For Veterans: Defining Your New Civilian Career Path
1. What Do You Want to Do?
Before you start any research, it is crucial that you take the time to narrow down what it is exactly that you want to do in your career. It is not enough to have an industry or general operation response. If you need to do so, research specific positions and its respective job descriptions and compare them to what it is that you want to do.
Having a particular career position or specific positions recorded before you begin your search will help you determine how to focus your search.
2. Take Inventory
Take inventory of everything you have to “bring to the table” so to speak as it relates to your experience, achievements, and aspirations. Recall your past experiences from the previous 10 years or so. Note the skills you gained from those experiences; and especially hone in on the skills you feel the most confident in executing on a daily basis. Use discernment in determining whether those skills are beneficial to the duties associated with your ideal corporate job position. Then, compare these skills to the workforce skills needed to operate the corporate job position you aspire to hold.
Your experience and skills are unique to you. They make you stand out from other candidates. Use them to your advantage!
Job Search Hosts
Submission to job posting
Make sure you have followed the directions listed on the job posting. Some postings may indicate to only submit cover letter and resume in a particular format (pdf, Word, etc.) and some postings may want a writing sample of some sort included.
Once you have confirmed everything you want submitted to the listing is attached and accurate, submit your application.
Wait for Response
Although the saying goes, “good things come to those who wait”, the waiting game isn’t something anyone enjoys. Some employers may respond within a day or two requesting an interview, while other employers may not respond at all.
Regardless of the way employers respond, the best way to fill the waiting time is to keep applying for other jobs.
Usually, the recruiter will contact you within 2- 3 weeks to set up an interview with the hiring manager. The interview will likely be one or a combination of a telephone interview, an electronic chat (Zoom, Google hangout, etc.) interview, or an on-site interview. Additionally, you may have to interview more than once.
After your interview appointment has been set, be sure to do research of your own. Research the company’s website; focus on the mission statement, and the type of work the business does. If you have any questions, be sure to note them. While the dress code of the office is unknown to you, it is best to err on the side of caution and dress business formal. If you have an onsite interview, contact the recruiter a few days before to confirm and ask if you need to bring anything other than your resume, how many people will be conducting your interview, and their respective titles. Be sure to bring your resume as the hiring managers may not have copies of it to refer to during your interview. In efforts to calm any nerves, practice answering mock interview questions.