Get picked for the job by translating your military skills


Understanding how to translate and apply your skills to the commercial sector is critical to your next military transition. You have acquired many skills through your military experience. These skills are generally categorized as functional, personal, or knowledge-based. It is essential to gain insight into your skills from your military experience and their connection to the commercial sector. Let’s see how you can identify these skills for your next interview.

Functional skills

Your functional skills are things you do to accomplish a task. They are transferable to different work functions, jobs and industries. These are based on your abilities and abilities. With your military experience, you have acquired many and are directly applicable to your next position.

Apart from basic skills, your acquired functional skills can get you to the interview. The chart below represents some of the many functional skills you may have acquired during your service and may provide good information for your “additional skills” section on your resume. Once you get to the interview, you’ll want to highlight them when the time is right. Think outside the box, as this chart only represents a sample of your abilities.

Summary functional skills for your military transition

leadership training Ability to adhere to rules and structure
Ability to work as a team member and team leader Flexibility and adaptability
Ability to get along and work with all types of people Self-direction
Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines educated
Ability to give and follow instructions Initiative
Security clearance Organizer / Analyst
Quality standards drug free
Committed to excellence Writer
Systematic planning and organization Global outlook
Focus on safety Customer and service oriented
Knowledge of personnel records and administration Specialized advanced training

You gain a significant advantage when you know and discuss why the functional skills you have learned are lucrative for your new business. Hiring managers expect you, the veteran, to highlight these skills for them on your resume and during the interview.

Understand and apply the value of your personality traits

Your personal traits are characteristics that contribute to superior job performance. These are also called soft skills. They are discovered through your life experiences, and many are developed and matured in the military. Soft skills are traditionally seen as complementary to functional and knowledge-based skills.

Many important activities are included in this category, such as the social skills required to lead and motivate soldiers. They represent personal attributes that allow someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people. Soft skills enable organizations to operate effectively.

Top ten soft skills needed for today’s workplace

The chart below outlines the top 10 soft skills that most executives perceive to be necessary in today’s workplace based on a study conducted by research analyst Dr. Marcel Marie Robles.

Integrity Communication
Courtesy Responsibility
Social abilities Positive attitude
Professionalism Flexibility
Team work Work ethic

Look at them carefully. Many of Dr. Robles’ articles represent our core military values. These qualities are highly valued and sought after by companies. Organizations want employees to be able to communicate and work well with others in the modern workplace. Many business organizations believe that soft skills are one of the most valuable elements for organizational success. Through your military experience, you possess these intangible qualities. When competing for a job, you gain a significant advantage when you’ve taken the time to acknowledge and discuss your soft skills at the interview.

Knowledge-Based Skills

Knowledge-based skills are developed on specific topics, procedures, and information needed to perform your job. We have many of these in the military, but they may or may not be directly applicable to the job market or position you want. These are acquired through on-the-job experience, training and military education.

You may be unaware of the many other functional and technical abilities you have acquired. Your experiences during your daily work must be taken into account for your CV. When properly documented, these areas play a major role in the success of your transition.

Some transitioning members will quickly apply their training and experience in military occupations, such as security, IT, and logistics. Many other military professions have some level of technology-related skills that are either trained or become an inherent part of the job. Be sure to highlight these areas, even if it’s not part of your military job title or job description.

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