Trying to find a job can end up being quite a job in itself, but it can prove to be even more challenging for veterans who have returned home. Reentering the civilian workforce is quite an adjustment after spending years in the military.
And while some aspects will remain the same for veterans and civilians alike, there are a few things that veterans need to keep in mind when leaving the military and looking for a job.
Have Copies of Your DD214 and DD2586
You’re likely very aware that your DD214, Report of Separation, and DD2586, Verification of Military Experience and Training, are extremely important for Veterans Affairs, should you want or need to access benefits such as health care, disability, or the GI Bill.
However, you might not be as aware that having these records might prove important when searching for your next job. Make sure that you have these important records to show your school or employer so that they can verify your service, training, and experience.
If you are missing any necessary records, you can get replacements through an online application with Veterans Affairs.
Translating Your Military Experience
Most of your military training and experience can be applied to a post-military career. However, some career choices might require an additional exam or recertification course in order for you to use those skills in the civilian workforce. Certain states or even the federal government might require their own licenses and certifications. Jobs involving treating patients, using certain kinds of machinery, or flying aircraft are good examples.
If you’re unsure of how you can effectively translate your military experience and skills into a civilian occupation, the Veteran Employment Center, which is a division of Veterans Affairs, can help you. They will not only help you put together a list of civilian skill equivalents for your resume, but they can also help guide you toward potential career paths that you’re qualified for.
After you know which career path you’re looking at, it’s time to get out there and start the job search. Networking is always key when looking for the perfect job, both for veterans and civilians alike. Start by letting your friends, family, acquaintances, and even other veterans know that you’re ready to enter the civilian workforce.
Reaching out to those that are already in your chosen career path is also extremely important. They might know of open positions at their companies that you’re qualified for. And even if they don’t have any current openings, it won’t hurt to go ahead and get your resume on file in case they do have a position open in the future.