How to find a civilian job for a veteran


It’s sad to see unemployment among veterans. Unfortunately, many former military men and women have little confidence in applying for a civilian job. What they fail to realize is that the training and learnings they received from the military have prepared them for a life as a civilian including working in private companies.

Veterans need to take pride that men and women of the military are some of the brightest, hardworking, well-educated ones in any talent pool. Plus, they’re great leaders and followers.

There are serious consequences to being unemployed. Veterans without a job sometimes rely solely on their benefits, which arguably may not be enough. Some of them resort to borrowing from family, and friends. They also seek whatever online personal loans are available for veterans.

Rather than get into financial trouble, past military members should find ways to overcome their fear of finding civilian jobs. After all, many of their former co-workers in the military were able to transition easily into the private sector. Here are some tips veterans on finding work outside the military.

Map Your Career Carefully

Most veterans are eager to start a new career as soon as they get out of the military. Unfortunately, this excitement does not bode well for them as they simply take the first job that’s offered to them.

Take the time to think of what jobs you want to do for the next couple of years. Avoid applying for every job or company that would take you. Identify the various positions you are suited for and which ones you are most interested in. Applying for various openings without a clear thought on what you want is a waste of both energy and time.

Arguably, there are plenty of military jobs that are easily available in the private sector such as lawyers, engineers, accountants, and medical professionals. However, some prefer to get a completely different job as a civilian. If this is the case, then it would be best to list your transferable skills and accomplishment and figure out which industries would value your strengths.

Veterans who are in doubt of what they can do in the civilian sector can schedule a meeting with a career counselor from the military.

Consider Working for the Government

The government is still the largest employer. As such, don’t dismiss the possibility of working for the government sector.

You can start browsing through the internet to find government jobs. The USAJobs is a great place to start as it has a list of all job openings. You can also apply to the jobs via this site.

Veterans have many advantages in finding work in the government sector. For example, the federal government job openings give a premium to veterans. This means former military personnel are given points for their service to the country, giving you an advantage over other applicants.

The government also gives wonderful benefits for their employees including dental and medical benefits and retirement funds, among others. Upon your retirement, you will enjoy both government and military pension.

If you prefer to stay at your current residence, then look for employment opportunities from the local or state government. On the other hand, if relocation is not an issue, then there is much federal government work that can be found in other states.

Preparation is Key

Getting out of military service to find new work as a civilian is a major undertaking. And as with all big changes, preparation is always necessary.

A new job in many cases does not just fall on the laps of veterans. It requires hard work and dedication.

Creating a well-composed resume is the first step in finding work for any job seeker. Fortunately, military personnel can get help in this department. There is resume writing assistance available for them. The Department of Veteran Affairs also offers this service.

Remember that sometimes having several versions of your resume is necessary. This is because you need a tailored resume for each industry, company or position you are applying to. It always pays to highlight the skills and experience you have that’s valuable to the position and or company.


For many civilians, military talk is difficult to understand. Take those acronyms you commonly use in service. As you prepare for different work-life, remember to let go of the lingo you were used to.

Most organizations don’t have as many acronyms as the military. Start training yourself to spell them or explain terminologies you used in service. Doing so will enable you to talk about your previous jobs to interviewers and hiring managers easily. You will thank yourself later once you’re already hired for a civilian job.

Prepare to Impress

You can also start practicing for your interviews before you even get one. The best way to start is by practicing on marketing your skills and experience. Interviewers, after all, will ask you about why you think you’re a perfect fit for the job.

Additionally, prepare a proof of your credentials. This could include a diploma if you obtained post-graduate degrees while in the military or other certification for seminars and training you’ve completed.

Author’s Bio

Lidia Staron is a part of the Content and Marketing team at She contributes articles about the role of finance in the strategic-planning process.

Author Details
Sorry! The Author has not filled his profile.

All content herein is owned by author exclusively.  Expressed opinions are NOT necessarily the views of VNR, authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners, technicians or Veterans Today Network.  Some content may be satirical in nature. 
All images within are full responsibility of author and NOT VNR.

POLITICAL PARTY POLICY: We intentionally remove all references to political party affiliation when highlighting elected officials.  We believe in judging actions taken by politicians and NOT what party they belong to.  For the same reason, we are also advocates for removing reference to political party affiliation on all ballots nationwide.
Read Full Policy Notice - Comment Policy