Job Hunting Secrets For Veterans

Ava Collins

Are you struggling with your job hunt after serving in the military? You’re not alone. Many 08 Feb 2014 --- Black soldier using computer in class --- Image by © Ariel Skelley/Blend Images/Corbisretired army officers have a hard time finding employment while adjusting to civilian life. One of the best ways to simplify your job search is to seek help from a veteran recruiting firm.

Much like IT staffing firms that recruit tech professionals, veteran recruitment companies help soldiers who have retired find suitable employment opportunities.

Veterans are in demand

Joining the civilian job market after being away for quite some time presents a unique set of challenges. For starters, you will have to compete with people who have current qualifications on their resumes. Your competitors will also probably be more experienced with interviews and job search techniques.

In spite of the odds, however, people who have been in the military have many desirable traits that employers don’t always find in civilians. Military training helps to mold individuals who have qualities that underpin the core values and overall culture of many companies.

For example, veterans are sought after to fill important roles in the job market because they are:

  • Disciplined
  • Loyal
  • Trained to lead others
  • Goal oriented
  • Used to work under pressure
  • People of integrity
  • Respectful of procedures
  • Team players

Of course, not all veterans possess all of these traits. Employers can increase their chances of finding strong veteran hires by choosing candidates who were released from active duty under honorable conditions.

Given the fact that your character and work history performance will be put into question when you’re seeking employment after completing your military enlistment term, it only makes sense to maintain the best conduct during active duty.

For those veterans who are already in the job market with a favorable background history, here are some of the most overlooked aspects that can make the difference between unemployment and finding your dream job after serving in the military.

Be selective

Plenty of employers know the value in hiring veterans. As such, employment opportunities in the civilian sector that demand military experience do actually exist. However, applying for every job requiring military experience is not a good strategy. Instead, take the time to identify job openings that ask for skills that are relevant to the military work you were doing.

This strategy is very important because the military has a wide range of positions. The kind of work that is suitable for someone who has experience with defense communication systems, for example, will not be ideal for a retired Navy Seal. What’s more, employers that hire veterans are very meticulous about the kind of skills they require.

Veteran employers look for specific transferable skills that can maximize operations, enhance overall team performance, or meet business goals. Before applying for a veteran job, think about what industries could best use your strengths. Don’t forget to list the military duties that apply to the job you are vying for, which will help hiring managers see that you are the candidate they need.

Learn to be a skilled job seeker

Having trouble crafting your veteran resume? Don’t know how to handle interviews? You might consider getting help to become a better job seeker. A career counselor can be like a compass to help you assess your priorities and move in the right direction.

However, there are also many free resources online that help veterans with useful job search tips. If you get stuck crafting your resume, honing your interview skills, or narrowing in on job searching techniques, sites like Military OneSource and the Department of Veteran Affairs provide plenty of resources that can help.

Performance is key

Many veterans join the civilian job sector through internships offered by various companies. In order to get a full-time offer, many interns focus on networking. While rubbing shoulders with influential people can be a smart way to seek out better-paying jobs, you cannot depend on networking alone. If you want networking to work for you, work hard to become a top performer in whatever you do.

Look at it this way: It does not matter with whom you network if your performance report speaks for itself. If your immediate supervisor doesn’t have anything positive or exemplary to say about your performance, any networking efforts will be a waste of time.
With these guidelines in mind, veterans can increase their chances of finding the right job after serving in the military, in much less time than they might have expected.
Want more insight on hiring practices? See 4 Ways to Take Advantage of the Talent Ecosystem.

About Ava Collins

Ava Collins is from Walnut Creek, CA and has a Bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management. She is an online marketing associate with Hicks Professional Group as well as their HR Manager and takes care of their office administration work. She has a true knack for recognizing IT talent, and excellent people skills that prove beneficial in every professional endeavour she takes on. In her free time, she loves to travel; that is when she is not offering her time to social services. Join her in conversation @Avacollins Twitter on LinkedIn or Google+.