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Ask Slashdot: Exploiting 'Engineering And ...' On a Resume? 207

Posted by timothy
from the engineering-engineering-engineering-and-smokin'-the-reefer dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In my younger years, I was briefly employed as an Electrical Engineer. Since 9/11 I have been flying combat missions for the military. Since I now have just a little over a year before becoming a civilian again, I was wondering if any Slashdotters had any applicable advice/anecdotes. How does one effectively combine engineering/development with another professional skill-set? (Being a jet pilot in this example.) For those of you who do hiring, what is the best way to sell this type of background?"
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Ask Slashdot: Exploiting 'Engineering And ...' On a Resume?

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    go work for drone manufacturer

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by telchine (719345)

      go work for drone manufacturer

      Parent is spot on. You need to find organisations that are "military-friendly".

      Generally speaking, the private sector don't like to employ ex-public sector workers (and vice-versa). You need to find a public sector engineering job or a private sector company that mainly does work for the public sector.

      The fact you've been out there fighting a war that many people don't agree with isn't going to help matters much outside of the military, even if it is public sector. For example, I think you'll struggle to fi

      • by Shavano (2541114)
        Nonsense. Plenty of private employers hire ex-military. If he's been flying jets for the military for years, he has plenty of experience in a very marketable skill: flying planes. But for an engineering job, he's entry level because flying planes has not much to do with electrical engineering.
        • by Grishnakh (216268)

          Wrong. Flying planes is not a very marketable skill; there's tons of pilots out there with FAA licenses looking for work. This guy doesn't have that: he's only trained to military standards, not FAA civilian standards, and has no FAA licenses at all. He'll have to go back to school and fly around in Cessnas to get those licenses. Granted, he'll be able to do it a lot faster than someone with no background, but the FAA hourly minimums are still significant, for instance 40 flight hours for the Private lic

    • "Death from above, and I have the friendly-fire codes...who wants me?"

  • Just about any military contractor / aerospace company will be interested in hiring you. It won't be hard to find a job. The only tricky part is finding a job you will like.
    • The only tricky part is finding a job you will like.

      I believe there's a rule in the US, wherein if someone likes their job that indicates a management mistake. Whenever my job starts to not suck, management messes with it so it sucks again.

      • by amiga3D (567632) on Thursday June 27, 2013 @07:31PM (#44127911)

        Whenever I find a job I like I bitch endlessly about it. I made a mistake once in telling a manager how much I loved what I was doing. Two days later they had me a new really shitty project and the bosses favorite bitch had my job.

      • The only tricky part is finding a job you will like.

        I believe there's a rule in the US, wherein if someone likes their job that indicates a management mistake. Whenever my job starts to not suck, management messes with it so it sucks again.

        No, you're confused. That's just BAD management! That's universal.

      • by khallow (566160)
        It's true. The US is the only place that has management.
      • by ultranova (717540)

        I believe there's a rule in the US, wherein if someone likes their job that indicates a management mistake. Whenever my job starts to not suck, management messes with it so it sucks again.

        It's not really specific to the US, and it actually makes sense from a certain point of view: if someone is enjoying their job, they're not being squeezed as hard as they could be, thus you could make them do more and fire someone else. Of course you end up destroying motivation, loyalty and long-term productivity, but yo

        • by gordo3000 (785698)

          ack, that's not true at all. The worst, least productive environments I have ever worked in has been based in bad management. The first was because the manager refused to be decisive and refused to delegate authority. He wanted to make the final decision but we spent weeks presenting the same data over and over and he never made a call one way or another.

          The second was a political hack who did not understand large sections of the business a close friend of his put him in charge of, and so actively attemp

  • by war4peace (1628283) on Thursday June 27, 2013 @05:20PM (#44126673)

    Based on my experience (YMMV), corporations love consistency. Their recruiters are uncomfortable with varied background, because they don't think outside the box and don't understand that a person can do more than just the same thing for the entirety of their lives.

    My advice: aim for startups. They're looking for skills rather than a consistent, tidy work background.

    • Re:Badly! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ColdWetDog (752185) on Thursday June 27, 2013 @05:26PM (#44126755) Homepage

      Nice thing about military experience, especially military aviation is that they, too, love consistency. Follow orders, follow your checklists, get to work on time and get your job done. I would think that an HR drone would just love that sort of experience. They could check off a half dozen boxes right off the bat and maybe get bonus points for hiring a veteran.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Indeed. Wall Street should love the authors resume. The investment banking side of Wall Street loves people who can take orders and at the same time are good at math. All investment banks have a division that does defence related banking or public sector finance - apply there.

        The sales side of the banks love a military pilot too. They probably expect someone who won't break the rules, is well dressed and can talk clearly over the phone. Don't under estimate the skills you learned talking on the headset.

        Th

      • by YackoYak (153131)

        Agree with all of this. I'm an engineering manager in the subsea side of Oil & Gas. Our department has lots of ex Navy personnel, some of which worked on aircraft. There is a lot of overlap between our industry and the military (component / design redundancies, "just has to work" attitude, attention to detail). When I hire, this is the hierarchy I follow (assuming your personality is a match with our teams):

        1. Exact experience with our niche industry technology
        2. Some knowledge of our technology but ex-

        • Agreed. Oil and gas loves the military. In addition to the similarities you've mentioned, throw in experience making command decisions at 2am after being woken up from a dead sleep and understanding what it means to work safely in an environment where carelessness could get you or, worse, somebody else killed.
    • Based on my experience (YMMV), corporations love consistency. Their recruiters are uncomfortable with varied background, because they don't think outside the box and don't understand that a person can do more than just the same thing for the entirety of their lives.

      Agreed. I've spent 1/2 my career as (primarily) a system/application programmer and the other 1/2 as (primarily) a Unix system administrator - usually alternating between the two. Invariably, whenever I apply for one type of job, the recruiter/HR person only sees the other type of experience and/or can't seem to understand that one person can do both things, often at the same time. Fortunately, it hasn't kept me from being continuously employed for the past 25+ years - or, perhaps, I've just been lucky.

    • by erice (13380)

      Based on my experience (YMMV), corporations love consistency. Their recruiters are uncomfortable with varied background, because they don't think outside the box and don't understand that a person can do more than just the same thing for the entirety of their lives.

      My advice: aim for startups. They're looking for skills rather than a consistent, tidy work background.

      Unfortunately, hardware startups (the kind that would hire an electrical engineer) are scarce these days. There's also the problem that large companies look for experience with other large successful companies so choosing the startup route prematurely can bring difficulty later.,

  • by fat_mike (71855) on Thursday June 27, 2013 @05:20PM (#44126687)
    Sorry I don't have any advice for you but just wanted to tell you that.
  • by asmkm22 (1902712) on Thursday June 27, 2013 @05:20PM (#44126689)

    Understand that, up front, you are going to have some doors closed to you simply because your job experience is over a decade old. It may not seem fair, but it's reality. Having said that, your military experience may very well open doors for you that other civilians wouldn't have a chance at, especially with stuff in the defense industry. I'd just state your experience and education, and let your resume speak for itself. Electrical Engineering doesn't seem like one of those fields that's constantly changing every few years, like IT, so your skill set should still be fairly relevant.

    • by sconeu (64226) on Thursday June 27, 2013 @05:36PM (#44126869) Homepage Journal

      Except that his current experience will be of even more use.

      To the submitter: Consider working as a systems engineer for a defense contractor. Seriously. You have a metric crapload of relevant domain knowledge, along with a EE background. I wouldn't be surprised if you could write your own ticket.

      • by sconeu (64226) on Thursday June 27, 2013 @05:38PM (#44126899) Homepage Journal

        Quick follow up.

        Systems engineers in this domain don't really do the "building" or even designing per se. Rather, they are the guys who set the requirements. And people like Boeing, Raytheon, LockMart and the rest all love former military because of the domain knowledge. The EE will allow you to inject a dose of reality into whatever specifications get written.

        • And people like Boeing, Raytheon, LockMart and the rest all love former military because of the domain knowledge.

          They also love hiring former military because it plays well with the politicians that ultimately control their budgets.

          I've worked a few defense gigs as a contractor and they were always sucking up - running food drives for military families and equipment collections for deployed soldiers - sending stuff like DVDs, insect repellent, socks, etc.

          I thought it insulting - these billion dollar corps that exist almost purely to suck at the government teat running food drives for military families just to look lik

        • by bkr1_2k (237627)

          Depends upon where you work and the size of your projects, but I'd generally agree with this. I've been a Systems Engineer since I got out of the military and have been very lucky to be a hands-on type of engineer but the majority of positions titled as "Systems Engineer" are powerpoint engineers who do a lot of meetings and briefings and documentation. (My actual title is Electrical Engineer but I've only designed one circuit in the last 15 years...)

          If you want hands on work, look for hardware positions

        • Where I work, the System Engineers are also known as PowerPoint Engineers - they really don't know shit.
      • Agreed, the best way to go is some place that is at the intersection of your skill set. If you compete against other candidates where the requirement (and your qualifications) consist of just "Electrical Engineer", you'll lose to somebody with more (or more recent) experience. But if the requirements include knowledge of flight systems, the military, piloting, etc. as well as Electrical Engineer, then you have a chance to stand out in a pile of resumes. All the same, don't forget to brush up on your EE fund

  • by gandhi_2 (1108023) on Thursday June 27, 2013 @05:23PM (#44126727) Homepage

    Engineering and....
    Engineering and....
    Engineering and.... smoking the reefer!

  • Come here (Score:5, Informative)

    by BranMan (29917) on Thursday June 27, 2013 @05:24PM (#44126731)

    I work at BAE - if you're looking in the Boston area, this could be just the place for you.

    We work on stuff for UAVs, planning systems, EW, etc.

    If you're interested, get me a resume and I can float it around. We're not doing a lot of hiring right now, but we have a bunch of ex-military folks who are real happy here.

    No joke - let me know.

    • Re:Come here (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 27, 2013 @06:37PM (#44127475)

      This guy is probably a good bet. I used to program flight simulators and getting someone "smart" who could also work as a test pilot when final testing would be hired instantly. Most test pilots I worked with were more interested in hitting the bars at the end of the day then tedious test flights, but they were still needed. If you can find who makes the simulators for what you currently fly, my bet is they would hire you on immediatly. In addition if you can do the electrical work for the hardware between testing, all the better.

      BAE bought the place I used to work. They have locations all over the place.

    • I work at BAE - if you're looking in the Boston area, this could be just the place for you.

      We work on stuff for UAVs, planning systems, EW, etc.

      If you're interested, get me a resume and I can float it around. We're not doing a lot of hiring right now, but we have a bunch of ex-military folks who are real happy here.

      No joke - let me know.

      Careful, cowboy. It's generally unethical to approach guvies with job opportunities while they are still guvies. The whole conflict of interest thing is pretty serious.

  • by raymorris (2726007) on Thursday June 27, 2013 @05:25PM (#44126747)
    The point of the resume is to show how you are qualified for the job you are applying for. If you apply for several similar jobs, you might submit similar versions of the resume, of course.
    Therefore, how you should present X on your resume depends entirely on what job you're seeking. Since you gave no clue what job you're trying to qualify yourself for, there's no way to answer.

    For example, if you were applying for a job where they are looking for someone who is obsessive about getting every detail exactly precise 100% of the time, such as "nuclear powerplant _____", your resume would indicate that you operated a $30 million plane precisely, delivering your payload with pinpoint precision, where the consequences of error were literally life and death. You'd point to similar aspects of your engineering work - blah blah 6 nanometers blah.

    If you're going for a position where the big deal is leadership and chain of command, tat would be a completely different presentation of your experience.
    • by tylikcat (1578365) on Thursday June 27, 2013 @06:42PM (#44127507)

      Grab a friend who knows you well (and who doesn't run you down just for grins.) Have some food, and a couple of beers (or split a bottle of wine) and meanwhile brainstorm and jot down all the possibly applicable experience you can think of. Also, and maybe more important, talk about the things that you are really good at - not just skillswise, but what kind of person you are and what you excell at. And then think of stories that really illustrate each of those.

      Have fun. Be silly. No one should try to do this stage of resume writing alone, generally speaking we're all far too trained to discount our skills and put ourself down. Aim for ten pages or so of semi-coherent scrawl. Don't try to edit, editing is easy, and it's for later. Getting enough material down in the first place is what this is about.

      And then, a few days later, come back and prune. This isn't time to prune super heavily - what you're looking to create is a superset resume - more than you'd sent out for any one job, but containing most of what you'd send out for anything. Keep in mind that a resume isn't just about skills, it should be about what kind of person you are and what you're like to work with. There are a lot of formats out there, but don't be enslaved to them - while it should be tight and professional, a resume isn't a form application but a creative document that should present you in the best light. (It should go without say that lying is incredibly stupid.) I do strongly recommend looking at it in terms of narrative - whatever you want people to know about you, include a (briefly worded) story that demonstrates it.

      Not only does this make resumes more informative, it makes them a heck of a lot less boring. (When I was doing hiring, reading resumes was often tortuous, because they didn't tell me most of the things that were most important, beyond some basic skills lists that weren't that reliable.) Make a resume that represents you well - because you want the manager you absolutely would hate to work for to look at it and say "I don't want this guy" just as much as you want the right folks to recognize you. Truth in advertising is a good thing.

      I concur with what a lot of people are saying. I'd look at Boeing if I were you (a friend designs flight simulators for their military aircraft - I suspect you'd do well in that kind of environment). (For that matter, my former father in law - also a Boeing engineer*flew planes for the airforce for many years and eventually ended up at Boeing. I almost managed to get him over to Microsoft when I was there, on Flight Simulator.)

      I'd also do what you can in the intervening time to brush up on skills that are going to support the direction you want to go in from here. Start reading up on security. Pick up a new language. Buy yourself a bunch of toys off sparkfun. What people are saying about your skills being out of date is possibly a problem... if they are, in fact, out of date. So make sure they aren't. It sounds like you have a lot going for you, especially with a little polishing and fine tuning.

      * Hey, I grew up in Seattle, what can I say?

      • by bkr1_2k (237627)

        This is great resume writing advice! Thanks for sharing that.

        Also, don't forget the clearance! Even when you're not trying for a job the requires it, having a clearance denotes a certain level of reliability and responsibility that employers want to see and if they're looking toward work where clearances might be needed, it can give you/them an edge, which they'll like.

  • If you're going into the aeronautics industry, you should be able to easily sell the fact that you have a pilot's understanding of airplanes.

    If you're applying somewhere where your piloting experience wouldn't be relevant at all, then don't mention it other than in your employment history.

  • by Antipater (2053064) on Thursday June 27, 2013 @05:30PM (#44126811)
    Make sure you include "Destructive testing of competitors' products" as part of your skillset.
    • Make sure you include "Destructive testing of competitors' products" as part of your skillset.

      Destructive testing of competitors as part of your skillset.

      FTFY

      • With your skill set, you'll be able to "blow the doors off the others persons product."

        By the way, congratulations, and welcome home.
  • by belthize (990217) on Thursday June 27, 2013 @05:33PM (#44126837)

    If this mutt: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563_162-57591030/probe-irs-contractor-won-up-to-$500-million-in-questionable-bids/ [cbsnews.com]
    can claim to be a disabled vet because he hurt his ankle in high school at a prep school then the sky is definitely the limit for you.

    Seriously though as others have stated your resume itself isn't nearly as important as who you send it to. You have a rare combination of skills (engineering, military, jet aircraft etc) and there are small set of companies that would give you a serious look regardless. It doesn't have to be all drones and DoD type companies, NASA and commercial engineering firms would be as well.

  • by WindBourne (631190) on Thursday June 27, 2013 @05:39PM (#44126909) Journal
    I have worked at jeppesen and they hire pilots every so often. Sadly, most of them are pretty worthless when it comes to the development cycle (yet, they think that Marketing degree combined with 10 years flying puddle jumpers make them suitable for dev). With your degree in EE, you obviously have a decent background.
    BTW, at this time, skip any work on human rated aircraft, save commercial. If you are going to work in aviation, then focus on drones, and services. There is little doubt that the feds are going to have to cut back in various areas. And that means that they will cut back on everything except for drones and the 2017 bomber. You MIGHT want to throw your lot in with something like the X-48. That is perfect for many things, such as the 2017 bomber, but also fire fighting, tankers, etc. And firefighting is going to be important with all of this beetle killed pine in the west.
    • Just thinking further, throw a resume at SpaceX. They are looking at more than just rockets.
    • by i.r.id10t (595143)

      And on the drones, think about getting your flight instructor ticket. Our flight program here at hte community college I work for is exploring offering drone training, and I heard the other day from someone else that teh FAA is thiinking about a drone certification. If you can get in on hte early education side, you'll be set.

  • Or was that a kill set?

  • Simple (Score:3, Troll)

    by The Cat (19816) * on Thursday June 27, 2013 @05:42PM (#44126937)

    Say you're from China and you'll work for half price. Instant hire.

    American "employers" get sexual pleasure from denying jobs to Americans.

  • I have an IT background in programming and another degree in web design and graphics. I have a huge background in computer repair as well. But besides all those three, I usually mention on the resume that I've been shooting video for my church and a local concert venue for over a decade so I know video systems inside and out. I also have done VHC to DVD conversions. Then I also mention I know electrical system pretty well and DMX light control programming and sound systems since my dad is a mobile DJ an
  • by cold fjord (826450) on Thursday June 27, 2013 @05:49PM (#44127023)

    With that sort of background you're probably going to have a big bag of experience to draw from, and selectively emphasize on a resume. You're probably going to want to think about where you want to take your career, what industry, what general type of job, and highlight those aspects of your experience. For example, trying to move into civil aviation to continue as a pilot would mean stressing the actual aviation aspects of the job - aircraft qualifications, flight planning, flight time, instrument qualifications, etc. If you wanted to move back towards engineering, you've probably conducted various types of technical and safety inspections, perhaps some logistics work, maybe even preformed troubleshooting that could be emphasized. If you've ever made any recommendations for equipment modification that were accepted, that would be gravy. You've probably had various forms of ongoing technical education yourself, or acting as in instructor. Another track might be management. I'm sure you can see where this is going. Rendering things in terms that civilians understand will also be helpful. I recall seeing this book [amazon.com] out there before. Not sure if it would be helpful or not to you. I would expect that your service's transition program has similar resources available.

    If you haven't had your hand involved in the actual technical aspects of electrical engineering for 12 years or so... that's a long time. If you think you might want to go that way you might want to see about getting ahold of some free vendor tools and play around to see if that still interests you. Some of the FPGA manufacturers have made them available over time.

    Some industries may value the combination of your experience more than others. Aerospace, for example.

    Once you have a direction, and maybe a backup direction / plan, you will probably want to start making contacts well before your exit date. You might also want to do what you can to get some money saved up as a cushion. Keep in mind the big internet recruiting sites appropriate for the industry you want to pursue, such as Monster and Dice.

    As I noted, just my thoughts. Nothing authoritative here. Good luck to you, and thanks for answering the call.

  • Boeing, Honeywell, Raytheon, etc. would all be interested in you.
  • I'd suggest hunting down Lockheed, Boeing, or L-3 Communications (or another DoD contractor) and start working with them as a Subject Material Expert in whatever you did in your career. You get a very decent salary, don't really have to do much, and generally you can work with multiple companies at a time if you set yourself up as an independent contractor. Effectively, you can do what you like and what you know, and get paid for it.

  • I would think that a controls engineer would have quite a bit in common with a pilot; converting measurement units, telemetry, and you're almost guaranteed to need to know something about proportional-integral-derivatives (or PLC PID instructions, look them up). I'd think an engineer who was a pilot would be an attractive canidate to an employer.
  • I'd say that you should look for work at a military contractor (or work as a civilian for the military itself) where they will value your military and flight experience (and security clearances). If I interviewed you for an engineering position at my civilian company, your military/flight experience would mean little aside from some interesting (for me) chitchat while waiting for the elevator, and you'd lose some points because you've been out of EE for a decade. It's no different than if you spent 10 years

  • As a rule the only "career advice" I ever give is "Know thyself" [wikipedia.org]

    with that said - I've heard a lot of business owners say they like to "hire for attitude and train for skills." Military service is going to be a plus for most companies BUT What employers really care about is that you will help their company succeed - the parts to emphasize from your military service are that you will show up, work hard, and have a good attitude (but I wouldn't say "I've learned to embrace the suck." if they ask you what you

  • I've done a bit of hiring on th e side for some of my companies. Ex-military is good for a whole hosts of reasons (thank for your service; courage; discipline; commitment, top gun..). That's your "in" right there, no need for more.

    What you need on top of that is:
    - don't be a nut job. Quite a few ex-military I've come across had severe PTSD. Make sure you project "normality", with a dollop of humor and lay-backedness (not aloofness though: our business is not war, but it *is* important, too). Make sure you h

  • by McGruber (1417641) on Thursday June 27, 2013 @07:36PM (#44127949)

    ISince 9/11 I have been flying combat missions for the military. Since I now have just a little over a year before becoming a civilian again, I was wondering if any Slashdotters had any applicable advice/anecdotes. How does one effectively combine engineering/development with another professional skill-set? (Being a jet pilot in this example.)

    Assuming you are a member of the US military, consider taking a civil service job with the federal government. You would be credited for your military time and your experience. The FAA probably could use you, with all the Nextgen development they are doing - check the job postings at usajobs.gov

  • In the arena of Architectural Engineering, ex-military types are generally sought after for Commissioning work. You need to be competent "enough" on the engineering side, but the focus is on process and troubleshooting. We tend not to hire ex military folks for engineering design roles based on a bias that their creativity has been stifled. (On a case-by case basis of course.)

    But, pay would be better working as an airline pilot if you have your hours. You really need to be exceptional to hit $135k as a

  • As a control systems engineer.
  • by dbc (135354) on Thursday June 27, 2013 @08:23PM (#44128283)

    Since you have a college degree, I assume you are an officer. So you have leadership experience. That is worth a lot. I would look at that resume and be thinking more about hiring someone who will be a good manager some day, even if they are a little rusty on design skills right now. Which is not to say I would put you straight into management, or give you a pass on sloppy design work, but I'd give you a chance to come up to speed again.

    In my former life as a hiring manager, I can look at someone with a successful military career, *especially* a career in a complex rating such as "combat pilot" and know there is a huge list of things I don't have to teach you. Like showing up on time. Like clearly understanding your deliverables. Like fulfilling your role in the team and working with a team toward a complex goal.

    So if you can refresh your skills, even with a hobby project, do it and push it to github. That gives you something technical to talk about that is fresh. Then sell what you've got, because you've got something that most new hires don't, and that is a demonstratable track record of delivering complicated goals in a high pressure and disciplined environment. Oh... and you were entrusted with the operation of multiple millions of dollars worth of delicate capital equipment.

    I'll tell you what, the best boss I ever had was an ex Israeli commando officer. Why? 1. There was never, ever, any doubt whatsoever what he wanted me to accomplish. 2. When he asked what I needed to get the job done, he listened and either got it or adjusted plans accordingly. When you think about it, that makes total sense, you don't send commandos in with a fuzzy idea of what to do and insufficient equipment and support, because the alternative is writing a lot of unpleasant letters to parents. I'm guessing you have some of that in you, and that will go far. If I was interviewing you today, I'd be asking questions to probe for *that*, and be less interested if you can recite the latest data sheets from memory.

  • For those of you who do hiring, what is the best way to sell this type of background?

    MANAGER: How are the skills you acquired during your term of service in the military relevant to this position?

    Or, find an airline that's hiring.

  • Like lots other posters, I think something with the government or defense contractors will probably be the easiest.

    Consider looking at the AFRL Information Directorate in Rome, NY or their contractors. They do lots of interesting EE things where Air Force experience is a major benefit.

  • Most of us still live in our Mother's basement.

    Some of us have actually gotten laid. While the rest do it playing a stimulator game.

    Kidding aside, try the government, in particular, the NSA. Or with the clearance you already had, I'd be surprised you if couldn't get a gig with a company doing military work.

  • For those of you who do hiring, what is the best way to sell this type of background?

    As one who is hiring, I would rather not people try to "sell" me anything. I need to deal with the facts (I worked here and did this, I worked there and did that) and form my own judgments. At least to me, "sell" means "spin," means highlight the positives, means hide the negatives, etc. As someone who'll have to deal with you, day in day out, I would rather know everything up front. In other words, you're dumb for asking employers for advice on how to sweet-talk us.

    Even so, I will say this in hopes that it

  • by plopez (54068) on Thursday June 27, 2013 @11:28PM (#44129169) Journal

    EE degree and trained as a pilot. Obviously trainable, check.
    Able to work as part of a team, check.
    Able to work under pressure, check.
    Communications skills, roger that.
    Able to supervise and mentor others, check.
    Can be trusted to properly operate expensive hardware and software, check.
    Shows initiative while following direction and procedures, check.
    Attention to detail, check. Pilots who are not die.

    When can you start?

  • Look at some of the big consulting companies that work with the military. MITRE, CACI, Booz Allen, CSC, GE, Lockheed Martin, etc., like to hire ex-military. Here is a good list:
    http://www.businessinsider.com/top-25-us-defense-companies-2012-2?op=1 [businessinsider.com]

  • If you have a background like this and don't like the idea of working as a contractor, you may want to work in the civil service. The military employs many civilian engineers with uniformed experience in everything from testing to program management. Take a look at the various labs and research organizations and get in touch with one near where you'd like to end up.

    The government needs good people.

  • Regarding your last question: I recently went to quite a lot of interviews ( and just landed a great new job, so it was worth all the hassle and bullshit ). I was formerly in a ( non-US ) Navy, and I can tell you from recent experience: be low-key about it . Don't rub it away, but ... your military background is not, most probably, what a company is going to hire you for. Insisting upon it is the worst option, as you will be looked ( and frowned ) upon as one who lives in the past. As soon as you are hired
  • As someone who makes hiring and firing decisions, I have never seen a better qualification than someone having been a fighter pilot. Several of my friends are former pilots for the Navy who have done well in various entrepreneurial pursuits involving technology. I would hire them immediately if they ever needed a job.

    The basic qualities I pick up on, and that seem to be the most appealing as an employer, are the level of preparation that goes into being a pilot and the practical math behind operating an air

  • How does one effectively combine engineering/development with another professional skill-set?

    Jeezus man, you're a military pilot (or at least flight crew), play to your strengths ... disciplined, smart, good under pressure, hard worker, probably work well in a teams, okay with responsibility, big brass ones.

    Highlight the entirely useful skillsets and training you got out of that, because you can use those pretty much anywhere. The military doesn't as general rule let idiots and lazy people fly combat missi

  • Don't bother. Market yourself as a mid-tier manager with the appropriate skills and look for jobs with technology companies. If you're still interested in supporting the war machine, look for jobs with defense contractors.

    As someone who has been flying for 12 years, you're likely a Major or maybe a Lt Colonel, yes? The skills you've gained as a manager are far more relevant to prospective employers than your (likely outdated) electrical engineering background.

    If you want technical work be prepared to sta

  • I did something similar -- flew tactical jets for 10 years then went into Engineering (electrical/computer). My first bit of advice is:
    Stay in the military and complete 20 years of service. Military salaries for mid-grade officers and above are competitive with engineering salaries once the untaxed benefits are figured in. If you really want to get over towards engineering, work your way over to the Systems Commands (Naval Air Systems Command for USN, USAF has something similar). You will be doing an en

  • You probably have a clearance. This is very valuable to many employers. Make sure you have that at the top of your resume.

    Seriously, though, Clearance + EE is quite valuable. If you're worried about seeming "rusty" on the engineering side, get a MSEE from some university... a lot of very good universities have distance programs where you might be able to get started early.

  • Since you have been flying combat missions, I assume you are an officer. In which case, you should be aiming for management, IMHO. Engineering management, if you will. In this way you can combine both the skills you have developed in the military with your engineering background.

    Even in big dumb mechanical and/or civil engineering, 10-12 years is a long time and I would not rely on your previous experience as an engineer will hold much weight.

    If you really want to get back into for-reals engineering, go

  • Find a job you want. Work out which skills you have that would help you in that job and make you a better candidate than the competition. Write up those skills.

    The fact that you have diverse skillsets is a strength, but you still write your resume the same way as someone with a linear job progression. Highlight the skills, activities and experiences that will add value to your potential employer.

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