Veterans of the military may have a difficult time describing the skills that they gained in the military in their resumes and during interviews. Your company’s resume reviewers and interviewers may need to take some extra efforts to extract these skills and characteristics from resumes.
We first recommend first reviewing the list of essential non-technical skills and the research from the RAND Corporation that explains how these specific essential skills are trained in the various standardized military training courses. Later this year, the RAND Corporation will publish additional materials on how service members gain these essential skills and characteristics from their on-the-job experiences.
You can extract these skills and characteristics during your interviews with veteran job candidates by directly asking them questions about their experiences in these areas. Ask the veteran job candidate to provide examples of his or her experiences in different assignments and you may hear desirable skills emerge. We also recommend leveraging other veterans in your organization who can further translate resumes based on your organization’s needs.
As you reach out to recruit veterans, avoid generalizations. Understand the military is a large, diverse organization and each veteran will come to your company with diverse and different experiences. Consider a veteran’s status as a signaling mechanism, as you would a diploma from a top college or a credential such as the SPHR certification. All of these factors demonstrate notable achievement and confirm the individual has met certain standards. However, just as you will find variations among graduates of top schools or certifications, you may find variation among veteran job candidates. Some candidates may be more accomplished than others in certain areas, and some may do better in your organization than others.
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