6 Tips for Veterans to Land Civilian Jobs
Many veterans seek civilian jobs following their military career, but the transition can be quite challenging. The civilian job market is unfamiliar territory and it’s not always easy to translate military skills on a resume. Thankfully, there are many different ways for veterans to land fulfilling jobs and start meaningful civilian careers post-military.
The resources available to service personnel range from veteran career fairs to veteran-friendly job boards, veteran online networking tools, VA offices, and more. In this article, we’ll share six actionable steps that will help make your transition into the civilian workforce as seamless as possible.
Transitioning from the Military to the Civilian Workforce: 6 Tips for Veterans to get Civilian Jobs!
According to an article by Performance.gov, approximately 200,000 Service members leave the military and must reorient their lives each year. Navigating a transition to civilian life can be a huge adjustment, therefore military personnel are advised to start planning up to two years in advance of their retirement.
We’ve highlighted six key resources that can help you land a civilian job and successfully start the next chapter of your life.
1. Veteran Career Fairs
Veteran career fairs are a great way to get yourself seen, and they are offered in every state in the nation. You can search for upcoming career fairs in your area by conducting a Google search for “veteran career fairs” or by visiting Military.com.
These career fairs are specifically designed to help veterans find civilian jobs, and they line up hundreds of employers that are seeking retired military. Companies receive tax incentives for veterans, so it’s a win-win for all parties. Many businesses also recognize the value of transferable skills obtained through the military such as teamwork and problem-solving—making veterans a solid choice for many leadership roles.
The popular job search site, Monster.com, hosts the previously mentioned Military.com, one of the largest online news and membership organizations for veterans. Monster’s solutions for veterans provide employers with access to a talent pool of over 10 million veteran members.
Military.com provides resources for active duty personnel, retirees, veterans, family members, and more. The site also lists several support groups for veterans.
3. Military Groups on LinkedIn
Networking is a powerful tool, and reaching out to others who have already successfully transitioned to the civilian workforce, can be extremely beneficial. Start by connecting with everyone you know on LinkedIn, and then join military groups such as:
- United States Military Veteran to Civilian Career Transitions (48.5K members)
- US Military Veterans Network (123.4K members)
- Veteran Job Opportunities (40.5K members)
- The Value Of a Veteran (28.5K members)
- Hiring Our Heroes (41.2K members)
4. Verification of Military Experience and Training (VMET)
Obtaining your VMET is a key step in finding employment. The document summarizes your skills, knowledge, and experience—translating your expertise into equivalent civilian job titles.
The VMET document helps you craft resumes and submit for jobs quickly after separating from the Service. When applying for work, it’s also recommended that you present evaluation reports, training certificates, transcripts, licenses, and awards.
5. Transition Assistance Program (TAP)
TAP is a cooperative agency effort among the Department of Labor that offers transition assistance, counseling, and a free career assessment. Local transition assistance offices are available in all U.S. states to help military personnel navigate their journey into civilian life. TAP offers a three-day workshop covering job search strategies, resume preparation, interview skills, and more.
6. Veteran Job Boards
You’ll find numerous veteran job boards by city and state by simply conducting a Google search. Many of these sites were designed specifically with transitioning veterans in mind. You may even find opportunities for veterans on diversity and inclusion (DEI) job boards, as these sites target diverse candidates. Some of the more popular veteran job boards include:
We’ve just highlighted six key ways that you can land a civilian job as a military veteran, however, there are countless other resources available online. Many of today’s employers seek out former Service personnel, as they can see the value of their military expertise and apply it to the civilian workforce. Many states also have legislative support such as the Illinois Hires Heros Consortium that provide resources for finding jobs in those specific states. These resources are often tied to manufacturing or logistics associations and have a direct line on career opportunities.
Many say that the key to making a successful transition from the military to a civilian job is to prepare in advance and be aware of the resources that are available to you.
“You must have that plan of action to not only have it thought out, but have it written out to hold yourself accountable. That’s how you prepare,” says Leonard Bell, U.S. Navy (Ret.) and military career advisor at Southern New Hampshire University.
SURESTAFF helps veterans successfully transition to the civilian workforce, increases public awareness about hiring veterans, encourages others to hire veterans and their spouses, and educates the staffing industry and its customers about the benefits of hiring veterans.
Search our open opportunities today!
About the Author
Kim is a seasoned content marketing professional with over twelve years of corporate communications experience. Her “sweet spot” is with creative writing both short and long-form. She has a proven track record working with IBM, Jackson Healthcare, and Walt Disney World, among many others. Kim is a singer and actor and has been performing on stage and screen since she was a child. She has a great passion for TV and film production and went to school for broadcast journalism. Connect with Kim on LinkedIn.