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Despite growing economic job growth, federal labor statistics show nearly one-in-five veterans ages 20 to 28 are unemployed, three times the national average. Men and women who are returning to civilian life after military service have a wealth of experience to offer civilian employers. Yet many military to civilian professionals are not prepared in how to interoperate their military success of skills, knowledge and work ethics into a resume, a career plan and a career search.

Benefits of Vets

Military VeteransWhen the word veteran is used people automatically create a picture of a Vietnam veteran. The truth is that a veteran is a serviceman / servicewomen who has experienced active military service, particularly in combat related activities. Many employers who recognize that being in the military involves hard work. However, these same employers may have a difficult time trying to recognize why a particular applicant is the right fit for the position. Employers who hire veterans will gain considerable benefits from hiring these individuals who have become enhanced professionals due to their military experience.

Veterans first and foremost have discipline, having learned hard life lessons in years of military training. They are usually early risers, hard workers, punctual, and are quick to follow orders. Additionally veterans are often times much healthier than most people. Exercise and developing strength is a lifestyle which makes them highly qualified for many careers.

If a prospective candidate has maneuvered successful military convoys how difficult could an upset customer pose to the prospective candidate?

Top Employers

The "G.I. Jobs Military - Friendly Employers List" represents the “best of the best ” when it comes to hiring former military personnel. Hiring companies who made the 2006 list has said that recruiting veterans is one of the smartest hiring decisions a company can make. Veterans offer a distinctive balance of leadership, teamwork, integrity, technology capabilities and the ability to perform under pressure.

Union Pacific has raced to the top taking the number one position for America's most military friendly employer list for second consecutive year. Home Depot who was ranked as #2 and has made one of the top four rankings for the last four consecutive years followed them.

Hiring Tips

In the pursuit of finding a good applicant match human resource managers commonly skip over recently discharged military resumes. Too many times, human resources departments disqualify the resumes because they are written with military language that they don’t understand. Thus eliminating an ideal candidate due to miscommunication. Veterans need to translate their skills and knowledge from military terminology into simple business language that is understood by human resource managers.

  • Replace military job titles with skill headings that match the position you want.
  • Don't get lost in transition, compare the skills you acquired in the military to the skills requested in a career opportunity advertisement. Some of the parallels between skills will probably include: Teamwork, planning, problem solving flexibility and work dedication.
  • Spell it out for human resource managers. Veterans need to specifically communicate how their military skills are transferable to civilian positions in all communications from resumes through interviews.
  • Market the best of your civilian and military experience
  • Use the resources available to military veterans.

Other Resources

There are several programs available that veterans can utilize in not only obtaining a fruitful career opportunity but also in enhancing education and training. Programs such as Troops to Teachers (TTT) is a Department of Education and Department of Defense integrated program that helps military members begin a new career as teacher in public schools.

Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) is an nonprofit organization that assists their military and former military members with a variety of services such as a scholarship fund. Other educational services include interest-free loans and educational grants.

The key to transition assistance is knowledge of available resources and a firm understanding of how to use them and researching careers with the best potential career growth. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the following ten careers are in industries that have been predicated to have the best potential of career growth availability.

  1. Healthcare Services
  2. Network Systems & Data Communications
  3. Medical Assistants
  4. Software Engineers
  5. Physical Therapist & Assistants
  6. Dental Hygienists & Dental Assistants
  7. Database Administrators
  8. Forensic Science Technicians V
  9. eterinary Technologists & Technicians
  10. Community & Social Service Specialists

Tomorrow’s economy needs an increasingly skilled workforce and the men and women who are returning to civilian life after military service can contribute significantly. Military veteran are a unique solidity of teamwork, technology and integrity. Job growth is on the rise and veterans need only to learn how to interrupt their military skills into non-military lingo.

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