Workplace Rights

Weekly (11/20/11)

Topic of the Week  Making Ever Day Veteran's Day: How to Get Hired as a Vet

 Making Ever Day Veteran's Day: How to Get Hired as a Vet:

  • Plug MOC into SOC.
  • Promote your service.
  • Put expertise in civilian terms.
  • Pursue best prospects.

Making Ever Day Veteran's Day: How to Get Hired as a Vet
The unemployment rate for veterans is a third higher than for the rest of the population, 12% to 9%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But for younger vets, it's an even sadder story. Their unemployment rate is over 30% double that of the rest of their peers. And for young black vets, their unemployment rate approaches half. We must do better. Which reminds me of the oath, "I, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies." This is the oath of enlistment that each member of the armed forces takes upon beginning their service. Shouldn't it be time for the rest of us to take an oath to support and defend the very people who risked everything on our behalf?

The unemployment rate for vets is an embarrassment. But there is a ray of silver lining here, according to a recent study, 20% of companies are actively seeking to hire vets in the next 12 months. That's why I've included the four "P's" to give vets the tools to get hired.

Promote your service. Surprisingly, more than a quarter of employers say that vets don't actively promote their service when applying for jobs. Not only is this military experience an asset, but I'll explain in a moment how employers can actually save money when they hire vets.

Plug MOC into SOC. This wouldn't be an article for vets if it didn't contain acronyms, now would it? MOC is the Military Occupational Code and SOC is the Standard Occupational Classification. If you go to they have a translator that allows you to determine the best civilian jobs based on your military experience. Just type in your jobs in the military and you'll quickly learn the types of jobs that you can target in your civilian job search.

Put expertise in civilian terms. Hiring managers appreciate your discipline, teamwork, integrity, leadership, problem solving and ability to handle pressure. You need to play to these strengths in your resume, job applications and interviews. Don't expect employers to connect the dots on your behalf, you need to remind them why you are exactly the type of person they'd want to bring into their company.

Pursue best prospects. Hottest areas for vets according to hiring managers: Information Technology, Customer Service, Engineering and Sales. There is another aspect to best prospects that you also need to consider, companies that are military-friendly, with a track record of hiring vets. There are lists online.

A word to the 80% of employers currently not focusing on hiring vets, there is a new law that provides up to a $5,600 tax credit for hiring vets and up to a $9,600 credit for disabled vets. Veterans put themselves in harm's way for us, isn't it time that we helped them on their way to a job? Contact your local Division of Veterans Affairs office for more information on how to make every day Veterans Day.

Bob Rosner is a best-selling author and award-winning journalist. For free job and work advice, check out the award-winning Check the revised edition of his Wall Street Journal best seller, "The Boss's Survival Guide." If you have a question for Bob, contact him via

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