Preparing for Employment in Civvy Street

Many commercial businesses recognise the value former Service men and women bring to their workplace. To ensure that you are able to showcase yourself as the most competitive candidate in the job that you want, it is important to be prepared. To fully prepare, make sure you have completed this checklist, if you are looking for further guidance and one-to-one advice, SaluteMyJob are here to help.

STEP 1: Understanding Key Skills

We recommend developing a good answer to the question: ‘what transferable knowledge, skills and experience do I have? (Rather than ‘what do I want to do when I leave the military?’)

  1. Make a list of your key skills and qualities. Ask your colleagues and check your appraisals to see what attributes they see as your strongest. (E.g. Self-motivated, innovative, highly skilled in a certain area).

  2. Translate those skills into commercial language, with the help of a SaluteMyJob advisor if needed. Check out our military skills translation blog to see how we describe military skills to employers.

  3. is a good tool to help with this.

STEP 2: Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Why did you/are you leaving the military?

  2. What roles are you looking for in Civvy Street?

  3. What salary do you need/want in order to look after you and your family?

  4. Do you have a preferred location or are you willing to relocate for the right job?

  5. Have you thought about other lifestyle changes that come with leaving the military? What do you want to get out of your new job? E.g. more family time, new industry with new challenges, etc.

STEP 3: Explore and research industries, roles and commercial companies

Narrow down your options by researching the jobs, companies and industries your skills are best suited to.

  1. Take a look at the employers who have pledged to support the Armed Forces through the Armed Forces Covenant.

  2. Research job markets in your location - Find out what employers and job opportunities there are in your area. Use websites such as My World of Work or National Careers service.

  3. Attend military insight days hosted by employers such as Virgin Money, JLR, Barclays. These are often advertised on Career Transition Partnership’s (CTP) website.

  4. Attend Job Fairs and Online Job Fairs - CTP and BFRS advertise a range of employment fairs, online chat events and company presentations across the UK. SaluteMyJob will be organising some Online Job fairs so keep an eye out for these.

STEP 4: Network Network Network

Network extensively, both before and after you have left the military.

  1. Link up with other former Service men and women. But leave your rank and Service behind. The vast majority of ex-military people will be delighted to help you, regardless of your former rank or military experience.

  2. Join social media and networking groups.

  3. Join relevant discussion groups. E.g. SaluteMyJob’s VetsNet - a Facebook group to ask questions and start up discussions with our employment advisors and other Service leavers, veterans and reservists.

  4. Join your Corps/Regimental Association and their social media groups.

  5. Look out for your local veteran support groups, e.g. veteran breakfast clubs.

STEP 5: Get started on a generic CV

Take those key transferable skills found in step 1 and start to think about putting them into a generic CV. Perfecting and specialising your CV can come at a later date.

  1. Download our CV tips on How To Write A ‘Stand Out’ CV and if you haven’t already started, we recommend using our CV template to get the structure right.

STEP 6: Acquire relevant skills and commercial work experience

Once you have started to look for jobs to suit your skills – you may start to notice some gaps in your experience or qualifications.

  1. Service Leavers have two years to complete their resettlement - use this time wisely to accredit your experience and gain qualifications. Use your Enhanced Learning Credits before they run out. Check the ELCAS website here to see if you qualify. And look for courses on SaluteMyJob’s course directory.

  2. Work placements/ Work experience/ Voluntary Work – Would it be valuable for you to take part in work experience/a work placement/voluntary work to help strengthen your CV, knowledge, experience and understanding of the commercial environment?

STEP 7: Don’t give up

You may have setbacks and challenges throughout your transition and your job search, but stay positive! Your hard work and perseverance will pay off and remember, our expert employment advisors will be with you every step of the way.

If you have completed this checklist - you are well on your way to becoming a competitive candidate for the right job in the right company. If you have any questions or would like further advice, please get in touch with your SaluteMyJob employment advisor or contact

If you haven’t registered with SaluteMyJob, find out more on how we can help you here  and to register, visit: