Military spouses have enough trouble finding employment. When it’s time for their servicemember to transition out, it can be daunting. The fear of the civilian sector can be intimidating. What servicemembers and their families need to remember is how much transitioning military have to offer.
Recruiting veteran talent is becoming increasingly more competitive. Businesses that invest in employing veterans are thriving. And yes, all businesses should be looking at a more proactive approach when recruiting this highly-skilled, highly-trained talent pool. There are countless companies that do look to the veteran community and value their training, skills, education level and background.
No longer is the sole motive behind veteran hiring compassion, compliance or courtesy. It has become about competition. As a business owner or recruiter, you want to hire the best person for the job — not just because you are told to or you feel it is the right thing to do — you do it because you are making a smart business decision.
There are many misconceptions about hiring military veterans. What companies don’t always see is that they are strategic and creative thinkers. Servicemembers must adapt and make split-second decisions based on their leadership and training.
Yes, the military has rules and regulations as do civilian companies. There is a chain of command in the military and there is an organizational structure in the civilian world.
The differences come in the high level of training and education that comes with serving our great nation.
Our economy is improving and our veterans are benefiting with opportunities.
There are many resources provided by each branch of service for those servicemembers. Apart from the mandatory courses and classes you attend, develop a relationship with your Solder For Life — Transition Assistance Program office or the equivalent you might have.
There are also private companies that help transitioning servicemember connect with employers.
For some, job fairs are what they are looking for. Wide exposure at one stop. They create awareness by helping the job seekers to understand what opportunities are out there. They also expose you to opportunities you may not have even thought about before. They also allow you to network with human resource professionals.
For others, a little one-to-one counseling is more effective. You can build a rapport with someone and let them help guide you to the right opportunities.
But look at everything out there. Explore them. Do your research and find the right fit for you.
Also, take advantage of local workforce events, training opportunities, and networking events. Each will help you add to your job search toolbox.
Some suggestions to help you with the transition — translate your resume into civilian speak. If you aren’t sure how to do this, find a friend who is not in the military and explain each position to them. Ditch the acronyms. Match your military skills to the position you are applying for.
Have your elevator pitch ready. This is how you sell yourself in a concise manner. Again — ditch the jargon.
Research the company or companies you are interested in. Don’t go in with a “what can you do for me” attitude. If you want to work there, prove to the organization why you would be the right fit and why they must hire you.
There is enough emotional stress that comes with hanging up your uniform — don’t let the job search add to it. It is hard work looking for the next chapter as you are transitioning out, but there is a strong desire and interest from employers to hire well-trained and highly-skilled individuals.
Reena O’Brien is a military spouse and Herald correspondent. She lives on Fort Hood.