How to Find The Perfect Side Gig as a Veteran

Being a veteran is not always easy, especially when it’s time for retirement and you have to find your place in a “normal” world. When you work in the military, it’s easy for you to find better opportunities and other jobs too.

It may be hard for you to adapt because it’s going to be a lot harder to find something else that you’re good at.

As a veteran, you bring diverse experiences to the workplace, and you have to figure out the best ways to showcase those.

We’ve got your back because we found a list of things that you must know about finding a job after military service.

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1. Never offer your resume to anyone until they specifically ask for it

Let’s be honest, nobody wants to read your resume. Most employers want to know the real you rather than what they read about. It doesn’t really matter if you are a veteran because you may be good in other fields as well.

Maybe your dream was to be a carpenter or a painter. Who knows? If they really ask for your resume and you don’t know how to write one, ask for professional help (unless you find tutorials on the internet).

And let others ask for it rather than stick it under their nose.

And remember, you can still find a side gig even if you are a veteran!

2. Connect with other veterans to build bridges to new horizons

If you are a beginner when it comes to social media, you may need the help of your spouse or a family member because it’s pretty important to have a LinkedIn account. Through this app, you may find a lot of jobs that suit you as a veteran.

And you can connect with other veterans too! There is also a chat section that will help maintain an active conversation with them. It may sound difficult, especially if you are a beginner when it comes to job hunting, but it’s not such a big deal!

At Capital One, there is a thriving military business resource group where veterans and other military families can connect with each other.

By entering this group, you will feel safe to talk about yourself as a veteran and share with others what your expectations are regarding a job. One of the most important things you have to do is search for employers who have previously hired veterans.

Because if they are satisfied with how they managed to get through work and they fit into the company, they will want to hire more people too.

If you have a resume, make sure it won’t be longer than 2 pages. Don’t be afraid to show you’re a veteran. There is nothing to be ashamed of.

3. If you don’t hear from anybody, then something is wrong

I previously mentioned that being a veteran is not easy. because a lot of them are not getting a chance to work in a different place. Why? If you are asking this question, then there might be something wrong with your resume, or maybe you’re not presenting yourself in the proper manner.

But there’s no need to panic! Everything has a solution, and if you don’t get a job offer, then there might be something wrong with your interview.

Think about this next time you apply for a job and ask yourself what went wrong the last time you talked to somebody.

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4. Begin your job search early and keep at it

Usually, a veteran starts seeking a regular job 60 or 90 days before their terminal leave. Which is a big mistake because you won’t have enough time to find the job you’ve been looking for. You may want to start earlier because you will want to fit in that job, especially if this is going to be the main income for the next few years. Ask yourself this question: what would I like to do? What am I good at?

Do a little research on companies that have jobs in your field of interest and talk to other veterans to see what jobs they have applied for.

You never know what you will find out by simply talking to other people who are also looking for a job. You may be a few steps away from a new career.

Keep in mind that finding a good job takes time, especially if you are a veteran.

5. Find the military door

We briefly mentioned before that you need to pay attention to the companies that have hired veterans in the past. This is pretty important because it’s likely to hire military personnel in the future as well. This is basically a military door.

And most of them have a veteran hiring program. If you don’t know what companies are doing this, make sure you check the ones from your state. It’s important to be updated!

And if you need some help, don’t be shy about asking someone.

6. Job hunting is supposed to be a project, not a judgement 

Looking for a job might be stressful, especially if you are a veteran and all your life you’ve been serving the country. It may be difficult to leave all of this behind and start a new life as a civilian. And you will need all the support you can get from others, especially family and friends.

Start looking at the bright side of the issue. This job search is supposed to be a project that you can complete without being judged by others.

Start with small steps because this is not a competition. It may be difficult in the beginning, but make sure you have other activities as well.

Don’t keep yourself in a continuous state of burnout because of the job hunting process.

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7. Your resume needs to be your strong introduction 

A resume is important, especially if you apply for jobs online. And it’s basically the first thing a hiring manager will see. That’s why you have to make it good.

If you don’t have the necessary skills for that, you can ask a friend or a colleague, or even another veteran who has already applied for various jobs. Don’t over mention the fact that you are a veteran.

Try to focus on other things you are good at, plus all your education is very important. Especially if you are looking for a job at a well-known company.

Make sure you adapt your resume by prioritizing every skill you have that matches the job you’ve applied for.

You don’t need to put all your experience on the resume. It might be tempting, but it’s not a good idea.


A lot of information might be hard to take in, and it’s normal to feel anxious regarding this matter. But it’s not the end of the world. Try not to panic and be responsible for the daily time you spend searching for a job.

Focus and show others that you are worthwhile as a person; you have more skills than just being a veteran, and you can be a nice addition to their team.

Don’t forget to relax, even if you feel like it’s not the time for relaxation.

If you enjoyed reading this article, we also recommend reading: Retirees Often Deal With These 9 Scary Cost Increases.


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