How To Take Advantage Of Your Veteran Status In Hiring

If you’re a military veteran there are attributes you possess that are highly valued in the civil world. The high unemployment rate among post 9/11 Veterans is alarming. Hundreds of thousands of men and women answered the call in Iraq and Afghanistan only to return to a brutal economy offering few favours. Some of it comes from employers struggling to identify transferable skills. This article is designed to help you, help them see you for what you’re worth.

Here are six tips that will help maximize your veteran status in hiring.

Use a Military-to-Civilian Resume Writer

So maybe you were a grunt in the military, a job that didn’t require much resume writing skill. That’s fine, you were doing an important job. Now that you’re in the civilian job market your military specific resume might not translate well in the private sector. For your benefit, there are many talented Military-to-Civilian resume writers at your disposal. They specialize in formalizing military jargon, translating it into something that catches a hiring manager’s eye.

One excellent veterans resource is a website offering fine tuned resume specification for your next pursuit.

Take Advantage of Hire-a-Hero Causes

Veteran hiring is on the rise in the United States thanks to needed initiatives meant to join veteran with employer. It’s popular to be a veteran friendly company in 2014. It’s up to the veteran to take advantage. Start with these websites: 

  • Hire Heroes USA (popular forum with a massive job board), 
  • Hire Veterans (huge database, easy to register, large social media following), 
  • Feds Hire Vets (ready to jump back in to government work? Look no further).

These resources are in place to help you towards the hiring preference you deserve as a veteran.

Highlight your Leadership

It’s important that your resume, CV and cover letter demonstrate your leadership abilities. You, the veteran, are a rare breed that is highly valued by businesses looking to staff management positions. There are few civilian candidates that can say they’ve been responsible for another person’s life. There is simply no parallel to the leadership gained during military service. As a veteran you are a competent leader, ready to assume any leadership role in the real world. Be prepared to prove how your leaderships skills developed in the military translate into civil life. How can you use these skills to benefit a potential employer?

Know your Tax Advantage

Sitting across from a small business owner who’s considering your resume? Might not be a bad idea to mention they could receive more than $9,600 in federal and state tax credits by hiring you. It demonstrates you know what you’re worth to a civilian employer. The exact amount of the tax write off is dependent upon the veteran’s disability status, hours worked and state of residence. Every employer is weighing risk during hiring; help relieve them of the burden.

Favourably Compare yourself to College Kids

There’s a constant battle in the hiring world between experience and education. The variable is a never ending debate. Without a doubt, veterans have world experience unlike many fresh college graduates. During an interview, harp on your exceptional travels and experiences. They are advantages you have over someone with a cookie cutter college degree.

You’ve been responsible for millions of dollars worth of equipment. You’ve worked in high stress environments. You are experienced following implicit direction and remaining accountable under all circumstances. Point out these attributes as much as you can, verbally and in written applications.

Send your DD-214 with the Application

Military form DD-214 is a comprehensive document that details everything you did in the military up to discharge. Every award won, promotion received and how your service ended. Nothing spells out what you meant to your country like the DD-214 and few things are more valuable than an honorable discharge.

Don’t wait for the employer to request it, send the DD-214 with your resume. Employers are becoming more aware of the value your past service indicates. Show them the paperwork!

It’s the U.S. government’s turn to help those who answered the call for joining the army forces. Plenty of resources are in place to aid military veterans. With hundreds of thousands of troops returning from Middle Eastern battlefields, the least we can do is help them find gainful employment.


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