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Military to Civilian Career Transition


Job Search for Ex-Defence Personnel – LinkedIn, Job Boards and everything in between.

If you’ve been in the Australian Defence Force for a large portion of your career, the job market can seem like a foreign territory. “Whatever happened to reading the newspaper classifieds and sending in your resume?” one ex-ADF member asked me. It’s true, job search has changed and successful transition demands that you adapt too or be left behind.

So what do you need to know and where do you start? The following are my top three tips for adapting your job search methodology to today’s market.

  1. The traditional resume is dead. Gone are the days of a typed resume that was a simple transcript of your employment history. Today’s resume is a sophisticated document that requires a great deal of forethought and preparation. As many resumes are now read by employer and recruiter scanning software it’s important that your resume is scanner-friendly and targeted closely to the advertised position. 

    Ensure your resume reflects the job or industry keywords in the advertisement and keep your resume free of shading or unusual fonts that may interfere with the scanners reading ability. Read more on writing a Defence-to-civilian resume.

  2. Social Media is more than just social. Social media is now an important part of job search practices. It’s important you familiarise yourself with LinkedIn, Twitter and even Facebook. LinkedIn in particular is a common hunting ground for recruiters looking for talent. Develop your LinkedIn profile carefully and ensure you make your profile heading clear and relevant to your job search target. (Read our Defence article on Your LinkedIn Profile). It’s also important in LinkedIn that you include all your ‘relevant’ skills and fill out your profile in as much detail as possible. The important word here is relevant. Familiarise yourself with what employers want in your target industry and reflect any of these you have in the skills section of LinkedIn. 

    Recommendations are also a great way of improving your market credibility within your LinkedIn Profile. Joining relevant groups in LinkedIn will help visibility so network in areas relevant to your target industry. LinkedIn is also brilliant for unearthing contacts that may be helpful to your job search. Use your networks, and the people/company search functions to find and reach out to potential employers. 

    Whilst LinkedIn is the main current social media tool for business, Twitter is also a great vehicle for assisting in your job search. Use Twitter to follow recruiters, hiring authorities and companies in your target industry. This will enable you to receive up-to-the-date information on latest job vacancies.

  3. The Internet is your greatest tool and potentially your biggest enemy. The Internet provides a wealth of information that can assist your job search effectiveness. Use it to research any companies you are interviewing with. Set Google alerts to remain up-to-date on news of your target industry or company. Find all the relevant job boards that list jobs in your target areas and set up email alerts with each job board so that you receive daily updates of any relevant job vacancies. Remember the internet can also be a danger to your job search if not handled well.

    Recruiters and employers use the internet to do credibility checks on potential candidates so make sure any online information is professional. If you have unprofessional content or images online make sure to have these removed if possible. Finally the other danger of the internet is becoming complacent and only using job boards as your whole job search strategy. The majority of positions never make it to job boards and are filled before hand by word of mouth or people contacting the company directly.

Finally remember the Internet is continually evolving and new opportunities are being created each day to contact and connect with potential employers. Continually monitor credible career information sources to remain up-to-date on these.
Good luck

Download a PDF version of Job Search for Ex-Defence Personnel.

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