The military-veteran community might not be the first thing we think of when we think of AARP, but AARP was thinking of the military when it launched its Veteran and Military Spouse Job Center in 2022.
It's a resource center for veterans and military families intended to bring together all the information necessary not just to land a job that uses the skills and education veterans gained in the military, but also to make a plan that will develop those skills, expand on them and build the framework for a career path.
Veteran unemployment as of December 2021 was at 3.2%, low compared to the 3.9% rate of the entire United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The problem of underemployment, persons in jobs that don’t require their full abilities, remains rampant in the civilian lives of veterans, their spouses and the spouses of active-duty service members.
The 2018 Blue Star Families' annual Military Family Lifestyle Survey found that two-thirds of veterans believe their current roles are not using their skills and qualifications. Two-thirds of active-duty spouses reported similar feelings about their employment. Meanwhile, AARP's own research finds that more than half of employers believe the skills acquired in previous positions are very important when looking for new hires.
In response, AARP developed its Veteran and Military Spouse Job Center and all the free resources inside. Among them is the Job Search Toolkit, a comprehensive guide that takes vets and family members through the whole process. Topics range from choosing a career path and filling in the gaps to create that path, to more practical things like resume creation, crafting "elevator speeches" -- quick descriptions of what you bring to a job -- and creating a personal brand.
AARP offers veterans webinars for how to think about finding a job and adapting to the civilian world or nailing a job interview. AARP advisers will even look at a current resume, so veterans can check their work after adapting it to the website's resume tips.
There's an area for veterans looking to start their own business, with tips via webinar from "Shark Tank" investor and FUBU CEO Daymond John.
The centerpiece of AARP's job center is the Veterans Career Advantage course, which is free for registered AARP members. The course covers how veterans can translate their military specialty skills to adapt to civilian employment, understand the challenges they face and hear from other veterans who already have made a transition.
Everything contained within the AARP Veteran and Military Spouse Job Center is free, although some resources require registering with the AARP website. After registering, all other content is free. No matter where a veteran or spouse is in their job search, be it career planning or even still serving, a tool or resource should help guide them to the next step.
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