How Veterans Can Ensure a Successful Job Hunt

Increase your chances of landing a job after leaving the military.

Returning to the civilian workforce can be one of the greatest challenges every veteran may have to face. To help you overcome the difficulties of finding a job in today’s extremely competitive job market, here are some useful tips that you may want to consider.

Know thyself. Recognize the fact that you are not the same person you were before you joined the military. Thus, you need to know who you are today and what you want to do with your life. You need to ask yourself if the career you considered before you joined the military still appeals to you or if you are ready to make a change. Learn the answers to these questions and you will be a step closer to reaching your career goals.

Create a plan. Everything, including your job search, should start with a carefully laid out plan. Now that you know what your interest and capabilities are, and you have determined the career path you would like to pursue, you should then identify which companies you would like to work for.

Prepare an outstanding career marketing portfolio. Make sure your resume and cover letter appeal to your prospective employer. Know what they want and make sure they understand how your military experience makes you suitable for the position you are applying for.

Start reconnecting with your network. Reconnect with former veterans who have similar backgrounds and professional interests before you return to your civilian life. Exchange job hunting information with these people and ask them if they can guide you during this transitory phase. You can also ask them if they can introduce you to the decision makers at the companies you would like to work for. Keep in mind that even if these employers are not currently hiring, they may keep you in mind for future openings and may even refer you to other companies who are in need of people with your particular experience and expertise.

Use the power of social media. Social media networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter can help you expand your network and increase your chances of finding great employment opportunities.

Exploit the value of your military experience. Find a way to emphasize how your military experience helped you develop a whole new set of skills that puts you ahead of your competition. Learn how to tell your story, and make sure your prospective employers know how your military training helped you hone your leadership, decision-making and problem-solving skills, flexibility, initiative and resourcefulness.

Build your confidence. Don’t let stress get the best of you. Get plenty of exercise, engage in normal social activities and take ample time to rest. Build your confidence and put your best foot forward during interviews to increase your chances of landing a job.