Life After the Military

Transitioning to a Civilian Career

When you leave the military, you have many options. For most of you, the civilian workforce is the preferred choice. Searching for a job that fits your skill-set and conforms to your separation date can be difficult and discouraging - especially in today's economy. This article will provide some helpful tips about preparation and where to go online for one of the biggest career moves you'll ever make.

These decisions will impact your life in many ways, so take time to learn and absorb this information.




As in other situations, don't wait until the last minute to start your job search. There are too many job seekers with separation dates fast approaching who have not even created a resume! Avoid this by following some key concepts:

Your resume is part of a journey, not a destination. You should always have a resume available so that you can update and tweak it. Contact Appelbaum's Resume Professionals, Inc., a company that excels in military transition resumes. When it is time to present your resume to an employer, it won't be a first draft; it will be a polished document.

List careers or types of positions for which you're suited. This will narrow the number of companies and industries in which you can work. It will also give you the opportunity to research the specifics of the civilian position and a general salary range.

Make contacts early. If you are one or even two years from separation, start exploring companies in which you're interested and recruiters who can help with your career transition. Starting early builds knowledge of the job market and yourself, puts your paperwork in front of people who can help, and gives you an understanding of the standards necessary to successfully land the right job.

Visit your Transition Assistance, Family Service or Career Resource Office for information and assistance during your transition. Frequently there is literature left behind by recruiters and other companies which can provide a lot of valuable information. Another great resource at the office is the manager. He or she has interacted with various organization helping military job seekers transition into civilian careers.


Transition on the Internet


The greatest amount of information related to one's transition from a military to civilian career is found on the World Wide Web. Get tips on writing resumes, review the particulars of others who successfully left the military for corporate America, and post your resume for interested employers and recruiting specialists. The Internet can be the most powerful tool in your job search. Use it effectively, and your chances of finding the ideal civilian career are greatly enhanced.

Job boards are very popular on the Internet; however, you need a resource that caters specifically to you as a job seeker leaving the military. Some of the most popular military transition websites include:

All of these sites place your resume in front of men and women who can help you find a career in the civilian workforce.

Should you work with a recruiter?


There are several recruiting firms online who can help separating military job seekers find work. Many of them hire through conferences where employers and candidates are brought together for two or three days of interviews. Candidates are prepped in advance on interviewing skills and information on companies with whom they'll be speaking. In addition, they are told what to expect throughout the process.

Conferences are a well-oiled machine that has been perfected over the years so that candidates and employers get the most out of their experience. Prominent recruiting firms in the military transition discipline include:

Information is at the fingertips of those who are prepared to work at finding their civilian career. Effective use of the Web can help you transition with ease. Knowledge gives you an idea of what to expect during your job search, and that gives you confidence. Research some of the resources listed above, search the Internet, determine which services work best for you, and take charge of your career!

Doris Appelbaum is Founder and President of Appelbaum's Resume Professionals, Inc. She is an international career consultant, resume writer, educator, speaker, and trainer. Doris can be reached at (414) 352-5994 - 1-800-619-9777 - - (414) 352-7495 (fax). Listen to "Career Quest" every Sunday at noon on AM 540, WRRD in Wisconsin and Illinois. Send resume for FREE critique.