How to 'TAP' into Your Transitioning Goals

Military personnel attend a Transition Assistance Program (TAP) class at Naval Station Rota, Spain.
Military personnel attend a Transition Assistance Program (TAP) class in preparation for separating from active-duty service at Naval Station Rota, Spain, Jan. 8, 2020. (Petty Officer 1st Class Benjamin Lewis/U.S. Navy photo)

Reentry into the civilian workforce -- and way of life -- might seem like a culture shock. But if you arm yourself with the tools to transition successfully, you won't experience any turbulence.

The best weapon you have in your transitioning process is the Transition Assistance Program (TAP). The U.S. departments of Labor, Defense, Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs created TAP to meet the needs of transitioning service members.

Those needs can range from job-search assistance to assessing personal goals. What's more, this program provides employment and training information to service members and their eligible spouses within 180 days of separation or retirement.\

Do You Need TAP?

Although veterans have a favorable employment rate, many veterans find it difficult to compete in the civilian job market, according to the Department of Labor. TAP is a necessary part of the transitioning process, can address the barriers to success and will alleviate many employment-related difficulties.

TAP offers a comprehensive three-day workshop at selected military installations worldwide. Professionally trained facilitators from the State Employment Services, military family support services, DoL contractors or Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) staff present the workshops.

Workshop attendees learn how to maximize job searches, career decision-making, current occupational and labor market conditions, resume and cover letter preparation, and interviewing techniques. Participants are also provided with an evaluation of their employability, relative to the job market, and receive information on the most current veterans benefits.

When service members attend TAP classes, they will receive the following:

  • A personal appraisal.
  • The opportunity to explore career options
  • Strategies for an effective job search
  • Enhanced interviewing skills
  • Review job offers
  • Support and assistance

TAP Gives You the Advantage

TAP participants will leave the program with valuable training and information that will give them an edge over other applicants. Additionally, TAP helps service members and their spouses make the initial transition from military service to civilian workplace simple.

What's more, an independent national evaluation of the program estimated that service members who participated in TAP, on average, found their first post-military job three weeks sooner than those who did not use TAP, reports the DoL.

Find the Right Veteran Job

Whether you want to polish your resume, find veteran job fairs in your area or connect with employers looking to hire veterans, can help. Subscribe to to have job postings, guides and advice, and more delivered directly to your inbox.

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