KAYLAH JACKSON

OCTOBER 23, 2018 – 4:50 PM

After serving in the Marines and Army Reserves, Elliott McKenzie struggled to find his new identity as a civilian. From dropping out of college, experiencing homelessness, then eventually landing a job with the help of the Call of Duty Endowment, his transition was a balance of highs and lows.

Like many veterans, adjusting from the high tempo and hyper-aware environment from deployments was a challenge. In a place like Ramadi, Iraq where McKenzie kept his head on a swivel at all times, he didn’t face the same threat when he went home. READ MORE…

ABOUT THIS EVENT

Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI), a leading standalone interactive entertainment company, will visit the Nasdaq MarketSite in Times Square in celebration of the Call of Duty Endowment. The Call of Duty Endowment, the nonprofit arm of Activision Blizzard, Inc. , helps veterans find high quality careers by supporting groups that prepare them for the job market and by raising awareness of the value veterans bring to the workplace. Activision Blizzard, Inc. is a member company of the Nasdaq-100 Index.

In honor of the occasion Dan Goldenberg, Executive Director of the Call of Duty Endowment, will ring the Opening Bell.

When it comes to looking for a job, your resume is one of the most important tools you have. It’s one of the best ways to showcase your unique skills and experience to employers, which is the first step to getting the interviews (and job) you want. READ MORE

 

Ready to create your resume? Check out our resume training video for our top tips:

 

https://recruitmilitary.com/usvets

RECRUIT MILITARY CONNECTS EMPLOYERS WITH HIGH-QUALITY VETERAN TALENT.

 

MISSION

RecruitMilitary helps employers connect with America’s best talent — its veterans.We offer our services free of charge to veterans and their spouses to support them during their job search. We host the nation’s largest single-source veteran database, with over 1,200,000 members. We publish the nation’s second-largest veteran hiring publication, Search & Employ® magazine, copies distributed every two months and a digital version on our website as well as the VetTen digital newsletter. In addition, we will have produced more than 900 job fairs in over 66 cities. Many of our employees are veterans or military spouses. The company is a recipient of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes program’s Lee Anderson Small Business Veteran and Military Spouse Employment Award for going above and beyond “to honor the sacrifices our military families make in their service to our nation.”

 

HOW DO WE CONNECT TALENT WITH OPPORTUNITY?

Recruit Military’s goal is to engage transitioning and civilian-experienced military veteran men and women in the most meaningful way. Some will discover new possibilities in our magazine, others will target jobs through our website, and still others will find success face-to-face with employers at our job fairs.

RECRUIT MILITARY CONNECTS EMPLOYERS WITH HIGH-QUALITY VETERAN TALENT

https://success.recruitmilitary.com/jobs

https://recruitmilitary.com/usvets

When you apply for a position online, you usually receive an automated message thanking you for applying, followed later on by either an invitation to interview, or a rejection email.

Those invitation and rejection emails you receive are from an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), and it means that your resume/application either did or did not match the combination of required education, experience, keywords, and the position description was asking for.

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are used by most employers today. In fact, 75% of large companies use an ATS for receiving and reviewing applications.

Veterans may be getting the short end of the stick when it comes to ATS’s. Veteran Job seekers may have never had to apply through ATS, and are used to using Federal resumes through USA Jobs or simply sending a resume directly to a recruiter.

Also, as a Veteran, you are likely not used to applying for positions in a way that agrees with ATS software needs. For example, Veterans are used to using acronyms, and will incorporate them into resumes. If the acronym is not pre-programmed into the ATS software, however, it wont pick up the word and the applicant may be scored lower in the candidate pool because of the perceived missing keyword. It is safest to spell out all keywords in online applications and resumes.

So, knowing what you know about ATS’s and recruiting practices, how do you ensure you meet the needs of the computer, to get in the hands of the recruiter?

Below I have outlined 5 opportunities in an application to align your content to ATS technology, boosting your chances of receiving an interview:

Formatting:

  • When you apply through an Applicant Tracking System, your resume usually gets pasted into plain text for ease of use for the reader. Because of this, if you have your resume in nontraditional formatting, you could be eliminated from the candidate pool.
  • Common mistakes: Putting your name, address or contact information in the header or footer of your resume won’t paste into plain text through ATS’s. If a recruiter filters out applications with missing information, you’ll be eliminated. Also, if you have a “creative” resume format with text boxes or lines dividing the resume vertically, some of your resume information may not be pasted, resulting in large chucks of experience missing for the application.

Required Qualifications:

  • In most position descriptions, you’ll see required and preferred qualifications summaries. To ensure that both the ATS and the reader see these qualifications clearly, put them in the first 3rd of your resume.
  • Common mistakes: If you don’t put a professional summary in your resume, you’re losing out on serious keyword-matching real estate. Your summary is a great way to incorporate everything the ATS is looking for, all within the first few lines. It also allows you to speak to your level of education, years of experience, and areas of expertise, so that when it gets in the hand of the recruiter, you easily demonstrate your value and goodness of fit for the job.

Hard Skills:

  • Hard skills refer to the qualities of the job you must know, like technical skills, software knowledge, or direct practice knowledge. If the position lists skills and/or experience that relate to your ability to perform the role, ensure you are highlighting those areas in each of your previous work histories to hit not only the keywords, but the frequency of the keywords as well.
  • Common mistakes: Don’t copy and paste keywords directly in your resume to hit the right terms and satisfy the algorithm! ATS’s are smart, and they will rank you not only on whether the keywords occur, but also on how frequently the words occur, and how well they are integrated into text (so, listing “Project Management” 5 times in a row on your resumes and changing the text to white won’t work in your favor).

Soft Skills:

  • Many opportunities online also note preferred personality qualities in a candidate, like “innovative”, “passionate” and “able to work independently”. These are soft skills that relate to culture fit for a company, and are tracked by the ATS as well.
  • Common mistakes: Many job seekers don’t think that these qualities matter, because they don’t relate directly to the position. Don’t make this mistake – rate higher in the applicant pool by incorporating these buzzwords in your professional summary or cover letter in your application. You can include these words in your professional summary to boost your ranking, and give yourself a leg up over other candidates that only focus on the hard skills.

Other Keywords:

  • Other keywords that occur in a position description online could relate to industry-breadth. These words could be “technology” “Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems” or “Veteran services”. These words usually occur within the initial summary of the position, and relate to industry knowledge.
  • Common mistakes: Don’t take these terms lightly. A company will want to hire someone who may already have industry-related experience and will have a shorter learning curve once hired. To outline your industry knowledge, ensure you identify these keywords and incorporate them into your resume, ideally across multiple work histories.

Digging Deep: The Top 3 Most Common Applicant Tracking Systems and Their Features:

Taleo: This is the most common ATS by far, with over 40% of companies today using Taleo for their sourcing needs. This ATS does not pick up plurals, and tense changes in your resume can mean the difference between a rejection and an offer. For example, if a hiring manager searches “Planning Events” and you list “Event Planning,” your resume might not be recognized as a match.

  • Companies that use Taleo: Starbucks, Nike, Marriott, Nintendo, Tesla, Kaiser Permanente, Nordstrom, Boeing, Walgreens, HP, US Bank, United Airlines.

Greenhouse: This ATS does not parse resumes into plain text, so creative formatting may be acceptable if applying through Greenhouse. Also, Greenhouse ranks applications based on frequency of keywords. For example, a resume with “Project Management” listed 6 times will be ranked higher than one with it only 2 times.

  • Companies that use Greenhouse: Airbnb, FitBit, Pinterest, Snapchat, Instacart, TripAdvisor, Reddit, Warby Parker, BuzzFeed, J.D. Power.

iCiMS: This ATS parses resumes to search for the skills listed in the position description. Because of this, it is important to precisely match the exact skill that is listed online. For example, if you write “Project Manage” and iCiMS was instructed to look for “Project Managed” it will not pick up the match and will rank your application lower. Also, iCiMS uses knockout questions for application, and you’ll get flagged for selecting “no” for these.

  • Companies that use iCiMS: FedEx, Sony, Amazon, Uber, Goldman Sachs, Samsung, and Southwest Airlines.

Tailoring your resume and application to individual jobs can be tiring, but if you make it a habit to identify the ATS, apply the right keywords, and focus on highlighting your relevant experience, it becomes easier over time.

Also, job seekers who integrate tailoring into their applications see 3X more call backs and invitations for interviews, so it is worth the effort! I hope these tips have helped you to boost your confidence in your applications and in your ability to show employers why you’re a top candidate for a position. Try working with the ATS, and give yourself a leg up over other applicants!

Cheers, Maggie

You’re almost there. Your resume landed you an interview and now it’s time to seal the deal. So what’s the best way to prepare?

To find the answer, I looked back on my interviews, sifted through research, and most

importantly, asked employees from today’s most coveted companies. I tried to find deep insights beyond the typical “sit up straight!” and “dress to impress!” tips we hear too much.

Below you’ll find the 12 best tips to help before, during and after your interview.

BEFORE

 1.    Research Earnings Calls, Quarterly Reports & Blog Posts

In today’s world, content is king. Goldman Sachs publishes quarterly reports, Microsoft records its earning calls, and every startup has a blog.

With so much out there, I’m baffled that few of us look past the company’s homepage. It’s like we’re writing an essay on The Odyssey without quoting a single passage from the book.

Example: If you’re interviewing with Google, here’s two ways to answer: “What’s Google’s biggest opportunity in the next 5 years?”

  • Weak: “I think wearable technology will be big because Google Glass and Apple Watch represent a new trend that shows…”
  • Strong: “Call me geeky, but I was listening to Google’s quarterly earnings call and was blown away by the fact that display advertising hit over $5 billion in the past few years. Therefore, I think that…”

Neither answer is wrong, but the latter says much more. It shows you’ve done your homework and give answers rooted in data.

2.   Use Google Alerts

Keeping up with company news is hard, especially if you’re interviewing with multiple places at once. That’s why Google Alerts is a savior; it’s a tool that emails you anytime a new story appears for a specific term. That way, you learn about current events without searching for them.

 Example: If you’re applying to Creative Artists Agency, follow these steps:

  1. Go to www.google.com/alerts
  2. Type in “Creative Artists Agency”
  3. Put in your email address if you’re not already logged in to Gmail

Soon enough, you’ll get updates on CAA and have more ammo for your interview.

3. Use Social Sweepster To Clean Your Facebook & Twitter

Nowadays, 91% of employers search your social media for any red flags. While most people tell you to watch every single thing you upload, there’s a much easier solution. Use Social Sweepster, an app that detects pictures of red solo cups, beer bottles, and other “suspicious” objects. It even detects profanity from your past posts! Now, that’s f%$king awesome!

“Too many recruiters reject candidate because of something they found on their social platforms” Social Sweepster CEO Tom McGrath says. “We help you create the first impression on your own terms.”

4. Schedule For Tuesday at 10:30 AM

According to Glassdoor, the best time to interview is 10:30 AM on Tuesday. Remember, your interviewer has a world of responsibilities beyond hiring. They’re responding to emails, balancing projects, and meeting tons of other candidates so it’s crucial to consider when they’ll be in the best mental state to meet you.

10:30 AM Tuesday is the sweet spot because you:

  • Avoid the bookends. On Mondays and Fridays, employees gear up for the week or wind down. By the same token, avoid the first or last slots of any workday.
  • Avoid lunchtime. Immediately before noon, your interviewer may be too hungry to concentrate; immediately after, they may be in a food coma.

But there’s a caveat. Research shows it’s best to take the earliest interview slot “in circumstances under which decisions must be made quickly or without much deliberation because preferences are unconsciously and immediately guided to those options presented first.”

Bottom line: if the firm is hiring for a job starting in a few months, try to interview late morning between Tuesday through Thursday. If the firm is hiring immediately, grab the earliest slot.

What To Notice Around The Office When You Go For A Job Interview

5. Craft Your “Story Statement”

 Though most interviews start with the same prompt (“tell me about yourself” or “walk me through your resume”), we blow it off with boring answers like:

I studied [major X] because I really care about making a difference in [industry Y] as you can see through my last job at [company Z]…

This answer is like tearing out the first 200 pages of your autobiography. You leave out everything that gives meaning to why you want this job in the first place. What was your moment of epiphany? How did your childhood influence you? Why does this job move you? Most people don’t answer these questions. They start and end with their professional experience, leaving little to inspire the interviewer.

Next time, use what I call a “Story Statement,” which is a Cliff Notes of your autobiography.

Example: Here’s an amazing Story Statement that Teach For America fellow Kareli Lizarraga used for her interviews.

I grew up in California and Arizona after immigrating to the United States when I was four years old. Since neither of my parents went to college, I relied on my high school teachers to help me apply to top universities. With their support, I was able to attend the University of Pennsylvania. Then I spent a summer at a Washington DC law firm, which represented low-income students and helped me realize that my passion lay within creating educational opportunities for all.

I decided to become a teacher because I see myself so deeply reflected in the stories of so many students in your schools – and that’s why I’m so excited about the opportunity to interview with you today. Like my teachers did for me, I want to impact the next generation of students by supporting them and understanding the experiences they’re facing.

A Story Statement shows that you’re a person, not just a professional.  It also makes it easy for your interviewer to predict the next chapter of your story. For Kareli, Teach For America is a logical next step. Of course, if she interviewed for Apple, she may change her Story Statement to include an early experience with her first computer and talk about how her passion for tech grew from there. For a Bain interview, she could mention how she started problem solving at a young age and now wants to do it on a big scale.

Chances are, we’ve all had experiences we can connect to where we’re trying to go. It’s just a matter of selecting the right ones to tell our story. That said, if you struggle to craft your Story Statement for a particular interview, you might be applying for the wrong job.

6. Wear a Subtle Fashion Statement

We already know dressing well makes a difference. But what if we took our attention to detail a step further? That’s exactly what Morgan Stanley analyst Julio German Arias Castillo did for his interviews.

“Wear something that represents your culture or background,” he says. “In my case, I always wear a pin of the Panamanian flag on my suit lapel. Most of my interviewers ask about it so it becomes a chance to discuss my upbringing and love of my homeland.”

Julio created a conversation starter with his clothing. Depending on the company, you can be more playful: wear a bracelet from your recent travels to India, a tie with a quirky pattern, or — if you can pull it off — a small mockingjay pin if you’re a Hunger Games fan. As long as it’s subtle and tasteful, your fashion statement can build rapport through fun conversations about your hometown or mutual love for Katniss Everdeen.

7. Prepare for The “What’s Your Weakness?” Question

 Most people overthink this question and give a canned answer like “I’m too much of a perfectionist!” Others give a genuine answer but still fall short of what this question is really asking. It’s not about admitting your weaknesses. It’s about showing how you overcome them. What systems have you put in place? What progress have you made? Include those thoughts to strengthen your answer.

Example:

  • Weak: “My weakness is that I struggle to run efficient meetings…”
  • Strong: “I sometimes struggle to run efficient meetings. But I’ve worked to improve by drafting an agenda before every meeting, sending it to all participants, and then following up with a recap and clear action items so everyone knows what to do moving forward.”

8. Brainstorm 3 “PAR” Anecdotes

Your interview is as memorable as the stories you share. Many people have fascinating experiences but forget them when they’re on the spot.  To remedy this, have three anecdotes ready to plug into your interview. Your anecdotes should follow a simple format:

  1. Problem – what was the situation?
  2. Action – what did you do to solve it?
  3. Result – what changed afterwards?

With this format, you can adapt your PAR anecdotes to fit a variety of questions such as “tell me about a time you worked with a team” or “when have you struggled most?”

Example: University of Pennsylvania Senior Hunter Horsley has a terrific PAR anecdote for his interviews.

  • Problem: “When I worked on Lore, an education tech startup, our big marketing challenge was finding a way to get professors to try our product. Ads are inefficient and competitors like Blackboard and Canvas had sales teams call IT administrators to sign multi-year contracts — a very slow and expensive process. We needed to move faster.”
  • Action: “We realized that students preferred our product so we teamed up with about 200 students from 100 colleges. They developed a custom outreach plan for their campus and we provided resources to support them.”
  • Result: “This was highly effective in creating awareness with professors. In fact, it became a competitive advantage. During our first two semesters, our team of 15 people drove adoption that outpaced a competing product launched by Pearson at the same time. An additional benefit was that the approach created brand affinity. Because professors heard about the tool from students instead of an ad, the value proposition came across more authentically.”

DURING

9.    Think Aloud on Analytical Questions

Some interviews include tough analytical questions. Whether you’re solving for an exact number (“what’s the EBITDA of Company X?”) or rough estimate (“how many ping pong balls can fit in a Boeing 777?”), it’s important to talk through your thinking. Don’t just give an answer; show how you got there.

Example: Consider these two answers to “How many lawn mowers are there today in the United States?”

  • Weak: After 45 seconds of silence, you blurt out “75 million!”
  • Strong: You’re talking the entire way through, sharing your calculations and assumptions.

“Let’s start from the top down. Assuming the US population is 300 million and each household averages 3 people, then we have 100 million families in the US. Let’s assume urban households don’t have lawns to mow and therefore only suburban and rural families buy lawnmowers. If roughly 25% of America is urban and 75% is suburban and rural then we have 75 million households that own a lawnmower.”

(side note: it’s okay to make assumptions and for those assumptions to be off. But that’s why you need to communicate them first).

This is a great way to show your communication skills alongside your analytical ones. Plus, if you make an error, it’s easier to know where you went wrong and fix it.

10. Ask Questions That Kill Two Birds With One Stone

At the end of your interview, it’ll be your turn to ask a few questions. This is a perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone – that is, asking a genuine question while conveying something new about you. Most people just do the first part and forgo a final chance to impress the interviewer.

Example:

  • Weak: Will this role provide opportunities to work in emerging markets?
  • Strong: I’m passionate about languages and minored in Arabic in college. Will this role provide opportunities to work in emerging markets in the Middle East?
  • Weak: Are there opportunities for community service?
  • Strong: I used to work with Habitat for Humanity and was so grateful for the opportunity to give back. For a full time employee, are there company-wide community service events that I could take part in?
  • Weak: What’s [Company X]’s fastest growing division?
  • Strong: According to your quarterly report, your revenues grew by 17%. Is that because of a particular division within the company?

This works beautifully if you haven’t found a natural way to bring up an accomplishment or cite a publication beforehand.

11. Grow A Backbone & Ask This Final Question

This one takes guts — and that’s why I love it. Spredfast Product Manager Luke Fernandez says it’s the “single piece of advice that has consistently made a difference.”

Before your interview ends, ask this one last question: “Have I said anything in this interview or given you any other reason to doubt that I am a good fit for the role?”

“It’s bold, but if delivered honestly, it displays true desire and confidence,” Luke said. “I’ve been commended for that specific question in interviews with Google, YouTube, BCG, Deloitte, Twitter, and Spredfast. In one situation, the interviewer actually said yes and gave me the chance to clarify something that would have otherwise lost me an offer.”

Talk about badass!

AFTER

12. Email a Personalized Thank You Note

Thank your interviewer within 24 hours of finishing. It not only shows your gratitude, it also combats recency bias if you interviewed early. Not to mention, it opens the door for dialogue even if you don’t get the job. Sometimes, recruiters reach back out on the same email thread months later, mentioning new job opportunities.

 Example: Accenture senior analyst Anthony Scafidi shared a wonderful email from Robert Hsu, an interviewee whose follow up email shows how to do it right.

Hi Anthony,

Appreciate your taking the time to chat with me today. I really enjoyed hearing about your two projects so far, how much you love the people at Accenture, and how you’ve been able to continue your community service work even while working. (Hope you had a good meeting with your mentee!) Best wishes on your current project.

Sincerely,

Robert”

Source: Forbes

Military.com By Janet Farley for MilitaryMoney.com

You’ve served your country proudly and now it’s time to move on professionally. More than anything, you want your transition from boots to suits to be a smooth one. You want to land a good job that pays well. The only thing standing in your way? Your so-called resume.

Explaining to would-be employers what you did in the military in a way that makes sense to them can be difficult. Often, skills, experiences and accomplishments get lost in translation or in the lack thereof. This is where the Military Skills Translator comes in, and you must decide what needs to be translated and what doesn’t.

To Translate or Not To Translate:

That is the question to answer before you start drafting your resume. Will you be sending it to someone within the defense industry? Or will you be targeting employers outside of it?

If the answer is yes to the former, then you may not need to spend a great deal of time translating your job titles, descriptions, awards and training into English.

Those within the defense industry usually understand what you are communicating, but not always. Keep in mind that there are a lot of people who work in the industry who have never worn a uniform and may not fully understand what you’ve accomplished.

If you are targeting a job outside of the defense world, then you most certainly need to translate your skills, experiences and accomplishments into the English Language.

It can be challenging, but not impossible.

From Tank To Cubical:

“You have to be patient because there is no such thing as a perfect resume,” said Philip Lapple, a former M1 Main Battletank Crewmember (19K-Armour Crewman) in the U.S. Army.

Lapple wants to switch career gears completely and get a job in business. To reach that goal, he is currently attending the University of Maryland, University College and working on a degree in Management Studies.

“I really don’t think I will get a good job until I finish my degree but I’m trying,” said Lapple.

In the meantime, he is working on creating a basic master resume that he can tailor to individual job opportunities as they arise.

“On my resume, I try to show that I am a well-rounded package of education and expertise,” said Lapple adding that it continues to be a work in progress.

Lapple has attended the Army Career and Alumni Program (ACAP) courses and has also used the services of the local Army Community Service Center’s Employment Readiness Program.

“You’re not going to get it right the first time or the second time you write it,” said Lapple who finds himself revising his resume each time someone else critiques it for him.

Lapple understands that he needs to translate specific words in order to make his resume work. Rather than say he was a tank crewmember, he says that he was a heavy equipment operator.

To highlight his skills without over emphasizing equipment operation, he puts strong emphasis on leadership.

“My latest version shows words like mentoring, efficiency, and work load planning. I also use the word “team” instead of platoon or squad,” said Lapple.

“I am also physically counting and adding up the dollar value of items that I was in charge of in the military and noting the number of people or employees I supervised,” said Lapple.

“Right now, school is my priority. In my case, I feel like my resume has to show not only practical experience but a degree as well,” said Lapple.

Staying In The Same Industry:

“I have a resume but it’s horrible. I want to make it better in order to be competitive,” said Gary Heinstrom, a U.S. Army Specialist who currently serves as a medic with the 554th Military Police Company based in Germany.

Heinstrom is knee deep in the process of transitioning out of the military. He is considering staying in his career field, but he wouldn’t rule out getting his foot in the door to federal employment in any field either.

“I just started the process of getting out and there is so much information coming at me at one time. It’s overwhelming but it seems necessary at the same time,” said Heinstrom.

If Heinstrom does indeed try to stay in the medical field, he may find that the level of translation needed for his resume differs from those needed by Lapple.

In some military career fields, such as those in the medical field, there may not be as strong a need to translate some of the skills, abilities and experiences for the civilian counterpart. In or out of uniform, patient care, record-keeping and specific medical procedures and protocol are universally understood with the career field.

“Instead of saying that I was a medic, I am writing that I was a health care specialist. I am also a certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), and that is the same in or out of the military,” said Heinstrom.

Heinstrom says that he is also making it a point to quantify his accomplishments and avoid the use of personal pronouns.

For More Assistance:

Translating the military words on your resume into civilian ones can be challenging. You don’t have to do it alone, though.

Visit your transition assistance office or the family services and support center’s employment readiness program. On either doorstep, you’ll find expert one-on-one counseling assistance or available classes, free of charge.

For your own research the following websites offer excellent military-to-civilian translation tools:

Here are some word for word common translation examples:

Job Titles Examples:

You can also get ideas on how to effectively translate your military experiences by looking at the civilian job descriptions or vacancy announcements for the jobs that interest you.

  • Commander = Director or Senior Manager
  • Executive Officer  = Deputy Director
  • Field Grade Officer = Executive or Manager
  • Company Grade Officer = Operations Manager or Section Manager
  • Warrant Officer =Technical Specialist or Department Manager
  • Senior NCOs = First-Line Supervisor
  • Infantry = Security Force
  • First Sergeant = Personnel Manager
  • Squad Leader = Team Leader or Team Chief
  • Supply Sergeant = Supply Manager or Logistics Manager
  • Operations NCO= Operations Supervisor

General Terms Examples:

  • AI= additionally skilled in
  • combat = hazardous conditions
  • company = company, department or section
  • medal = award
  • military personnel office = human resources
  • mission = task/function/objective
  • military occupation specialty/classification = career specialty
  • squad/platoon = team or section
  • reconnaissance = data collection and analysis
  • regulations= policy or guidelines
  • security clearance= security clearance
  • service members = employees
  • subordinates = employees
  • TAD/TDY = business trip

Next Steps: Finding The Right Job:

Ready to polish your resume, and connect with employers looking to hire veterans? Join our Job Board today!

It’s no surprise that Veterans make phenomenal employees. They have incredible leadership skills, work ethic and dedication to the mission at hand.

Training and development come easily to Veterans, and the experience they gained in the Military usually translates well in a corporate environment because they are cool under pressure and are adaptable, resilient and natural problem solvers.

Veterans are technically adept, they are process-orientated and many of them seek out employment that can provide the same dynamic yet structured environment that their time in the service gave them. Naturally, corporations are taking notice.

Every year, more and more companies are creating Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives aimed at attracting and retaining Veteran job seekers. Whether it be Wells Fargo, which pledged to hiring 20,000 Veteran employees by 2020, or Northrop Grumman, a long-standing Military-friendly company, every employer is taking steps to educate transitioning service members on what they have to offer their potential new Veteran employees.

It is clear that Veteran recruiting has moved beyond your traditional public relations project or media and marketing campaign. Veteran hiring has proven itself to be just plain good for business, and there have been very successful programs and initiatives born from the booming need for Veteran talent in Corporate America.

So what are these companies doing right? How are they recruiting Veterans, and retaining them for years over their smaller counterparts in the same industries?

There are a few key areas that have set these employers apart. Outlined below are the 5 Best Practices I have identified in employers that have had sustainable success in recruiting and retaining Veteran employees within their company.

Communicating Values: Companies with clear values and strong communication of those values are speaking a Veterans’ language. Veterans are generally values-driven, as they have volunteered their lives for their country for the greater good of what they believe in.

To attract and retain someone with strong values, an employer must also have strong actionable values. For more on values communication, watch this TED clip of Simon Sinek explaining his “Start With Why” theory. You can see how a company that is communicating their Why and not just their What will have stronger ties to military job seekers and employees. Companies like Amazon and Starbucks clearly communicate what they believe in and why they do the work they do. They are also extremely successful in their Veteran Hiring Initiatives.

Structure in Transition: Transitioning from a Federal employer to a private one is a huge culture shift for a Veteran job seeker. Veterans exiting the military have acclimated to an environment of extreme structure. Their leadership roles are defined distinctly, and chain of command is easily understood in every situation. This is not the same in corporate culture. Often leadership is more fluid and the team you work with may have competing agendas in civilian work places. Not everyone works the same way, or communicates the same way.

Because of the shift in culture and environment, Veterans must learn a completely new set of social and professional “languages” for the workplace. This wont be a challenge for a new Veteran hire, but they will require a structured onboarding specifically tailored to their needs as a Veteran to understand and adapt to their new employment. Companies with structured Veteran-specific training or onboarding programs have proven to attract and retain more Veteran Talent, one example being the Raytheon onboarding and training programs.

Mentorship: Veterans are thrust into a culture unlike any other when they join the Military. Once they transition back into civilian culture and find employment with a company, their culture shock does not just disappear. Do you recall beginning college, being alone and in a new environment with completely different rules than where you came from? It was overwhelming to say the least, but most likely you had an assigned mentor to assist you in the transition, either your new roommate or even an older student within your school.

Similar to training and onboarding programs, mentorship is another common theme among successful Military-friendly employers. Mentorship can take different forms depending on the size of the company and the style of leadership and culture, but it is clear that Veterans benefit from familiarity in a new place. They thrive in mentorship programs and learn quickly from their assigned mentor within the company, tending to stay longer with companies that offer it. American Corporate Partners (ACP) offers Veterans mentors across different companies.

Leadership and Development: It is no secret that the leadership skills found in Veterans are second to none. Natural leaders are attracted to the Military, and those entering the civilian workforce after the Military possess strong skills in leading, training, teacher and developing themselves and others. In the Military, promotional opportunities are already outlined clearly, and you know exactly what you must do to achieve the next rank. Corporate environments are not the same, and it may be costing companies valuable Veteran talent as a result.

Conversely, companies that offer unique leadership and development opportunities are attracting and retaining Veteran talent for the long haul. Wells Fargo boasts that over half of their Veteran employees have stayed with them for over 5 years. The Deloitte CORE program offers Veteran recent graduates a unique opportunity to gain insight in business environments. Each of these companies has also hired and retained large numbers of Veterans and spouses over the years.

Community: The last identifier for a strong Veteran-focused company that retains its employees is its understanding that when you hire a new employee, you also hire their family. In the Military, the military members’ family is supported in all aspects of their lives. From education, to benefits, to healthcare and living quarters. A civilian company is not responsible for all of these things, but the “safety net” mentality is still something that is desired and appreciated by Veterans in the civilian workforce.

Companies can adopt a community-based support network for Veteran employees through starting Veteran Resource Groups (VRG’s), Veteran appreciation programs, and by supporting Veteran spouses. Southern California Edison has VALOR resource group events for its military-related employees, as does Raytheon RayVets. Starbucks offers tuition reimbursement for full time employee Veterans and their spouses too, to gain a Bachelors degree through ASU online, all free. The common theme in these companies is that their Veteran employees stay longer and perform better in an environment where they feel at home.

Not all of these Best Practices will be feasible for a company. Depending on staff, resources and infrastructure, a company may or may not be able to execute them all. However, if you try to adopt them, buy-in on the executive leadership level will be key to implementing the changes in a corporate environment. But whether you adopt one or five of these traits as a Military-Friendly company, exploring these options is a great start to creating sustainable, successful Veteran Hiring and Retention Initiatives.

I’ve included examples of companies in various industries who have proven themselves successful in their Veteran hiring initiatives, to illustrate the different ways that an employer can attract and retain Veteran talent. This is not a complete list by any means, but in my work these companies have stood out. This is not a ranking, and the order in which the companies are listed is random.

1.    Verizon – This company was not only ranked #1 on Military friendly in 2018, it also funds many training and workforce nonprofit programs for Veterans. Oh, and its hires 11,000 Veterans to date.

2.    Accenture – Along with its pledge to hire 5,000 Veterans and spouses by 2020, Accenture has been clear in its values and goals on this front.

3.    Raytheon – A well-known Military employer, Raytheon not only hires thousands of Veterans a every year, it also offers an Operation Phoenix Program for post 9/11 Veterans.

4.    Home Depot – Other than being a great store for home improvement, since 2012 Home Depot has improved the lives of 55,000 Veterans by hiring them for new careers.

5.    Starbucks – Starbucks recruits for Veterans and Spouses, and has hired 15,000 to date. It also provides free tuition for employees without degrees through ASU online, spouses too.

6.    JPMorgan Chase – JPMC has not only hired 13,000 veterans themselves, they also created a very successful Veteran mentorship program.

7.    Amazon – Amazon Military has recently begun shining the spotlight on Veterans and spouses, and has put its money where its mouth is with full staff Veteran recruiting teams.

8.    Cedars-Sinai – Relatively new to the Veteran initiative space, Cedars has already proven itself as a dedicated employer with its own Veteran Recruiter and career pathways.

9.    Boeing – Boeing has hired nearly 10,000 Veterans in the last seven years, making up about 15% of its workforce.

10. Booz Allen Hamilton – Another employer with internal programs designed just for Military, this company was ranked highly on the job-hunt.org list for Veterans.

11. Comcast NBCUniversal – Another company with its own Veteran recruiting department, Comcast has received several accolades including being ranked #4 on Military Friendly’s list in 2017.

12. AECOM – In addition to hiring over 9,000 veterans since its Veteran initiative inception, AECOM partners with Veteran organizations like Semper Fi Fund and American Corporate Partner (ACP).

13. Walt Disney – This company began its initiative in 2012 with Heroes Work Here. Six years later, it is still going strong and offers numerous benefits for its Veteran employees.

14. UPS United Postal Service has an extensive careers and resources page for Veterans. The Military landing page dives deep into skills translators and culture fit.

15. Edison International – This energy company not only ensures that 5% of its incoming workforce are prior Military, they also have 7% veteran representation at the executive level. Impressive.

16. Lockheed Martin – Lockheed has extensive internal programs for Veteran hiring, and in 2017 won a spot as #9 on the Military Times’ “Best for Vets” list.

17. Deloitte – Consulting is a phenomenal second career for Veterans, especially retirees, and the Deloitte CORE program has helped many recent graduate veterans.

18. Metro – LA Metro began its Veteran Hiring initiative in 2012, and has been transparent in its hiring reports of veterans annually every year since.

19. Wells Fargo – As stated earlier, this company has long been working on recruiting and retaining Vets, and has pledged to hiring 20,000 Veteran employees by 2020

20. Northrop Grumman – A dedicated Military recruiting team sits at Northrop’s corporate offices, and the company is known for hiring transitioning members right out of the service.