His book, “Out of Uniform: Your Guide to Successful Military-to-Civilian Career Transition,” rereleased in April 2018, offers stories of triumph and misstep from veterans who have been there.
“I believe the book is as applicable to a civilian who has never worn the uniform as it is to my target audience — active duty, in uniform, getting ready to transition — what it does is illustrate points by telling these stories,” Wolfe said.
2) Know yourself and what’s important to you
Many transitioning veterans make the mistake of not taking the time develop self-knowledge, Wolfe said.
“The self-awareness that I understand my transition and before my job search, understand what exactly is important to me,” Wolfe said. “Until you know yourself and until you know your strengths, your attributes, your weaknesses, your wants and your needs, what matters to you at the end of the day, until you’ve identified that, you’re putting yourself at risk that you’re going to end up in a job for the wrong reasons.”
4) Learn how to translate your experience to the civilian world
The military has a very unique and specific way of operating that in many cases differs drastically from how civilian businesses and organizations do. Learning how to translate your experience into skills that civilian employers understand is key to landing a job.
“I think a great source would be the veteran service organizations. The dot orgs. The ones that are not in it for profit,” Wolfe said. “They’re in it for service. Most of them have tools that will help someone translate a military skillset. Some military skillsets have a direct civilian equivalency. Like a truck driver or a helicopter pilot. But then if you get an infantry officer, something like that, we don’t have a civilian equivalency anymore. Some of these people don’t think they’re qualified to do anything. They just don’t know how to describe what they do in terms of what civilian employers will understand.”
6) Get good at social media
Many employers do background checks, but more of them will search a candidate’s social media profiles. You can’t determine what a company will see in your background investigation, but you can control your social media presence. Learn how to use social media to your advantage, Wolfe said. Be sure to scrub your social media accounts for anything you wouldn’t want an employer to see. Put your best foot forward.
“If you go back 10 years ago and you had an insufficient or faulty resume, that was the kiss of death,” Wolfe said. “You weren’t going to get a screening interview, let alone a job. Well, now, social presence is that critical. If you do not have an appropriate, powerful, applicable social media presence across the board — if there’s anything missing or anything wrong — that’s the new kiss of death. You’ve got to be familiar with it. Social media is powerful for both the companies the organizations that are looking for people, but it’s also very powerful for individuals in preparing for interviews.”