Hiring Vets Is Good Business

Hiring Vets Is Good Business
By Brandon Swenson July 25, 2020

Why veteran graduates are the right hire

Founded to support veteran students, UA Grantham is dedicated to helping all kinds of students, including military and veterans, succeed in the workplace. That’s why we founded the University Outreach department in 2007—to respond to changes within the military marketplace and reaffirm our focus on students.

Serving students and employers

UA Grantham’s Outreach department has grown and evolved over the years to better serve our students and our communities. Our mission to provide quality, accessible, affordable, professionally relevant programs in a continuously changing global society, however, remains unchanged. We believe that hiring vets is good business, and that drives our partnerships with organizations worldwide to help them find top talent.

Promoting military experience

As a veteran student and job candidate, you have experience and training that can set you apart from the competition. But what can you do to promote those skills?

Networking

Any time you are making a transition in life, the number one tip is networking. Meet everyone you can in your community, attend events (even if only virtually), join professional or civic organizations, set up one-on-one phone calls or coffee meetings, and volunteer in the industry. Don’t stop with just your practiced elevator speech; strive to develop actual relationships and don’t be afraid to make yourself vulnerable.

In most cases, that old cliché is true: It’s not what you know but who you know when it comes to finding your next job. This is particularly critical if you’re just returning to civilian life. Cast a wide net to create as many connections as you can and establish a network. In today’s global marketplace, it may not even matter if your connections are close by geographically. You never know when someone’s best friend’s cousin might be a business owner in the city you want to relocate to.

Socializing

When making new connections, where are people most likely to go to learn about you? Make sure your online presence is strong. Your LinkedIn profile is your virtual resume, so don’t miss this opportunity to highlight your experience and expertise. Set your Facebook, Instagram and other personal profiles to private so the content you don’t want out there for public consumption stays confidential. Also, be sure to set up a professional email address, ideally one that is based on your name and relies on as few numerical or special characters as possible (not hotrod69@gmail.com).

Seeking

One of the best places to look for employment support is your local USO Pathfinder office, where Pathfinder Scouts can help service members build a roadmap and connect with relevant resources and opportunities. You’ll also have the chance to participate in employment readiness and personal branding workshops.

You can also reach out to your state’s workforce development department. Such organizations often have multiple locations, in addition to online resources, to support jobseekers throughout the state.

And as a Grantham student or alum, you’ll of course have access to UA Grantham’s robust student support services. That includes our Career Services team, which offers help in résumé building, interview preparation, networking, salary negotiation and more.

Translating

The top five qualities that most veterans possess are resiliency, adaptability, teamwork, leadership and dedication. These are valuable traits that many employers seek out in their new hires.

It’s absolutely necessary to paint an accurate picture of your military skills and accomplishments, but it may feel difficult to translate that experience into language that civilian hiring managers understand. That’s why it’s important to know the lingo. Working with a coach, attending employment readiness workshops and seeking other military-to-civilian resources can help you learn the appropriate verbiage to make your experience shine. After all, you wouldn’t necessarily talk about “executing a mission” in a room of business professionals.

For Employers: Finding the right candidates

If you’re an employer seeking dedicated team players and experienced leaders, you may find what you’re looking for in veteran candidates. What should you know about encouraging success for veterans in your organization?

    • Don’t underestimate the importance of your company culture. Be clear about what you value.
    • Offer support for the transition from military to civilian life. Create mentorship programs with other veteran employees or develop employee resources groups specifically for veterans.
    • Highlight your employee benefits. Each person will have their own priorities and needs, but every employee is interested in health and life insurance, 401(k) programs and other essential benefits to support themselves and their family.
    • Appreciate the military mindset. Many veterans particularly value the importance of punctuality and effective time management.

Veteran and military candidates bring valuable skills and expertise to organizations of all kinds. UA Grantham is committed to helping veteran students meet their goals—and to partnering with communities and employers looking for veteran talent.

Are you ready to connect with qualified candidates? Register now to access a pool of graduates with the discipline and skills needed to hit the ground running in your organization.

 

 

About the Author

Brandon Swenson
Brandon Swenson, communications manager, is on University of Arkansas Grantham’s editorial board. A veteran and college graduate himself, he understands the benefits and intricacies of government education programs, such as veteran education benefits. Brandon earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City toward the end of his nearly two-decade tour in the United States Marine Corps.
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