Of nearly 21 million American veterans, only 1 out of 5 were able to find a job last year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Transitioning into the civilian workforce after the military is challenging, and it takes more than just submitting resumes to land a career.
If you are making the transition from the military to the private IT sector, here are the top 4 tips you’ll want to know to make your transition successful.
Update Your Credentials
One of the most overlooked problems for transitioning veterans is not effectively selling your successes. Translating your resume into civilian terms that are relatable yet powerful will help you stand out to employers.
You’ve earned an impressive resume from your military service, but what does that mean for civilian employers?
The first step to creating an impactful resume is to remove any military jargon. A good rule of thumb is to assume that your potential employer has absolutely no military knowledge or background.
We’ve put together the chart below with a few sample transferable skills to get you started.
You will also want to build your resume around employers’ needs. Look at similar IT job postings and use these to determine which skills and experiences you should highlight in your resume.
You should create and freq. update a LinkedIn account. Many employers use this tool to learn more about job applicants. Having an up-to-date profile allows you to add and illustrate key information only hinted at on your resume.
Following these few simple tips will help you get a strong start and move forward in your transitioning process.
Find the Right Fit
It is essential to remember not all workplaces are equal. Some employers accommodate to veterans and their needs.
These employers may offer programs or services such as leadership development, support officers, mentoring programs or Employee Resource Groups (ERG) to help veterans easily adjust to their new work environment.
Furthermore, you want to be mindful of the type of culture and environment provided by the employer. Knowing this beforehand will ensure you find the right fit, and it will also prevent you from looking for another job due to dissatisfaction.
A few things you should research or ask about includes:
- Flexible schedules
- Opportunity for growth
- Open or closed communication policy
- Dress code
If you prefer to continue working in a military setting, government contracting in IT is the right place for you. In this career field, you will typically work on a government site for a client, which is either a government agency or program.
Finding the right fit is critical to your success in your career. Taking time to look over the culture or veteran services offered will help you know that you are making the right decision.
Keep Your Clearance
Earning a security clearance during your military service makes you an attractive candidate to employers. But if you do nothing, you risk losing your clearance.
Active clearances are a precious commodity to many employers trying to fill cleared positions on government contracts, especially in IT. With a security clearance, you will often get offered up to a 20% premium compared to non-cleared applicants.
When you leave the military, your clearance becomes inactive. You have up to 24 months to get it reinstated as long as you haven’t missed your evaluation period. If you lose your security clearance, you will have to be sponsored by a company and go through the clearance process again to be reinstated.
However, the best way to ensure that you keep your clearance active is to put it to use. You can do this by working a cleared position within a company or government agency.
Don’t’ lose this valuable asset, make sure you can keep your security clearance.
Go from Novice to Expert
You learned a lot in the military, but what if you want to do something else? Having a variety of technical skills will help you quickly and easily gain employment in the IT field.
Picking up certifications at the end or after your military service is a sure way to make sure you have the skills employers want.
The military offers various programs and services to get veterans the license or certification they desire. These programs either document and test your education from your military service or offer you the opportunity to take courses to gain certification and licensing. The programs below will help you get started to earning your certifications today.
Taking these few extra steps will increase your odds of landing the career you want.
Make a Successful Transition
Following these 4 simple tips will help you secure an IT job after your military service. Each branch also offers transitioning programs to aid in this process. Contact your transition center for more information on the transitioning programs available to you.
To learn more about the IT careers available to you, take a look at the opportunities at Rivera Group or leave us a comment below. We’d love to help you get started on the next phase of your life today.