Veterans Day is a time to step back and honor all those who have served in the U.S. military to help secure our freedom. This year, more than ever, the focus will be on how to ensure all veterans have the opportunity to find civilian jobs upon returning from their service. Already, employers are beginning to see the advantages of hiring veterans, and this will likely pick up as transitioning military continue to increase within the civilian workforce.
The current unemployment rate for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars is more than 2 percentage points higher than the national average. However, this is beginning to change as more organizations recognize the contributions that veterans can bring to the workplace.
Helping veterans find work
Industries ranging from manufacturing to engineering are all benefiting from hiring veterans into the civilian workforce. While the demand is growing, there are still a few tips our heroes can follow to help increase their chances of finding employment.
While veterans certainly have the technical skills wanted by an employer, companies also seek a number of unique traits found among those who have served. Veterans who capitalize on this demand and take the necessary steps during the job search will be able to increase their job prospects tremendously.
Job searching as a veteran
First, it is important for veterans to connect with other veterans who have already made the transition back into the civilian workforce to learn best practices. Attending job fairs can always improve a candidate's prospects, but for veterans, finding one of the several job fairs that are held specifically for veterans can be extremely beneficial. It is also important to join associations and take advantage of resources offered by the Department of Labor.
Veterans should also be sure to ask for feedback on their resume, as they have a unique situation that allows them to list their skills learned in the military, and describe how these could be transferred to a work environment. When it comes to constructing a resume, there are a few tips veterans can follow to demonstrate the skills they learned while serving.
As a veteran, you should be sure to include all leadership experience - no matter what rank you were. Even if this includes direct reports or peer mentoring, you should highlight these positions. Be sure to show off your ability to prioritize and execute detailed projects under a deadline and your ability to thrive in high-pressure environments.
Also, it is crucial to translate any military-specific terminology into relevant industry buzz words that can be understood by any hiring manager or other civilian audience.
Veterans deserve a strong homecoming, and by making sure civilian jobs are waiting for them back in the U.S., we can show them our gratitude for their sacrifices.