Plan your transition
The ideal time to begin preparing for your transition is one year before you get out of the military. This will give you a chance to strategize, get a feel for possible employment opportunities, and strategize about seeking and applying for civilian employment.
Maximize your marketability - consider multiple employers
This is your prime opportunity to assess the skills and competencies that you have acquired that can be translated into multiple career fields.
Prepare yourself as you go into this next chapter of your life
This will more than likely be unexplored territory. What has become second nature – that is to have your next place of employment designated by way of military assignment will no longer be your reality. You will be in total control as it relates to where and for whom you choose to work.
Don’t allow yourself to eliminate a company, a location, or even a particular type of job before you educate yourself with all of the information available. There are thousands of opportunities in corporate America, and many of the great places to work for former military. More than likely you will be relocated after your last duty station. This can be looked at as attractive to potential employers knowing that your relocation expenses will not have to be absorbed by them.
Preparing you résumé
Civilianize your resume, experience, and verbiage both when preparing your résumé and during your interview. Be aware that most hiring managers in corporate America will not understand military jargon. It will be your responsibility to make them understand the value that you will bring to the organization. Please have a professional email address. Preferably one that will only be used for job search purposes. To tie it in with your name is ideal. Your contact number and associated answering service should also be professional. In today’s market, potential employers are even looking at social networking sites. Be careful not to post anything that may be deemed inappropriate or has the potential to have you considered as an undesirable candidate. Information that is deleted is never actually deleted when it comes to the Internet. Be careful not to create cyber skeletons. You may even want to consider joining professional networking sites. Some even use your credit score as a ranking factor.
This is the perfect opportunity to showcase your strengths. Prepare a talking paper that will allow you to have possible points of discussions immediately available. During the interview is not the opportune time to think of major accomplishments off the top of your head. Think of and generate possible questions that may be asked during the interview. Ensure your responses are thought out, well-organized, and succinct. Show them examples from your work experience that correlate into exactly the experience for which they are recruiting. Emphasize both your ability to do the job and your desire to become a contributing member of their team!