The Career Design Lab (CDL) is here to help you transition from military to civilian employment. We’ll help you translate the skills you’ve developed into terms that civilian employers can understand. While employers value your unique military experience, they may not understand the military terminologies or the responsibilities you've held. It’s important to market those skills in a relevant way on your resume, cover letters and in interviews. We’re here to help!
Remember to consult the Career Design Lab course on your Courseworks/Canvas platform for a comprehensive guide to all the resources you will need to manage your career planning process.
U.S. Military Veterans of Columbia University — This is a community of student veterans at Columbia University that offers resources, career opportunities and social support.
GS Veterans Initiative — The School of General Studies at Columbia provides this resource page to its students. You may find some of these resources useful.
Columbia University Center for Veteran Transition and Integration — Its mission is to provide access to the best-in-class tools and programming veterans need as they transition from active service to college and the workforce.
Disability Services at Columbia University — Disability Services facilitates equal access for students with disabilities by coordinating accommodations and cultivating a campus culture that is sensitive and responsive to the needs of students. They are located in Wien Hall.
Resilience Center for Veterans and Families — Clinicians trained at the Resilience Center provide psychological services tailored to be relevant to and understanding of experiences unique to veterans and their family members. The VITAL Initiative focuses on maximizing veterans’ success in the academic setting. VITAL offers tutoring, work-study opportunities, individual counseling and assistance with integration to VA healthcare and beyond.
American Corporate Partners — ACP aims to ease the transition from the military to the civilian workforce. ACP is the only nonprofit organization engaged in national corporate career counseling for our returning veterans and active-duty military spouses.
CareerOneStop Veteran and Military Transition Center — One-stop website for employment, training and ﬁnancial help. Use the Military-to-Civilian Job Search tool to ﬁnd jobs based on skills and experiences you gained in the military.
Department. of Labor's Veterans' Employment & Training Service — Search the HIRE Vets Medallion Program employers list and military spouses employment resources.
FourBlock — Helps veterans build professional networks. They will support you in your transition and put you in touch with hiring managers.
Hire a Veteran – New York State Department of Labor
LinkedIn Premium — LinkedIn offers free premium subscriptions to veterans for a year. See eligibility details.
Military-Civilian Career Coaching Connection (MC4) — Private LinkedIn group for one-on-one coaching and mentoring on transition to civilian life and careers.
MyNextMove.org — Investigate career possibilities and identify job titles. Explore with keywords, browse industries or search by military classiﬁcation code.
National Labor Exchange — Search jobs from veteran-friendly employers and explore resources for veterans in your state.
O Net Online — Identify keywords to help you write effective bullet statements. Enter your Military Occupation Code intoCrosswalk Search to translate your military assignment into a civilian occupation.
Real Warriors — Step-by-step information on how to create a civilian resume.
Veterans Employment Center — Use tools from the Department of Veterans Affairs to learn about job titles and qualifications, translate military skills and start to build your resume.
Hire Heroes USA — Job postings and resources to empower veterans to succeed in the civilian workforce. Partner organizations offer free training opportunities or scholarships for training programs.
HirePurpose — Job postings and career advice from veterans with civilian recruiting experience.
Hire Veterans — Connects U.S. Military Veterans with civilian careers. Use this to find jobs, employers, job fairs or job news relating to veteran hiring initiatives.
Military Connection — Sponsors virtual job fairs and provides job postings, scholarships and salary calculators for all military branches.
Military & Veteran Career Center — Offers job search, resume posting, networking tips, salary information and employer information.
Recruit Military — Provides job listings, resume-posting services, opportunity expos and veteran-centered career fairs.
Student Veterans of America — Supports student veterans in higher education before and after graduation. Provides internship and scholarship listings, networking conferences, programming opportunities and other services for student veterans.
Transition Assistance Online — Provides employment opportunities, employer listings and career fair opportunities.
Troops to Teachers — Offers information on teaching requirements, sponsored teaching programs and employment opportunities for veterans interested in teaching.
Veteran Jobs Mission — Creates a coalition of 230+ private-sector employers committed to hiring veterans. Over 400,000 veterans have been hired by these employers since 2012. Veterans are encouraged to join the “Veteran Talent Exchange” to be connected to employers and opportunities.
USAJobs.gov — Federal jobs
You will need to translate your military experiences and skills to civilian terms on your resume. This will help you to be competitive for jobs. Your military experience has enabled you to develop skills that are marketable in the civilian workplace. Your career coach can also help you adjust your resume.
A few steps to get started:
- Check out the VA's Employment Toolkit for information about translating your experience, upcoming veteran career fairs and more.
- MyNextMove, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, is a tool to help you translate your military assignments into civilian occupations.
- Obtain your Verification of Military Experience and Training Document from the Department of Defense Transition Assistance Program. This document lists your military job experience and training history, recommended college credit information and civilian equivalent job titles
"Civilianize" your resume
- Review the types of jobs that interest you and become familiar with the language employers use to describe the responsibilities and skills for those jobs. You will find more information about this in the Career Design Lab Course on your Courseworks/Canvas platform, on the Resume and Cover Letter pages.
- Identify your transferable skills, compare them to what employers are looking for and develop your bullet points on your resume. You can match your military skills and experience to civilian occupations using the Military-to-Civilian Occupation Translator from CareerOneStop.
- Remove “military lingo” from descriptions of experiences and replace with civilian terms.
Tailor your resume and cover letters to specific opportunities
- There are some tips to guide you in this process on the Resume and Cover Letter pages of your Courseworks/Canvas platform. These guides will help you to make your materials relevant to each job you apply to.