Military Soft Skills Translator

Posted on Thursday, March 9, 2023 by Faye CoppNo comments

There’s a world of opportunity waiting for you in civilian life. Employers hire ex-military people because they bring knowledge, skills and experience they struggle to find. You will have acquired a diverse range of skills from your Service in the Armed Forces, especially ‘soft’ skills. Understanding and translating these soft skills are crucial to landing your dream job and embarking on your second career. 

But what are soft skills and how do they differ from hard skills?

Hard skills are specific abilities or qualifications that can be possessed and demonstrated in a measured way. They are typically gained through on the job training or educational programmes, often through military training.  

Soft skills are self-developed attributes that aren’t specific to a particular role, picked up through your life and work experiences, including your military service.

Here are a few examples of hard and soft skills: 


● A degree (or other academic qualification) 

● An industry specific certification 

● IT & Comms skills 

● Foreign language skills 

● Military Security qualification (e.g. USO) 

● Budget/ Fund Management qualification 

● Project/ Risk Management qualification

Health and Safety/ ISO 27001 or similar qualification


● Values driven

Analytical & problem solving skills 

● Ability to work calmly under pressure 

● Interpersonal skills 

● Negotiation skills 

● A good work ethic & ability to get things done to high standards

● Team skills

● Leadership 

● Adaptability & resourcefulness


Soft skills are unique to you - so a template solution doesn’t work. Identifying your soft skills can be difficult but we’ve made it easier to do so. Look at the scenarios overleaf, which showcase examples of various situations. Now, think back to your past (whether in your career or elsewhere) and consider similar scenarios that you might have been in. What soft skills did you use during this time?

Once you’ve finalised a good list of YOUR soft skills with examples of when you’ve used them (scenarios) - write them down and be sure to include them on your CV, in your covering letter and most certainly at interview. 

For more help on translating your skills, download our guide below.



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