Today many veterans face unemployment or underemployment after leaving the military. Some companies avoid hiring veterans because they mistakenly believe the stereotypes and assume most veterans have lingering issues or a “rigid and uncompromising” military posture that may raise unwarranted doubts in the workplace. Hiring managers may also underestimate the value of veterans because they are unfamiliar with military jobs and are unable to evaluate the experience gained through military service.
No matter why businesses overlook veterans, they are missing out on a tremendous resource. Military training develops valuable skills that are extremely useful and transferable to both corporate and creative careers. Take a look at just a few of the strengths that veterans have to offer in the workplace.
Military veterans have been trained to accomplish wide-ranging missions and produce tangible results. They’re adept at creating and executing directives with deadlines to achieve specific goals. Project management can quickly become second nature to people who have served in the military
Men and women who enter the military (even at a young age) are taught leadership skills from their very first day of basic training. Those skills are reinforced and refined throughout their military careers – whether it’s a short enlistment or lifetime in the service. Consequently, veterans often bring more leadership knowledge and experience to the table than their civilian counterparts.
Diverse teams working together to achieve shared objectives is the foundation of military training and service. As a result, veterans are skilled at creating camaraderie among colleagues and motivating those teams toward success. This skill set is guaranteed to have a positive impact on any organization.
How many times have you heard the phrase “adapt and overcome?” It was first used in the military to urge service members to solve problems promptly under pressure. Military training reinforces a person’s ability to solve problems efficiently and diplomatically, which is a talent valued in many industries.
Communication skills are essential and not always easy to find. Military culture prizes and encourages direct communication. Veterans are often able to cut through the noise and have difficult conversations when necessary to get the job done.
If you are a veteran looking for work in the private sector, be sure your résumé and interview talking points reflect your strengths from the list above. Consider hiring a professional résumé writer to help translate your military training into marketable skills. The better you communicate the value of your military background, the more companies will see it’s in their best interest to seek out veterans, not the other way around.
If you’re an employer interested in hiring reliable team players, be sure to take a second look at veteran applicants. Think about the unique skills and experiences veterans have to offer your business. It can mean the difference between hiring an average employee and acquiring an indispensable asset.
For additional resources, check out the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans Employment Toolkit or the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) division.
Why do you think businesses should hire veterans?