While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this past March that the jobless rate for military veterans fell to 4.3 percent, a report from Georgetown University and the media outlet Mic discovered that “workers with military experience reported being underemployed by 14 percent more than nonveterans.”
Thankfully, there are a number of hubs that offer resources and solutions for former service member attempting to get back into the workforce.
One, is the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which has dedicated this page to pointing vets in the right direction in finding employment, or a new career.
The U.S. Department of Labor also has a portal especially for former military that offers a number of tools — including a resume builder, a skills translator, a place to find training, and searchable job lists.
There are also tools to continue an education, or enroll in an institute of higher learning, like a college, university, or trade school, like the G.I. Bill. For more information on the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, including links to apply online, click here.
Military Skills Translator: An free online tool that helps convert military experience into civilian language that employers and hiring managers can understand.
Resume Builder: A free online tool that can build a civilian or federal resume that can be used when applying to jobs.
Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment: Through the VA, learn more about the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) which can open opportunities for vets to explore potential careers.
VetSuccess on Campus: This is a factsheet provided by the VA with information about counselors that can help veterans transition at various universities.
Compensated Work Therapy: A vocational rehabilitation program that matches work-ready veterans with businesses and industries.
VR&E Materials and Factsheets: In this compilation of transition assistance resources, veterans can find important information about navigating the workforce and finding the career right for them.
Advice for Getting Started
The VA offers the following tips — upon transitioning out of the service — to begin the process of finding a job, career or field, or obtaining a higher education. The checklist can applied, however, to any veteran in any stage of life looking to make a positive change and/or obtain more economic mobility.
– Discover your skills and interests
– Learn about job titles and qualifications
– Build a resume
– Research employers in your area and network
– Search online job banks
– Go to a career fair
If more guidance is needed, there are professionals available for consultation. American Job Centers (AJCS), while not veteran-centric, they can offer interview practice and career counseling — including job search help. Call of Duty Endowment specifically identifies organizations that help vets find a career. There’s also this list of liaisons all over the country that can be contacted as part of the Veterans Economic Community Initiative.