparts do, with less turnover. Graduating from a service academy is a strong indicator of commitment – you’re focused on getting your work done and getting it done well. That translates to the corporate world, too.
Finally, I can help connect you with hiring managers who are also military veterans. When I send veterans a military resume, they usually jump at the opportunity to meet the candidate.
Does your resume do your service and skills justice? Want to chat with me about roles you may not have considered? Let’s talk!