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What You Bring to the Table
What you bring to the table is part of your personal brand, and as a veteran, you have certain attributes that employers seek. Let's say Employers will automatically perceive you in a certain way - e.g., as being disciplined and as having specialized technical skills.
While it’s advantageous to walk into a room with this pre-conceived perception, you will want to define who you are as a result of your military training yourself. You should reinforce this in all aspects of the job search, from your resume and cover letter to what you wear and how you present yourself. Keep the following in mind:
- Your unique leadership skills. With military training as your framework, highlight that you have been conditioned to take on a leadership role regardless of ranking; being responsible for not only your own behavior but the behavior of your peers.
- Your team-oriented nature. Promote your team-oriented training, that you make decisions based on their impact on the team as a whole and plans and activities are executed with this in mind.
- Your background and security clearances. Specify that since you were a government employee you were required to go through various background and security checks.
- Your knowledge of cutting-edge technologies. Because the military relies on sophisticated technologies to perform military engagements, you’re already well-versed and have a deep understanding or high level training in technology. This should not be minimized.
- Your highly-organized nature. Planning is a military mantra that all service members follow. Keeping to restrictive schedules, managing and executing clear objectives, outlining detailed logistical engagements, to name a few. Employers seek candidates who have an ability to plan and execute efficiently.
- Your unique ability to work under high-stress situations. Those in the military are continually adapting to ever-changing situations, are required to work long hours, sometimes under difficult situations, all the while having to take disciplined actions. Adapting to stressful situations is a large part of the military framework and your nature; acknowledge and stress this point.
With many employers looking to hire veterans for their unique skills, to expand their diversity initiatives and also to take advantage of future tax credits, do not shy away from your veteran status. Build this into your personal brand and leverage what you bring to the table as a veteran.