Transitioning from the service to a civilian career can be a challenging and at times downright confusing process. As a veteran, I know first-hand that having a military recruiter in your corner can make all the difference. We’ve walked in your shoes and understand what you and your family are going through.
A recruiter specializing in military transitions does more than just help you polish up your resume. From introducing you to new professional opportunities to providing expert advice during salary negotiations, these five ways a military recruiter pays dividends:
- Expand your search to new industries and jobs.
Many veterans are unclear what jobs they qualify for when they leave the military. A military recruiter can help you translate your skills to the civilian sector. An electrician on a Navy ship may think he only knows how to work on a ship. But many companies are actually looking for candidates with a core skill set and an aptitude and ability to learn.
- Act as your agent in the negotiating process.
There’s no negotiating in the military. You’re given an assignment and a pay rate and that’s pretty much it. But in the private sector, there’s room to negotiate on every aspect of a compensation package, and veterans are often not versed in the nuances of this process.
I recently had a candidate who was offered a position and, against my advice, countered directly with a salary that was 15% above the offer. The client was somewhat offended and shut down the process. Guiding candidates on how and how much they can ask for can make or break a job search.
- Target the right location and salary.
When veterans come out of the service, they often don’t know what salary to target. A military recruiter can help you translate your military salary to the private sector, and provide guidance on how salaries and costs of living vary by location.
- Sharpen your skills before you leave the military.
It’s never too early start working with a recruiter– even if you have a few years of service left. Recruiters know what skills are in demand in the private sector and can help you choose assignments that will set you up for a successful transition, as well providing guidance on which certifications are in demand in the civilian sector.
- Tap into a powerful network.
Military recruiters have relationships with military-friendly companies in the private sector that welcome and seek out veterans. Furthermore, many of the candidates that military recruiters place come back to those recruiters years later as hiring managers. The hardest part of any job search is getting through the gatekeepers to reach the people who have hiring authority, which a recruiter can easily do for you. Think of a military recruiter as your cover letter.
This is the first article in a six-part series on transitioning from the military to the private sector. Follow the links below to the follow-up articles that delve more deeply into the transition process for veterans.