Author Helps Military Service Members Troubleshoot the Interview Process

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The recently-released book, Next-Day Job Interview, Second Edition, empowers military service members to overcome stereotypes and obstacles they may encounter while searcing for a job.

Each year more than 300,000 people leave the military. Those who do not pursue postsecondary education turn to the world of work, hoping to find a rewarding job as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately, many of these military service members discover that getting ahead in the job market is much tougher than they'd expected, according to Dick Gaither, co-author of the recently released book, Next-Day Job Interview, Second Edition. "The problem is that there are a number of misconceptions about those with military experience. Some of the stereotypes of military people work in their favor, whereas some don't," he says.

For example, because most employers do not have military experience, they draw on assumptions, such as that military personnel are overly aggressive or lack skills that can be of use in a civilian workplace. "The truth is that military people are just like everyone else, except that they are perhaps just a bit more responsible, mature and skilled than the average person," says Gaither.

In Next-Day Job Interview, Gaither provides several strategies to help military service members address and overcome these stereotypes throughout the interview process. His suggestions include the following:

  • Demonstrate how well you get along with others. Some people assume military personnel are overly aggressive. To overcome this misconception, emphasize community service and activities you have done in and outside of the military that have helped others.
  • Emphasize strong problem-solving skills. Another misconception is that military personnel are too likely to follow orders rather than be creative. To overcome this stereotype, discuss how your problem-solving skills improved a specific situation.
  • Explain why you left and that you have "civilian" skills. Put the interviewer's mind at rest that your leaving the military had nothing to do with the concept of being fired. Then stress your job-related skills and other skills needed in the civilian job you seek. Give examples of how you used these skills and any results you obtained. Also emphasize that military experience developed additional qualities, such as discipline, responsibility and dependability.
  • Use civilian dress and language. To reinforce your abilities as a civilian worker, avoid wearing military tiepins, rings or other jewelry or indicators. Completely avoid using military jargon and replace it with civilian terms.
  • Stress your exposure to cultural diversity. Military personnel must interact with a wide range of people from all races, creeds, genders, education levels and economic levels. In a global economy, employers seek out the ability to do this. In a multicultural workforce, former military personnel can create workplace harmony that translates into higher productivity, fewer problems and increased profits.

Next-Day Job Interview, Second Edition, is available at all major bookstores and from the publisher (http://www.jist.com or 1.800.648.JIST). To speak with Gaither about interview strategies or military-to-civilian career transitions, contact Selena Dehne.

JIST, America's Career Publisher, is a division of EMC/Paradigm Publishing. As the leading publisher of job search, career and occupational information, JIST empowers today's workforce and students to achieve lasting rewards in their careers.

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Selena Dehne
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