While learners who are transitioning from military to civilian positions have many of the same concerns as non-military learners and job seekers, there are some unique aspects to this transition. Your first step should be to check with your military education office for transition assistance. Plan to start at least a year prior to your transition to get your affairs, resume, etc. in order.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Please review our resume and cover letter packet, but also consider the following tips:

  • When describing your military experience, avoid any jargon that the person receiving the resume may not understand. This means you have to understand the company you are applying to, and may mean making adjustments based on different jobs.
  • Think of ways that your military experience ties to the civilian world, such as having teamwork skills and being flexible, detail-oriented, and self-motivated.

Interviews

Again, please review our interview packet, but also remember the following tips:

  • Avoid any military jargon that may be unfamiliar to the interviewer.
  • Again, think of how your military experience relates to the job you are applying for (i.e. leadership skills, technological experience, efficient under pressure, etc.).

Highlighting Your Education

While you will certainly want to highlight the education you received from your bachelor’s, master’s, and/or certificate program, don’t forget to highlight any education or training you received through the military. Again, relate the experience to the civilian world and the specific job you are applying for, but do not discount any training that may give you an edge over your competition.

Resources

Websites
U.S. Office of Personnel Management – Career Transition Resources
Army Career & Alumni Program

Books
Expert Resumes for Military-To-Civilian Transitions
Military-to-Civilian Resumes and Letters: How to Best Communicate Your Strengths to Employers
Out of Uniform: A Career Transition Guide for Ex-Military Personnel