Resources Available to Returning Veterans Challenged with Finding a Job

Challenge of finding a job

"Veterans Employment Challenges" is a compelling study completed by Prudential Corporation that featured various demographics of returning military service men and women from the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America between December 2011 and January 2012 . While 2,453 veterans were questioned, the majority of the survey's participants represented post - 9-11 and Gulf War veterans.

The overall goal of the study was to better understand veterans experiences and perceptions around finding civilian careers. The surveys 3 primary objectives were to:  1.) identify possible challenges to transitioning from military to civilian life, 2.) identify any perceived or experienced barriers to civilian employment, and 3.) understand any gaps and opportunities that might exist for any new and improved veterans support programs.

Overall, the survey revealed some stunning data regarding some of the veterans experiences, along with their opinions regarding the job finding process after their military careers. Virtually all (or 98%) noted at least one hurdle in finding a job for various reasons. More than two-thirds of the veterans (69%) cited "finding a job" to be the greatest challenge to transitioning to civilian life and nearly all expressed concerns about how to properly translate their military skills to a business environment.

Interestingly, while our economy has significantly improved since the time of the survey. Many public and private industry organizations have also extended a more concentrated efforts towards hiring deserving veterans, however,  there is still plenty of work to do regarding educating prospective veteran job candidates towards available and accessible resources designed to help them identify job opportunities and maximize their potential in an improving job market.

The following are some of the many online resources that transitioning veterans should seriously consider when seeking a post-military civilian job opportunity.

Vetjobs.com

Ted Daywalt, a 28-year retired Navy Captain, founded vetjobs.com in 1999. It is owned and operated by military veterans and is the leading Internet niche job board for reaching the 10.5 million military veterans currently in the work force, the 200 thousand active duty military personnel who transition each year, the over 400,000 members of the National Guard and Reserve who return to the United States each year from extended deployments, and their family members.

Vetjobs.com's primary mission is to meet the shortage of qualified candidates in the civilian sector with highly trained veterans who can offer employers technical skills, management expertise and most importantly, leadership. It also provides the tools necessary to make job searching easy for veterans and translating the military experience to civilian equivalents easier for employers. VetJob's vision is to educate veterans and employers to the values that veteran brings to the workplace. Much of this education is done through the VetJobs Veteran Employment and Education Foundation.

VetJobs mission includes the goal of providing as many job opportunities as possible for veterans, transitioning military personnel and their family members. Thus, the cost for VetJobs is kept low with a flat fee approach. VetJobs is committed to serving the needs of veterans and the VetJobs employer members with the best customer service available.

GI Jobs

GI Jobs mission is to simplify the military transition experience by using education, employment tools and other resources to guide veterans to a successful post-military career.  The site includes insightful articles regarding trending topics related to the veteran career search process, employer job postings, an online resume bank, a school matchmaker tool, a pay calculator and other innovative resources that can aid deserving veterans and their spouses.

Military.com

Military.com was founded in 1999 to revolutionize the way the 30 million Americans with military affinity stay connected and informed. In 2004, Military.com joined forces with Monster Worldwide to accelerate growth and change the playing field for career and educational opportunities for servicemembers, veterans and military spouses.

Today, Military.com is the largest military and veteran membership organization with 10 million members strong. The site's free membership connects servicemembers, military families and veterans to all the benefits of service — government benefits, scholarships, discounts, lifelong friends, mentors, great stories of military life or missions, and much more. Military.com's members share stories, insider tips, news from the front lines, and unique slices of military life including the tough issues of war.

National Veterans Foundation

National Veterans Foundations mission is to serve the crisis management, information and referral needs of all U.S. Veterans and their families through: management and operation of the nation’s only toll-free helpline for all veterans and their families. They are also committed to providing public awareness programs that shine a consistent spotlight on the needs of America’s veterans and providing outreach services that accommodate veterans and families in need with food, clothing, transportation, employment related services, and other essential resources.

Overall, there are now a plethora of resources available for veterans and the spouses to identify job opportunities, assist with the job seeking process and educate them towards the various obstacles associated with applying for jobs in different industries.

We as employers, have made progress - but, there is always plenty of work to do until unemployment, homelessness and other social challenges have been eradicated.

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Ed Crenshaw is a US Navy veteran, diversity practitioner, disability subject matter expert and creator of the innovative “Preparing Employers to Reintegrate Combat Exposed Veterans with Disabilities” (P.E.R.C.E.V.D.) diversity training program. He is also the author of the books, “The P.E.R.C.E.V.D. Principles” and “The Employers Guide to Understanding Hidden Conditions Related to Suicide.” As a well-renown professional speaker, Ed is a passionate champion and respected advocate for people with disabilities.