Currently the unemployment rate among post-9/11 US veterans stands at 9% – compared with 6.7% for the civilian population. Why is this rate so much higher for veterans? Employers can have a hard time translating military experience into real world job positions. Today millions of servicemen and women, just like you are searching for employment. To help overcome these challenges, we have created five steps for you to follow when looking for employment in 2015.
1. Utilize Online Resources
Searching for a job after military service can be a daunting and confusing task. Skills and talents gained during military service don't always seem to translate into civilian life. Fortunately, there are some great online resources for veterans to help overcome this challenge.
Sites like, Hiring Our Heroes and RecruitMilitary are dedicated to helping veterans transition into civilian life and find meaningful employment. With tools like job search engines, interview training, resume builders and career fairs and events, you can easily connect with employers and find the perfect job.
2. Build A Resume
It’s a good idea to do some research before creating a resume. Take some time to create a list of talents, skills and experience gained from your military service and incorporate this list into your resume.
When looking for candidates, keywords can play a big role. Study job descriptions that fit your needs and search for any keywords that describe you. Translate your military experience into a strong resume that civilian employers can understand. Cut out all military terms and simply explain the tasks you accomplished and the skills that were required of you.
Lastly, make your resume “searchable.” Make sure all possible keywords are incorporated into your resume. Post your resume online so recruiters and employers can easily find you.
3. Find Military Friendly Employers
There is an official list of employers with the title, Military-Friendly®, through G.I. Jobs Magazine. Companies who receive this title are based on a survey of over 100 questions which assesses a company's long-term commitment to hiring former military, recruiting, and hiring efforts and results, policies for Reserve/Guard members called to active duty, and the presence of special recruitment military programs.
In addition, over 170 companies have signed up for the 100k Job Pledge. Pledged employers are actively committed to hiring veterans, reporting their hiring numbers on a quarterly basis and sharing best practices.
4. Attend Job Fairs and Events (in-person and virtual)
Look up job fairs and events in your area. When attending a job fair, seek out employers you’d like to connect with before attending the event. Find out what positions are available and how you can apply. Make sure to ask any questions you have about their company, culture, job requirements and anything else you would like to know before applying.
Virtual job fairs are also a great resource and an easy way to seek out employment without having to travel. Use the same preparation for a virtual fair as you would for an in-person event.
5. Practice Your Interviewing Skills
Once you find the perfect position and have your resume created, you will need to practice your interviewing skills. Interviewing allows employers to see your personality and gives you an opportunity to showcase your talents. Interviewing is your chance to help employers understand how your military experience can translate into performing well in a civilian role.
To help tell your story, write a brief summary of why you want the position and what makes you the perfect fit. You can practice your digital interviewing skills by using HireVue’s platform. Receive feedback from industry experts and find out what employers are looking for in a candidate.
By following these five steps, you can help employers look past resumes and profiles, giving you a chance to tell your story, be heard and find success with meaningful employment.