Veterans and the Job Search

Veterans_Job_Search_Nov2013The overall unemployment rate for veterans has steadily declined according to a recent article in USA Today. It currently stands at 6.5%, under the 7.2% rate for the entire country. The jobless rate for younger veterans still remains high. For veterans ages 18-24 the unemployment rate was 19.5% in the third quarter of 2013.

The decline in unemployment for veterans overall is due in part to initiatives like a national campaign to hire veterans supported by the White House, state run programs, as well as private businesses like Starbucks and Wal-Mart setting up their own hiring programs.

The franchising community is also working together to help simplify the job searching process for veterans. There are many programs and organizations that are established nationwide that are helping returning veterans learn about the opportunities available to them. Some franchises, including Express Employment Professionals have even waived franchise fees, reduced royalty payments and guided veterans through business plans to become business owners.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s program, Hiring Our Heroes, joined efforts with Capital One Financial Corporation and found 108,000 jobs for veterans and military spouses as part of the Hiring 500,000 Heroes campaign.  This campaign will continue through the end of 2014 and hopes to have 500,000 jobs filled by United States veterans.

Military Experience Can Help You Find a Job

Veterans have unique and highly valued qualities that employer’s desire, which can give them an advantage in the job search. In fact, according to a recent survey by Accenture, veterans say their military service is the top factor in landing a civilian job. Whether it be technical, or leadership traits, the experiences, values and skills veterans have gained in the military can be beneficial in the civilian workforce.

 3 Out of 4 Employed Veterans Had Additional Training

Veterans who are still struggling to find work might consider seeking additional training. In the same Accenture study, 69% of employed veterans reported receiving additional training or education following their service.
Career tech schools could be a good place to start, especially with more than 3 million skilled jobs still unfilled in the U.S. If you’re a veteran seeking additional training be sure to find what education benefits you quality for.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

In an interview with NPR, Carrol Stripling, who retired from the military after 37 years in the U.S. Army, shared that it’s hard for veterans to say they need help. “We’re taught from the very beginning to be self-reliant and so it’s difficult to say, I’m failing at this,” Stripling said.

If you can relate, don’t be afraid to ask for help wherever you can. Reach out to friends and family for support or try contacting a local staffing firm to see how they can help. The truth is when it comes to the job search, we all need a little help from time to time.

This Veteran’s Day, Express would like to thank and commend veterans and service men and women for their hard work and dedication to our country and today we celebrate your sacrifices that have given us all life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

As a veteran, what are some ways you’ve used your military experience to help your job search? Share with us in the comment section below.


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