Making the transition from the military to civilian life can be a difficult time, and one of the main challenges is often in securing suitable employment. You might not realise it but, as a Forces leaver, you are already likely to have a lot of the skills and qualities that many employers are looking for. The difficulty can sometimes lie in identifying these skills and communicating them to potential employers.
“Hard skills” are generally the easiest to catalogue and flag up on your CV. These can be defined as teachable abilities or skillsets and are usually comparatively straightforward to quantify – for example, they might relate to specific qualifications. Other, however, may have been gained in training or “on the job” and will be represented by experience in your military roles.
There are, of course, many different roles in the Forces, and hard skills can include those gained in a wide range of different fields, such as engineering, IT, logistics or administration. Some communication skills, such as proficiency in a foreign language, training delivery, and skills involving communications technology can also be classed as “hard”.
It’s also important to identify your “soft”, or interpersonal, skills. Everyone with military experience will have the ability to work within a team and communicate well. Other soft skills to emphasise may include leadership, timekeeping, commitment and the ability to work under pressure.
You may also have worked with people from a wide range of backgrounds, which can demonstrate your ability to adapt, and show that you would be able to integrate well into a new civilian workplace.
When writing your CV, it’s important to take a step back and evaluate your time in the Forces and the experience and skills you have gained. They might not always seem obvious but translating your experiences into saleable skills can play a vital part in the job-hunting process.