As a veteran job seeker, transitioning to civilian life and finding a new career can be a challenging experience. Adding to the stress, many job sites today use algorithms to filter and rank job applications, making it more difficult for applicants to get their resumes in front of a real person. But don’t worry, there are ways to work past these issues and increase your chances of landing the job you want. In this blog, we’ll share tips on how to navigate job site algorithms and maximize your opportunities as a veteran job seeker.
Optimize Your Resume for Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)
An ATS is a software tool that many employers use to screen and sort through job applications. To ensure your resume isn’t filtered out, use the following tips:
- Use relevant keywords: Identify and incorporate the most important keywords from the job description into your resume. This will help your resume rank higher in search results and increase the likelihood of it being seen by a recruiter.
- Stick to standard formatting: Use a simple font, avoid columns, and use bullet points to list your accomplishments. This makes it easier for the ATS to parse your information correctly.
- Save your resume as a plain text file: This ensures that the ATS can easily read your resume, regardless of the specific software used.
Leverage Your Veteran Status
As a veteran, you bring unique skills and experience to the table that can set you apart from other applicants. Be sure to highlight this on your resume and in your cover letter:
- Emphasize your military experience: Translate your military skills and accomplishments into civilian language, focusing on leadership, teamwork, and problem-solving abilities.
- Showcase any security clearances: If you have a security clearance, make sure to mention it, as this can be a valuable asset for certain employers.
Network with Fellow Veterans
Networking is a crucial aspect of any job search, and veterans can benefit from connecting with others who have already made the transition to civilian careers:
- Join veteran networking groups: Seek out local and online veteran communities, where you can share experiences, exchange advice, and gain insights into the job market.
- Attend job fairs and events: Many organizations host job fairs specifically for veterans, providing a unique opportunity to meet potential employers face-to-face.
Utilize Veteran-Specific Job Resources
There are numerous resources available to help veterans find employment, including job boards, career services, and training programs:
- Check out veteran job boards: Websites like HireVeterans.com, VetJobs.com, and RecruitMilitary.com focus specifically on connecting veterans with job opportunities.
- Explore government resources: The Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) offers assistance with job training, placement, and other support services.
Connect with a Mentor
A mentor can provide invaluable guidance and support during your job search. Seek out a mentor who has successfully transitioned from military to civilian life and can offer practical advice on navigating the job market:
- Use mentorship programs: Organizations like American Corporate Partners (ACP) and Veterati offer free mentoring programs to help veterans build professional relationships and develop new skills.
- Reach out to former colleagues: If you know someone who has successfully made the transition, ask them for advice or request an introduction to potential employers.
Although job site algorithms can create challenges for veteran job seekers, there are strategies you can use to increase your chances of success. By optimizing your resume for ATS, leveraging your veteran status, networking, utilizing veteran-specific resources, and seeking mentorship, you can effectively navigate the job market and land your dream job. With persistence and determination, you can overcome the obstacles and make a successful transition to civilian life.
Want some more tips to help with your job hunt? Check out this video on new job search tips here: