Men and women who have served our country possess qualities and skills that are of great value to employers, including a strong work ethic, leadership and problem solving. Yet many veterans struggle with finding employment in the civilian world. According to whitehouse.gov, as of October 2011, more than 850,000 veterans were unemployed. In addition, the jobless rate for post-9/11 veterans was 12.1 percent — well above the national average.
There is some encouraging news: A recent CareerBuilder survey found that 20 percent of employers are recruiting U.S. veterans to work for their organizations and that 14 percent are recruiting members of the National Guard. Yet, with more than 1 million service members projected to leave the military between 2011 and 2016, where can military veterans turn? What resources are available to help them prepare for, seek and secure employment?
Here are four such resources:
1. America Wants You: The recently launched website brings together the private sector and corporate America to find job opportunities for men and women who have served in the U.S. military. CareerBuilder powers the job-search engine, which is free for both veterans and companies. Thousands of jobs are available in a variety of fields, including sales, customer service and information technology management, at companies across the U.S.
“AWY is one site with one well-defined mission; simply put, AWY is designed to get our veterans back to work,” says John Pike, CEO of AWY and a veteran himself. “Whether you have completed your service or are soon to do so, sites like AWY and all the others help in making a difficult transition a little bit easier.”
2. EmployVets.com: EmployVets.com matches employers with veterans looking to return to the workforce. The website, powered by CareerBuilder, provides a variety of resources for veterans, including a job-search engine, a tool for discovering how one’s military skills translate to the civilian world, and career advice.
3.Veteran Entrepreneurial Transfer Inc. (VeTransfer.org):According to the website, VeTransfer.org’s mission “is to teach veterans how to become entrepreneurs and to assist them in accelerating their veteran-owned innovations.” The organization, which receives backing from the Department of Veterans Affairs, helps veterans start their own businesses. Veterans are connected with the financing needed to get their venture off the ground and with business volunteers and mentors who provide advice, guidance and support.
4.American Freedom Foundation Inc.: The American Freedom Foundation provides grants to organizations that support veterans, including those related to employment. The foundation has a special focus on aiding wounded or disabled veterans and their families, as well as the children of those killed in action. One of the most prominent ways the American Freedom Foundation raises money is through its American Freedom Festivals.
Pike says veterans who are starting to look for a job should arm themselves with as much information as possible via sites such as AWY. They should also assess their skills — what they’ve done and what they’ve learned — and determine how these skills are transferable to the mainstream American workforce. “And finally, don’t just look for a job, look for an opportunity to use your skills to grow within an area where you can advance and prosper.”
To learn more about America Wants You, watch the below video featuring Chris O’Donnell discussing the importance of helping veterans in our current job market:
Debra Auerbach is a writer and blogger for CareerBuilder.com and its job blog, The Work Buzz. She researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues. Born and raised in Minnesota (ya betcha!), she graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (go Badgers!) with a journalism and mass communication degree and currently resides in Chicago. She despises cold weather, which is obvious given the places she’s chosen to live. When not working, Debra enjoys (reading Us Weekly and watching “The Real Housewives of [Insert City]”) spending quality time with her husband.
Great job of pulling together some very valuable resources n one place. It's getting so crowded out there that I appreciate it when someone aggregates info.
Want to also put in a plug for the LinkedIn group @MC 4 which offers #career advice, coaching, mentoring, etc to #transitioning veterans. Started by vet @Bob Dixon, this groups offers a wealth of information, not just about resources but also about what it takes to succeed in the civilian workplace.
As an executive coach and professional development expert, it's been an honor to serve as one of the coaches for the group. My personal and professional mission is to go above and beyond the typical career guidance of how to write resumes, how to interview and the like and impart critical skills necessary to perform, deliver and succeed in our New Normal. From what I've seen, none of the traditional resources are addressing how the world of work has changed over the last 4 years. So much so that information has become a commodity and critical thinking and interpersonal skills are paramount. Happy to discuss further offline. dtk@dtkResources.com. Again @ Debra Auerbach, thanks for the great piece!