Getting Hired After You Serve
By Elijah Thomas
Chart your next career stop once your time in the military is over.
Veterans leave the service with a number of critical experiences and skill sets that should make getting hired a breeze.
Impressive careers in the military can provide a great leg up in your job search, but oftentimes veterans don’t know where to start.
Searches of online job forums may reveal companies that are specifically looking for people with a military background. Consider discussing how your personal service experience can be better showcased in meetings with a career counselor or resume writer. In some cases, applicant-tracking systems might work in your favor if you can incorporate key search term items that they’ll be familiar with.
There are also helpful programs to smooth the way. Take advantage of the Credentialing Opportunity On-Line Program, and government assistance from the Department of Veterans Affairs, among others.
PLAY IT COOL
The Credentialing Opportunities On-Line program, otherwise known as COOL, is designed to assist veterans with translating military skills into a civilian job. Every branch of the military gives veterans a distinct skill set, and this program connects them with career opportunities through needed certifications and licenses. In some cases, the program pays for needed courses and exams.
The Department of Veterans Affairs and other government entities have created specific programs aimed at curbing veteran unemployment, which has hovered between 3% to 4% in recent years. The VA’s Veteran Readiness and Employment program assists with training to qualify for certain job opportunities. Apply online through eBenefits.va.gov. America’s Service Locator can also connect U.S. military veterans to other services offered.
The Veteran Rapid Retraining Assistance Program assists with education and training for high-
demand jobs, including associate degrees, certificate programs and noncollege degrees. (The Department of Labor determines what’s considered a high-demand job.) Disabled veterans can also receive help through state vocational rehabilitation agencies, which provide critical job-search assistance, along with information on telecommuting and self-employment opportunities.
Reach out to area recruiters, professional networks and social media to learn more about high-paying jobs that are uniquely suited to those with — and in some cases require — military experience. Classified advertising may also specifically mention your specific qualifications as a veteran.