While in many ways you may be thrilled that your service in the military has been completed and you finally get to come home to your friends and family, it can be a pretty sudden and difficult transition to the civilian world. While in the military, your life is structured for you, duties doled out by your superiors, and jobs filled based on the needs of the assignment. When you’re out, it’s up to you to create that structure in your life, and perhaps more importantly, find a job. Although you’ve been out of the traditional workforce for a while, you’ve certainly still been working hard, and many of the skills you developed through the military are highly sought after in the corporate world.
If you’re still in the military, it may not be the best time to get out as the job market is really tough out there. However, if you still have some time before you’re out, it would be smart to do some initial ground work before being thrust into the civilian employment pool. Part of that is making sure you are taking advantage of services available to you, such as the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) that is offered by the Department of Defense, Department of Labor and the Department of Veteran Affairs. They’ll assist with your resume, get you prepped for interviews and help you get focused on the career that best suits you.
Another rich resource are those who have tread these waters before you. In other words … networking. After all, networking has historically been the best avenue for finding a job, and why would it be any different with the military transition? One organization you can hit up is the Military Officers Association of America, or MOAA.org. It is a terrific resource for networking as well as assisting in your post service job search. This site, along with others such as HireAHero.org also highlight those companies who are military friendly in their hiring practices. As a matter of fact, at Hire A Hero, you can set up a profile, search for jobs and view military friendly employers by state.
Finally, a terrific and efficient use of your time and energy is researching and attending job fairs. You’ll be able to target specific industries and companies, research their business models, create a customized resume, and best of all, meet face to face with potential employers. It’s a way to get yourself out there quickly and to cast your net as wide as possible by getting you and your resume in front of decision makers. You can learn about job fairs through the sites mentioned above as well as job hunting sites such as JobsRadar.com, CareerBuilder.com and Monster.com.