Blog posts, news, and tips

Seven Ways to Land a Civilian Job After Leaving the Military


To begin, I would like to thank all of our soldiers, their families, and anyone who supports and encourages service members’ transition back to civilian life.

Janet Farley, author of JIST’s Quick Military Transition Guide, has decades of experience helping service members overcome these obstacles using a seven-step plan. The following steps provide a brief overview of that plan and can be integrated into any program or workshop designed to help service members achieve employment more quickly and easily.

1.Establish post-uniform priorities

Transitioning military personnel should identify which kinds of jobs are right for their interests and skills. Options include:

  • A civilian job doing what was done while in uniform
  • A civilian job totally unlike what was done in the military
  • Completing additional training and education before pursuing employment

2. Identify marketable skills

Service members should pinpoint which skills they can immediately offer employers, which skills they need to further develop, and which skills are most in-demand in the occupations that interest them.

3. Translate skills for civilian employers

Service members often struggle to make connections between their military skills and civilian skills. An applicable resource, the O*NET Online Military Occupational Classification Crosswalk can help them tackle this step.

4. Craft a flexible resume and cover letter

There are a multitude of resources available to assist in formatting a resume, developing resume content, and writing effective cover letters.  Service members should be mindful about translating military terminology into terms civilian employers and hiring managers can easily understand.

5. Find and apply for worthy jobs

The job search process is a lot of work. Staying focused and organized will help service members navigate the process efficiently.

Service members may consider participating in the Military’s Transition Assistance Program (TAP) to network with peers, access personalized job search assistance, and find Department of Labor sponsored workshops.

6. Nail the interview

Be prepared! From making a great first impression to answering tough questions to writing thank-you notes, being prepared will help service members feel confident and gain an advantage over other candidates throughout every stage of the job search process.

7. Get hired and succeed on the job

After securing and accepting a job offer, service members should utilize and improve their hard and soft skills to achieve success on the job.


Share your support and advice for military members transitioning to civilian life in our comments!





One thought on “Seven Ways to Land a Civilian Job After Leaving the Military

  1. This stuff is a good template for success regardless of if you’re a veteran. I noticed a lot of identifying steps which I think is important because it’s normally to feel a lose of identity which can make returning veterans feel lonely or confused on who they are. It’s an odd experience getting out. I do think this article is attempting to bridge a gap that is difficult for anyone who gets accustomed to a different lifestyle.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Fields marked with an * are required.

Stay up to date on everything that is happening at JIST. Sign up to receive emails about special offers, new products, and more.