November 11, 2022

Before my career in human resources, I spent four years in active duty in the US Army, working as a flight operation specialist in Army Aviation. Since then, I’ve relied upon those personal and professional skills I developed in the military to help me and others thrive in the workplace.  

There may be a misconception that veterans are rigid or only do as they are told. Veterans have to be incredibly resilient, flexible and adaptable. They are often asked to pivot quickly and make decisions under very challenging circumstances. These are valuable skills at any time, and more so in today’s unpredictable work environment.  

Veterans are known for their strong work ethic and being disciplined and tenacious in pursuing goals, qualities that can easily transfer to the business world. Additionally, veterans are accustomed to working in diverse teams. My Army experiences exposed me to different cultures and beliefs, and I learned how to accomplish objectives and solve problems working with people with much different backgrounds from mine. I’ve applied these communication and problem-solving skills throughout my HR career.  

As we honor veterans each November 11, here are a few tips that can help HR teams tap into this diverse talent pool and help veterans leverage their skills and experiences in the civilian workplace. 

Tips for veterans looking for civilian jobs   

  • Eliminate military jargon from your resume and use language that will be understood by recruiters and applicant tracking systems. For example, consider using a related civilian job title in place or alongside the description of your military role.  
  • Also, most recruiters are unfamiliar with the military’s rank structure and will not know that a sergeant or above is considered a manager-level position, so be sure to indicate that on your resume. 
  • Think about the hard skills and soft skills you acquired in the military and how they fit in with the company and position you’re applying for. 
  • If you are still in the military and preparing for civilian life, take advantage of the transition services offered that will help you with this exercise.  
  • Consider working with a search firm that specializes in placing veterans. They can help you identify your marketable skills. 

Tips for HR leaders recruiting veterans 

  • Consider reaching out to military bases or installations, particularly if your company is located near one, or if you are offering remote work.  
  • When you screen veteran applicants for a job, ask them to describe their skills more fully. 
  • Encourage the candidate to expound on situations that required hard and soft skills, not just technical training. 
  • Train your recruiters to have a basic understanding of the skills, experience, terms and technology used in a military context so they can see the parallels. Military Occupational Specialty Codes (MOS) are the preassigned classification codes used to identify each job specialty in the military. These codes are crucial to understanding how to translate military into civilian career experience. provides access to learn more about these codes and what each military job requires. 
  • Consider engaging with search firms specializing in the placement of transitioning military personnel. Traliant has partnered with Veterans Prime, a veteran-owned recruiting and search firm. 

Traliant Insight 
Veterans Day on November 11 is an opportunity each year to show appreciation and respect for those who have served in the military, in wartime or peacetime. For HR teams, it’s another reminder to expand recruiting and retention programs and DEI initiatives to include veterans. For veterans, it’s a reminder to reach out and find the resources you need to successfully navigate new careers.  



Maggie Smith