Prep the battlespace for success

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So you’re transitioning to civilian life or looking for something more fulfilling on the career front. Your next mission is the all-important search for a job.

DAV/RecruitMilitary All Veteran Career Expos, beginning this summer, can connect you with dozens of employers face-to-face and hundreds more online who are looking for people who’ve served.

A few basic tips can help you take advantage of these and other opportunities.

First, while it may sound like common sense, this really needs to be said: dress for success. Do not attend an interview or a career fair dressed in your jeans and favorite t-shirt. Business casual (slacks and button down shirt) is usually okay but you can’t go wrong with a suit and tie. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you have to lose a huge chunk of your paycheck when purchasing a suit. I know people who have bought perfectly appropriate ones from second hand stores.

I encourage you to take a moment to think about the skills you acquired while in uniform. At a career fair, you probably won’t find a sign that says, “Tank drivers and gunners apply here!” But, you will find employers interested in leadership and managerial skills. Plus, the fact you are a veteran means you have been exposed to a training environment and know you can learn anything. This is important and potential employers will be interested to know that. Did you ever manage your unit’s budget? What about the training program? As you moved through the ranks, you likely managed and led subordinate members or teams. All of these things work well on resumes and employers look for those skills.

Finally, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. I recommend having at least three different resumes highlighting different skill sets. If you’re taking the time to attend a career expo, you’re doing yourself a disfavor by dropping one resume off to one employer and then going home and sitting anxiously by the phone. Talk to everyone there.

It’s no secret veterans bring great skills to the workplace, but it’s up to you to showcase them to potential employers.


  • Syd

    i have a newphew who has been looking for work forever. no help for him..lives in philly, pa…any suggestions?

    • thedav

      Hi Syd,

      We will be at the Amtrak 30th Street Station in Philadelphia with the All Veterans Career Fair on July 24th. We have another date in Philadelphia for November 6th, but the location has not been finalized. For more info that might help your nephew, visit this link:

  • Nina Iturrizaga

    My husband has been honorably retired from the Marine Corps Now for 10 months, He retired as a (helicopter mechanic) he has been denied several jobs, because he did not finish his BA degree during his 20 years of service, we have 4 Children, 1 who currently Just got diagnosed with a degenerative eye disease that we are currently trying to get Donations to pay for a procedure he needs that our Health care will not cover. He is currently going to school on his Post 911 and that is currently paying the rent, but if he does not get something with in the next 8mnths or so, we are going to be in some really hot water. Who do we need to get a hold of in your Organization to get the help he needs. Before Joining the Marine Corp, my husband had a full scholarship to MIT. He is a very smart man, who chose a life of service. And I will always love him for that. Can you Help us.

  • Chris

    I’ve been retired from the Navy for almost a year, and actively looking for work… with no luck whatsoever. I’m at a point where I’m ready to just give up.

    What I’d like to know, is where are these job fairs going to be taking place? I’m living in Las Vegas, NV, and have noticed that very few, if any at all, military job fairs come out this way (even though we have Nellis AFB right here in town, along with a multitude of retired/separated Veterans living here). Is there any way that some sort of list of venues can be posted, so that we don’t have to guess (or say to ourselves, “Gee! This would be great if I could go!”:).

    • thedav

      Hi Chris,

      Sorry to hear about your luck so far. First, we hope to see you this year at National Convention in August. Second, we will be publishing the list of expos later this week. We can tell you that we won’t be in Las Vegas this year for a career expo, but our new partner, Recruit Military, will be coming to town the second week of December: We know that is a long ways off, but hopefully we are looking to add more in the coming months.

  • MuLLady

    Thank You DAV I was able to get a 90% rating for TBI/PTSD with help from your Denver office. I graduate in August with a BSBA in Finance. I am looking to get into Medical sales. Are you working with any of the major companies selling medical solutions and devices?

    • thedav

      Hi MuLLady,

      We don’t work directly with public or private companies on the job search front. This i is why our new partnership with Recruit Military is a big win for us as we recognize it is something we’ve needed to improve upon with regards to previous efforts. Recruit Military is the #1 military job search facilitator in the US and the reason why we picked them over other “military-related” job search companies. They would have a better idea of major companies selling medical solutions and devices looking to hire veterans right now. Our relationship is so new that we don’t have the full list of veteran-friendly organizations: However, we are still getting our Jobs Search Page ready for official launch on June 26th and we do see that companies like HCA Healthcare, Kaiser Permanente, Lab Corp are looking for medical sales in Colorado.

      On another note though, it might be worth looking into the career expo we are holding in with Recruit Military on September 11 in Denver at Mile High Stadium: Hope this helps.