That Make a Difference
One of the biggest challenges veterans face is trying
to explain their military training, experience, and
accomplishments in civilian terms. Being able to tell
a prospective employer what they did in the military
and how it fits the employer’s needs is critical to
landing an interview and getting a civilian job.
Unfortunately, many of these important skills and
experiences get lost in the translation.
Fortunately, there are online resources that can help
servicemembers and veterans translate their military
occupations, collateral duties, military training, and
day-to-day leadership responsibilities into terms that
can be understood by a civilian employer. In addition,
these online resources can help veterans develop key
words and bullets for their résumés.
These resources can be found at two popular
websites -- VAforVets.com and Military.com. Both
websites feature Military Skills Translators that
help veterans create a professional profile using an
exhaustive list of primary and secondary military jobs
and duties, which are used to build a personalized
skills list. These skill profiles are then presented to
the veteran in civilian terms, along with a list of job
openings that match them.
Both websites feature a job search function;
however, VAforVets.com also includes a robust set
of counseling tools that can help veterans discover
the career field that best suits their professional
experience and personality. Although the VAforVets.
com website is primarily designed to serve veterans
seeking employment or re-employment with the
Department of Veterans Affairs, the tools found
on the website can be used by any transitioning
servicemember or veteran.
In addition to the military skills translator, Military.
com’s Veteran Jobs section also features the
Veteran’s Career Network, which helps veterans
connect and network to find employment. The
website also features a list of upcoming career
expos, a tool for veterans to upload their résumé for
employers, information on how to use the GI Bill, and
hundreds of career advice articles.
These online resources have proven invaluable
for veterans who struggle to explain their military
experience in terms that help employers understand
how veterans can help their business succeed.
In addition to these great online resources, programs
like the Transition Assistance Program’s (TAP)
workshops, put on by the Departments of Labor
and Veterans Affairs, and the Small Business
Administration’s veteran training and mentoring
programs can ease the often difficult shift from
military to civilian life. In 2013, the Department
of Defense will be piloting a new program, known
as Transition GPS, or TAP 2.0. The new program
will help separating servicemembers successfully
transition to the civilian workforce, start a business,
pursue training, or higher education. The extended
5-7 day curriculum is designed to strengthen,
standardize, and expand counseling and guidance
for servicemembers before they leave the military. In
addition, Transition GPS will transform the military’s
approach to education, training, and credentialing
Unfortunately, many servicemembers and veterans
are either unaware of the resources and government
programs or simply fail to take advantage of them,
which can add weeks or even months to a veteran’s