Veteran’s unemployment is on the rise at a historic rate. Veterans have born the brunt of hard economic times before. In 1932 unemployed veterans even marched on Washington D.C. In order to receive the first G.I bill benefits veterans threatened to march again on D.C. Today’s economic reality means that every veteran must be aware of the available resources.
The latest Bureau of Labor statistics show that veterans are unemployed at rate that is higher than the general population.
A recent study by the Society of Human Resource Management revealed that veterans face a major hurdle when finding civilian employment and that is translating their military experience into civilian skills. The first step that any unemployed veteran should take is to contact the Department of Labor because every state has a representative that works with veterans specifically and has many resources and connections that will be useful. The list of veteran’s representatives by state can found here http://www.dol.gov/vets/aboutvets/contacts/main.htm#RegionalStateDirectory
The next step would be to fine tune a resume. There is a lot of information both free and for charge available on the web. I would highly recommend using the Department of Labors Veteran transition website at http://www.careeronestop.org/militarytransition/resumeWriter.aspx
A few basic steps to converting a resume from the military format to the civilian are:
1. Choose a type of resume to write from one of the three basic formats; Chronological resumes -present information in a timeline approach, Functional resumes -group work experience and skills by skill area or job function, and Combination resumes -highlight your skills and experiences.
2. Be sure to expand the soft skills. The skills that are most transferable are the most important. For example, leadership, supervision, computer skills, etc. It is recommended that when you list a previous job to write a narrative of the skills needed for that position. It may even be helpful to take a skills assessment such as those offered at http://www.quintcareers.com/online_assessment_review.html An online assessment will you to explore how your skills match up with potential career fields.
3. Take out ALL acronyms. Only 1% of civilians are prior military so it has to be assumed that while NCOIC is important role in the Army a civilian human resources employee is going to have little to no idea what the abbreviation means.
4. Edit, edit, edit. Have friends, spouses, or civilian coworkers review the resume for both content and clarity.