Translating Military Skills to Civilian Careers

More than 200,000 military personnel leave their posts and return to civilian life each year. This transitional period is not without challenges. One of them is how to translate your military skills into a civilian job. How does this work, exactly?

The University of Massachusetts Global suggests, “The great news for service members and veterans is that your time spent in the armed forces has prepared you for success in the civilian workforce in a number of different ways.”

How to Translate Your Military Skills to Civilian Life?

First, have you seen’s Military Skills Translator? You can plug in your branch of service and military job title, and the app will spit out some jobs to consider. It’s a great tool to get you thinking about your next steps. For example, some common translations include:

  • “Reconnaissance” in the military translates to data collection, surveys, and analysis in the civilian world.
  • “Commanded” in civilian terms means supervised or directed.
  • Your MOS/MOS translates to a career field in civilian life.
  • “Regulations” are policies or procedures in the work world.

The truth is that many of your skills will translate quite well to a job in the “real world.” These skills are often highly valued by employers. Here are a few tips on translating your skills:

  • Identify what you bring to the table. Take a self-inventory from the perspective of an employer who might be interested in your leadership abilities, technical skills, communication under pressure, or other valuable skills.
  • Translate from military jargon into civilian language on your resume. Many military terms and acronyms are not well understood in the civilian world. Translate your resume into a document that any employer can understand.
  • Research the job requirements of the work you feel qualified to handle. What are the skills and qualifications that match your military experience? Logistics, computer programming, project management, and team leadership are highly sought-after attributes in the civilian workforce.
  • Network with veterans’ organizations, go to job fairs, and even reach out to people in the industries you want to work in. Make connections to learn about job opportunities.
  • Use military-friendly job search resources. Many civilian employers have initiatives to hire veterans and offer resources to help you make this transition. Utilize these resources to find job openings and gain insight into the hiring process.

One of the best resources out there is a recruiter. Blackstone Talent Group works with former military job seekers to help them prepare a civilian resume and find meaningful work. We are engaged with some of the top employers in the nation who would be very interested in the skills that come with you after discharge. Talk with our team today. Our work is completely free (employers pay our fees), and we can help introduce you to the right job market, prep you for the interview, and even help you negotiate your salary. Call on us. We’re here to help.

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