Wednesday, August 25, 2010

How to Translate Your Military Experience for a Civilian Job Search

Transitioning from the military to the civilian world is a little like moving to a new country where a different language is spoken. Most civilian employers don't understand military terminology. That means you have to do some translating if you're making a military-to-civilian career change.

How to Translate Military Terminology to Civilian Speak

On your resume and in job interviews, it's your job to convey the value you offer a civilian employer -- and you need to do that in civilian-speak, not military lingo.

In this video, Patra Frame suggests four ways to learn job-related civilian terminology. Notice these activities are also excellent ways to find a civilian job!
  1. Search for common civilian terminology. Read through 10-20 job posts in your line of work to see what terms are commonly used.
  2. Read industry-specific articles, both in print and online, to get up to date on what's happening and how to articulate it.
  3. Attend professional events such as job fairs and civilian classes in your line of work. Listen to how others are describing their civilian work functions. Join in the conversation using those terms.
  4. Participate in social networking sites such as LinkedIn where you can discuss work-related topics with civilian professionals.
This job search homework will help you learn your civilian terms and give you practice talking and writing about your professional achievements. And it just might help you land a job!

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