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DOD SkillBridge Offers Free Transition Training

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When leaving the military, you should be considering what sort of story your resume tells, and how that can get you the job you want. One way to do this is to revise the resume so that it has less acronyms,  and makes it easier for hiring managers or recruiters to see what you have done, and why you are a good fit for their company. The Military Skills Translator at Military.com can be a huge help here.

Another way is to add more relevant experience, such as internships and apprenticeships. If you're a veteran coming to the end of your enlistment, and want to beef up your resume with some extra training or maybe an internship, DoD SkillBridge might be the program for you.

How to Find Opportunities

To discover training and development opportunities, visit your installation transition office. SkillBridge has also developed a DoD SkillBridge App, where you can set up email and Twitter notifications based on opportunities that match your profile.

Examples of past opportunities include General Motors and Georgia Power. The Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry's Veterans in Piping (VIP) has trained more than 750 service members through their United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices, and Microsoft trains people in the IT field.

Who is Eligible

The requirements for the program state that the service member must be within 180 days of being discharged, and have served 180 days of continuous active duty. Approval is the responsibility of the first field-grade commander in your chain of command -- as always, your ability to participate in training is second to mission requirements, and your approval authority may be terminated by your command.

How to Leverage These Opportunities

Consider your post-military career path, and where you want to end up. Work backward from that point, and find training opportunities that lead to your goal. Your strategy here should be (a) gaining additional work experience that you can learn from and use for the basis of discussion points in an interview, and (b) help you beef up your resume in a way that tells a strong story of who you want to become and believe yourself to be.

For example, regardless of what you did in the military, if you were to enroll in one of the Microsoft SkillBridge programs, you could go into an interview for a position in the IT sector with a resume that shows your leadership and discipline (and whatever else you can leverage that relates, with the help of the Military Skills Translator), and now some real world computer experience. If you worked on computers in the military, that's even better. Remember, the key here is to show potential hiring managers that it makes sense to hire you.

The fact that these training opportunities are meant to lead to employment with the training provider is certainly a plus, and an opportunity you should take advantage of.

For More Information

To learn more about the DoD SkillBridge program, visit their website. It can be one more part of your separation plan, along with the DoD Transition Assistance Program (TAP) and other such programs.

To create a personalized transition plan for yourself, and for transition guides and checklists, visit the Military.com Transition Center.

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