Recruiter Advice: Tips for Veterans Thinking About Career Transitions
Veterans, we in Corporate America have the utmost respect for your selfless service to your country. We thank you for your commitment and patriotism. While serving your country, you have demonstrated:
- Initiative and a strong work ethic
- Integrity and respect and loyalty
- Problem-solving skills and adaptability
- Ability to perform under great pressure
- Effective communication skills
All of these traits have made you successful in the military. One day, when you are ready for the post-military career transition, these skills will serve you well in Corporate America and set you apart from others. These skills will help you be successful in whatever career path you pursue.
In your resume, be sure to highlight the roles you have held which allowed you to excel using the skills above. In your interview, provide examples of success stories, which allowed you to spotlight your strengths gained while serving in the military. Avoid acronyms or lingo which civilians will not understand.
Another trait, which might set you apart, is geographic mobility. Many people in Corporate America are not willing to pack up and move for the next role. Your time in the military required you to move every few years. Being geographically mobile for your next role (and your next role) will give you a competitive advantage. If you are mobile, state this in your resume and make it clear in your interview.
When the time is right to transition, take advantage of your service career transition programs. Invest the time to polish your resume. Practice your interviewing skills. (Read my past blog posts for tips in resume preparation and interviewing tips.) Be sure you have business attire for an interview. Then let people know you are looking! Use your personal networks. Holiday communications, emails to friends & family, social networking tools – like LinkedIn – can help you connect with people who can advise you about career opportunities or make referrals for you. Consider posting your resume on job boards, where companies will search. When you are lucky enough to get an interview, prepare for it by researching the role and the company. Be the prepared, qualified, articulate candidate that they will want to hire!
Remember, in the military, you have had great responsibility and opportunities to lead others in challenging situations. This makes you’re an ideal candidate for jobs in Corporate America. Good luck!
Kim is the U.S. recruiting and staffing leader for three of GE’s technical businesses: Energy, Aviation, & Transportation. In addition, her team is overseeing the recruiting and staffing of thousands of key roles at GE’s new Advanced Manufacturing and Software Technology Center in Van Buren Township, Michigan. Ten years ago, her first recruiting role was to hire interns and new college grads for the technical leadership programs in GE Energy. Prior to her current role, she has also led recruiting efforts to hire key IT professionals during the “dot-com hiring surge” and hundreds of engineers for key turbine technology development programs. In her spare time, you can find Kim watching independent and foreign films or traveling around the Northeast and the globe. As her picture suggests, traveling is her favorite pastime, when she’s not recruiting for GE.