Common questions for cleared candidates who are aggressively in the job hunt and not having luck are “how do I make it past the application?”, “how do I get interview ready?” or “how do I make myself even more visible to recruiters doing online searches?”

All are valid questions, and this episode of ClearedCast features an ‘interview ready’ expert who has been doing behavioral assessment trainings on commands for years. If you are getting ready to transition out of the military and need some quick job search tips, tune in to learn what the biggest obstacles are for military as they go through the interview process, how military professionals can better prepare for an interview and make it to the next step in the hiring process, and how to tailor your resume to make it through the ATS. Recruiters can tune into find out and how to better reach cleared veteran talent.

Joe Stimac has been helping organizations solve their selection, turnover, and engagement problems through technology and training. He shares his top tips and tricks.

What do you find are the biggest obstacles for military as they run through the interview process?

Stimac notes that former military have some notorious hurdles – and that includes not understanding how to fully show you have transferrable skills. Even though you may be a great communicator, you need to be able to show the big picture story of what you did in the service, and how an organization can harness those skills in a different environment.

How can military professionals better prepare for an interview to make it to the next step in the hiring process?

Do your research and communicate with using your target company’s own branding jargon. This can help to find you relatable and show them how well you will fit into their culture. Make these connections, along with personal connections to others at the company (this is especially helpful if you are applying to a large contractor!).

How can applicants tailor their application for every position they apply to?

As always, ensure you have keywords from the job description inserted in your resume where applicable. If there is another way to spell it out, ensure you do so. For example, if a position requires past experience supporting the CIA, be sure to list:

  • Liaised with intelligence analysts at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

Good recruiters search through resume databases every way something can be listed, but so-so recruiters may not.

Cover letters or not?

When is the last time you put together a cover letter? Our vote is that they can be valuable. Cover letters allow for extra space to list what is not in your resume, and that includes those keywords. If there are many qualified candidates for one role, it could help to set you apart if your writing is memorable.

For more information on resumes, career advice, or interview tips, you can visit


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Katie Helbling is a marketing fanatic that enjoys anything digital, communications, promotions & events. She has 10+ years in the DoD supporting multiple contractors with recruitment strategy, staffing augmentation, marketing, & communications. Favorite type of beer: IPA. Fave hike: the Grouse Grind, Vancouver, BC. Fave social platform: ClearanceJobs! 🇺🇸