Sometimes people transitioning out of the military can feel as though their experience does not count for much in the civilian job sector. This could not be further from the truth.
The training and experiences you had in the military have shaped you to be one of the best potential job candidates out there. You’re dedicated and responsible. You can be trusted to not cut corners and to see a task through to its finish. You’re probably great with deadlines and chances are you’re willing to take initiative to step up and help with you see a problem.
Most of these qualities probably seem like the bare minimum to you, nothing to write home about. That’s because during your service, the success of the mission and people’s very lives depended on every member of the team doing their part to the fullest. You’ve been surrounded by people who had to all have these same qualities, so its not surprising if they don’t stand out to you as remarkable.
But in the civilian sector, qualities such as yours are remarkable. Military experience will set you apart both as a candidate and as you perform as an employee. Adding your military experience to your LinkedIn tells potential employers and connections a lot about your character and work ethic right off the bat, without even reading further about you.
Nitty Gritty: How to add your military experience
Go to your LinkedIn profile and scroll down until you see “Experience.” Use the + sign in the top right corner to add a position.
Type the branch of the service you were in the Company Name field. Be sure to select the appropriate choice from the suggested list when you do so, so that the logo for the service branch will appear on your profile.
Next add your title, location, the time period you served in.
In the description box, tell your audience a little more about what you did. This is where it is key to translate your military experience into civilian terms in case your position title is unfamiliar to them.
Write one line explaining what your branch of the military does. Then in a new paragraph describe what you did in this organization. Avoid military jargon and use strong action statements. Where you can, include numbers (i.e., how many people did you lead? What was the value of the equipment you took care of?)
Repeat this process for the various titles you have held and that’s it! You’re one step closer to your dream job.