When transitioning from military service into a civilian career, not only do you have to adjust to a completely different life, but you also need to find a career that puts your skills to use.
If you’re in this position, be assured that you aren’t alone. Veterans and civilians alike struggle when looking for work, and some start feeling lost or ignored by recruiters without knowing why. Thankfully, you can draw on many resources to get constructive feedback, build a network, set goals, and learn how to translate the skills you developed as a service member into a resume that will impress potential employers.
In addition to your personal network of family and friends, as a veteran, you have access to a wide range of resources from government agencies, nonprofits and more. Here’s a breakdown of our top resources for veteran job searches.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
The VA has numerous resources for veterans seeking employment, training, or guidance. Some of the most popular include the following:
- The VA Transition Assistance Program is a set of courses designed to help you understand the breadth of VA benefits available to you, including career advancement and mentorship.
- Veteran Readiness and Employment (Chapter 31) is available to veterans who have a disability that limits or prevents them from working.
- Finally, the Veteran and Military Spouse Talent Engagement Program connects veterans and their spouses with jobs, including at the VA itself.
U.S. Department of Labor
The Department of Labor can also help you map the skills you developed as a service member onto a set of jobs, providing insight into the types of careers you may already be qualified to pursue.
- The Veterans’ Employment and Training Service connects veterans with employers, job centers, and other resources.
- The agency’s SkillBridge program enables you to use a portion of your service to train in a new industry.
- Apprenticeship USA guides service members toward apprenticeship programs, whether they’re on active duty, separating soon, or veterans.
- Feds Hire Vets: Feds Hire Vets is a program administered by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management that provides veterans with information about government jobs, specifically with the federal government. Their website includes online resources for job seekers and employers, as well as a virtual classroom with articles and videos about multiple topics. Feds Hire Vets also includes a directory of veteran employment offices at federal agencies.
- Warriors to Work: Warriors to Work, a free program administered by the Wounded Warrior Project, provides additional resources to help veterans during their job search. These resources include help with resume writing, career mentorship, interview preparation, and even tips to help you negotiate a higher wage. The program also helps employers connect with and onboard veterans and to retain them as long-time employees.
- Hiring Our Heroes: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce created Hiring Our Heroes, which assists with job searches both online and in-person through job fairs and fellowship programs.
Advancing Your Career Goals Through Education
Many veterans use the GI Bill® to pursue higher education and give themselves an edge in their job searches. Education provides unique benefits in addition to the practical knowledge and skills you learn, including valuable networking opportunities with fellow students and faculty. Plus, schools can provide career guidance and advisors to help you find a career path that works for you.
Here at Columbia Southern University, we have a military student population of approximately 40%, which means we’re a prime destination for veterans seeking an advantage in their new careers. Our Veterans Center will work with you to help you get the most out of your education while giving you the flexibility you need to adjust to civilian life.
If you’d like to learn more about how CSU can help you, explore our online degree programs for veterans on our website.
Multiple factors, including prior experience, geography, and degree field, affect career outcomes. CSU does not guarantee a job, promotion, salary increase, eligibility for a position, or other career growth.
GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website.