Tag Archives: military

Happy Veterans Day to Our Veterans

In the United States, Veterans Day is Nov. 11. First proclaimed “Armistice Day” by President Wilson in 1919, this day was created as a celebration with a parade, public meetings, and brief suspension of the business day. In 1938, Nov. 11 became an annual legal holiday to honor America’s soldiers.

Today, Express Employment Professionals is proud of our veterans and we want to wish everyone a very happy Veterans Day!


If you’re a veteran who is currently looking for a job, check out these Movin’ On Up articles for tips on how to use your experience to help you:

Veterans and the Job Search
Use Your Military Experience to Find a Job

And to our friends in Canada, we wish you a happy Remembrance Day! A memorial day observed to remember the members of Canada’s armed forces who died in the line of duty, Remembrance Day is sometimes known as Poppy Day and is also celebrated on Nov. 11.


Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

Associate Spotlight: Stephen Hughes

Express Employment Professionals AssociateEvery Express Employment Professionals’ associate has a story. To help tell these outstanding stories, we like to showcase exceptional associates each month on Movin’ On Up. It’s important to give credit where credit is due, and Express loves to share the stories of our associates as an inspiration to you while you strive to achieve professional success.

This month’s associate has a heartwarming story about overcoming obstacles. As thousands of soldiers return from Iraq and Afghanistan, many veterans with years, even decades, of military experience will look to build a civilian career. But, many veterans find it challenging to adapt their military skill set to a civilian job market. But because of this associate’s determination, and with a little help from Express, he was able to overcome these challenges.

Stephen Hughes
As a graduate of West Point, Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Hughes served 31 years in the United States Army. In 2012, Stephen started to look for his first job outside of the military. It’s easy to assume that someone who has traveled all over the world, seen the best and the worst that humanity can produce, and led soldiers in both peace and war, could easily find work. But, that wasn’t the case. He struggled for months looking for a job but didn’t find any leads, call backs, or interviews.

It wasn’t until he attended a job fair for military spouses and transitioning military members in Fort Richardson, AK when his luck changed. Rodger Hargis, Business Developer for the Anchorage Express office, had a booth at the fair. Having served 12 years in the Army, with many of those years on Fort Richardson, Rodger knew who Stephen was by reputation, but never met him in person. Stephen hesitantly approached the Express booth and introduced himself to Rodger.

“We talked for a few minutes and Stephen handed me a resume that truly resembled an ‘After Action Review Report’ from a military operation.” Rodger said. “We discussed the need to ‘translate’ his resume into ‘civilian’ terms and I offered our office’s assistance.”

They set up an appointment and sat down to go over the details, and Rodger asked Stephen for the opportunity to help him in his search for a new career. Rodger quickly looked for opportunities to place Stephen, but soon wasn’t sure if we was going to have any success.

Eventually, there was an opening for the Director of Operations position with the Arc of Anchorage. Rodger presented Stephen and the Arc loved him. The timing was perfect as he was officially separating from service on retirement orders. After extensive interviews, including one on Skype from the east coast, he was offered the position. Stephen has now been with the organization for almost a month and is excited about the opportunity to continue serving his community.

“While the nature of his service has changed, the heart of that service beats strong and true,” Rodger said.

If you are a military veteran who is struggling with the same hurdles Stephen was, check out this blog post on how your military experience can help you find a job. Search for the Express office closest to you for more information and help with your job search. If you know a fellow associate who would be a great candidate for our associate spotlight, let your Express office know. If you have an Express associate you’d like to feature on Movin’ On Up, let us know in the comments below.

Use Your Military Experience to Find a Job

As tens of thousands of our brave men and women return home from defending our country in Afghanistan, Iraq, and abroad, they face a staggering 11.7% unemployment rate for veterans. While the job market is improving, there is still a shortage of jobs to cover the rising workload. They have little time to train anyone, so the ideal new hire is someone who has done the exact job in a similar organization.

There is a pressing need for employers to hire these veterans and for their families become integral parts of our economy. Veterans have unique qualities that employers desire, which can give them an advantage in the job search. The problem is getting that message across. Here are some ways vets can use their military experience to become one of the most sought-after candidates in the workplace.

Unique Skills, Unique Environment
Veterans generally have a strong code of ethics. They’ve gone through detailed background checks and character evaluations to even join the armed forces. Now is the chance to utilize military ethics to market a vet job seeker as trustworthy and able to handle high-level, classified information, which can make them an asset to employers.

Veterans come from a culture and workplace that focuses on action and reliability. They have been trained to finish what they say they’ll do in the established time frame. The ability to finish projects in a timely manner is highly sought after in the private sector.

Speak in Civilian Terms
Veterans are a highly skilled and educated group of people. At any length of service, veterans have had hands-on training and education on technical and leadership skills. The problem many veterans face when looking for a job is getting employers to understand the value of their military experience.

The key is to put military terms, jargon, and information into something employers understand and desire. Look at interested companies and openings and research their needs and requirements. Then, tailor the résumé and interview answers to satisfy them. If vets need help explaining their skills, military.com has an excellent tool to translate military experience into civilian terminology.

Less is More
War is ugly. With many veterans coming back from dangerous combat zones, they have stories and experiences of the most admirable pursuits of a soldier. Unfortunately, those kinds of references can make employers uncomfortable and possibly squeamish. It’s best to tone down or remove references of the battlefield when explaining applicable skills from combat.

The office is also a much different environment than that of the military. The military has a strict line of authority and behavioral policies. The civilian workplace varies from employer to employer and is full of different personalities, cultures, and styles. While the “find the problem, fix-it, and move on” attitude of the military is a quality employers seek, fellow employees may be intimidated with military office culture. It’s best for veterans to find an employer that best fits their working style and attitude.

Put Your Résumé Through Civilian Boot Camp
Movin’ On Up has a Résumé Boot Camp to help job seekers make sure their résumé is most effective. Veterans looking to get back in the workplace should put their résumé through a strict regimen of civilian review. If veterans have an industry in mind, they should ask professionals to evaluate their résumé and find out what skills and experience employers in the industry are looking for. Not only will their résumé improve, but it will also give them a chance to network.

Those brave men and women who served our country shouldn’t have to feel frustrated and excluded from finding a job, settling back down, and enjoying the freedoms they fought to defend. As a veteran, what are some ways you’ve used your military experience to help your job search?