Tips for job seeking veterans

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The civilian job market can be very challenging for transitioning military members and veterans, and we at RecruitMilitary are here to help. But where do you start? Here are a few suggestions:

Make a plan. 

  • Decide in what role you see yourself in your next career.
  • Make a list of companies you would like to work for.
  • Write a personal mission statement.
  • Define your goals realistically.
  • Establish a timeline for where you see your career in the next one, five, and ten years.

Get networked.

  • After identifying where you want to work, use LinkedIn to establish working relationships with talent acquisition directors and recruiters.
  • Ask for help. Recruiters get pitches all the time from hopeful candidates. Asking for their help will increase the likelihood of a response.

Identify the decision-makers.

  • Determine who in your network knows the HR teams, recruiters, and global talent managers. Get an introduction.
  • Create and polish a 15-to-60-second elevator pitch.

Brush up that old resume.

  • Remember, a resume filled with military nomenclature, military job codes, strategic titles, and training information will not always translate well for recruiters.
  • Consider using a trusted, reputable resume-writing service that specializes in translating military resumes to civilian terms.
  • Show your value to the potential employer. What would make you a great asset to the team? Tell that to the employer on your resume.
  • Add a concise cover letter. Personalize it for the decision-maker in the company and consider including key information that demonstrates your knowledge of their company, such as a recent success or contract it just won.
  • Extra points for you for congratulating the company on a recent success or a contract it just won! Preemptive research can help you win the job.

Brand yourself as an expert.

  • Write articles about your area of specialization. The articles can be short and simple, like the article you are reading. Send these pieces to local newspaper or business magazine, alumni publications, club or lodge bulletins. A lot of small publications are hungry for content.
  • Consider starting a blog to further brand yourself and display your expertise.

Most importantly, be persistent! Best of luck in your job search, and thank you for serving in the armed forces of the United States.

Mike Rollins is vice president of sales at RecruitMilitary and a veteran of the United States Navy. Contact him at

This article originally appeared in the September-October 2016 issue of Search & Employ® magazine, published by RecruitMilitary.