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Veterans' Job Search Contributor: Diane Hudson

Diane Hudson is a military transition job-search strategist and career coach. She designs and composes military conversion resumes and helps position service members for employment in corporate or Federal America.

Diane tells all of her military clients, from all branches and ranks: "Bank your retirement check and live on your new salary."™

With a global perspective, having lived overseas for 12 years (plus a stint outside of Washington DC for 5 years), Diane understands the military life, work, and culture and delivers savvy solutions and powerful (appropriately translated) career management tools for career change, career search, and career development, empowering military clients, building confidence through the military transition, and ensuring job search-proofing. 

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As a multi-credentialed leader in the careers industry, Diane provides expert interviews on résumé writing and job search topics for major newspapers and periodicals; speaks at careers industry conferences (including Sergeant’s Time and Corporate Gray Job Fairs); is published in over 30 books and periodicals; writes articles for national and industry journals and periodicals; and is a 2-time award winning résumé writer.

Diane is the author of Start a Civilian Career, How to Make a Successful Transition from the Military (National Business Employment Weekly /A Wall Street Journal Publication) Moving From the Military Into a Civilian Job; is the chapter author for the 3rd and 4th Editions of the Federal Resume Guidebook (Military to Federal Resume Conversions); and owns Career Marketing Techniques (www.polishedresumes.com).

Diane holds eight industry credentials including Certified Leadership & Talent Management Coach and Federal Job Search Trainer & Counselor.

If you have any questions or issues you'd like covered, please send an e-mail to questions@job-hunt.org.

Articles by Diane Hudson Burns

Preparing for Transition:

  • Exit Strategy for Career Military
    As a service member you are most likely very busy and engaged in your job. You are dedicated and disciplined. You are serving your country. However, it is important to plan an exit strategy from the military to corporate America.
  • CONUS Job Search from an OCONUS Duty Station
    It can be difficult for service members to network when deployed to remote locations. Even preparing to retire from an overseas assignment can be challenging -- as you have to decide where to live and how to secure employment, while living across the globe.
  • Veterans' Benefits in Transition and Job Search
    As a veteran, you have been granted preference in job search, as well as benefits for education, due to your service to America. Most veterans are given some type of preference in appointments in federal jobs, and the preference is extended to military spouses and widows of deceased veterans in certain circumstances.
  • How Military in Transition Can Ace Their Job Interviews
    If you are retiring from the military in your early to mid-forties, then you may have never experienced an interview before, ever. You may be nervous, unprepared, or perhaps quite confident. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for a solid interview experience:

Implementing Your Civilian Job Search:

  • Translating Military Experience
    As veterans, you lived and worked within a subculture of mainstream America. You lived and worked on bases and installations: ships, submarines, and tents. You ate MREs.
  • Military Experience Value
    Ohhh, how many times have I been asked by a military member: "What is the value I offer to a corporate employer when I leave the military?"
  • Mining Accomplishments from Your Military Records
    As you begin to build your military conversion resume and prepare sample responses for potential interview questions, you need to start by creating an accomplishments journal.
  • Military Networking Letter
    Congratulations, your military retirement is looming (or you are leaving the military after serving for 4 - 15 years)! You are still young, in good shape, well trained, and ready for a second career.
  • Military vs. Civilian Cultures
    Some corporate employers function very differently from the military structure, which can cause miscommunication for both parties. Here is a basic description of the structure differences (there are of course exceptions to every rule, but these describe the basics):

Veteran's Job Search Tools:

  • Job Search Tools for Veterans
    As you anticipate leaving military service and entering corporate (or Federal) America, you need a portfolio of job search tools to aide you through the process. Choose the tools that will best suit your job search path and your career history.
  • Dressing for Interview Success
    When you are ready to seek employment for your encore career -- after you retire or leave the military -- you will need an appropriate wardrobe for interviewing and for your new job.
  • Job Application vs. Resume
    You may be asked to complete a job application, even though you have submitted a resume and already completed the interview process. Or you may be asked to complete a job application before you attend your first interview with a certain company.
  • Military-Friendly Employers
    Many companies recognize, recruit, and use the value offered from veterans entering the corporate workforce. Military-friendly companies value your leadership skills, diversity, commitment/discipline, training, flexibility / adaptability, and "in-the-trenches / can-do" attitude and work ethic.

The Job Search Process:

  • Veterans' 60 Second Personal Infomercial
    "Tell Me about Yourself," is often one of the first things you will hear a recruiter or hiring manager say in an interview, pre-screening interview, job fair, or during networking events. You may also be asked this question during a public speaking event or by the media.
  • Reversing the Top 5 Veterans' Job Search Mistakes
    Making the transition from military to corporate employment can be a challenge. Prior preparation and planning can avert some of the challenges, as usual.
  • Job Search as Personal Sales
    You read about "Brand You," "Personal Branding," and the use of social media to "Build Your Brand" ... but do you really think that way? One of the harder aspects of a great job search is learning to think about yourself in terms of what an employer wants.
  • Successfully Navigating Job & Career Fairs
    Job and career fairs for veterans are plentiful. They provide a good opportunity to "meet and greet" and learn about companies of interest.
  • Focus Your Response on the Opportunity
    Many veterans tell me that they are a "Jack-of-All-Trades" -- an advantage in the military, but your job search needs a different, tactical response.

Veteran's Career Options:

  • Option: Military to Federal Transition
    The United States Office of Personnel Management (www.opm.gov) recruits, hires, and sets benefits policies for about 1.9 million federal civilian employees, many of them through USAJOBS.gov, the central job board for many Federal agencies and departments.
  • Starting Your Federal Job Search
    Conducting a Federal job search usually starts at USAJOBS.gov - the Federal Government's main job board website. On USAJOBS.gov, a job seeker can easily use keywords, locations, job titles, salary ranges, and / or federal series to search for federal positions. Veterans have their own special site -- FedsHireVets.gov -- which offers information specifically for veterans about the process, the benefits, a directory of Veteran Employment Offices, and much more.

More Resources for Veterans' Job Search:

  • Veterans' Spouses Job Search Tips
    If you followed your service member spouse around the globe for 20 years, then your resume could include a dozen or more jobs, in addition to many volunteer positions; or large gaps in time and varied job titles. Every time you moved, you struggled to send resumes, fill out federal applications, and network in a new location.
  • Leadership and Management Styles
    You may face these two questions in a single interview: "What is your leadership style?" and "What is your management style?" As a service member, you probably had substantial training and experience with both leadership and management. You need to "package" that experience and those skills in a way that a civilian manager can understand the value you bring.

Meet more of Job-Hunt's Job Search and Career Experts.


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Veterans' Job Search Home:

Preparing for Transition:

Choosing Your Civilian Career:

Implementing Your Civilian Job Search:


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Veteran's Job Search Tools:

The Job Search Process:

Veteran's Career Options:

More Resources for Veterans' Job Search:


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