9 Ways to Execute Your Post-Military Career Search and Transition

One of the greatest challenges of leaving active duty is to create a comprehensive and detailed career transition plan for your next career. There are a great many considerations, such as where to live, occupations to choose and how to begin to conduct research on all the possible opportunities.

In part one of this series we covered ways to understand the current business and hiring environments of your chosen field. In part two we highlighted, how to plan and target your career search, networking and transition plan. Up next we highlight:

9 Ways to Execute Your Post-Military Career Search and Transition

Planning where you want to be, what you want to do, and determining who to talk to so you can create your career goals is essential. Too often, military veterans believe a career transition plan is applying for jobs. Job applications are the final step, not the first in a good career transition plan.

1. Start letter-mailing networking campaign (goal should be 200-300 letters) to companies on your GIO list. Plan to mail out 25-30 letters a day for one week. You should have mailed ~200 letters at the end of a 7-day week.

Include a cover letter and resume requesting a meeting or phone call to discuss opportunities within the industry or the company.
In your letter, ask three questions about how to enter the industry, other people you can discuss how to be successful in the industry and what training and experience makes the person an ideal candidate.

2. Follow up on networking letters with phone calls to establish a networking meeting. This can be in person or over the phone.

3. Create networking questions, industry questions and opportunities to discuss at a networking meeting.

4. Set and conduct networking meeting. Send out thank you notes and ask for 2-3 other contacts that can help your networking search.

5. Set up informational interviews, personal meetings, and company visits.

6. Revise and improve your resume and cover letter based on the information and feedback from the networking sessions to ensure it matches the company needs.

7. Apply, interview and follow up with listed and potential job positions.
Once you apply, phone and email all of your contacts at that company to alert them to your application and ask for their assistance to get you an interview.

8. Update networking list with new information, new contacts and follow-up dates.

9. Evaluate and respond to job offers.

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