Veterans Need to Add “Personal Brand” to Job Searches

Perhaps there’s a reason why so many veterans can’t find permanent work these days: They aren’t clearly communicating their skills to potential employers.

Many veterans have management, leadership and team-building skills from their military service. These are skills most companies would love to have in their employees. But veterans aren’t marketing these skills effectively on their resumes or during job interviews.

A new push by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is trying to change that.

The U.S. Chamber will be distributing “personal branding” guides to veterans as part of a new initiative to help more veterans secure civilian jobs, CNN reported. These guides will assist veterans in better explaining their skills during their job searches.

Kevin Schmiegel, vice president of the U.S. Chamber, told CNN that veterans “need to talk about your military experience in terms that employers will understand, and not just about your military occupation and not just about the intangibles. Talk about your leadership experience, talk about the fact that you work well in team, talk about your incredible work ethic.”

Case and point: in the CNN story, a former military sniper explained he learned a lot more than just how to shoot a rifle during his military career. Among the other things he did in his service: attended a coach’s course and learned how to teach and how to use PowerPoint. Shooting a rifle accounted for only 10 percent of his military job, he explained.

At Veterans Support Organization, we have seen what happens when veterans aren’t able to find work for prolonged periods of time. They end up depressed, homeless and suicidal. We help uplift struggling veterans through our work and housing programs as they transition back to the workforce.

Many veterans can avoid going down this road. There’s a lot of good jobs out there, even in this troubled economy. Veterans can get these jobs if they effectively “brand” themselves as qualified candidates.

Richard VanHouten is the founder and CEO of Veterans Support Organization. 

Military Service
Personal Branding,
Job Search