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How to Learn Civilian Lingo if You’re Transitioning Military

Posted by Patra Frame

May is National Military Appreciation Month. Each day this month we highlight articles to aid transitioning military in their job search and stories to honor our nation’s veterans.

Every group has its own lingo. Remember when you joined the service and hardly understood what everyone was talking about? Now you need to ‘learn the lingo’ for your target jobs!

An easy first step is to pick out a couple of the words that describe what you want to do in your next job. Examples: data modeler or intelligence analyst or physical security. Use a few words or combine two sets. Then plug the words into a job board, such as ClearedJobs.Net, or Monster. You’ll get a large number of hits. Look at 80-100. Then pick out 15-20 jobs which appeal to you. Compare them to find the common words that they use. Those are keywords. You will need to translate your experiences into those words.

It is useful to do this same exercise with Google. It will give you jobs but also a lot of other links to professional groups, articles, and other resources that can help you understand the work you seek and how to present yourself for it.

A critical second step is to find the professional associations in your chosen career area. Most career fields have several. Check them all out online. Look for articles and resources on their websites that will help you transition. Better yet, if possible, attend local chapter meetings! You will learn a lot about the work and grow your network in the field.

Third, look for groups in your interest area on LinkedIn or other social media sites. There are likely to be a number and you may want to sample several to find the ones that really help. But good groups will keep you up on the news in the field and help you find people who you might want to connect with and learn more from. Plus jobs are often listed early in such professional groups.

LinkedIn also has a new beta tool called “Skills” where you can enter a keyword or skill and it will provide you with related skills.

ClearedJobs.Net HR Specialist Patra Frame

Patra Frame is ClearedJobs.Net’s HR Specialist. She is an experienced human resources executive and founder of Strategies for Human Resources. Patra is an Air Force veteran and charter member of the Women in Military Service for America Memorial.

This entry was posted on Friday, May 04, 2012 7:49 am

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