Transitioning from the military into a civilian job can be quite a demanding process. On the plus side, the military is one of the best career preparation programs in the country. With over one thousand different disciplines and technical job types, the military provides training and hands on experience that can become extremely valuable when searching for a civilian job after leaving the military.
Before the post-military career search can begin, it is advisable to create a strong resume and cover letter in order to showcase the skills ,knowledge, and abilities you have gained in you military service career.
The cover letter is an important component of you resume submission. It is the document that introduces your resume and gives potential employers a brief look at you and what you hope to achieve. Here are some tips for putting together and effective cover letter to go with your resume:
- Address your cover letter to a specific individual within the organization you are applying for. Let the person in charge of hiring know that you are actively pursuing this job and you are not just sending out mass quantities of this cover letter in hopes of catching something good in the net.
- The cover letter is a chance to explain any unique characteristics that make you a good fit for the job. If you have served in the US Navy as a nuclear power specialist and you are applying for a job at a power plant, give some insight into how you would apply your training to this job.
- Cover letters also allow you to explain any discrepancies your resume may contain. If you left the military one year ago as a electronic technician, but you have been working at a grocery store, explain how you have been searching for a position like the one you are applying to and you are extremely enthusiastic about getting back into the field you were trained for in your military service.
- Use the cover letter to highlight specific skills and abilities most pertinent to the job you are applying for. If the job is for a field service electrical technician, and you have worked in the army repairing electrical connections on APCs, make sure describe how your skills would translate into this new civilian job.
- Finally, end your cover letter with a call to action. Tell the employer to explore your resume and contact you immediately to discuss how you can improve their company.
A cover letter that is concise and descriptive, without being arrogant or pedantic, will entice the employer to explore your resume and hopefully give you a chance to interview. Look for the next article in this series to delineate some cover letter mishaps to avoid.
If you are a transitioning military member looking to find a civilian career, visit www.cmc-jobs.com and let professional military recruiters assist with your job search after leaving the military.