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Think like an employer

Think like an employer

Think like an employer

To land a civilian job, the most powerful thing you can do is persuade employers that you will add value to their organization.

To do this, you need to translate your military skills, experiences, and accomplishments into terms that civilian hiring decision makers will easily understand and recognize as being valuable to their organization.

That translation requires that you understand how business decision makers think and the language they speak.

One way to speak an employer’s language is to communicate the impact and the results you’ve achieved in your work experience. Employers understand results; by communicating your ability to make a positive impact on critical aspects of the business, you'll increase your chance of being hired. Most organizations are focused on:

  • Attracting and retaining customers
  • Improving customer satisfaction, and product or process quality
  • Increasing operational excellence
  • Boosting the performance of the organization (in part or as a whole)
  • Improving the organization’s strategy
  • Maximizing the return on investment

Review the following examples for ideas on how to translate your experience into a framework employers value.

Result/impact statements

Results hiring decision makers care about
How you have delivered results in these areas in the past, and/or how you can deliver them in the future
Quickly solve problems, and then prevent them from occurring again
When conducting After Action Reviews, I focus on the root causes of problems rather than searching for someone to blame. As a result, I ensure we only make a particular mistake one time, and that we can accurately identify and address any operational weaknesses.
Improve safety and reduce accidents
Having spent time on rifle ranges, handling hazardous materials, and working around dangerous equipment, I understand how to develop, disseminate, and implement safety guidelines that virtually eliminate accidents or injuries.
Increase the reliable operation of equipment, reducing breakdowns and expensive repairs
By inspecting and maintaining equipment before, during, and after an operation, I eliminate unexpected breakdowns and prevent the need for expensive repairs.
Nurture teamwork and collaboration that allow staff to achieve things together that would be impossible for them to accomplish individually

I make sure all the members of my team understand how the tasks they perform will affect their coworkers and other units or departments that depend on us.

Once they understand why and how their role is important, they stay motivated and collaborate more effectively with others.

Analyze and select from among competing courses of action
I have learned to quickly generate several possible courses of action, evaluate each to spot the strengths, advantages, and weaknesses, and then develop an action plan around the most promising one.

Want more? Print the worksheet Explaining your impact to an employer.

MS Word document 

PDF document 

Spanish MS Word document 

Spanish PDF document