The start of a new year is always a good time to stop and take stock of your situation. If you’ve struggled to find jobs for ex-Forces in 2015, now might be a good point to take a step back, take a deep breath and re-evaluate your efforts.
A good place to start is to go through your applications, rejections and any feedback you received over the past 12 months. You can often learn as much from an unsuccessful attempt as from a successful one, although you are unlikely to have received any constructive feedback if you were dismissed at the application stage. If you make it further, to the interview stage or beyond, it’s always worth asking for feedback going forward. Knowing why you were passed over for another candidate can be extremely valuable.
Take a good look at your CV and consider whether it is showing your skills in their best light. It’s particularly important for former service personnel to be able to take their skills, qualities and experience and present them in a way that relates to the civilian job market. You should also make sure that your CV is up to date and that any new training, qualifications or experience is included.
Consider the type of jobs you have been applying for so far and think about how realistic your immediate ambitions are. Be ambitious, certainly but sometimes it can pay to set your sights a little lower initially. It might be a good idea to seek out extra training, bolster your experience with some unpaid volunteering or take another job, even if you consider it a step backwards. It is often easier to get the job you do want from a position of employment, even if it’s at a lower level or outside the field you’re interested in.