The other day, as I was scrolling through my Twitter feed, I came across a “retweet” by Starbucks (yes, I follow Starbucks on Twitter). The Starbucks account retweeted an article by Fox News, with the title: “Starbucks opens local shop dedicated to hiring veterans”. It immediately caught my attention!
The store in Oceanside, California has vowed to hire about 10,000 veterans, spouses, and active military reserve by 2018.
The overall employment rate for veterans, as of October, stood at 6.9% while the overall employment rate was 7.3%. According to Mike Abrams, former Afghan vet who helps veterans find jobs, ex-military professionals tend to have a hard time describing the value of their time in combat. On the other hand, hiring managers often have a hard time understanding the military experience.
Here are CNN‘s 5 tips for veterans trying to obtain a job:
1. Don’t expect a job to be handed to you
As a veteran, it is a given that anyone you come across is going to deeply respect you–but that does not always translate into a job offer. You must discuss your values and why you are good for a job.
2. Networking with other veterans is key
There are plenty of nonprofit organizations out there that are optimal to meet and network with other veterans. Some examples include Wounded Warrior, the Christopher Coffland Memorial Fund, Vets Watchdog, and the Retired Enlisted Association.
3. Be as prepared as possible
Practice makes perfect! Be sure to practice your interview skills as often as you can. Maintain a flexible schedule so you are able to fit interviews, because face-to-face interviews are often more valuable than a phone call or Skype.
4. Utilize technology
Sometimes, if schedules don’t coincide or long-distance is keeping you from a potential employer, phone calls and Skype are the only option. If you are a current-generation veteran, chances are you have made use of video-calling technologies such as Skype or FaceTime. If this is how the interview will be conducted, make sure you are still dressed professionally and are in a well-lit room.
5. Use civilian language
Your brothers in combat may be able to understand military jargon, such as describing your rank as an E-4 0311 or that you served with 3/8 in J-Bad; but, chances are regular civilians won’t fully understand what you are talking about. Use civilian language to successfully communicate with potential employers.
About the author: Nicole Bradley is a Journalism & Mass Communication student at the University of Iowa, and is in the process of receiving a certificate in Entrepreneurial Management. Outside of school, Nicole enjoys catching up on the news and is passionate about movies and the film industry.