Lebanon Valley College and the Breen Center for Graduate Success team are thankful for your service and commitment to our country. As a college student, we are here to serve you. The decision to disclose your veteran status is a personal one. We are pleased to have the opportunity to assist you as you  transition from civilian life through a multitude of resources including individual career coaching, workshops and programs, and numerous ways to connect with employers and alumni.

Career Considerations

What do I know about myself?

Veterans bring a unique skill set to the world and to the workforce. Your experience in the military can translate into an area of proficiency or expertise in many industries. Meeting with a career counselor may be helpful to you for a number of reasons, including:

  • Understanding what you bring to the table as a Veteran - as you consider your military accomplishments, we suggest reviewing them with others as well to consider:
    • What does this mean to civilians?
    • What skills and experiences do I have that best overlap with what employers are seeking?
    • If I want to demonstrate my value to a company or organization, what can or do I highlight from my experience?
    • I did "xyz" in the military, but I'm not sure an an employer will know what it means. 
    • How can I list or describe my experience in a way that will mean something to a civilian company?
    • In the military, I did "abc" and "xyz" - are there positions in the civilian world already which do this type of work?
    • How can I make an employer care about the important work I have done?
  • The option to use assessments to help you identify your values, interests, personality, and skills (VIPS) which can offer insight in two ways: understanding current strong points and areas for growth, as well as potential perceived barriers and conflicts 
  • Learning how to translate skills you gained and developed in the military to civilian terms, including:  
    • Leadership
    • Teamwork
    • Diversity and Inclusion
    • Faster learning curve
    • Respect for operations and procedures 
    • Adept with technology and exposure to globalization 
    • Performs effectively under pressure
    • Understanding of facing adversity and stress

What are my options?

It is important to understand how you can match military duties to civilian careers. Knowing the market will be important as well, to have an understanding of companies and organizations deemed “military friendly” as well as industries and jobs in high demand.

Many resources are available to veterans making this transition, and the list we have below is comprehensive but certainly not complete. It is important to educate yourself about the varies occupational policies and resources in place to assist you in this process.

Developing a Plan

  • Meet with a career coach for advice regarding majors and career options, internship and job search advice, document preparation, and interviewing
  • Review your possible major and career options
  • Network! Connect with other veterans of similar backgrounds who have been successful in their transition to industry - learn about what they experienced, and the process they followed
    • You may also want to seek out veterans in hiring roles 
  • Determine how you can best showcase your military experience (Career Development can help with this!)
    • Remember: focus on interpersonal, leadership, and technical terms - consider how these accomplishments and responsibilities may read to someone outside of the military
  • Be sure you understand how your tuition benefits work 


Laws and Policies

  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): Be aware - some employers may make assumptions about your life experiences, and potentially hesitate to hire someone with a certain background, such as combat experience, with the unfounded assumption that PTSD will always be connected. It is important for you to know that PTSD is covered by the ADA, making it illegal for an employer to ask you about it, or refuse to hire you because of the knowledge they may have. The amount you choose to share about your military experience is up to you. 
  • Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA): Employers may express concern about you leaving if you are called to serve. Know that you are protected in this regard as well. The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) protects the job rights and benefits for veterans and members of the reserves working in a civilian capacity. Every veteran has a different story, and this is an area where you can likely offer some education to a potential employer to help them understand your situation, and refuse any negative associations they may have.

Questions you may want to ask an employer

  • How do you see my military experience and skill set fitting in to this position/job?
  • Tell me about a "day in the life" of this job.
  • Tell me about a "year in the life" of this job.
  • What can you tell me about someone with a background similar to mine who has succeeded in this role? What did they do to succeed, and what was the outcome of that success?

Professional Associations

Many associations and programs are in place to assist veterans with establishing a career. We recommend reviewing the resource, How to Pick A Military or Veteran Association, on Military.com as you consider the organizations that may be a good fit for you. Examples include: 

  • Troops to Teachers
  • Military Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals
  • American Corporate Partners
  • Make the Connection
  • American Woman Veterans 

Career Development, Job Search, and Networking Resources

  • O*Net for Veterans
    • A comprehensive resource designed to help veterans look for careers based on interest, industry, and relation to military career
  • VA for Vets
    • The Veteran Employment Services Office's (VESO) VAforVets initiative helps Veterans and transitioning military service members find meaningful careers.
  • Student Veterans of America
    • Student Veterans of America (SVA) is a coalition of student-veteran groups on college campuses intended to equip Veterans with resources and support students, fund scholarships, train tomorrow's leaders, and help Veterans to tell their stories. 
  • Sample Resumes of Veterans
    • Review a few different options for writing a resume with military experience.
  • Military.com
    • Connects Veterans to career advice, a comprehensive job search engine, translator tools and information about job fairs. 
  • Military to Civilian Occupation Translator
    • Utilize this comprehensive resource to match military skills and experience to civilian occupations. 
  • Riley Guide
    • Career Advice, Job Search Listings, Transition Assistance 
  • Four Block Transition Program
    • A community of high potential Veterans and employers equipping Veterans for success with a career readiness program and employers with tools to optimize retention 
  • G.I. Jobs
    • Resources and job postings for Veterans planning to start their civilian careers
  • Feds Hire Vets
    • Source for finding federal employment for veterans, members of their families 
  • DiversityInc.
    • 2017 Top 50 Companies hiring those with a diverse background
  • Career Resources for Veterans
    • Career & Transition Resources 
  • Veteran Employment Toolkit
    • Federal Government Source for connecting Veterans to meaningful career opportunities 
  • Employment Resources for Veterans
    • Employment Resources from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs 
  • Veteran and Military Transition Center
    • Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, a one stop website designed to help with the transition to civilian life
  • Vet Jobs
    • Online job listings
  • Military Times: Best for Vets
    • 2016 List of Best Employers in the United States to hire and train Veterans 
  • Beyond the Uniform
    • Provides military veterans with free resources to help them identify, evaluate, pursue, and succeed at their ideal civilian career.
  • Job-Hunt's Veteran Job Search
    • Advice, articles, resources for conducting a job search and transitioning out of the military