Veteran and Spouse Career Services
As a veteran, you are re-entering the work force with a variety of transferable skills that employers from various industries are seeking. This resource is designed to help you showcase your experience and navigate the transition to civilian careers. For additional assistance navigating the internship and job search process, schedule an appointment with an advisor in the Academic & Career Development Center.
Hire Our Heroes Offer:
Hire Our Heroes continues its commitment in positioning veterans for success by offering veterans a free round trip flight to their next out of state job interview.
How to Translate Your Military Skills into Civilian Terms
During your service, you may have use a résumé that was several pages long with detailed information about your classification and duties performed. Often the skills and talents you developed are highly sought after by civilian employers, but you need to make sure you’re speaking the same language and keeping things concise.
Reframing Your Skills in Civilian Terms
Focus on describing your skills in a way that makes them clear to someone who is unfamiliar with military operations. Use a web military skills translator to identify relevant transferable skills to help you in this process. Also, when compiling your résumé, stay away from acronyms and abbreviations. Spell them out and describe them into layperson terms.
Example of Strengths Gained Through Military Service
- Leadership / team leader / team player
- Ability to work with diverse individuals
- Meet deadlines / work under pressure
- Ability to give and follow directions
- Experience with systematic planning / organization
- Familiar with records / personnel administration
- Self-direction / initiative / flexibility / adaptability
- Global outlook /client and service-oriented
- Source: sjsu.edu/careercenter
Review and ReflectReflect on the following questions when you create your résumé:
- Would someone without a military background understand what this means?
- Why is this important for a civilian employer to know?
- What are the strengths and skills that I am trying to highlight?
- Did I use military phrases, program titles, or acronyms? If yes – how can I reframe the wording to reflect civilian terms?
Job Search Resources
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Finding a job and building a career can be daunting. Whether you’re looking for an internship, part-time or full-time job or don’t know where to begin, Handshake is here to help.
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