No matter who you are, job searching can be daunting. Even if you have years of experience and the appropriate skills, finding a job in your region or one with openings is tricky. The job search is often even more challenging for veterans. Leaving service is difficult in many ways, but finding a second career can be a rewarding experience. The following are a few pieces of advice that can help you on your journey to find employment.
Carefully Craft Your Resume
Jumping blindly into the job search will lead to hours of wasted time and frustration. Before you begin, get organized. Have you received any certificates for education, training, or organizational experience? If so, make sure you have them readily available. Use these materials to create or update your resume, and ask a friend to look over it and highlight any necessary edits. Some libraries or other institutions offer free, in-person help with resumes or have other resources available online.
When creating your resume, emphasize your transferable skills. For example, think about when you demonstrated flexibility, showed leadership, and worked well in a team environment. Future employers don’t just want a list of skills– they want to see how you applied those skills. Your experience offers plenty of opportunities for this!
Identifying skills may be difficult if you’re reading a job description filled with new corporate jargon. If you need help translating your military skills into civilian terminology, use the U.S. Department of Labor Sponsored Military to Civilian Occupation Translator.
Expand Your Network
Today, networking is one of the most effective job search strategies. A referral from a family member or a friend can open up doors you never imagined possible. Let everyone in your life know that you’re looking for a new job, and ask if they know of any potential opportunities.
Another way of building your network is to reach out to people and ask for informational interviews. Many people love talking about their jobs and will be happy to answer any questions you have about their industry. You can share some of your strengths with them and ask about what it would be like to take a similar career path. Informational interviews aren’t job interviews, but they allow you to meet with industry leaders, learn more about areas of interest, and let people know what you’re open to opportunities.
Consider Your Online Presence
Another way to connect with people is by creating a LinkedIn account. Doing so allows you to showcase your talents online, add people to your network, and see job listings. Accounts are free to make, and will expand your range. Make sure you add as much relevant information as possible.
You should also remember that many employers will look you up online. Make sure your social media accounts don’t contain anything that could compromise your image. Your online presence should reflect you in a positive light.
The job search process may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. By taking these steps, you’ll be setting out on a new path with new opportunities. Creating a resume, building a network, and refining your presence online will all help you in your journey toward launching a new career.