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Archive for the ‘Military To Civilian’ Category

Marine Transitions to Private Sector Job - 'Your program works!'

job offer In honor of Veterans Day, I wanted to share this story with you. Many people from the military have trouble transitioning to civilian jobs simply because they don't present or market themselves to private sector employers as well as they need to. In other words, they have the skill sets but they don't effectively communicate them and how they translate.

Michael used a 30-60-90-day plan as a tool to show in the interview how he would tackle the job (in addition to other job search strategies)--and as he said, the result was 'truly magnificent':


Military to Civilian Job Search Help - Mission: Transition

military to civilian job searchThe military-to-civilian job transition can be tough. For job-seeking veterans, finding jobs that fit and communicating the value of their skills to civilian employers can be difficult.

This is why we at Career Confidential created Mission: Transition--a specially-designed job search training package for active-duty military, veterans, and their families.

These tools can make the difference in getting stuck in frustrating unemployment (unemployment rates for veterans are higher than average) or finding the perfect job quickly. See how these tools helped TLR:

I am retiring from the military in two months. My first interview was not good, but in my post-interview review I found you.
Your system is a great one - I nailed all of the subsequent phone interviews and my face to face interview. The result is I landed my dream job against some stiff competition.
The brag book was a game changer and when I brought out the 30-60-90 day plan I could sense the deal was sealed. Thanks! ...I have told all my peers about you!
- Cheers, TLR

If you know anyone transitioning from a military to a civilian job, please share this post.

Find more details here - Mission: Transition


Best Military to Civilian Job Search Tips

Veteran Job SearchIf you are active duty military or a veteran in a civilian job search, what are your biggest problems?

  • Finding enough opportunities
  • Finding the right opportunities that fit your skills
  • Some employers are wary about you and how you may relate and adapt to civilian work culture
  • Explaining your skills in a way that civilian employers see as valuable

These problems can get in the way even when you have true job skills and employers feel favorably about hiring veterans. This is why the unemployment rate for veterans is higher than average. Many a veteran has been passed over for jobs they were completely qualified for.

To overcome these issues and get good job offers, you need to...

Find More Opportunities

When you first begin job searching, you probably get on some kind of job board and look at listings. It looks like a lot at first, until you start narrowing it down to what fits you. What you're left with is a few jobs you can apply for. But guess what? For most people, it won't be enough. Very few of those online applications result in actual interviews (some say it's as low as 2% of applicants).

The big "secret" of job searching is that for every job you see listed, there's at least one more that isn't. That's the hidden job market. That's what you need to access in order to find the opportunities you need.

*See How to Find Unadvertised Jobs and Get Interviews.

Contact Hiring Managers Directly

You need to contact hiring managers directly, because applying online through HR departments won't cut it for you. This method doesn't work for anyone who isn't a letter-perfect fit for the job.

The most effective move any job seeker can make now is to stop applying for jobs online and instead go straight to the hiring manager. Very few online applications result in interviews (and this is true for everyone), so don't even waste your time. Think about what the job title of your potential boss would be, and look for people with those job titles at companies you're interested in and send them an email with your resume. 96% of executives say that contacting hiring managers gets more interviews.  It will probably take some research on your part, but your interviews will be worth it.

* See this video about How to Go Directly to the Hiring Manager to Land the Interview.

Have a Resume That Markets You

In today's job market, a resume that is only a job history won't get you the interviews you want. You need a resume that acts as a marketing document. It should 'sell' you for the job, and grab the attention of employers with a clear, strategically-written objective statement, bullet points, and quantification.

Communicate Effectively in the Interview

When you get the interview, you need to communicate in a way that helps them visualize you in the job. The very best way to do this is to bring a 30-60-90-Day Plan that shows how you would approach this job in the first 90 days. These plans take a lot of research to complete, but the effect on a hiring manager is huge.

30-60-90-Day Plans are the most effective interview tool for everyone from brand-new graduates to those with years of experience. The last time I was in a job search, my plans got my 5 job offers, and when I was a recruiter, I insisted that my candidates bring them, too (and they got hired at a very high rate).

* Find out more about 30 60 90 Day Plans and start creating yours for your interview.

Job Search Success for Active Duty Military and Veterans 

Because military folks (and their spouses, too) can have difficulty effectively communicating your value to employers and getting hired, we put together a targeted collection of tools especially for you called Mission: Transition.  It solves unique issues like job searching long-distance, translating military experience for civilian hiring managers (on resumes and in interviews), answering interview questions, 30-60-90-Day Plans, and more.

*See what's included - Mission: Transition.


Is the job search worse than boot camp?

Peggy McKee Job Search Interview CoachingFor active-duty military or veterans, a job search can be difficult.

Civilian employers don't always know what to make of your skills or experience. As a result, many extremely valuable people have been passed over for jobs. (Unemployment rate for vets is higher than average.)

We don't want that to happen to you. So...

Join me on Facebook for 4 Days of Live Streaming Job Search Tips to solve the biggest issues facing military veterans in the job search!

  • What does my resume need to show my value as an employee?Career Confidential on Facebook
    - Monday May 23 @ Noon (Central time)
  • Why can't I get an interview?
    - Tuesday May 24 @ 9 am (Central time)
  • How does LinkedIn fit into my job search? military to civilian job search
    - Wednesday May 25 @ 9 am (Central time) 
  • How can I show my true value in the interview and get the company to hire me?
    - Thursday May 26 @ 9 am (Central time) 

All on our Career Confidential Facebook Page!

These free talks are part of our special Memorial Day Promotion for Veterans:

Mission: Transition Memorial Day Sale

For a short time only, we are offering this collection of job-getting tools and coaching specifically for active duty military and military veterans at 80% off!

Be sure to check it out! See you on Facebook!

Veterans' Job Search Training Video [Online Now]

transitioning from military to civilianAre you transitioning from a military job to a civilian job now or in the next year?

If so, you must watch this video to learn the 5 Most Important Steps To Getting a Civilian Job Fast.

>> Watch The Training Video Here <<

This is what many other veterans (and soon-to-be veterans) are using for a super-fast, super-successful job search.

Don't let anything keep you from getting this training.  You need it.

Watch the video ASAP.


Veterans Face Difficult Transition To Civilian Jobs...But You Can Help

According to, nearly two-thirds of new veterans say they faced a difficult transition back to civilian life that didn’t have anything to do with family issues, war wounds, or PTSD.  It was jobs.

Veterans have a hard time getting hired in the corporate workforce, and their ridiculously high unemployment rates show it.  Why?

The corporate world doesn’t understand how military skills and training apply to their businesses.  And, military men and women don’t do a good job of translating it for them.  They don’t understand how to ‘sell’ themselves for the job.

Once that communication barrier is broken, military veterans get access to the jobs and the salaries they deserve.

To help them achieve that, Career Confidential has created what we call Mission: Transition.

Mission: Transition is a step-by-step, comprehensive job search and interview training system.

It teaches transitioning military personnel how to ‘sell’ themselves to the corporate world.  It trains them in all of the vital skills they need:

  • how to write a resume
  • how to get interviews
  • how to job search long-distance (it works from anywhere in the world)
  • how to communicate their value in those interviews
  • how to sell their skills to hiring managers at civilian companies
  • how to negotiate compensation and benefits

I’ve taught these skills to thousands of now happily-employed job seekers who were stunned at what their job search looked like without these skills and what it looked like after they learned them.

Over the last 4 years, Career Confidential has successfully trained more than 12,000 job seekers in over 70 countries.  The results speak for themselves….job seekers who struggled for months and even years get hired at great jobs in a matter of just a few weeks—often with multiple offers.

Nothing changed for those job seekers except for getting training in job search and interview skills. That skill-building process changed their lives.

You can help get this vital training to a deserving veteran—or hundreds of deserving veterans.  You can make a personal, positive, life-changing difference for one of America’s heroes by giving them the kind of wildly successful job search they deserve.


By partnering with Career Confidential, you can purchase anywhere from 1 to 100 to 1000 Mission: Transition job-getting kits.

For every kit you purchase and donate to a veteran, Career Confidential will donate one, too.

Together, we can make a difference in the lives of hundreds or even thousands of vets.

The first job they get after leaving the military sets the bar for every job they get after that.  It’s a critical first step that reverberates throughout their lives.

If you’d like to get even more involved, consider hosting a career event for veterans.

If you set up a career event, I will come and spend the day with participants as a career coach.  I will work with them, teaching and training them on how to get a great job very fast.  AND, I will give them a Mission: Transition kit for free.

I would love to discuss either idea with you, or any other you might have to help support our troops.

Need more information?

Find out more about Mission: Transition here.

Find out about Career Confidential here.

Please call me or email me at your convenience.

Peggy McKee


Military Vets - Top 3 Tips To Get a Civilian Job

Military to Civilian Job SearchWhen you take the big step out of military service back into civilian life, the last thing you need to be worrying about are the difficulties of a civilian job search.  It’s true that veterans’ unemployment rates are higher than average, and it’s true that there are specific obstacles in your way…but the good news is that there are 3 sure-fire solutions you can implement that will get you hired quickly.

Obstacle (and Solution) #1:

Civilian employers don’t understand how your training and skill sets will benefit them.

Here’s the first thing you have to understand about a job search:  it’s a sales process.  You’re the product, and the company you want to work for is your customer.  It’s your job to tell them what you can bring to them…what solutions you provide, what benefits you bring, etc.  Civilians can’t usually translate military experience into their own ‘language’, so it’s your job to translate and explain.  Start studying job descriptions for things you are applying for and insert that language in your resume and cover letters. Think about how your skills can help a company make money, save money, save time, be more efficient, etc.  They’re interested in the bottom line, which is, what’s in it for them?

Obstacle (and Solution) #2:

Companies are afraid that you won’t fit into corporate culture.

Just like you had to learn the language, customs, and culture of the military, you now have to learn the language and culture of corporate America.  How?

  • Do some online research concerning the jobs you’re interested in.  What are the buzzwords?  What are the big dogs in the industry doing?  What are the trends?
  • Talk to people in the field.  If you can, use any and all of your civilian contacts to set up informational interviews with people in your prospective field. Try job shadowing someone who’s working in the job you want.  Ask lots of questions and educate yourself so you can speak more knowledgably about the job.
  • Role-play interview questions with a civilian.  Good interview preparation is priceless.  The more you practice, the more comfortable you’ll be in an interview situation.
  • Create a 30-60-90-Day Plan for every interview.  There’s nothing in the world better than this for proving to an employer that you know your stuff (even if you’re brand new) and you can hit the ground running.

Obstacle (and Solution) #3:

Because you aren’t experienced in this whole civilian job hunt thing, you spend your time applying for jobs online—and your job search stretches out for months. 

Applying online is a bad idea for any job seeker, but it’s especially bad for you because you already may be starting out at a disadvantage because you don’t have the ‘perfect’ background for your chosen job.  Resumes and applications that don’t perfect match the keywords that Human Resources is looking for don’t get pulled up for interviews.  So what happens is that even if you’d be the best employee they’ve ever had, you won’t even get a chance to discuss it with them.  So, what do you do?

You must do everything you can to speak directly to hiring managers (your future boss, or your boss’s boss).  That person is the decision-maker with the authority to interview and hire you.  Therefore, that person is your strongest chance at getting the job.  How do you find them?

Set up a profile on LinkedIn and start searching for people in your field who have the same military background that you do.  Contact that person and let them know that you’re looking for a job.  Ask if they know anyone looking for someone like you.  Ask if you can send your resume.  Use the bond between servicemen and women to your advantage.  They want to help you, and they are also more likely to quickly recognize your value.

In today’s job market, all job seekers must be more aggressive than ever before.  As a transitioning military to civilian job seeker, you are no exception.  Use these tips, be aggressive, remember your value, and don’t give up.  You will be successful.

** If you want more job search solutions for transitioning military personnel, go to Mission: Transition.


Help a Veteran Get a Job!

help a veteran get hiredJoin Career Confidential to help a vet get a job!

Veteran unemployment rates are ridiculously high.  When our troops leave the service to transition to the civilian workforce, they struggle.  They can’t get hired.  Why?

I’ve worked with a lot of veterans over the last few years, and this is what I’m seeing:

Most veterans can’t “translate” the valuable training, skills, and work ethic they have for civilian employers.  They don’t know how to write a resume, interview, or most importantly, communicate their value to the civilian world.

The result is that they can’t get hired.  Even if they do get hired, they often wind up in jobs that are less than what they deserve—and that’s a shame.

The outstanding folks who have given their best to serve our country deserve better than that.

The first job you get sets the bar for later jobs.  It directly affects the rest of your career. So it’s vitally important to have the training you need to get the job you deserve as soon as possible.

Over the last 4 years, Career Confidential has successfully trained more than 12,000 job seekers in over 70 countries.  The results speak for themselves….job seekers who struggled for months and even years get hired at great jobs in a matter of just a few weeks—often with multiple offers.

Our transitioning veterans deserve a wildly successful job search, too.

To meet that goal, Career Confidential has developed what we call Mission: Transition.

Mission: Transition is a comprehensive, step-by-step job search and interview training system designed for military veterans.

Mission: Transition teaches job seekers:

  • How to write a resume that “sells” their skills to employers and gets interviews
  • How to conduct a targeted search to find a large number of relevant opportunities
  • How to conduct a long-distance job search (requires specific adjustments)
  • How to communicate with hiring managers (employers) to get multiple interviews
  • How to develop interview skills to communicate their value as employees
  • How to make themselves stand out from other candidates
  • How to negotiate compensation and benefits in the corporate world

Mission: Transition is automatically available to military spouses, too.  A special Family License means that one kit covers both the veteran and his or her spouse.

So what can you do?  Here are a couple of ideas…

  • Sponsor a kit for a veteran –or many kits.  For every Mission: Transition kit you purchase to donate, Career Confidential will match it.  If you donate 100 kits, Career Confidential will donate 100 kits.  Together, we could help hundreds of our heroes.
  • Host a career event for transitioning military service men and women.  If you host it, I will donate my coaching services for the day to personally work with these job seekers—and give them a kit for free.

This is a wonderful service that you could give to those who have served us.  You could make a personal, positive, life-changing difference in the lives of our military heroes.

Call me or email me to discuss how you can help.

Peggy McKee



Need more information?

Find out more about Mission: Transition here.

Find out about Career Confidential here.



TAP Not Enough for Transitioning Military Vets

We can all agree that our service men and women deserve better than to leave the military and be dropped cold turkey into a difficult civilian job market.  The Transition Assistance Program (TAP) is a good start, but doesn’t go far enough to set our veterans up for success.

Each military branch has their own version of TAP—the Army has ACAP, the Navy has TAMP, the Air Force has TAP, and the Marine Corp has TAMP.  So what do all these versions of TAP do?  They provide pre-separation counseling, employment workshops, benefits briefings, and ‘individual assistance,’ which from the looks of it, offers more in the way of skills and aptitude assessments and website recommendations than actual individualized personal help.

A large portion of TAP’s time seems to be devoted to training in how to access your benefits post-separation.  That’s a worthwhile thing to know, but that doesn’t help you get a job.

Some TAP training involves how to choose what you would like to do as a civilian career, and what your skills and aptitudes might match up with.  Also a worthy thing to spend a little time on, but again, not something that actually gets you hired.

So how does TAP try to help you get hired?  From what I can see, it recommends job boards, posting your resume, job fairs, and employment offices.  This is where TAP and I officially and dramatically part ways.

It’s almost never a good idea for job seekers to rely on job boards and online applications to get a job.  It just doesn’t work; they get lost in the tsunami of other job seekers.  It’s an especially bad idea for transitioning military veterans, because they aren’t going to have the experience, keywords, and background to make them stand out and get called for interviews.  The most effective strategy for veterans (or anyone) is to go directly to hiring managers at companies they’re interested in and start that conversation.

I’m seeing some resume writing assistance available through TAP, but where’s the rest of it?  Where’s the interview training?  Where’s the training for how to get interviews?  Where’s the training for how to communicate with corporate hiring managers to sell yourself for the job?  Where’s the training for how to ask for the job?  Where’s the training for how to negotiate compensation and benefits?

Job search requires skills that even civilian job seekers don’t usually have.  Once they develop those skills, they stop struggling in the job search and become job-getting machines.  Those who have spent the last 5, 10, or 20 years in military service absolutely do not have the skills they need.  Why would they?  They’ve had no opportunity to develop or use those skills.  But in this transition time, they need them more than ever.  This first job hunt is critical; it sets the bar for every job after that…in other words, the rest of your career will be affected by this first job.

Do I think that participation in TAP is worthwhile?  I do…I think all training and education is valuable in some way, and this has some elements that are especially helpful.  I just don’t think it goes far enough at steeping veterans (or soon-to-be-veterans) in the mindset and culture of corporate America.

What will get you hired?  Read what I have to say (or watch the video) on this pageMission: Transition.

Military Veteran? Here's How To Get a Job

military to civilian job searchIf you are a recent military veteran, or if you are about to transition to the civilian workforce, you know you're facing a potentially difficult time getting a job.  But why is that?  You're skilled, you've held positions of responsibility, you know how to work hard.  Why wouldn't an employer snap you up in a heartbeat?

According to an article on, 3 of the biggest concerns that employers have about hiring you are:

  • They don't understand how your skills relate to them
  • They have some biases against you based on how they think you are
  • They are afraid you won't know how to fit in with corporate culture

These are big can you get around them?  The answer is all about good communication.  Selling yourself for the job.

If they don't understand how valuable you are, then you have to show them.  Explain it to them.

If they have biases against you, you can correct those with your email and phone communications with them.

If they think you won't fit in, go into your interview and show them that you will.

So is that easier said than done?  Not really.  The basics of every job seeker strategy are the same, no matter who you are or what you do.

Where yours is different, we have a solution for you.  It's called Mission: Transition.

What's Mission: Transition?

Mission: Transition is a comprehensive, step-by-step job search and interview system that we developed just for military veterans and their spouses.

It trains you in the foundations of an amazing job search, as well as carries you over the special obstacles you face as a veteran or a veteran's spouse.

Here's what it covers:

  • How to write a resume that 'sells' your skills and gets interviews
  • How to conduct a targeted job search to find a large number of relevant opportunies
  • How to conduct a long-distance job search (great if you're not already geographically where you want to be)
  • How to communicate with hiring managers (employers) to be your most effective
  • How to develop interview skills that communicate your value
  • How to make yourself stand out
  • How to negotiate compensation and benefits
  • And so much more.

If you are transitioning from the military to a civilian job, this is need-to-know information for you.

Find out more here:  Mission: Transition.