Posted on Jan 10, 2017
COL Mikel Burroughs
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It's a New Year, nothing remains the same!

Making the transition from the military to a civilian career takes plenty of planning. What is some the "Best Advice" our Civilian Recruiters, Business Leaders, or Veteran Executives on RallyPoint can provide to our RP Members going into 2017?

Here are three routes that a transitioning service member can take:

1. Return to school
2. Work for someone else
3. Work for yourself

Looking for "best practices, resources, and advice" for 2017!
Edited >1 y ago
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Responses: 36
SFC George Smith
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The Recruiters Need To Stop Sugar Coating the job descriptions and Tell The Troops exactly What The Job Is And What They Are Looking For...
Tell The Troops What They, The Business, Really Need To Get The Job And What They Have That The Businesses Can Use And what they Can Be Used For...
The Businesses Need To Tell the Troops What They Can Do For Them...
They Need To Create A symbiotic Relationship And Provide Loyalty And Support And The Troops Will Be More Inclined To Stay and Provide Support And Loyalty To the Business...
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COL Mikel Burroughs
COL Mikel Burroughs
>1 y
SFC George Smith Great information and points! Thanks for responding!
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CW3 Dylan E. Raymond, PHR
CW3 Dylan E. Raymond, PHR
>1 y
George I am going to have to pleasantly disagree with you on this and I can speak from the position of military and being a recruiter. Thinks about everything you said above you put all the Owens's on the recruiter and the servicemembers don't have any skin in the game. You are an E7 and sure you had to take the initiative in the absence of full and complete orders this is no different. The recruiter in some aspect may not know the finer details. It is a 2 way street. I go the extra mile as best as possible but I am the recruiter you still have to speak to the hiring manager and it's really about what they are looking for.

I was an Army recruiter and did the best I can to explain the role that the recruit was enlisting then you have the counselor at MEPS then it was instructors at Basic and AIT. So my advise to the servicemembers is do some homework but most importantly know what you bring to the fight. No one knows your story better than you that is the servicemembers value add
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CW3 Dylan E. Raymond, PHR
CW3 Dylan E. Raymond, PHR
>1 y
What do you mean about sugar coating? You are straight and direct whereas a recruiter think he is direct but it's not to your standard.
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SFC Ken Heise
SFC Ken Heise
2 y
I'm disagreeing as well. I went with my companies recruiter to a job fair. We were given a list of criteria to look for in the candidate. We were not filling positions. Our recruiter was looking for people that would fit in the company. And then the applications would be sent to the hireing manager. Those are the people who would call the candidates and interview them as the knew the specifics of the job they were hireing for.
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SGT David T.
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I am not a recruiter or an executive, just a midlevel federal bureaucrat. Some things I ran into:
1. No one cares you were in the military. Employers really only care about what you can do for them in the here and the now. The reason I say this is because I have seen many vets just expect to be handed a position based on the fact that they were in the military and come of as arrogant. This is a turn off to an employer.
2. Translate your resume into civilian terms. I cannot stress this enough. Rank should appear nowhere on a civilian resume. You cannot assume that the person looking at it has military experience. I even run into this working for the Army as a civilian employee. I am in my 4th position and only had 1 boss who was ex military.
3. Deprogram your language. We all know the military has it's own language. Force yourself to use civilian terminology. Remember it's 1pm not 1300. Even working for the Army, I rarely use military time outside of my timesheet.
4. Learn to love being a worker bee. Many of you are NCOs and Officers. I have observed (at least in the Federal government) that most people do not walk into a position that was equal to the responsibility they held in the service. Part of that for us (I cannot speak to the private sector) is that leadership and supervision start at much higher grade levels than in the military. So enjoy being responsible for only yourself.
5. Keep the good traits. For example showing up 10 minutes prior to everything. This is a very good practice that has served me well in my civilian career. Most times everyone is 5 minutes late lol.
6. Don't share more personal things than you have to. Many of us have issues with anxiety, depression and so on. Unless there is a need to, no one else in the workplace needs to know. A good example is boss asked to do something that is a known panic attack trigger, then yes it is probably a good idea to let them know. Also, just because you suffer from anxiety, depression, PTSD and so on, do not become the label. You are a person that brings a lot to the table. Becoming the label takes away from that. I learned this one the hard way lol.
7. No matter how bad things get at work remember this. You aren't being shot at or blown up (usually) so don't stress the deadlines and the workload.
8. Civilians are not in the military so you cannot talk to them that way or expect military type behavior. You have to learn to sell things to your audience. Trying to pull rank or cite a policy wont get you very far. Again, I learned this the hard way lol.

I can keep going, but I will stop here since I wrote a wall of text lol.
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COL Mikel Burroughs
COL Mikel Burroughs
>1 y
SGT David T. Great points and advise. Thanks for taking the time to share your experience with all of us here on RP. Great Job!
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SPC Siria Purcell-Campo
SPC Siria Purcell-Campo
>1 y
I agree! These are great points and advice. I wish these were things mentioned when I was transitioning from active duty. It would have helped me adjust to all the times my boss or coworkers didn't get it!
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SSG Ray Elliott
SSG Ray Elliott
>1 y
Great advice, I was going to say basically the same thing but you already did it so well. Definitely loose military terminology. You resume should stress skills and accomplishments using terms that a civilian with no military experience will understand. If you were an NCO don't say that in your resume, refer to your supervisory experience and skills, and perhaps mention how many people you supervised, and what your team accomplished under your supervision.
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Cpl Mark A. Morris
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If you know you are getting out of the military, save your money. I saved $5000.00 living on ship and base.
If you do not have an education, start working on something you like. Take computer classes as an example.
Your resume should not read how well you can blow stuff up. For example: I performed duties loading munitions onto trucks for transport. This required a strict method and following rules. State time in what group and awards given if any.
What are your goals: I am training to be a Master electrician.
This shows goal orientation and you followed orders form your Supervisor.
There are you tube videos to help you and Rally Point has individuals posting with correct grammer and punctuation.
Resumes might be thrown in the can if they have misspellings.
Be yourself. Be confident and don't tell anyone to get a dam hearing aid.
M. Morris RVT
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