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Veterans' Job Search Expert: Patra Frame, Veteran, USAF

Patra Frame

Patra Frame is a veteran, so she know what you've gone through and what you face as you look for a job in the civilian marketplace.  Patra's work in HR began in the US Air Force and includes Human Resources management and Human Capital consulting in corporate America.

After an eleven-year stint as a Personnel Officer in the United States Air Force, serving in Thailand, Germany, and the USA, Patra (a.k.a. Patricia) Frame began her civilian career working with large corporations as an Organizational Development consultant with A.T. Kearney and at General Electric.

With an undergraduate degree from Purdue and an MBA from Wharton, Patra founded "Strategies for Human Resources" ( in 1993 as a consulting firm specializing in meeting the human resources needs of small to mid-size organizations. In 2014, she launched where she blogs advice for veterans and other job seekers.

Patra's passion is helping people thrive at work. Thus, she has also done a lot of career counseling and regularly speaks on job search and career development issues nationally and locally.

Message from Patra to Veterans:

I am delighted to be writing this column, after many years helping vets and transitioning military with their job searches. My passion is helping people thrive at work and helping companies create success through their employees. I speak and write regularly on job search topics and talk to job seekers constantly.

I am looking forward to hearing from you. What topics do you want me to cover? What issues are most troublesome for you in your search? What have you learned that other military folks need to know?

You can reach me at

Patra writes on Human Resource topics for as well as for SHRInsight.  She also has a series of job search tips videos on YouTube and writes a job search column "Ask Patra" for  In addition, you can follow Patra on Twitter (@2Patra).  She tweets on many topics as @2Patra.

Articles by Patra Frame

New Articles

  • Smart Military Transition Strategies
    Leaving the military, whether you have a few years of service or many, is a big undertaking. Too often I talk with those who wait until the last minute or those who have had significant trouble in transitioning. As with any major "battle," doing your research and developing an action plan, preferably well in advance, can ensure a smarter and more successful transition.
  • Military Transition Action Plan - Long-Term Service to Civilian
    If you have a decade or more military service, returning to the private sector is often more change than you really are ready for. Month after month I see people who are accomplished pilots, program and project managers, commanders, XO’s, deputy X’s, First Sergeants -- yet who are truly floundering.
  • Choosing Your Civilian Career
    Most people make several significant career transitions over their work life. If you are leaving the military after several tours or upon retirement, do recognize this transition will take lots of preparation and time.

Veterans' Job Search Home

  • Smart Military Transition Resumes
    Resumes often seem the awful beginning of a scary job search. I constantly see very basic questions about resumes in online veteran groups. And get lots of questions when I speak, not to mention the problems with those I review in person.

Preparing for Transition

The Job Search Process

  • Veterans' "Soft Skills" Advantage
    We don't think of jobs in the military as conferring anything "soft" to members. Yet, when it comes to the highly-valued and highly-sought-after "soft skills" required to keep organizations operating effectively, members of the military have a definite advantage.
  • Do the Hard Work to Get the Right Work
    Decades of HR work and I still am regularly amazed at those people who: Think that their security clearance or some bundle of skills or being a vet or an academy graduate alone will get them a job. Believe that just putting out their resume on job boards will result in a good job. Have never thought of their next job as an investment which requires at least as much thought and research as buying a new house.
  • Beginning Your Civilian Job Search
    First, the good news: The unemployment rate for military retirees and those transitioning from active duty is actually lower than that of the population as a whole. But you need to understand your destination - and yourself - to successfully target and execute a job search that will result in a job where you can succeed. You need to start with a plan.
  • Leveraging Targets of Opportunity
    A major portion of your job search should be devoted to identifying potential jobs and employers who match your needs and to building your network to help you succeed. But every job search also includes "targets of opportunity." These are job ads you find online, contacts from recruiters or hiring managers you know, or leads you get from friends and other members of your network.
  • Increasing Your Job Search Options
    Today, you have all sorts of ways to look for jobs - on company websites, on job boards, on local websites, via big aggregator sites, at job fairs, networking events, and so on. And most importantly, through people you know.
  • Finding Help for Your Job Search
    Most job seekers find the job search process very difficult. Yet, few ask for the help they need to succeed. Worse, both active military and veterans are especially bad at asking for help in job search.
  • Giving Job Search Help to Others
    When you have friends, family, or other vets who are looking for a job, offer to help. Think of the things you do well and offer that type of assistance.
  • Job Search Success Tactics
    If you want a job, vets are highly successful in corporate America. For many the transition is not so easy, but success comes rapidly once they find the right opportunity.
  • How to Avoid Self-Sabotage
    Every day I see bright, competent, experienced professionals who sabotage their job search. Often the mistakes they make are with simple aspects of their job hunt. Whether transitioning from the military or a veteran looking for a new job, you can maximize your success by avoiding these common errors.

Choosing Your Civilian Career

  • Your Great New Career in 7 Steps
    Successfully starting your new career, post-DoD, takes solid research and self-analysis to determine what interests you and will be your best civilian career. Yes, you can skip this step. Many do, just jumping directly into the civilian job market after discharge. But, as you have learned, methodically analyzing your options and making a plan is much smarter (and, probably, much better paying).
  • Determining Your Career Direction
    Many of our columns talk specifically about job search actions. This one focuses on the larger issues of your career. Where are you going? Wherever you are currently: have you thought about your career goals in any detail recently? Most people change their career goals and interests regularly over time.
  • Combat Arms to Civilian... What Now?
    So often I talk with transitioning military who are infantry or Marines or otherwise in some position for which they can imagine no civilian jobs. Or they see only physical security and law enforcement options. But there are many other opportunities!
  • Show Me the Money!
    Civilian compensation is very different from military pay and benefits. Thus it is important that you learn what to expect in your chosen field. Many transitioning military assume civilian pay is always higher, but that day is long gone.

Veteran's Job Search Tools

  • Vet's Job Search Battle Plan
    No sane person goes to battle alone. You need a plan and folks who "have your back." And your job search is the same. Take advantage of the various resources the military offers, like TAP and Yellow Ribbon events. In addition, here is some more information and supports to ensure you succeed.
  • Be Prepared: Interview Cheat Sheet
    As you prepare to find a new opportunity, research target organizations that interest you. Because you want to discover if the employer is a good match for you, have questions that are important to you ready to ask. Obviously, some questions you ask will depend on the level or type of position and the phase in the hiring process. Use the Cheat Sheet as a starting point.
  • Military Women: Finding Job Search Success
    Military women transitioning to the civilian world over the past decade have had higher rates of unemployment than men. What can you do to ensure you find the right job and succeed? Perhaps the following information can help you.

Implementing Your Civilian Job Search

  • Networking: The Secret of Successful Military-to-Civilian Transition
    You probably have heard that you have to network as a part of returning to the civilian work world. And many military members are very successful at doing so within the military - yet cannot see quite how to do it for transition. You can't get through TAP or open a business publication without seeing something about networking. Why?
  • Identifying and Leveraging Your Marketability
    Thinking of leaving the military? Already a "short-timer?" Looking for a new job? You need to know how you can move onto the right career path. We know, based on research, that most successful people share three common practices. You can too!

Veteran's Career Options

  • What's Your Next Career?
    No real career yet? Not sure what you want to do? Unsure of your next step? Here's help!
  • Option: Start Your Own Business
    Have you ever thought of starting and running a business? Vets do so at much higher rates than civilians. And veterans start businesses that become successful at a very high rate, too.

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