4 Tips For Veterans Trying To Get A Foot In The Door Of The Corporate World

U.S. Marine Corps

Editor’s Note: The following article highlights two Hirepurpose clients that are committed to filling their ranks with talented members of the military community. Learn more here.

At Hirepurpose, we know that one of the biggest challenges newly separated service members can face when leaving the military is getting a foot in the door of the private sector. Not only can finding a job be a huge stressor on its own, but adding a military transition to that can seem almost overwhelming. If you went straight from high school to the armed forces, there’s a chance you’ve never applied for a job before! Don’t worry, you aren’t alone; if you take the time to prepare before you transition and you follow the advice provided by some of Hirepurpose’s corporate partners, then you’ll have a much greater advantage over your counterparts.

Here are four tips for easing your transition into the corporate world after the military.

1. When writing your resume, highlight the leadership skills you learned in the military.

“Employers know and value the unique leadership skills, discipline, solid work ethic, and desire to help and support others, that veterans offer,” Caroline Feeney, president of Prudential Advisors, tells Hirepurpose. “Highlighting these skills on your resume and during interviews helps prospective employers see how your military experience aligns to their needs.” Prudential, an Equal Opportunity Employer (disability/veteran), has a long-standing commitment to military veterans and their families, knows that providing programs that help veterans transition into the workforce is much more than the right thing to do; it’s a smart talent strategy that gives companies a competitive advantage.

2. Start building a professional network of people to guide you months before you get out.

It’s very rare that anyone makes a big career transition without a good network of people to lean on. These are people who can offer first-hand advice about military transitions and the corporate sector, give you feedback and recommendations on your resume, and make introductions to hiring managers and other people who will further grow your network. However, this doesn’t happen overnight. Six months before you transition, you should make sure you have an updated LinkedIn account, then start adding people and letting them know you’re going to be looking for a job in the near future. Also, don’t forget to pay it forward by helping others in your network any way you can. You never know how a good deed could come back to you in the future.

3. Stand out by paying attention to the small details.

“Here at Fiserv, attention to detail, critical-thinking skills, and a focus on structure and ethics are just a few of the traits we find most appealing in our veterans,” Kevin Pennington, Fiserv’s chief human resources officer, says. That doesn’t mean writing “Pay attention to detail” on your resume; instead, make sure to include key details of your experience that demonstrates your accomplishments, format your resume into a clean and easy-to-read document, and most importantly, make sure there are no typos!

4. Say yes to as many opportunities as you can.

As you start to envision the type of role you’ll be in when you get out of the military, try not to limit yourself to just one type of career or industry. Your military transition is your opportunity to do something completely different from your MOS, and if you don’t think broadly, you may miss out on the chance at your dream job. Corporate companies offer all sorts of jobs that you might not realize even exist. Therefore, when people offer to talk to you about their careers, take the time to listen, even if you don’t think it would interest you. Go to job fairs and ask lots of questions. And if you do get an offer that seems like it takes you out of your comfort zone, stay open-minded. Don’t say no unless you’ve given it a fair shake.


Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.

Take $75 off a Casper Mattress and $150 off a Wave Mattress with code TASKANDPURPOSE

And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.

Read More Show Less

Sometimes, even the most well-meaning of tweets can come back to haunt you as a meme.

Read More Show Less
An AH-64D Longbow Apache helicopter lands during a combined arms demonstration as part of South Carolina National Guard Air & Ground Expo 2009 at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., Oct. 10, 2009. (U.S. Army/Sgt. Roberto Di Giovine)

Welcome to Confessions Of, an occaisional series where Task & Purpose's James Clark solicits hilarious, embarrassing, and revealing stories from troops and vets about their job, billet, or a tour overseas. Are you in an interesting assignment and think you might have something to share? Email james@taskandpurpose.com with your story.

"Nothing is more powerful than a young boy's wish. Except an Apache helicopter. An Apache helicopter has machine guns and missiles. It is an unbelievably impressive complement of weaponry, an absolute death machine."

While this Patrick Stewart quote may be from an R-rated movie about a talking teddy bear, it's remarkably accurate. After all, the old warhorse has been kicking ass since it was first adopted by the U.S. Army in the 1980s. Designed to get into trouble fast and put it down even faster, the AH-64 Apache usually comes bristling with ordnance, from an M230 chain gun firing 30mm rounds to Hellfire missiles and rockets.

In the words of Tyler Merritt "it's basically a fucking flying tank."

Read More Show Less
James Jackson, right, confers with his lawyer during a hearing in criminal court, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in New York. Jackson, a white supremacist, pled guilty Wednesday to killing a black man with a sword as part of a racist plot that prosecutors described as a hate crime. He faces life in prison when he is sentenced on Feb. 13. (Associated Press/Bebeto Matthews)

White supremacist James Jackson – accused of trying to start a race war by killing a homeless black man in Times Square with a sword — pleaded guilty Wednesday to murder as an act of terrorism.

Read More Show Less
A soldier plugs his ears during a live fire mission at Yakima Training Center. Photo: Capt. Leslie Reed/U.S. Army

A Texas veteran is suing the company he says knowingly produced and sold defective earplugs which were issued to the U.S. military, leading him and many others to develop hearing problems, including tinnitus.

Read More Show Less