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Career Considerations for Military-Affiliated Students Webster University I Career Planning & Development Center

Information and website links have been provided as a convenience for users and the Webster University Career Planning & Development Center (CPDC) is not responsible for the contents of any linked site. This resource is not a comprehensive list.

Military-affiliated students have a variety of unique concerns related to career development. Use the following tips and resources to enhance your career development and capitalize on your military experience.

Overview

  • Resources Available Through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Build Your Network
  • Develop Experience in Your Field
  • Explain Your Skills
  • Identify Military-Friendly Hiring Sources

Resources Through Veterans Affairs

The VA offers career resources and assistance to veterans, service members who are within one year of separating from the military, and their spouses.

Explore a sampling of the VA’s career-oriented resources:

Build Your Network

If you’re a military-affiliated student, it’s possible that your networking opportunities may have been affected by periods of service, changing geographic locations, and other life events. As a student, you have the opportunity to focus on building a strong network.

Recommended Actions

Participate in networking strategies to connect with contacts in your industry.

Connect to Webster University resources to build your network:

Developing Experience

If you’re transitioning to a field that’s not directly tied to your Military Occupational Specialty (MOS), you’ll need to develop experience so that you can demonstrate newly acquired qualifications to prospective employers. If your career goals are related to your MOS, you can develop additional experience to continue to build your professional profile.

Recommended Actions

Keep track of your academic projects so that you can evaluate the skills you developed in your coursework. Incorporate major papers and projects into your resume if they helped you to obtain skills related to your field of interest.

Consider Completing a Minimum of One Internship

An internship is a great way to align academic knowledge from the classroom to an outside of the classroom experience. View the Career Planning & Development Center's Internship and Job Search Guide for internship and job search strategies.

Build experience related to your new industry via volunteer work for student organizations, non-profits, or veterans’ service organizations.

Here are some examples of sites that post volunteer opportunities:

  1. Involved@Webster
  2. Serve.gov
  3. VolunteerMatch
  4. Idealist
  5. The Mission Continues

Explain Your Skills

Your military service is likely a rich source of transferrable experience. Regardless of whether your MOS is related to your new industry of choice, you need to be able to articulate your skills to contacts and prospective employers.

Recommended Actions

Learn how to dissect job postings to understand what the employer is seeking in an ideal candidate.

Help prospective employers understand your skills by translating your MOS into civilian language. Here are some examples of resources to assist you in identifying skills based on your MOS:

When explaining your skills, modify the language you use to fit the needs of your prospective employer.

Avoid acronyms and military jargon in unrelated industries.

Unless your jobs of interest are directly related to your MOS, generalize any military-specific language, such as references to weapons, in order to highlight your broader skills (e.g., logistics, training, communication, management of equipment and resources) versus your exact day-to-day duties.

Military-Friendly Hiring Sources

Many employers are interested in hiring military-affiliated candidates and/or have a well-developed military-friendly culture. Some companies offer employee resource groups dedicated to military-affiliated employees. These companies are often committed to hiring veterans, reservists, or military spouses and could be added to your personal list of prospective employers to target.

Recommended Actions

Create a list of organizations that are military friendly or military spouse friendly that fit your career interests. While there are numerous resources available to identify employers and job postings for military-affiliated job seekers, here are some examples:

Job Search Engines

Federal Government Hiring

Companies with Military and Veteran Programs or Culture

The Career Planning & Development Center (CPDC) assists individuals with exploring and defining their personal career goals while developing the skills and confidence necessary to succeed.

Explore additional resources, tools and services on the CPDC's website.

Individual career advising is available for current Webster University students and recent graduates. Request an appointment with a career advisor through Handshake.

Credits:

Created with images by seanlockephotography - "Soldier: Student Holding Stack of School Books" • oohhsnapp - "flag america usa" • Christian Battaglia - "Cafe with view on a cathedral" • Photographee.eu - "Employees grasping concept" • kerkezz - "Business people shaking hands after meeting" • relif - "JOB SEARCH CONCEPT"