Join Lida Citroën for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding the civilian hiring manager, part of Translating Your Military Skills to Civilian Workplace.
- Whether you're transitioned to a civilian career means you're going to start your own business, and try to attract investors and partners and clients. Or whether you're going to work for a company. It's important to understand some of the commonalities of civilian hiring managers, and the civilian environment in general. What's interesting to note is a lot of the hiring managers that I talk to, say that resumes are important because it shows what you've done in the past, but when they interview, they're really looking for those qualities and those traits and those values that you're going to bring to the conversation.
They want to know what you stand for, what you believe in, and what makes you valuable to them as a possible employee or team member or director. So that's why personal branding really does matter. Hiring managers, most often than not, do not have your same set of experiences. They haven't walked in your boots. They haven't experienced the stress and the environments that you've been in. So it's important to understand when talking to civilian hiring managers that their experience set is very different from yours.
When you use a lot of jargon, if you use a lot of acronyms and terminology that are military specific, you can actually distance yourself from the person sitting across from you who's trying to understand. When you are translating that experience, and when you look at the resume, it's important to use the values. It's important to talk about the offer. And make yourself compelling to that hiring manager without going specifically into jargon. Companies look for fit. They look for someone who's going to fit in with their environment.
Who stands for the same things we stand for? Who do we think would be seamless to integrate into our teams, or lead our teams? So they're not looking for you to come in with a military style approach necessarily, but they're looking for who you are as a person. Keep that in mind when you think about your strategy of approaching civilian hiring managers. There's a lot of research you can do online. Sites like LinkedIn have robust information on these companies that you're going to talk to. Look at their website.
Look through the personality profiles of the people you're going to be interviewing with, on their bio's, and their backgrounds to get a sense of what's going to work best. What approach should you take? Are they a more formal, serious company? Or can you be a little bit laid back and casual? All of that due diligence and research comes before you make that first meeting, because that relationship, that ability to connect and have a good conversation is important to that hiring manager.
It is not just about your MOS or your resume, what you've got listed down on paper. I think a lot of companies today want to hire former military, they understand the value and the training and the resources and the experience that you bring to the civilian environment. They want your loyalty, your resilience, your adaptability, the fact that you are so highly trainable. But you have to understand that they're not coming from the same language and narrative and understanding that you have in the military environment.
Your job is to adapt it to the civilian hiring manager's understanding. So do the research online. Get an understanding of what they're looking for. Focus on the personal branding. Have the resume as a backup and a tool, but approach the conversation from a position of power and confidence to make yourself relevant and compelling. Later on in this course, we're going to talk specifically about the target audience that you're going to need to dive into and really understand, but for now I want you understand that the civilian hiring manager looks and walks often very different from what you're used to.