Military Life January 24, 2019

A Career Out of Camouflage: Five Benefits to Hiring Veterans

Amanda S., Editor

Service members have very important jobs. From peacekeeping to weapons engineering, they are highly trained in a multitude of disciplines. But what happens when it comes time to separate from the military and return to civilian life? If still in an employable stage, Veterans could have a frustrating time reintegrating into the workforce. This could also mean they don't possess many of the more marketable skills that today's workplaces are looking for. Exchanging combat for cubicle life is a big change. Still, hiring Veterans for your organization can take your business to the next level.

Hiring Veterans Makes Sense

It’s true that the skill sets needed for everyday work in the many branches of service differ greatly from traditional workplaces. Veterans may lack experience in software development, sales or social media management, but those skills can be learned.

1. Trainability
Service members are expected to train, both physically and mentally, to become a valuable member of the military. Training is taken seriously. This means you have a very driven, dedicated and adaptable candidate at your doorstep. Giving up isn't a viable option for them.
2. Efficiency
On the battlefield and off, efficiency is key. Many things can happen in a split second, so knowing how to perform duties in an efficient way can actually save a life. The military teaches you how to weigh options, and delegate and execute orders in a timely fashion.
3. Selflessness
Active-duty Service members put their lives on the line for their country and all who live within its borders every day. They sacrifice personal safety and time with their loved ones. Their selfless tendencies means that they will work hard to achieve greatness if it’s something they believe in.
4. Proactivity
The military breeds leaders. Obeying orders is a big part of a Service member's job, but a time may come when they have to rely on their own judgement. Strong leadership means they are proactive, independent and have to trust their gut instinct. They also have a respect for the chain of command.
5. Persistence
Basic training is not a walk in the park. It requires physical strength and also a strong character. The military doesn't just look the other way when you fall short. Service members accept responsibility and understand loyalty, as well as the importance of team morale.

Tips for Hiring Managers

These traits are probably music to the ears of companies looking for fresh talent, but it would benefit hiring managers to do a bit of research before thinking about hiring Veterans.
There are approximately 1.3 million active-duty personnel in the military, and that doesn't include the 800,000+ in the Reserve forces. Do you know the difference in duties for a Corporal and a Command Sergeant Major? A little preparation could give you a more concise picture of what kind of skills that position calls for – and how those skills can work to your organization's advantage.
Each Service member is a part of a team and his or her experiences in getting where they are are much the same as the person next to them. Take this into consideration when hiring Veterans. They could struggle with the concept of "selling themselves" to a potential employer.

Tips for Veterans

Apart from obtaining a transcript of your education/training credits from your branch of service, you may want to obtain DD Form 2586, Verification of Military Experience and Training (VMET). This form details the experience and training you have accumulated during your military career. This can prove very handy when it comes time to write up your résumé.
There are also several resources to help you make your career transition as smooth as possible. Visit the official Veterans Affairs website to find resources and support. CareerOneStop may also provide useful information for Veterans looking for training and new employment.

For more information on Military Life products available to purchase for your community, browse the Quickseries® library of guides, including Transition GPS: Guide to Successful Separation

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