Weatherford Democrat

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May 19, 2013

VETERANS’ CORNER: Leveling the employment field

(Continued)

Over the last three years, an entire mini-industry has emerged around those military skills translators, with Fortune 500 companies and veterans groups offering their own takes on the theme. The military services each have their own, as do the Department of Labor and Veterans Affairs.

In March, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce took the idea a step further with their own Personal Branding Resume Engine, which allows veterans to input their military accomplishments and get an interview-ready resumé, business cards and personalized pitches for the job interview.

A lot of skills translators try to fit a square peg in to a round hole. Veterans having served in combat only get to look at security jobs. Pigeon-holing veterans based on their military jobs needs to cease and employers need to concentrate on looking at the whole of the veteran’s service.

The effort is half resumé builder and half business lesson. The idea is to get the veteran to think about a job application the same way their civilian competition does.

More young veterans are in the workforce than ever before. The nationwide push to hire veterans spurred by advocacy groups and lawmakers in recent years has helped make a difference. More needs to be done at the employer level.

Veterans bring reliability, flexibility, dedication and a host of intangibles. Once a veteran makes it to the interview, those traits shine through. Using skills translations and keyword placements will go a long way to ensure the veteran gets a chance to be heard.

It’s up to the veteran to be prepared to get the foot in the door. For additional information go to www.resumewritingforveterans.com.

Speak to you again next week.

Jim Vines is commander of AmVets Post 133.

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