By Debbie Gregory.
Officials estimate that one million young servicemen and women will leave the military in the next five years. Many companies are willing to hire Veterans, but are having difficulty connecting with them. Now, civilian hiring recruiters are asking Veterans to help them connect with those jobs. In other words, Veterans need to learn to market their valuable military skills in civilian jargon and sell their brand: themselves.
Job seekers must think like recruiters and describe specifically how their experience and leadership skills will make that company successful. They must tailor their resume to show that they are the best candidate for that particular job.
Vets in Tech is an organization that helps Veterans land high-tech jobs. Many technology companies aggressively court Veterans. During a summer workshop, Vets in Tech taught Veteran job seekers how to refine their pitches to potential employers.
A poor pitch would relay vague and uninteresting information, such as where the candidate went to school, what field they want to work in, and the fact that they are Veterans. A more specific pitch would be a vast improvement, and the candidate would stand a much better chance of securing the job.
The key difficulty for transitioning service members is translating their experience and skills into a language understood by corporate America. Even military members who have achieved the highest ranks in uniform are having a difficulty selling themselves to civilian companies. According to Chris Galy, director of talent acquisition at Intuit, “We have thousands of candidates knocking on our door. And we really want to help Veterans. So instead of saying, ‘I’m a Veteran and I’d like a job,’ you should say, ‘there are three jobs I’m interested in, and here’s the one that best fits my background. Here’s how my technical and battlefield experience will help you achieve the outcome you’re looking for…”