Military veterans are some of the bravest men and women in our country who work tirelessly to protect the American dream. But there comes a time when these courageous people have to consider moving to civilian life for various reasons. If you’re a military person who is planning to do so in the future, then you need to start planning from right now.
It’s a tough world out there, and some of the best paying jobs and career opportunities often require a college degree. Today we will discuss college education and help you understand why you need one to maximize your chances of success after leaving your military service.
The Importance of College Education to Improve Your Skills
While the military undoubtedly instills many admirable skills and traits within, depending on which branch of the military you’re serving, most of those skills aren’t applicable for high-paying civilian jobs in good companies. This is precisely why you need to hone and polish your career skills through the corresponding academic degree. Thanks to the internet, you no longer need to physically attend college classes to get a degree. There are many great military-friendly online colleges out there today that will eagerly help you to pursue your academic pursuits.
Colleges offer online courses on a wide range of topics which you can pursue at your schedule without clashing with your military responsibilities. This is especially a considerable benefit if you’re trying to get your degree before handing in your resignation from service. Many of these colleges are part of the government Tuition Assistance program that takes out a good chunk of your financial worries.
Colleges Provide Excellent Mentorship Opportunities
Career mentorship is undoubtedly invaluable for anyone on any career path. But for military personnel transitioning to civilian life, it is almost vital. Most of you grew up with lifelong dreams of serving your country and probably weren’t prepared for a shift in career and lifestyle.
As a civilian student, you can benefit from prior preparation for your career paths, which makes it easy for them to choose how they want to progress in their academics. Military personnel entering college fresh off the boat need a guiding hand, a mentor to steer them to the right career choices. Here are just some of the benefits you can get from a professor who becomes your mentor in college:
- Professors from online colleges can help you out by giving you valuable advice
- Proper advice that can have a significant impact on your civilian career is a bit hard to come by
- They can share their personal experiences with you which can be invaluable
- They can help you develop your PDP (Professional Development Plan)
- Provide feedback and solutions to your PDP
Other than these, there are also many other auxiliary benefits to college mentorships, such as professional references that current military personnel and veterans can benefit from.
Tips on Updating Your CV and Cover Letter
Different industries have varying kinds of formalities, and sending your CV in the wrong format or a cover letter at the wrong place can end in banging your head against the proverbial wall. While the rules are different depending on the industry you are looking to have a career in, there are some general tips and tricks that you can follow to create the best impression on your future employer. When creating your cover letter, you should take these tips into consideration:
- On your online CVs and bios (like LinkedIn), mention whether you are actively looking for a job or not as prospective employers often use this particular filter to screen candidates. You never know when a fantastic opportunity will present itself.
- Don’t forget to add relevant experience to your CV if your military skills have any relevance to the job you’re applying for. Make sure to include any training, courses, etc.
- Always add your professional email address to your CV.
- Keep your contact information up-to-date.
- If you have prior job experience, list them in reverse chronological order.
- Ensure consistency with font, size, italics, bold, etc. Try to use simple subheadings.
- Use a professional template only if you have to.
- Include URLs to professional websites, blog, etc. that are relevant to the job.
- Look for keywords in the job you want to get (use in resume).
- List important accomplishments and achievements.
- Consider having more than one resume for different potential job opportunities.
Now that all is said and done, we hope that this article has been of some help to you as you prepare for your future after the military.