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3 Ways to Explain Military Skills to Civilians


A recent article in the Washington Business Journal reported that one in five employers plan to hire Veterans within the next year. This is great news for any of you who are making the transition from military-to-civilian life.

One problem, though, is that many veterans don’t properly market their unique skill set. Why? Because they don’t know how to properly explain how their skills transfer into corporate job requirements.

Military veterans are effective communicators, work well under pressure and can think on their feet. These are all values that companies love in employees, but how do you explain your former military role to a civilian? To get you started, we’ve provided a list of three common skills that can transfer from the military to an office.

1. Execution
Simply put, you know how to get things done. An easy and straightforward way to explain this is by referencing a time you were in the service and assigned a mission that you saw through to the end.

2. Communication
As a representative of the military, you learned how to clearly convey complex idea and thoughts in a way that others can understand. Be sure to bring this up in an interview! Effective communication skills are critical in successful employees.

3. Management
Service members have management down to a science, whether it’s time management or management of a team. You know how to take charge and lead a situation to achieve success. Think of the most impressive time you managed something successfully and use it to wow your interviewer.

Of course, this is only a tiny sample of all that your skill set can bring to the workplace. At least you can take these as a starting point and properly translate the rest of your skills now. Whenever possible, use concrete examples to illustrate not just that you understand these valuable traits, but that you have a record of using these skills in your daily work life.

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