Think your career is over when you leave the military? Think again. Military experience is in demand, and a number of opportunities – from those with defense industry to positions with government agencies – are available.
Many individuals end their military service with a desire to move onto positions in the private sector. With in-demand skill sets and employers eager to hire veterans – including wounded warriors and disabled veterans – there is good reason to pursue new job opportunities after a military career.
The Cleared Advantage
Serving those who serve is popular everyday here at ClearanceJobs, where 75 percent of our resume database is comprised of veterans. It comes as no surprise – military comprise the largest pool of security cleared candidates and veterans are a critical component in supporting defense industry across the globe. All officers and senior enlisted military personnel obtain security clearances through their military service. Putting those clearances to work after a military commitment is over is a great way to ease the transition into the civilian workforce.
It’s never easy to change jobs, but making the transition from military service to a 9-to-5 can be particularly challenging. It sounds cheesy but those who have lived it know it’s true: the military isn’t just a career, it’s a way of life. If you’re making the transition be sure to check out our articles helping you with everything from updating your resume to preparing for an interview.
Talking yourself up doesn’t come easy for most service members (unless you’re a pilot or a paratrooper), but it’s something you have to get accustomed to in order to be a successful job candidate. From your resume to your interview it’s important to get specific – specific about your accomplishments and specific about your unique skills. If you have a veteran’s preference, list it in your resume, including specific point values. Search is critical in getting your resume in front of the right eyes (especially on USAJobs, but also here at ClearanceJobs). Make sure you have critical keywords for the position you’d like to obtain built into your resume.
Wounded Warriors and Disabled Veterans
Wounded warriors are a special segment of our military population who have served and suffered for their country. Wounded warriors may have unique job requirements or needs but also bring valuable life experiences and critical skill sets to the table – the kind of skills many employers, and especially those in the defense industry, desire.
Knowing the unique capabilities of wounded warriors is what spurned the creation of the wounded warrior intelligence community internship program, which holds semiannual career fairs putting wounded warriors in front of intelligence agencies, letting them know about internships, fellowships and career opportunities in intelligence.
“Our program is deliberately designed to use their skill sets in new and different ways,” said David Corey, Wounded Warrior Program Manager with the Office of the Director of Naval Intelligence. “The intelligence community is serious about helping the warriors and also recouping the benefits of their wealth of experience.”
Career Fairs and the Cleared Network
Career fairs can be a great way to get out and learn more about the job market, as well as finding the next dream job for you. It signals the major shift of today’s job market, where personal connections are critical to landing a position. For veterans and wounded warriors that face-time with potential job candidates can be beneficial on both sides, allowing military applicants to meet with dozens of recruiters and potential employers at once. Recruiters frequently cite that meeting an applicant in-person helps their resume rise to the top, and is critical in name-recognition. Even if there isn’t an opening for the candidate at the time, getting out there and networking can help earn a job down the road.
If you’ve been out of the civilian career field for awhile (or never been in it at all), it can be difficult adjusting to today’s job market. Gone are the days when you could email in a resume and cover letter and have that be it. Today’s job search is all about building your career network, long before you ever need it. Enter the Cleared Network, our ClearanceJobs online networking center where you can connect with recruiters and companies, join groups to fit your skills, interests and field, and make those valuable connections long before you ever need them.
Career networking is truly valuable in today’s market, and service members can even start the process before they leave the military. With so many jobs out there, it can be daunting to try to narrow down the field, especially if you’re used to your job description reading like a military occupational specialty, rather than a resume. ClearanceJobs Groups are the latest addition to ClearanceJobs and can be a great way for veterans, in particular, to narrow down the possibilities. Groups are offered for each branch of the military, by clearance level and by region, allowing individuals to opt-into news and job announcements tailored to them. The newest group, Cleared Wounded Warriors, is specifically for wounded warriors and allows recruiters and employers and wounded warriors to connect.
Service members and their families make major sacrifices along the way, from frequent moves to the physical and mental toil of frequent deployments. When service members make the decision to transition out of active-duty service and into the civilian sector it’s important to keep in mind the many resources available – including those here at ClearanceJobs – to make that transition as smooth as possible.