University Career Services understands the unique career development and job search needs of active-duty military personnel and veterans. Whether you are considering an internship, employment, or another post-graduation option, we are here to support you in achieving your goals!
Civilian employment differs from military employment in a variety of ways. For example, military jobs consist of MOS codes, job names, and ranks, whereas the civilian workforce is made up of industries and professional titles. CareerOneStop offers tips for understanding the differences between civilian and military employment in terms of pay, benefits, training, health care, and career advancement.
If you are transitioning to a civilian job, it is important to help civilian employers understand the value your military experience brings to their organizations. Below are key strategies that will help you translate your military experience to civilian terms on your resume, cover letters, and in conversations with prospective employers.
1. Match your skills and military experience to civilian jobs
- Use Skills Matcher from The Veteran and Military Trasition Center
- Research equivalent civilian jobs to your military job
2. Translate your military experience into civilian language by taking out or explaining acronyms
Review military terms and equivalent civilian terms
3. Articulate your relevant skills to civilian employers
- Review civilian job postings of interest and identify common skills needed
- Incorporate these skills into your resume, cover letter, and conversations with prospective employers
- Use numbers to quantify your skills and experiences (e.g. Led a 50-person team and managed a $5 million budget)
4. Check out sample military/veteran resumes transitioning to civilian positions
5. Do a practice interview
If you are looking for companies that are designated as military-friendly, check out these resources:
LinkedIn Learning is a free resource for Mason students. Log into your account to access videos that offer career advice specific to veterans on networking, job searching, and more.
Here are a few to get you started:
Check out these resources to broaden your network and connect with other veterans:
Military-Friendly Career Fairs
Veterans Resources at Mason
Having a security clearance is a major advantage. By preserving your security clearance, you maintain a valuable qualification that is in high demand by government agencies and contractors.
Below are strategies for maintaining your security clearance:
- Obtain a cleared position by a government agency
- Pursue consulting/part-time positions for a government contractor that will sponsor your clearance
- Work part-time in the Reserves or National Guard
For student veterans with an active security clearance, these job search engines have many postings that require a security clearance:
For student veterans who are interested in being their own boss, the following local and federal resources are available to support your entrepreneurial endeavors.
- The Veteran Entrepreneur Portal connects Veteran entrepreneurs to relevant best practices and information for starting or growing a business
- The Small Business Development Center provides no-cost counseling and training services to small businesses
- Mason Entrepreneurship & Innovation has academic programs, events, and resources to support students interested in starting a business