1. MAKE SURE YOU’RE THE RIGHT FIT.
Take great care to learn about the culture of any company or organisation you are thinking of joining. Before applying for a role, I’d make sure that you’re the right fit culturally and that your values and standards align with those of the company.
2. TARGET YOUR JOB SEARCH
Target your job search as accurately and with the same mission focus as any military operation. I had no idea what I wanted or could do when I left. I would now work on the assumption that I won’t get a job I haven’t got the skills and experience for, so start with your skills and target companies and jobs who need them. One thing’s for sure; when employers define their requirements very precisely in a job description, your CV has to align to it just as precisely. Spray and pray simply doesn’t work.
3. CREATE A PROFESSIONAL CV
Getting the right job starts with the right CV. When leaving the Forces it is advisable to completely re-do your CV pulling out skills and experience that will appeal to civilian employers. I’d re-do my CV completely. Less is definitely more. I would follow this structure:
Find something to help me stand out as a person in the profile section
Work really hard to set out my skills (not somebody else’s list or a generic set of skills that are the same as everyone else) and supporting evidence
Focus on responsibilities and achievements, again with evidence, rather than on the jobs and what they involved
Keep it short and easy to scan; 2 pages and around 750 words max
See our tips on how to write a stand out CV.
5. PERFECT YOUR INTERVIEW SKILLS
Practice, practice and practice again! I’d video myself practising face-to-face interview skills and psychometric tests so you can see how you come across. I now realise that being able to come across well in an interview is much more important than your CV.
6. UPDATE YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE
Make sure your LinkedIn profile is better than your CV. When it comes to getting a job, a LinkedIn profile serves a slightly different purpose to modern day CVs. Your LinkedIn profile should be written to highlight your skills, strengths and experience so employers or recruiters can find it when searching for talent. By contrast, your CV should be tailored (and thereby often updated) to align as closely as possible with the job description of the role, which you are applying for.