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When you leave the military, the biggest question is "what's next?" It's a scary job market right now, but the skills you've received in the military make you highly marketable. The Legion sponsors dozens of veterans hiring fairs each year, and our employment experts also provide tips to writing resumes, networking and making a strong impression in the interview process.

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Putting your military experience to work

Putting your military experience to work

“Leadership traits and knowing how to work effectively with a team to accomplish goals are two important factors for members of the military transitioning into the civilian workforce,” says Alison, a program manager for Aerojet Rocketdyne. She also points out that what she learned in the military, tied to her skill set and training, allows her to make a difference in focusing on our capabilities to protect and defend, as well as serve, our country. She looks at what she has done with companies like Raytheon, and now Aerojet Rocketdyne as the “next logical step” following all that she accomplished in her 20-year career in the Air Force.

Alison made the transition to working in the aerospace industry fairly easily, but she knows that matching military skills to those in civilian jobs can be a challenge. She applied for a job at Aerojet Rocketdyne through the company’s rocket.com web site. While she knew of the company, she didn’t know anyone who worked there. Here is what she feels made an important difference in landing her position. “You need to look for a position you think you could do really well in and one for which you are passionate. And, while in many cases there aren’t ‘clean fits,’ there are skills or talents  you bring that  translate and will enable you to do a great job for the company. You just have to show – in your resume and your job interview – that what you know and have learned in the military applies to what is needed to be successful in the job. ”She also points out the importance of tailoring your resume to address key requirements of the position.

Outline and content are important in résumés. Organize yours so that it is easy to read. Use specific content to demonstrate how you accomplished the mission. Shed some light on your method of execution. For instance, to show you are “results-oriented”, indicate on your résumés how you were resourceful and reduced your programs budget by X percent within a year or increased the productivity by X percent compared to previous years, or “introduced new procedures that reduced the production time approximately 10%.”

List responsibilities of your previous jobs and demonstrate the outcomes. An employer wants to know how what you did can apply to the job being offered.

Make sure your resume answers these questions:

Are you the most senior member of your team?

Do people turn to you for the more challenging issues?

Is your productivity level higher than your peers?

Is your level of accuracy and the quality of your work at the highest level?

Have you demonstrated the ability to meet aggressive deadlines?

Statements like “consistently recognized for delivering quality results at less cost than budgeted” showcases your effectiveness, even when you don’t have the actual numbers.

For your “objective” line, focus on your desired job title. Use phrases such as “Seeking full-time position in…”

Education: Include colleges where you have obtained or are working on getting a degree. List the official name of your degree, your major, and the month and year of your graduation. GPA may be included, along with a list of related coursework.

Skills/Traits: Computer skills, for example, or specific skills gained through military experience, such as leadership, team work, strong work ethic, commitment, dedication and initiative.

Experience: List job title/grade and dates of employment. Use a bulleted format to indicate responsibilities. Start each bullet with an action verb.

Include skills used or skills developed.

Veterans who would like to contact the staffing department with questions regarding their résumés and the application process may email the Human Resources Department at Supportvets@rocket.com.

Career Opportunities for Veterans
Aerojet Rocketdyne provides an online veteran-focused career site aimed at matching veteran and transitioning military job skills with Aerojet Rocketdyne career opportunities. Simply click on the “Translate your Military Service into a Career at Aerojet” button at the career site, and enter your military job title, MOS (Military Occupational Specialty), or Air Force Specialty Code.

(Courtesy Military.com)

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