As many transitioning service members have found, not all companies are prepared to hire military or are “military friendly.” Chad Sowash, director of veteran recruiting for Randstad Sourceright, warns that some companies are unsure how to translate military skills and experiences into civilian positions, because an “MOS is just a small ingredient in a much larger recipe for your career.”
To find those that do, Sowash recommends looking for companies that have veteran employee resource groups, military-specific recruiting programs and websites that demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the military community.
Transitioning service members must also be proactive. Sowash says veterans must commit to translating their military roles and responsibilities into language that correlates to civilian job descriptions, spend time having their resume reviewed by experts, train for job interviews and research – from top to bottom – both the pharmaceutical industry and the individual companies to which they apply.
“The veteran has to cross the bridge halfway and the company has to cross halfway,” Sowash says. “If you expect the employer to come all the way across the bridge, it is not going to work. It has to be a shared responsibility.”
Sowash points out that LinkedIn also can be an “amazing tool” for marketing yourself to potential employers and identifying former service members currently working in the pharmaceutical industry.
“As a candidate, you’ll be most successful when you do your research and market yourself effectively,” he says. “You won’t likely just pop out of the military and have a job waiting for you, but the opportunities are real.”