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When you leave the military, the biggest question is "what's next?" It's a scary job market right now, but the skills you've received in the military make you highly marketable. The Legion sponsors dozens of veterans hiring fairs each year, and our employment experts also provide tips to writing resumes, networking and making a strong impression in the interview process.

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Four benefits to hiring veterans

Four benefits to hiring veterans

An increasing number of civilian employers are becoming more aware of the unique strengths that former servicemembers can bring with them to a civilian job. Whether you are a business leader considering expanding your workforce, or a veteran considering which qualities to highlight in your cover letter, reviewing these top four military-related attributes that chief executives find most attractive will help you simplify the task at hand.

1. Loyalty to the team. Recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics concludes that the costs incurred to a business owner for sustaining an employee hovers just under $30 per hour, per employee. This does not include the "soft" costs of person-to-person mentoring while an employee is learning the job. With an investment this substantial, executives are in search of hiring loyal employees who will invest in the company with hard work, motivation and dedication.

Veterans bring with them an intrinsic understanding of how loyalty adds to team proficiency and builds trust in a work environment. For business leaders looking to make thoughtful, long-term investments in employees, veterans often outperform other candidates as proven team players.

2. Reliable work ethic. Knowing the importance of adhering to a schedule and consistently performing well at work demonstrates professional maturity. One of the most difficult challenges to hiring professionals is being able to accurately judge candidates in these areas. Through service, training and lifestyle, former military personnel will typically have the work ethic that any business owner would be thrilled to replicate in all of the organization’s employees. For employers looking to hire a mature professional with a strong work ethic, a military-trained candidate should receive serious consideration.

3. Motivated productivity. In today’s technologically driven workplace, self-discipline is at the heart of worker productivity. Convincing workers to respect employer’s rules involving the use of social media, for instance, is becoming an increasing workplace challenge. In addition, the loss of time from inefficient work habits and idle down time is a significant concern to employers attempting to retain the competitive edge in a challenging economy.

Veterans have been trained to work toward efficiency, ask for guidance when needed, and exercise self-discipline in professional settings. Managers actively building a corporate culture of increased productivity and strong motivation would be wise to consider hiring military-experienced candidates, not only for their hard skills, but also for the soft skills they bring with them to civilian business settings.

4. Comprehensive communication skills. Veterans not only understand workplace diversity, they know that good communication also needs to be flexible. Many veterans not only speak more than one language, but also have traveled extensively and understand the nuances of international communication. For business owners looking to evolve with the needs of a global marketplace, a veteran can be just the person your team needs to expand your business.

In addition to being aware of diversity, veterans bring with them a high level of technical literacy that can serve to streamline communication efforts across the organization. Trained in effective writing and professional communications, veterans know that being successful in today’s world means being able to communicate accurately and efficiently with constituents from all walks of life.

Furthermore, a military-trained candidate can be the best choice. Whether you are a veteran in the midst of a civilian job search, or a hiring professional looking to add top candidates to your team, military attributes are desirable qualities to zero-in on to reach your goals. In order to improve bottom-line performance and secure the competitive edge in an increasingly diverse global marketplace, hiring executives need to identify top employees and get the costly hiring process right the first time.

Veterans are uniquely positioned to fill this need and should draw attention to their loyalty, motivation, work ethic and communication skills when seeking a civilian job. If you are a veteran looking for ways to translate your other skills into terms best understood by civilian hiring professionals, here are a few helpful resources:

  • Military.com skills translator. Translating military experience for the civilian world, and translating your skills from military jargon to civilian language.
  • The Professional Association of Résumé Writers and Career Coaches also provide services related to translating military skills into civilian job descriptions.

In a job market as competitive as this one, it is more important than ever to devise a strategy to move beyond the competition. In addition to work experience, veterans should also highlight the most desirable attributes employers seek in the quest to secure top-notch talent for the most coveted positions.

Article courtesy of Military.com.

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