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Military Skill Translation: Sniper Example

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Would you think that a sniper would be a good employee at Microsoft Office?

For interviewers in the corporate world, that’s probably not the first thing that comes to mind. And yet, “I don’t know how many Excel spreadsheets that I’ve had to do,” remarks Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer.

Snipers also often have to use Microsoft PowerPoint to give presentations in order to go out on a mission. This is a translatable skill corporate employers are likely totally unaware of – so you have to be ready to break it down for them.

Communication

As a sniper, effective communication is essential. You must be able to communicate efficiently in high-pressure situations. The success of the mission often depends on your ability to work together as a team. 

Snipers know how to quickly decide what needs to be said and deliver that information clearly. This is a skill that many people lack and is key in the corporate world, no matter what type of position you’re applying for.

Logistics

Logistical ability is another military skill frequently overlooked by employers. For example, think about re-supplies. Snipers have to be able to figure out how to get supplies delivered to them while they’re in a combat zone and also staying clandestine in order to still be able to run the mission.

Meyer rightly states, “There’s no cooperation that is going to give me a logistical task that’s more challenging than that.”

Translate your skills

Services members are not only remarkable candidates because they are someone who shows up on time, who puts the overall success of the organization before themself, and who is willing to do whatever it takes. They also have translatable skills unique to their position.

Put a little leg work in on the front end to brainstorm how your skills are translatable. Hopefully, this example has shown you that some of your abilities may surprise you. Walk into your next interview ready to help the interviewer see just how valuable you are (and exactly why).

If you’d like more guidance on how to translate your military skills, check out our free transition guide.

schuyler@americandreamu.org

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