Every year, the number of veterans entering the civilian workforce is growing, yet 53% post- 9/11 veterans remain unemployed. As the U.S. economy improves, this figure is expected to improve further, but the truth of the matter is that veterans separating from the military are facing challenges.
According to a 2012 survey released by Prudential, 67% of the veterans consider their transition from the military to civilian “difficult”, while 69% of the veterans consider that the greatest challenge in the job quest is to translate their military skills to a civilian resume. Finally, 65% of the veterans are experiencing mental or physical challenges that may limit their ability to enter the civilian workforce.
The following qualifications are required when applying for a position a company that looks to hire veterans:
It’s a common secret that veterans bring to the table all the experience of the world, which time-tested under real-time, and in most of the cases, under hostile circumstances. If you have survived a war, what can be more daunting?
- Performance under pressure
Military personnel is used to accomplishing tasks using limited resources and working under extreme pressure. When you have to deal with multiple projects and changing deadlines, make sure to prioritize your tasks so that the most important projects get done in due time and within budget.
- Operational excellence
The military has standard operating procedures in place for every task that needs to be accomplished. As a veteran, you are expected to follow detailed sets of policies and procedures so that your objectives are successfully met every time.
As a military person, you know how to value personnel and equipment. You also know that you will be held accountable not only for your actions but also for the actions of your subordinates. Accountability is one of the skills that you should characterize you by all means.
As a veteran, you were probably required to keep security secrets of high importance to protect your nation. Make sure to maintain the same level of integrity when entering the civilian workforce.
Military personnel is taught to lead by example. There may be different leadership styles, but, at the end of the day, as a military leader you are expected to teach direction, delegation, motivation, and inspiration. Bring your leadership skills to work so that you get people to do their best.
Like in an organization, military missions are accomplished better when individuals work together towards the achievement of a common goal. As a veteran, you are expected to understand the synergy a team can generate when organizational members work together instead of individually.
As a veteran, you are used to diversity because you have worked together with people from different origins and ethnic backgrounds as well as religions and genders. This qualification is extremely important in the civilian workforce as it can help you adjust to any type of co-worker and work harmoniously with one another.
- Large perspective
Because you have been enlisted in several places, you have a larger perspective of the world and a global awareness that can help you adjust much easier to a workplace than other non-military employees. Nevertheless, with companies that operate globally, you can be a great asset.
- Clear language
When communicating your military experience use a clear language that everyone can understand. Do not speak with military terminology, remember you trying to enter the civilian workforce. Instead, use a clear, simple language that will effectively communicate who you are and how you can be a great addition to your potential employer’s team.
Discussing your military background effectively may be challenging, but you have to find the way to let your background speak for you. Being able to translate your skills and experience into a civilian résumé will allow you to help your potential employer realize what is your added value to the team.
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