job search guide for veterans - ebs

Job Search Guide For Veterans

For Veterans: Defining Your New Civilian Career Path

Our military servicemen and servicewomen fight relentlessly across the globe to protect citizens and our Constitutional freedoms. Unfortunately, they do not receive nearly as much appreciation and assistance they deserve when they transition to civilian life.  In providing this step-by-step guide, it is our hope and goal that veterans are able to secure their ideal civilian career position.

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

As a practical rule, you should only utilize trusted job boards such as Indeed for your job search. Such hosts may also permit you to set job alerts that will signal to you when an opening that matches your criteria appears on the website.  As your navigating job boards, use the filters to focus in on jobs that meet your standards, such as zip code, job type, level, and salary range.

3. Write

If you do not already have a rough draft to update, or a model to reference to, this may be the most time consuming portion of the job search. This process takes a bit of time of reflection and organization.


Your resume is a chronological report of your experience and education credentials. It should be formatted in a clean, easy to read document and limited to roughly one page.

Cover Letter

A cover letter is a brief introduction of yourself to the recruiter. It should include qualities and traits about you not easily found by your resume. Your cover letter should include why you are an ideal candidate for the position. Each position you apply for should have a customized cover letter with related achievements, skills, and job attraction. Further, some employers may list questions in the job posting to be answered in the cover letter.

4. Application

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.

You got the Job!

Congratulations, it’s the first day of your dream job! Make sure you are dressed neatly and in compliance with the company’s dress code. To be on the safe side, bring a homemade lunch, just in case you do not have enough time to travel off site for lunch. Your first few days will likely consist of training and going through administrative details such as human resources paperwork and account registrations. Take notes throughout your training so you can refer back to them when needed. Enjoy this moment-you’ve made it!

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