Leaving the Forces and returning to the civilian job market can be daunting, particularly if you’ve spent many years in the military.
Here’s our tops tips for finding a job if you leave the Forces:
Be aware of your online profiles
Before you even start looking for jobs, have a thorough check through all your social media profiles and ensure their privacy settings are as high as possible. Many employers will search for you on social media and you don’t want any incriminating photos or posts to get in the way of your chance of an interview.
Check your CV
When it comes to your job search, you need to rely on your CV to get you noticed. You can find great advice online for writing your CV on sites such as Monster and The Telegraph. The most important thing to remember is to check your CV over thoroughly for errors or spelling mistakes! Its a wise idea to ask a friend to take a look too in case you have missed anything.
Qualifications and courses
If you are struggling to find something that suits your specific skill set, it might be worth considering undertaking a new course or qualification. This will help you learn new skills as well as improve your CV, and demonstrates that you have an enthusiastic and pro active attitude. If you’re considering further education, make sure you put some time and research into it before opting for any course, to ensure you get the benefits from it that you are expecting. Many colleges have indepedent career advisers who will be able to help you evaluate which options are best for you.
Get yourself into the workplace as soon as you can
You may well find that the kind of jobs you are looking for just don’t seem to be available. Although it can be unwise to jump into the first job you see, its important to be realistic about your choices and not to spend too long searching. You may not end up in your dream job straight away, but getting into the workplace will give you important experience separate from your military career. It is also worth noting that it is often easier to get a new job when you are being currently employed.
Networking can be a really successful way to get yourself introduced to potential employers. Try speaking to friends and family outside of the military and find out more about their industry, even if just for advice on your CV or interview practice. You should also work on your LinkedIn profile as this platform is used by many employers as well as recruitment firms. Make sure your profile is kept up to date, with a suitable photo and all relevant information of your qualifications and previous employment.
Interviews are a nerve wracking experience for most of us, but they can be particularly challenging if you haven’t had one in a while. Be sure to research any company that invites you to interview and practice some questions with family or friends. Always make sure you are dressed appropriately (you can never be too overdressed for interview!) and be confident – remember that your military values can be just as worthwhile in civvy street.
Don’t underestimate the value of having your own interestes and hobbies outside of work, as its one of the first things a potential employer will often ask about or look for on CV. Having a regular hobby demonstrates commitment alongside other skills; for example, if you play group sports this is a great way to show that you can work in a team.
Get in touch with a recruitment agency
There are existing recruitment agencies that specialise in employment for ex military personnel, and can help match you with suitable positions. Many staff have experience in the military themselves and are uniquely placed to assist you with your search.
Here’s a few recruitment agencies that could be helpful if you’ve left the Forces and are looking to start a new career.