Your active duty career ends in 6 months and you’re currently stationed overseas or on the opposite side of the US. You have taken a long hard look at your plans to leave the service and are setting your priorities accordingly. You have taken the required transition courses, built your master resume and have even went through some mock interviews. The time to leave is drawing closer, and you’re about three months out from your ETS/DOS/EAS. As you begin to look at your options for employment, you have some big decisions to make that will set the course of your transition as well as your civilian career into motion. You must decide what is most important to you from the following:

  1. Location
  2. Job Satisfaction
  3. Money

Once you have determined what is most important to you, the rest of your decisions will be easier to align to that focus

Those of you that are stationed CONUS will have a much easier time when compared to those that are OCONUS. Either way the same common issues exist for all that are planning to leave the area in which they are currently stationed and relocate back to their HOR. The address… (SOMEWHERE, USA)

You are scanning the internet for that perfect career match that aligns with the area you are relocating to, and you found it! The requirements and experience level needs match your resume nicely, it’s in your home town so you KNOW that the military is moving you back there for FREE, and that’s great as this position does not pay for relocation. You are one step closer to crossing the transition threshold. You applied for the position online and have submitted your specifically crafted resume with focused objective tailored for this company AND position. But wait! Two days later you find out that you have been declined? How could they make a decision that soon?

Recruiters have many requisitions they are attempting to fill in a very short period of time, and if they are lucky, they have a lot of candidates flowing to those requisitions. Many times, they will filter out all candidates whose address on file does not fall within a specified radius of the zip code of the job opening. This can be frustrating for veteran candidates that live out of state or country and are simply seeking employment back home. I would know, I experienced this myself during my transition as I was based in England and was returning to Indiana. Unfortunately, none of the recruiters I spoke with understood that the military was going to relocate; nor did they understand that even though I had an APO AE address I was not going to spend the rest of my life in the UK. I was returning home and would reside within 25 miles of the positions. I was well qualified and had applied for a reason.

Finding the solution can be simple, if planned out in advance. If you know that you are moving back to a specific location and you have family/friends there, ask if you may use their address as a point of delivery for your job search. You may even utilize and set up a PO Box with the local post office while using a family or friends physical address. Ensure that your online application and resume match as it pertains to your address to alleviate any questions or concerns. Be prepared to travel for a face to face interview when the time comes. If you are able, schedule those interviews as you begin your terminal leave and it will save you many headaches and financial distress.

In summary, managing your transition falls squarely on your shoulders. Set yourself up for success by starting early. Research and plan your strategy. Most importantly set your goals and priorities. When you know where you are going, it’s easier to see the steps in front of you.

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