When asked why employers should hire veterans, the president of VetJobs, a jobs site for former service members and their families, once said:
“How many of the vice presidents in your company manage a $30,000,000 budget, lead 18 people – that is a good ratio of people to money – go through twelve months of extensive training to learn their equipment, and if they make a mistake, will take the City of Jacksonville off the face of the earth? I just gave you the basic job description of a weapons officer on a frigate in Mayport, Florida, who also has several other collateral duty assignments. And by the way, that weapons officer is a female who just turned 25 years old.”
Today’s military comprises highly trained and educated, technically savvy workers. And yet, during the recession, unemployment rates for veterans far exceeded that of the non-veteran workforce, climbing to 12.1 percent in 2011 (compared to a non-veteran unemployment rate of 8.7 percent). Since then, economic recovery and programs offering tax cuts to companies that employ veterans have driven the rate down. The unemployment rate for all veterans in 2015 was 4.6 percent, although the rate for post-9/11 veterans was still higher than the national average at 5.8 percent, down from 7.2 percent in 2014.
Despite positive trends, former service members who transition to civilian work face challenges, including applying their experience to a non-military structure and work culture. Fortunately, there are job resources specifically geared toward veterans and their families.
If you’re a veteran and you’re looking for help finding a job, these are a few places to start:
VetJobs is one of the oldest free online job resources for veterans, and has been around since 1999. Anyone can apply to jobs posted on the VetJobs site, but only veterans and their family can post resumes. Users can search jobs by category, keyword, company, or reference number, and restrict searches by location.
MilitaryHire.com is free for veterans, who can search the jobs database by location, keyword, job type, and company name. The site also offers resources on resume writing, interviewing, job searching, and transitioning to civilian life.
Interested in a government job? Feds Hire Vets is a good place to start. Not a jobs board but a resource, the site has exhaustive information on applying for veterans’ preference, which gives former military a leg up on the competition for federal jobs, as well as a detailed explanation of how federal jobs get filled. Once you’re up to speed on the process, your next stop will be USAJOBS, the next site on our list.
Although not specifically for veterans, USAJOBS offers information on obtaining veterans’ preference for federal jobs listed through its site. Like Feds Hire Vets, USAJOBS is run by the Office of Personnel Management.
Tell Us What You Think
Have you ever used any of the resources on this list, or others that you’d add? We want to hear from you. Tell us your thoughts in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter.