Careers for the Troops

Careers for Returning Veterans

After serving for years in the military, transitioning back into the flow of civilian life can naturally take awhile.  But there are steps that can be taken towards finding that perfect job for returning veterans.  In fact, some of these steps are probably a good deal easier than you might think. 

Finding a job for returning veterans, once you have finished serving is like most other tasks in life in that, it is usually simpler when broken down into a series of steps. The best approach is to tackle the process piece by piece.  With this in mind, let’s take a look at what steps you can take to land a civilian job.

Updating Your Resume


People often forget to properly update their resume before jumping back into the job market, seeking jobs for returning veterans.  Properly updating your resume is one of the easiest steps one can take in landing a new civilian job, but it’s also one of the most important.  By updating your resume, you are effectively increasingly your chances of landing a job for returning veterans. Odds are that you have acquired new skills and capabilities since your resume was last updated. More than likely you developed a great many new skills and new abilities while serving in the armed forces.  This fact should be used to your advantage while reworking your resume.  A big first step in starting a new career for returning veterans

Resist the urge to rush to “get your resume out there” as quickly as possible. You want to make sure you are sending out your updated resume to give yourself the best possible chance of landing a civilian job.  After all, expending a great deal of energy and time sending out resumes makes almost no sense at all if your resume hasn’t been updated first. The resume that you may have been using before you served in the military can now be vastly improved and, as a result, can be made far more attractive to potential employers. You may in fact be surprised at how quickly you can establish a new career for returning veterans

Take a few moments and list out as many responsibilities and skills as you can think of, and then use that list when you are making your new resume.  You might think that you actively know what your responsibilities and newly skills learned are, but there may be some secondary skills that you might have overlooked or which may not seem highly relevant to a civilian job.  However, these abilities and skills may be very important to a prospective employer or company. You can also find resume writers to help you who are seasoned at writing resumes for people, and finding jobs for veterans who have served in the military. If you don’t feel that writing is one of your strong points, why not hire someone to help you out? These writers can often help you reframe your military accomplishments in a way that is much more applicable for civilian life, helping you find that perfect civilian job for a veteran.

Ultimately, it is very important and indeed essential in your search for a new job for returning veterans, for you to properly assess what new skills you have learned while serving in the military.  Many employers, especially depending upon the industry, will value your skills just as much or more than a degree or certification in some situations.  For example, if you were a pilot, then a prospective employer is going to have little to no doubt that you can effectively fly an airplane. This potential employer will also know that you can do so, more than likely, under a good deal of stress.  These are the kind of selling points that are critical when seeking out a new career for returning veterans.  Just make sure that you translate your military experience into simple language that civilians can understand. If you use too much lingo or acronyms, your potential employer may start to lose interest while reading your resume. Keep the language simple, and to the point.

Don’t forget when you are trying to find a civilian job for veterans, at the end of the day, like any job, you are trying to sell yourself and your skill sets.  You want to seem as valuable and attractive as possible.  You want people to put your resume on the top of the pile and say, “I need to see this person for an interview,” or “I will probably hire this one.”

Resume Writing Resources for Military

Best Sample Resume

Military Transition Resume Resources

Military Resume Guide

Career Federal Resume Writers

General Help

Resume Help

How to Write a Resume

Career Builder’s Resume Service

Resume Edge

Career Perfect

Pongo Resume

Letters of Recommendation

A glowing letter of recommendation always goes a long way. People really tend to respect a letter of recommendation from a commanding officer a great deal.  A couple of good letters of recommendation can work wonders for opening doors to a new job for returning veterans.  These types of references also show a prospective employer that you are responsible, and work well with others. They also show that accomplished individuals value you as a person and respect your work.  Additionally a good letter of recommendation can help you stand out from the crowd as well. So don’t be afraid to ask for these letters. They can make a big difference in the long run towards your new civilian career for returning veterans.

Networking-Friends, Family, and Virtual Friends

Networking is one of the easiest ways to find jobs for returning veterans.  Now while it may seem obvious to ask your friends, both in civilian life and military life, if they have any job leads, this point is so important that it bears repeating.  Let all your friends and relatives know that you are back from your military service and that you are looking to find a civilian job.  It is key to emphasize whether or not you are willing to relocate as well.  If you are able to relocate for a civilian job, then that will greatly increase your chances over simply looking for a local job for returning veterans.

Create a social networking presence such as a Facebook or Twitter profile if you don’t already have one. Don’t be afraid to discuss that you are back in civilian life and looking for a new civilian job and career.  Post a brief summary about what kind of job for veterans you are looking for and what your basic skills sets are. 

Make sure that your posting is brief and direct. You might be surprised how many people will try to help someone who served his or her country and is now getting back into the workforce, and seeking a new civilian job.  In general, most people want to help if they can figure out how.

List of Social Networking Sites that Can Lead to Civilian Jobs:

Job Sites For Veterans

The Internet era means that there are job sites aplenty.  A quick Internet search will literally turn up dozens of solid reputable sites, offering jobs to returning veterans. All of these sites list more jobs than you might imagine. If you can relocate you will find that there are plenty of civilian jobs to which you can likely apply.

Yet as great as these job search sites are, anyone seeking jobs for returning veternas should take a good look at job sites and resources specifically aimed at helping returning servicemen and servicewomen find civilian jobs.  One site to consider for example is VetJobs.  It is common for VetJobs to see daily postings of new civilian jobs reach 25,000 or even more, each and every day. 

Clearly, any serviceman or servicewoman who checks veteran oriented websites frequently will likely find some possible options, which may lead to new careers for returning veterans

Another good job site to consider is USAJOBS.  This is another fantastic job site for returning veterans looking to start a new civilian job market.  The site has a good deal of valuable tools such as an extensive forum. On any given day, it is possible to find tens of thousands of jobs listed for veterans looking to find work with the Federal Government.

It should be noted that VetJobs and USAJOBS are simply two of a great many job sites that focus on helping individuals find jobs for returning veterans once they return to civilian life.  By checking these and other sites frequently, in time good opportunities will likely materialize for a new civilian job.

Job Sites for Veterans:



CMC Technical

Job Placement Services, Job Fairs and Recruiters

Job placement services, job fairs and recruiters can be good places for veterans to look for new civilian jobs.  Job placement services, above all else, want to provide their clients with competent and knowledgeable candidates.  When dealing with veterans, they know that they are very likely to find responsible people with proven track records.

Job placement services, job fairs and recruiters are three avenues where you can really make the most out of your letters of recommendation and discuss your skills in general. You can also speak to others in person about the skills that you acquired in the military.  Yes, we are in a digital age. However, don’t forget the importance of meeting face to face with someone who can help you find a civilian job!  There are a wide variety of job fairs and recruiters, which are geared solely for people who have been in the military, and are looking for jobs for returning veterans. These go on throughout the year, so you very likely will find one in a location convenient for you.

Job Fairs and Recruiters

Hire Vets First

Civilian Jobs

ACAP Job Fairs List

Recruit Military

Military Connection

TAOnline Military Job Fairs

MilitaryStars Find Your Civilian Job List of Job Fairs


Job Search Strategy

Once you have an updated and polished resume and you’ve zeroed in on the job websites that you think are most in line with your needs, it’s a good time to think about your civilian job search strategy.  Are you able to apply for many different types of jobs or is your job search more focused in nature?  This may seem like a simple question.  However, time management is key to a successful outcome.  Try to figure out ahead of time what types of careers for returning veterans you are interested in.  You may also want to keep an open mind for careers you may not have thought about.

Let’s face it, for most of us, asking other people for advice is not easy.  But when it comes to finding a job, asking for advice might be one of the best things you can do.  Asking fellow military personnel you’ve served with about how they are approaching their job search is a very, very good idea.  You’ve probably heard the saying, “two heads are better than one.”  This saying is definitely true when it comes to finding a job.  Asking fellow military personnel and civilian friends for advice on how they approach a civilian job search is a good approach.  Ask enough people, and you will likely hear some ideas that you haven’t thought of just yet.

It is important to note that we have only scratched a fraction of the surface of options that are currently available for veterans seeking new civilian jobs.  There are all sorts of resources available for veterans looking to find a new career or job once they have returned home.  The Internet has made performing a job search far easier than in years past and far quicker as well. 

Just remember to have a clear idea of what kind of job or career for returning veterans you are pursuing and in what location. Also make sure you check back with the most promising websites very often.  Checking job sites frequently may very well turn out to be what lands you that great new civilian job because you will be among the first to find a new job once it has been posted