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From Combat Boots to the Corporate Ladder

By: Josh Galle, Veterans and Government Recruiting Lead and Kelly Young, Human Resources Program Manager at Humana Like many corporations, Humana has recognized the value that military veterans bring to the workforce.   From strong project management skills to punctuality and extensive travel experience, Veterans are an attractive candidate pool.  However, finding practical ways to translate your military experience into layman’s terms as someone transitioning out of the Service can be difficult.   Here are some tips to help you sell your military experience in the corporate world.

Focus on transferrable skills It may be that your military job doesn’t directly translate into a job in the corporate workforce.  (Who knew there would be a limited market for bomb technicians in corporate America?!)  In that case, focus on the skills you have that are generally transferrable to business roles- things like team leadership skills, project management, your proven ability to work with individuals from different cultures and backgrounds, strong accountability and execution skills, etc.   Be sure to have experiential examples to back up each of these qualities, and reference them in interviews.

Minimize acronyms and jargon The average recruiter may not be familiar with the military jargon and acronyms that are second nature to those in the Service.  Have someone without military experience review your resume, checking for use of acronyms and jargon.  When in doubt, spell out the acronyms and translate the jargon into layman’s terms.   For instance, spell out Corporal instead of CPL and when possible substitute with a corporate title, i.e. Squad Leader can be displayed as Security Supervisor or Manager.

Network with other Vets Don’t underestimate the power of your military network.  Stay connected via social media sites like LinkedIn and Facebook with others you’ve met or worked with during your military career.  Talk with other Vets in your area to see if their employers are hiring.   Often, valuable referrals can come through friends, neighbors, and former colleagues who know that you are looking for new opportunities post military career.

Seek out Veteran-friendly employers Many organizations now have targeted recruiting efforts to source Veteran talent.   Check out the Top 100 Military Friendly Employers listing and this listing of Federal Contractors and other vet friendly employers.  

Interested in finding out more about Humana’s Veteran’s Hiring?   Be sure to check out our Veteran’s Talent Network.    In addition to competitive benefits that focus on health and well-being, one of the best resources available to veterans and military spouses once they join Humana is the Veterans Network Resource Group. This group, which meets both in-person as well as has an online community through our enterprise social media site for military veterans and military spouses, helps veterans and their families transition to civilian life and share common experiences. This group also supports community service for veterans and provides input to Humana on how we can better serve our military and government members.  

To learn more, visit http://careers.humana.com/ Josh Galle is a Recruiting Lead at Humana, focusing on recruiting for Government business and leading the organizations efforts on hiring and retaining Veterans and in Humana’s workforce.

Josh is a decorated Veteran who served 8 years (Active & Reserve) in the United States Marine Corps and has a passion for helping Veterans and their families.  Josh is also a co-author in a recently published book, “An American Crisis: Veterans Unemployment” available from Inspired Authors Press and on Amazon.com.

Kelly Young is a Human Resources Program Manager at Humana. Kelly is responsible for coordinating enterprise learning and developing the talent of professionals within the organization.  Josh and Kelly have partnered various times to write publications to help support Veterans who are re-entering the corporate workforce.


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