military to civilian resume

3 Skills Civilian Employers Look For From Potential Veteran Hires

Using Your Military Experience To Gain Civilian Employment Can Be Easy

I know firsthand how difficult it is just getting out of the military and trying to actually put your valuable skills and experience to good use. I knew through friends and family that being a veteran paid dividends in the employment world. My problem was I couldn’t figure out how to prove my value through my resume.

As you go out into the civilian world for the first time (some veterans this may be your second go-around at freedom!), you’ll quickly see that there are more jobs and opportunities out there than advertised. While still in service, you probably heard a lot from peer or friends who separated about how “bad” the job market is. Although thereThe truth is, as long as you keep your nose clean, there is ALWAYS a job opportunity right around the corner. Now don’t get me wrong, the pickings are still slim in some fields, but in general, those positions are usually a rung or two above entry level positions.

The most important trick to converting your military skills and experience to a civilian resume is paying attention to detail. No, I don’t mean this in a soft skill kind of way to add to your skills list (although you could). I’m talking about paying attention to what I call the “flash” words and phrases that employers often put in their job description. These include phrases like “Demonstrate attention to detail,” “Be comfortable working in a fast-paced environment,” “Ability to demonstrate excellent customer service.” These are phrases and words that you can easily connect your military experience to. The second part of paying attention to detail when converting your resume is paying attention to the little details of your past duties.

For example, I was an aircraft mechanic (crew chief) in the Air Force. My skills mostly involved using my hands and getting dirty. My first job when I separated was working as a Ramp Agent for American Airlines. Although I didn’t work on aircraft with tools or anything like I used to while serving, the position still required other commonly asked skills, such as being able to operate a forklift or heavy machinery. As an F-15 and MQ-9 crew chief, I regularly towed aircraft and operated other aircraft ground equipment. Needless to say, that bad boy was an easy one to put in my bullet points when I saw that the job required heavy machinery operation.

This particular job also required excellent customer service and experience in this field as well. Now this one was a tough one to tackle initially, but as I reflected further back on my experiences, I focused on the times I provided good service to someone. I started to remember the times I volunteered for squadron holiday cookouts and dinners and how I demonstrated customer service through preparing and serving customer’s plates (this was also a good one for my first restaurant industry job!).

It really is as simple as keying in on those little details. In the military, we’re required to do a lot more than what some of us initially thought we’d signed up for. However, that “gripe” is paid back tenfold in the civilian world (Remember the days of Entry Control Duty in basic training? Yea you’re now gold to contracted and private security services). Also note that the ability to sell yourself, albeit not coming naturally to many, is critical to your success carving your own path in the civilian world. Without further hesitation, here are three basic skills civilian employers seek when viewing a veteran’s resume.

1) Working In a Fast-paced Environment

This is one you’ll see in almost every job description you’ll see. In today’s day and age, the quickest way to go nowhere fast is to fail to move fast. This bodes well for veterans, as moving fast and with a sense of purpose was drilled into us from Day 1 of boot camp. Not to mention the vast majority of jobs in the military require moving fast in order to keep operations flowing. This is an excellent opportunity for you to give an example of a daily task you had to do with a sense of purpose.

2) Demonstrating Excellent Customer Service

You won’t find a job or business in the civilian job market where some form of customer service isn’t required. You worked with people and serving people in the military and you’ll be doing it a lot outside of it. Giving examples of duties where you demonstrated good customer service can be a tricky one, as this can be a really easy one or one that will have you thinking, depending on your job in the military. As I mentioned earlier, if you weren’t in a customer-oriented career field, focus on some of the miscellaneous tasks you performed or your volunteer service throughout the course of your military career. You’re bound to dig up some form of people-related duty you had to do (Kitchen Patrol Duty anyone?).

3) Taking Initiative (Being a Self-Starter)

Nobody likes to be babied. More importantly, however, is that nobody likes to play babysitter. Many civilian employers get a veteran’s resume and their eyes light up because they already know this person won’t have to have their hand held. They also know there likely won’t be a steep learning curve, as we were often thrust into “sink-or-swim” situations during our careers in the military, no matter what field you were in. For this reason, they know this is already half the battle and means they won’t have to spend time looking over your shoulders when they could be productive elsewhere.

You can be an E6 out after six years or you can be an E4 and done after four. No matter what you did or how long you served, the military provided plenty of opportunities to step up, take initiative, and be a leader. If you can’t think of not one instance or duty where you had to take initiative and get the ball rolling for a daily or frequent task, you may have bigger issues to worry about!

Transitioning Into A Civilian Job From The Military Is Easier Than You Think

The key to getting those employers to blow up your email and phone is to remember the key thing I mentioned before I went into the list: Attention to detail. Pay attention to the words and phrases in the description. Actively focus on what they’re looking for in you. Then think of times during your decorated service where you demonstrated what’s in that particular description. From there, use those experiences and tie them into what your targeted position duties. Remember that in today’s day in age, employers often have working in a fast-paced environment, demonstrating excellent customer services, and taking initiative on top of their priority list when looking for potential new hires. It’s up to you to color your skills and experience with the words you use on your resume!

For more articles with resources and information related to finding a job while transitioning from military to a civilian, visit my site here at anthonyjrichard.com. I update my posts weekly! For information regarding scheduling Health History Consultations feel free to email me at anthonyjrichard17@gmail.com or leave a comment!

I do not own any photos used in this article.

Copyright (c) 2017 Anthonyjrichard.com, All Rights Reserved

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5 Credible Websites With Companies Hiring Veterans Now

They’re Actively Looking For You

Nowadays, there aren’t many companies not seeking out and hiring veterans. As a vet myself, I always keep an eye out for companies and jobs hiring veterans now. Even though I currently have a comfortable job, it never hurts to be aware of the opportunities out there given to veterans. Nobody knows you better than you do, and when it’s time to move on to bigger and better things you’ll know. Being a veteran in this country not only makes moving up the ladder easier; it makes starting fresh easier as well. Employers’ eyes widen when they see veteran service on the resume in front of them. Why? Your military service automatically says well-disciplined, self-starter, a superb leader, and humble professional.

Because of this, your veteran status gives you advantages in ways you’d never even imagine. I was an F-15 (Strike Eagle HUAHHH!!!) and MQ-9 (Reapers baby!!) aircraft mechanic in the Air Force for seven years. Of all the six jobs I’ve had since being a civilian, NONE required my mechanical skills. Instead, I highlighted other valuable skills I used during my time as a crew chief. For example, for my job as a security guard, I keyed in on the action words and phrases from the job description posted on Indeed (such as “Demonstrate a sense of urgency” or “attention to detail), thought of a time in my service when those descriptions fit the task I was doing at the time, and worded that bulletin in a way that accentuated those skills and actions. Just by doing that, I had literally four contracted security agencies contact me in the span of two weeks to schedule first and second interviews.

I have literally countless examples of ways I turned my experience as an Air Force mechanic into golden opportunities in diverse career fields. It’s a daunting task at first (as is working on any resume for that matter, much less working on one using experience from an unrelated field), but it’s well worth the time and effort. Again, I don’t know if I would’ve got offered half the jobs I worked if my veteran experience wasn’t on my resume. During the interviews, my service always comes up, and they always gush about the professionalism and leadership of the veterans they already have onboard their team.

With no further hesitation, here is a list of 5 credible websites containing companies hiring veterans now:

  1. https://www.veteranjobsmission.com/companies
  2. http://www.gijobs.com/6-companies-that-want-to-hire-veterans-right-now/
  3. http://www.military.com/hiring-veterans
  4. http://www.diversityjournal.com/15431-25-of-the-most-influential-companies-for-veteran-hiring-2015/ (NOTE: The jobs on this list still hold true for 2017)
  5. https://www.job-hunt.org/veterans-job-search/veteran-friendly-employers.shtml
A snapshot from Job-Hut.org of companies hiring veterans now.
A snapshot from Job-Hut.org of companies hiring veterans now.

Literally Hundreds Of Companies Hiring Veterans Now. . .

So what are you waiting for? You, my friend, have a golden opportunity in your hands. Take advantage of it and cherish it. Your service to this great nation can never be taken away. On top of that, this is a nation full of citizens who support their servicemen and women. One of the best ways the people, businesses, and companies in this country show their appreciation for us is through the job market. It’s all up to you to gather your resources, take this opportunity, and run with it like it’s your last PT test!

Check out other articles regarding companies hiring veterans as well as the transition process here on anthonyjrichard.com. More articles are on the way as I continue to develop my Holistic Health & Life Coach for Transitioning Veterans business and program. For information regarding my services, please feel free to email at anthonyjrichard17@gmail.com!

I do not own the rights to the featured image on this blog.

Copyright (c) 2017 Anthonyjrichard.com, All rights reserved

How To Find The Perfect Job Fit As A Veteran

Just A Veteran Trying To Find The Right Job Fit

As a vet who’s held six jobs since I separated from the Air Force in 2012, all of which were in different fields, I can honestly say I have a good feel for what is considered being satisfied with what you do for a living. My positions ranged from a Ramp Agent at Piedmont Airlines (Transportation Industry) to a Client Advocate for Freedom Debt Relief (Financial Industry). I’ve been paid minimum and I’ve been paid some pretty hefty bucks. There were some great bosses and supervision, and there were some I felt weren’t worth the stress of working for (harsh, but true). With that being said, here is a list of things you should heavily consider as a veteran when trying to find the right job fit.

Discover Your Passion(s)

I want to stress this isn’t the same thing as discovering what you’re good at. For example, I’m really good at empathizing with my customers and clients, but that strong soft skill didn’t equate to personal happiness at my job at Freedom Debt Relief. Although great at connecting with people and de-escalating problems, the stress of overbearing, irate clients on the phone worried about being sued by their creditor was too much. It was enough to have me seeking a something different despite the excellent pay and great leadership the company provided.

Instead, focus on things you truly enjoy doing, whether you’re good at it or not. If you’re fascinated by crime scene investigations, law and order, and the criminal justice system in general, try looking for employment as a security guard (in-house or contract). Maybe while doing that, use your resources to search for schools or programs that give you some training in law enforcement to further advance in your passion and goals. Many of these programs accept your G.I. Bill.

As an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, I enjoy being around fruits and vegetables. I like to learn about the different kinds of a single type, where in the world it’s grown, whether or not it’s organic, how it was grown, and all that good stuff. I even enjoy simply being around the vibrant colors of fruits and vegetables. For all of these reasons, I sought employment handling fruits and vegetables in some form or fashion.

Best Job Fit For Veterans Produce Clerk
My baby (the vegetable wet rack). The fruit tables look even better.

I’m very blessed to say I now work as a Produce Clerk at my local Safeway while simultaneously building up my Holistic Health coaching business. Although I don’t get paid as much as I did at my previous place of employment (Freedom Debt Relief), the work itself is not nearly as stressful. I get a full night’s sleep, feel energetic and enthusiastic during the day, and come to work genuinely happy and ready to display some well-culled, scrumptious-looking fruits and vegetables for my customers.

Once you get a feel of exactly what it is you enjoy doing and separate that from what you’re good at doing, from there you can begin researching jobs related to that.

Find A List Of Places Hiring Veterans

Luckily for you, I’ve already done most of your homework! Provided in this link is my favorite list to go to when I feel it’s time to move forward in my professional career. You wouldn’t believe the amount of companies actively seeking veterans like yourself to be a part of their team. Even better, you wouldn’t believe just how much of an impact your veteran status on your resume has on almost any employer. For example, even if the skills you used for your military job don’t directly correlate to the position you’re applying for, employers still see military experience as leadership experience. They also immediately know they’re getting someone with discipline and a self-starter attitude.

Image result for mission veterans job
Veterans Jobs Mission. Literally hundreds of companies looking for YOU!

 

Be Open To Change

The most important thing I want you to get from this article is that you have to be open to change. As a young service member fresh out of the military, you have the world at your fingertips. My articles and services are mostly geared towards my specific clients (single newly transitioning veterans) but this tip applies to everybody.

We may not be able to see it right now, especially during a time of transition and such a life-changing decision as separation from the military, but a lifetime is a loooong time. Take advantage of that. Use this newfound freedom to truly discover yourself and what you would like to do for 8-10 hours out of your day that you would actually enjoy. Even if you initially get it wrong (remember, I’ve had SIX different jobs in SIX different fields since separation!), keep that resume sharp and up-to-date, always add to it and never rule out moving on to bigger and better things!

Part of my Health Coaching service is 1-on-1 resume-building sessions focused on structure and what employers look for, so always feel free to reach out to me at provided in the last paragraph for any questions!

Find The Right Job Fit For You!

Even when it seems like you may have made a mistake by separating from the military or feel like you’ll never find your calling in the civilian world, the key is to never lose sight of what you genuinely enjoy. Even if that means working a job you’re unhappy with for a few months while you plan your next move, try doing something related to what you want to do. For instance, you could always read up on a job or position to prepare for it or even volunteer to get yourself some free experience. No matter what you choose to do, remember that no decision is permanent in regard to your future and the rest of your life!

For more information regarding my Veteran Holistic Health Coaching services, please email me at anthonyjrichard17@gmail.com. In the meantime, look for more articles like this on my site here on Anthonyjrichard.com!

I do not own the rights to the featured image or the Veterans Jobs Mission image.

Copyright (c) 2017 Anthonyjrichard.com, All Rights Reserved.