Approaching the civilian job market with confidence

Utilise your resettlement toolkit to ensure maximum success post-discharge and beyond.

Leaving the Armed Forces can be a daunting experience, but with the right preparation and full use of the tools available to you via the Career Transition Partnership (CTP), you’ll be ready to approach the job market with confidence. The CTP is here to support you from up to two years pre-discharge to two years post-discharge, so it’s important to use your resettlement time wisely and ensure you’re well prepared.

Recognise your transferrable skills
The first port of call for most Service leavers is the 3 day Career Transition Workshop (CTW), in which you’ll start thinking about your future career plans, and identify the wealth of skills you can bring with you to the civilian world. 

Tim Cairns, CTP Head of Transition says “Alongside the technical skills developed during your military career, you’ll also have gained many ‘soft skills’ that are extremely attractive to employers – from leadership, working under pressure and knowledge of health & safety, to team work, organisation and commitment to getting the job done. The CTW will ensure you can effectively translate your military experience into a format recognisable in the civilian job market”.

Tools available include:
myPlan: online Career Assessment Activities to help you identify what you want from your future career and what you can offer an employer; review your key achievements; and define your interests, skills and strengths

Plotr Career Matching Game: an interactive game that helps you identify jobs that match your personality, interests and skills

Interview Techniques Workshop: a one-day follow-on workshop focussed on honing your interview skills and preparing you for the different interview formats you may encounter, with plenty of opportunity for practise

Self Employment Awareness Workshop: a one-day workshop delivered by X Forces, aimed at helping you identify whether self-employment is right for you

Other Service leavers: during the CTW you’ll have the chance to meet other colleagues also going through the resettlement process, and to learn from their experiences

Research the job market
The next step is to identify which industries or job types you will target. On day 3 of the CTW you will meet your Career Consultant, who is available throughout your resettlement journey to provide advice and guidance; this is your time to discuss your future ideas and to create a Personal Resettlement Plan which will shape your resettlement journey. 

You may already have a clear idea of what you want to do next, or you might still be looking at all the options available to you – either way, it is important to complete as much research as possible. Remember that the job market is constantly changing, and differs greatly depending upon geographical location and industry sector, so it’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest industry news in your region.

Tools available include:
Industry Sector Briefs: online briefing documents for all the major industry sectors, which are regularly updated by the CTP employment team with industry news

Regional Employment Bulletins: the bulletins are updated monthly by the CTP Employment Team, and contain the latest vacancies and job market news for all UK regions

Employment Events: the CTP regularly hosts events including Job Fairs, Company Open Days and Live Online Chat events with employers – these all give you the opportunity to research different companies and jobs 

CTP Employer Focus Directory: an area of the CTP website containing microsites from employers committed to recruiting Service leavers – their pages contain company information, application hints and tips, and case studies

Complete relevant vocational training
Having identified the industry/industries you’ll be targeting, you now have the opportunity to undertake training courses to help shape your future career.

“The training you choose is not an end in itself but part of the route along your resettlement journey”, says Liz Taylor, CTP Director of Training. “It needs careful planning and consideration before committing any time and funding to it. You should, of course, do your own research but also use the knowledge and expertise of your Career Consultant who is there to advise and guide you towards the correct choice.”

Tools available include:
• Career Consultant: you can access you Career Consultant via phone, email or in person throughout your resettlement

• CTP RightJob: search for live job vacancies on the CTP’s ex-military job board RightJob or other job sites, and see what the required qualifications are

• CTP Website: listing a wide range of vocational training and, where CTP doesn’t offer the training you are looking for, courses from MOD Preferred Suppliers 

• Second Line Service Resettlement Advisor: to inform on allowances and entitlements

Create targeted CVs and covering letters

Whilst it is important to have one generic CV and covering letter, it is vital that you tailor these for each job application that you make. This ensures that you highlight the areas in which your experience matches the job description, making it easy for the employer to see why you could be the right person for the job.

Tools available include:
• Online CV Builder: use this online tool to create a draft CV in four simple steps

• Career Consultant: if you have any questions or want to get an opinion on your application before you submit it, you can always contact your CTP Consultant

• Online Resettlement Guide: CV Writing

• Career Transition Workshop: you’ll spend time creating a CV during the workshop, and the CTW workbook provides a refresher of this information along with plenty of examples 

Get networking
“Networking is more than shaking hands and exchanging business cards”, says Jennie Pittam, CTP Key Account Manager. “We network every day without thinking about it – from talking to your barber about business during a haircut to being introduced to a ‘friend of a friend’! Of course there are more formal ways of networking, but the thing to remember when job searching is that everyone you speak to offers a potential networking opportunity”.

As you get ready to apply for jobs, think about the contacts you already have in similar industries – you never know, they could lead you to your next opportunity. 

Tools available include:
• Online Resettlement Guides: Professional Networking & Social Media and LinkedIn 

• Networking Workshop: a one-day follow-on workshop that introduces you to both online and offline networking techniques 

• Your existing contacts: some examples of potential contacts in your network are: Neighbours, Co-workers, PTA members, Teachers, Training Providers, School and college alumni, Politicians, town council members, Service providers – doctor, dentist, lawyer and Trade Association & Institute contacts

By using your resettlement time wisely and allowing yourself sufficient time to think about your next steps, you’ll be fully prepared to approach the job market and secure that all-important next career post-military. And don’t forget, CTP support continues throughout your job search and post-discharge via the CTP Employment Team.

Visit to find out more about the resettlement package and ensure you register for resettlement with your Service Resettlement Advisor from two years pre-discharge. 


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