The Key to Finding Civilian Employment: Applying for the Right Jobs

Veterans’ ability to find jobs may get even tougher according to a Fox Business article published on March 21, despite the newest Department of Labor report that the post-9/11 unemployment rate has decreased slightly from 9.9% to 9%. Large government budget cuts will soon force even more veteran job-seekers to join the ranks of the civilian unemployed. Dan Goldenberg, Executive Director of Call of Duty Endowment, explains, “The most conservative estimates say 100,000 [service] members will involuntarily be let into the workforce, that is the best case scenario.”


So, as veterans enter the already tight job market they have to be strategic. One of the best ways to do this is to understand their skill-set in civilian terms and use that to identify realistic career opportunities that result in successful applications. At Hire Heroes USA, we have created a team dedicated to this task, and it has proven instrumental in veterans finding their next career.


Our Outreach and Matching team helps veterans round out their job search. Because we are dedicated to providing personalized assistance up until a job is secured, we do not just provide resume assistance and move on; rather, we work directly with veterans to identify open positions that align with their skills and experience gained in the military. Once a job has been identified our Outreach and Matching team recommends the following to every veteran:


  • You should not use the same resume for every application; always tailor your resume to the specific job description.
  • Research the market salary index of the position in your current location; decide if the salary allows you to meet your current financial obligations.
  • Always highlight your skills to the hiring manager; provide a cover letter detailing your experience compared to the position’s requirements.

It is easy to get overlooked in today’s applicant pools. By identifying jobs that match your skills and taking the proper steps when applying, you can increase the success of your applications.

How to be More Competitive in the Job Market

The job market is tough. If you’re a job seeker, you’ve probably realized that by now. So what can you do to help yourself stand out? Professional certifications are one way to significantly improve your chances of landing a job. By obtaining a professional certification you are showing employers that you are an expert at what you do and have the desire to continue your education. As you continue your job search, look into professional certifications in your field. We’ve put together a list of 6 certifications that are in demand below to give you a head start.


1. Project Management Professional (PMP)

The professional project management certificate, administered by the Project Management Institute, has become a job requirement for anyone looking to secure a job as a Project Manager. Obtaining the certificate solidifies your ability to identify and address obstacles that occur in such a role. Best of all, project managers are present in nearly every industry.


2. Professional Sales

You may be interested in pursuing a career in sales coming out of the military but lack the experience most companies are looking for. A professional certification in sales from the National Association of Sales Professionals may be just the stepping stone you need.


3. Personal Fitness Training

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the personal training industry is projected to grow by 13% through 2022. Because the military maintains the importance of physical activity, a career in personal training is a natural transition for many veterans. Many civilians have noticed this connection. Coca-Cola and the National Recreation and Park Association launched the Troops for Fitness program to encourage former military members to launch a career.


4. Foreign Language

Most military members realize the importance of learning a different language, especially those who have deployed internationally. Many civilian occupations, especially those with a customer service focus, share this realization. Obtaining a language certification to display proficiency is an easy way to stand out from the competition.


5. LEED Accredited Professional

It’s no secret that everyone is trying to be green. If you are in the construction industry, a sure way to increase your credibility is to obtain a LEED certificate which shows your technical knowledge in the field and your active participation in green building.


6. Lean Six Sigma

If you are interested in process improvement or manufacturing, this is the certification you’ve been looking for. Sought out by most major companies, those certified with a Six Sigma “belt” are experts in process improvement methods and excel as leaders in the industries.


These are just some of the many available professional certifications that can enhance your career. Take the time to do a little research and identify your next great opportunity. Remember, it is always important to stay competitive.

Hire Heroes USA Recognizes Female Service Members this Month

Since women were permitted to serve in the military in 1901 they have made great strides to serve alongside men – breaking gender barriers and capitalizing on available leadership opportunities. Female veterans, as a result, face obstacles to employment much like their male counterparts when they return to civilian life. This is critical to understand right now, as the recent increase in female veterans has made women the fastest growing group within the veteran population. In fact, the Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that by 2020 women veterans will make up 12% of the veteran population.


In order to provide the very best transition assistance and support to all veterans, we must understand the challenges they face. Monster Worldwide, Inc.’s 2013 Veterans Talent Index reveals that female veterans actually have a greater lack of confidence than men, despite their similar contributions and achievements in the military. Even more, the Department of Labor explains that female veterans are more likely to be unemployed than male veterans.


So what can we do to improve these statistics? As we recognize women this month, let’s build the confidence of female veterans by celebrating their honorable service and offering assistance.  Women have been impacting the US military for over a decade and have garnered transferable skills and experience to do the same as a civilian. A 2012 Veterans Advantage article honors nine women who have made lasting contributions to our nation during their service. These women have held high-ranking positions, exhibited strength through injury, and spearheaded programs.


There are countless veteran transition assistance programs ready to help the women of our armed forces understand and translate their value; Hire Heroes USA is one of them. We work with female veterans every day – like Tara Brooks – to enable them to confidently enter the civilian workforce. If you are a female veteran like Tara, you can register for our free services online. We will work with you through your career transition and help connect you with civilian companies on our job board.


Survey Says Most Military Spouses are Underemployed

A new survey conducted by the Military Officers Association of America and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University reveals a staggering statistic about female military spouses: 90% of spouses of active duty service members are underemployed. This means that those who are able to find employment – despite their 30% greater unemployment rate compared to their civilian counterparts – accept positions that they are overqualified for. As a result, female military spouses make an average of 38% less total income than female civilian spouses.


These statistics reveal a noticeable unemployment and income gap between military and civilian spouses. According to a 2012 American Community Survey (ACS) the income and unemployment gaps are not a result of choice. In fact, 55% of respondents indicated that work was a necessity, while 90% indicated they had a desire to work. So what factors are affecting military spouses? According to surveys, factors include moving to locations with limited opportunities, negative employer perceptions, and the inability to align skills and education with job opportunities, among others.


Hire Heroes USA understands the obstacles that military spouses face in today’s civilian workforce. That’s why we are here to help. Not only do we assist transitioning service members and veterans in their career transition, but we also work one-on-one with military spouses. We help spouses create a polished, professional resume that reflects their educational and professional achievements to help them understand the significant value that they bring to a company. Next, we coach them in interviewing and job searching to ensure that they have the skills necessary to locate and obtain meaningful opportunities. We are dedicated to assisting the 85% of military spouses that indicated that, in general, it is difficult to get hired. Even more important, we have been successful at doing so. Check out a military spouse success story and spread the word about our free services!