4 Tools for Separating Veterans Looking for Work, Created by Hiring Our Heroes

(U.S. Army/Sgt. 1st Class Raymond Drumsta)

Today, veteran unemployment sits at 3.2%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Although there's always more work to be done, that kind of number reflects more than a decade of effort in helping America's veterans find work. It simply wasn't always so low.

In 2011, the veteran unemployment rate was a staggering 8.3%, while the rate for nonveterans was 3.6%. When parsed for the era in which those veterans served, it could get much worse. Gulf War-era veterans experienced as high as 30.2% unemployment for men and 36.1% for women.

When those statistics were released by the BLS, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce acted to do something about the problem. It launched Hiring Our Heroes two months later. It was (and still is) an effort to bring private and public-sector organizations together to help veterans, transitioning service members and spouses find meaningful, sustainable employment.

In the years since, those public and private partnerships have created some critical tools to help those veterans find jobs and to connect those who want a job with an employer looking to hire military-connected personnel. Here they are, in one handy place.

1. The Veteran Employer Roadmap

Sometimes, the problem with companies looking to hire veterans is that they simply don't know how to reach a veteran audience. For those employers, Hiring Our Heroes created the Veteran Employer Roadmap. Businesses looking to hire vets can download the VA's Guide to Hiring Veterans, find points of contact in each branch, tips for making job descriptions veteran friendly and checklist-based action plans.

Probably the greatest information on the roadmap site is a series of articles written to inform potential employers about the lives of veterans, both in and out of the military. It contains a description of veterans education benefits, the lives of Guard and Reserve troops and even a guide to resources for wounded veterans.

2. Veteran Fast Track

This is a tool that breaks down the job search process, step by step. Veteran Fast Track allows users to learn about different industries, search for careers in a chosen industry and connect with employers looking for vets in those fields. It breaks down 12 different areas of exploration so veterans can learn about what they might want to do.

Once they choose a career field, they can use the other tools available on the website to begin the search for their role in that field. If they're still unsure after reading about the various sectors,

The site also has a few questions they can answer that will provide them with direction.

3. The Veteran Employment Transition Roadmap

Sometimes, the process of transitioning is so complex, veterans may not know where to begin. That's what the Veteran Employment Transition Roadmap is for. It breaks down the process of transitioning to civilian life in simple, actionable steps.

After customizing a veteran's roadmap with a destination, a transition goal, the site helps find the resources and information needed to take steps toward that goal. The site was created with input from the U.S. Army, Department of Defense, Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University and companies like Bank of America, Toyota and Deloitte, so the information combines the best of the military and civilian employers alike.

4. The Resume Engine

One of the biggest early obstacles for veterans in transition is translating the skills they learned in the military to those needed for civilian life. Industry lingo versus military jargon can be problematic when the two worlds first meet, so sometimes a literal translation is necessary. Other times, veterans may not realize all the ways their military job training can be applicable outside of the military. That's the challenge the Resume Engine was designed to meet.

-- Blake Stilwell can be reached at blake.stilwell@military.com. He can also be found on Twitter @blakestilwell or on Facebook.

Want to Know More About Veteran Jobs?

Be sure to get the latest news about post-military careers as well as critical info about veteran jobs and all the benefits of service. Subscribe to Military.com and receive customized updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Show Full Article
Veteran Jobs