We have discussed the challenges that United States veterans and their spouses experience, but one of the most significant problems is finding a quality job. As the country dubs May 9 “Military Spouse Appreciation Day,” it is important to remember that employers give these Americans a fairer chance at getting a job.
“Through the Joining Forces initiative, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden are expanding employment opportunities for veterans, transitioning service members, and their spouses while advocating for new legislation to bolster professional development services,” President Barack Obama said in a statement on this day.
Obama’s announcement comes weeks after the Departments of Education, Veterans Affairs Labor and Defense, as well as the Office of Personnel Management launched the Veterans Employment Center. This website that allows veterans to apply for jobs exclusively dedicated to them, publicly display their resumes and evaluate the benefits they’ve accrued from being a part of the military, USA Today reported.
The Veterans Employment Center website is the first of its kind, also allowing veteran spouses and beneficiaries to take advantage of these opportunities as well.
“Today we need you to start thinking and talking about yourselves for a change,” First Lady Michelle Obama told attendees at the job summit at Fort Campbell in Kentucky. “Don’t be afraid to brag a little bit about yourselves.”
This changed mindset is one of many adjustments soldiers and veterans have to begin thinking about as the longest war in U.S. history is coming to an end. While thinking as a team or unit was important in active duty, taking the time to switch gears will make transitioning toward civilian life easier. Marine Sergeant Dakota Meyer, another speaker at the Kentucky summit told others about his transition.
Meyer was among thousands of post-September 11 veterans who had to translate his skills as a sniper to keywords appealing to HR software solutions. He explained that the difference can be “something as small as in the military we call it a mission and in the corporate world they call it a project.” These tweaks will make veterans more appealing to hiring managers, but businesses also have to do their part to help veterans land jobs.
Over 100 businesses like Capital One and UPS have job listings on the Veterans Employment Center thus far and many others are invited to apply as long as reach out to the Department of Veteran Affairs and the Internal Revenue Service. U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez estimates that more than 1 million veterans will be coming in the near future, so employers who want to recruit veterans need to account for this goal in their HR software.