- The Essential Military-to-Civilian Transition Resource

From the Blog: An Assessment Tool for Transitioning Career Seekers
By Jessie Richardson, Contributing Writer

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The Professional Association of Resume Writers brought a job search strategy development resource to my attention in its November 2008 newsletter that I would like to share with you. In an article entitled Resources, Diane Burns of Career Marketing Techniques outlines an assessment tool available to transitioning career seekers which may be especially helpful to those who are changing from one career to another.

Burns writes: “The Occupational Information Network (O*Net) program is the nation’s primary source of occupational information with a database containing information on hundreds of standardized and occupation-specific descriptors. The database, which is available to the public at no cost, is continually updated by surveying a broad range of workers from each occupation. The database also provides the basis for Career Exploration Tools, a set of valuable assessment instruments for workers and students looking to find or change careers. The Occupation Information Network is being developed under sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration.”

The O*Net Web site allows you to search occupations by keyword, high-growth industries, career clusters, and more.  Let’s say that I served as a Logistics Manager in the Army with an MOS of 92A. If I type “Logistics Manager” into the keyword field, the top 3 relevant occupations - Logistician, Storage and Distribution Manger, and Transportation Manager - are the search result.  If I click on “Logistician,” it gives me a detailed description of the occupation in terms of knowledge (in this case, knowledge of production processes, costs, transportation, clerical procedures, etc.), skills (service orientation, time management, etc.), abilities (inductive and deductive reasoning, for example), work activities, work context, job zone (the experience, training, and education needed), work styles, interests, work values, wages and employment trends (national or by state).

The value  of this tool for transitioning career seekers is three-fold:

  1. It allows you to pinpoint the civilian job title that most closely matches your military experience and interests and therefore target your job search.

  2. It not only gives you a template for breaking down your experience into terms civilian hiring authorities can understand, it also provides insight into the skills and work styles they are actually looking for.
  3. You can research “cross-walk” occupations and pull together a plan for transitioning into another field.

Visit the O*Net Resource Center’s homepage at for more information.


Jessie Richardson, CPRW, is director of resume services at Read more transition advice online at the blog.

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