As a former veteran myself, I understand that transitioning to the workforce after the military brings a myriad of challenges that you have to navigate without the support you were previously been given. It can be difficult, stressful, and full of unknowns; however, that doesn’t mean that you can’t make a few steps to better prepare yourself for the challenges ahead. Here are some tips on how to transition to the workforce (specifically in the cyber industry):
- ATTEND TRANSITION CLASSES.
As the transition process begins, you’ll have an opportunity to attend transition classes. Classes are offered on resume writing, interviewing techniques, how to dress for success, etc. If you choose to not attend these classes, you may be missing out on critical information that can help you succeed.
- TAILOR YOUR RESUME TO YOUR INDUSTRY & THE JOB YOU’RE APPLYING FOR.
While serving, you may have obtained various positions within your MOS, attended various schools, and held several different job responsibilities. You may be tempted to include all of it, but remember all of your experience may not be relevant to the job you’re applying for. For instance, if you’re looking to join the cyber industry, the position may call for direct IT experience. Make sure you include just that – what tools you have used, what software you’re familiar with, and any hands-on IT experience. Although the amount of soldiers you’ve led may be impressive and valid leadership experience for another position, it likely wouldn’t be worth including on your resume for this specific position.
- SEEK PROFESSIONAL GUIDANCE ON WRITING YOUR RESUME.
If you failed to attend your transition classes on resume writing, you likely missed out on getting a professional evaluation on your current resume. It’s crucial that you get professional help to ensure your resume is polished. Even if you have the right experience on your resume, if it is not formatted well and displays an array of grammar/spelling mistakes, you may be giving recruiters a wrong first impression.
- IN PREPARING FOR AN INTERVIEW, ADJUST YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE.
While serving, military etiquette is held to highest standard. Maintaining military etiquette was likely part of your daily life. When you prepare for your interview, be sure to remind yourself who you’re interviewing with. Although you’re used to replying with “yes ma’am/yes sir”, you want to minimize that language in an interview setting. By using that language, you may subjugate yourself. It’s important to remember that when you’re joining a company, you want to be seen as an equal to your coworkers.
- DO YOUR RESEARCH AHEAD OF YOUR TRANSITION AND START APPLYING.
Clearance Jobs, Indeed, and Monster are the primary job boards brought to your attention during transition classes. Remember that some companies may take weeks to fill a position. Also, do research on the industry you want to join. Market trends are constantly in flux. Using the cyber industry as an example, we’re seeing a lot of industry growth in San Antonio, TX. You may need to be able to relocate to certain cities that are out of your comfort zone, which is something to consider. Research also includes your pay; you want to ensure that you aren’t selling yourself short, but also that you aren’t going to ask for a salary that eliminates you as a possible candidate. Do research on websites such as Glassdoor to find the average salary for that position in your city and state.
Do you have any further questions on your transition? Is there something you’re struggling with? Are you looking for a way into the cyber industry, but you’re not sure where to start? Email me at email@example.com. I’d be happy to answer your questions.
At Sentar, we provide a Veterans Advocacy program for our employees transitioning from boots to shoes. Contact me today to discuss the roles and opportunities Sentar has to provide.