For years, Veterans scoured the lists of "Military-Friendly Employers" with the hopes of making an instant connection with a company that prides itself on hiring military types. With high expectations on finding a job at a place where you can fit in in an instant, you click through the list of companies and browse. You get excited once you find a potential job, and submit a résumé to anything that appeals to you. You anxiously await a prompt response and just know you’ll get hired! After all, I served proudly and this company wants me, you might think.
Did you get the job?
You read list after list after list of companies ranked based on their military-friendliness. Something that seemed to be an outstanding resource (and, they are great resources!) for finding jobs in companies perfectly suited for you based on your Military roots, might not result in an instantaneous job offer.
Maybe you confused the term "Military-Friendly Employer" with what companies probably expect you to be: a "Civilian-Friendly Veteran". You need to know the difference!
Granted, you might discover a company who truly recognizes the value of hiring Veterans. You might read through the listings of Vet-Friendly Employers and admire the reasons why they hire us. You’ll get a sense of the corporate culture at the companies on the list. You might even think about your long-standing relationship or familiarity with said company. You might have been a loyal Customer of theirs for years!
But when it comes down to hiring decisions involving Veteran hires, if you think your Veteran credentials means you’ll automatically get the job, think again!
The fact that companies can tout the "Military-Friendly" title simply adds to their growing list of accolades, and this is a great thing! They can showcase their great reputation and attract the top military talent!
But make no mistake about it. The companies who hire the best and the brightest from the ranks of our Brothers & Sisters in Uniform, know exactly what they’re looking for – "Civilian-Friendly Veterans"! They hire uniquely qualified, top-notch, work-ready individuals who served. This might be you!
So, how do you become a "Civilian-Friendly Veteran" and get hired with the best "Military-Friendly Employers"?
- Read the "Military-Friendly Employers" lists to the point that you know so much information about the company, they think you already work there!
- Network with existing Employees at the company and find a Mentor who can help you learn what you need to do in order to get hired.
- Figure out a way to find out exactly why they hire Veterans. This goes far beyond the fact that the company has the "Military-Friendly Employer" designation. You need to know what they look for and translate your applicable skill set into a winning résumé, interview, and all that leads to getting hired.
- Use all available resources to connect with current Employees. LinkedIn is a great start! Get connected with Veterans with similar backgrounds and know without a shadow of a doubt, what it takes to become a "Civilian-Friendly Veteran".
Remember, just because a company makes the "Military-Friendly Employer" List, doesn’t mean you’re a shoe-in for getting hired. You’ve got work to do – the kind of work that involves changing your résumé, adjusting your approach, demonstrating a positive attitude, managing your demeanor and military bearing, maintaining an effective communication style, and many other things in order to join the team.
The answers to these things can be found if you look hard enough. When it comes to networking with existing Employees, it takes time to build trust with those who will show a genuine interest in helping you develop into a top candidate for joining these companies. All in all, if you think in terms of how you can become the best "Civilian-Friendly Veteran" (what I can humbly do for the company), rather than believing the top "Military-Friendly Employers" will hire you just because you served, your road to hiring success should prove to be a short trip!
How do you demonstrate your ability to be perceived as a "Civilian-Friendly Veteran"?