Re-entering the workforce in today's job market can be a daunting task, especially for those returning from military service in Iraq and Afghanistan. Earlier this year, the Labor Department reported an 11.2 percent jobless rate for Gulf War veterans over 18 years old, 4 percentage points higher than the previous year. A new survey from CareerBuilder is offering some encouraging news with 41 percent of employers reporting they have hired U.S. veterans or members of the National Guard in the last six months. One-in-five (21 percent) are actively recruiting veterans and members of the National Guard for open positions today.
The top positions employers say they are targeting U.S. service men and women for include information technology, engineering, management and sales.
Employers Offer Advice to Job Seekers Coming Off of Active Duty
In the survey, employers offered insights into why it can be more difficult for veterans and National Guard members to find employment even though there are opportunities out there for them. One of the greatest challenges employers reported in hiring veterans is understanding how their military skills translate to civilian positions. Employers recommend that candidates clearly spell out their military responsibilities and how they are applicable to the position at hand in their resume, cover letter and interview.
Employers also said it can be hard to identify veterans because they don't always include that status on their resumes. In fact, 11 percent of veterans said they don't include their military experience when applying for positions, while 12 percent said they do so selectively. This can work to a candidate's disadvantage as 43 percent of employers stated that if they had two equally-qualified candidates, they are more likely to hire the person with military experience. Others did not have a preference either way.
Hiring managers recommend that veterans and National Guard members put a greater emphasis on marketing their military skills and accomplishments. They identified the following attributes associated with military personnel as critical to emphasize in the job search process:
-- Disciplined approach to work (68 percent) -- Ability to work as part of a team (63 percent) -- Respect and integrity (57 percent) -- Leadership (50 percent) -- Problem-solving skills (46 percent) -- Ability to perform under pressure (44 percent) -- Communication skills (37 percent) Launch of MissionGetHired.com
To help with the transition back home, CareerBuilder recently launched www.missiongethired.com, a new site with one objective: helping military professionals coming off of active duty find jobs. Veterans and National Guard members can identify employers who are sensitive to their employment needs and apply for positions in a variety of fields and locations in real time. They can also view recent news pertinent to veterans and sign up to receive automatic job alerts via email that match their skills and interests.
CareerBuilder's professional community www.brightfuse.com also offers military professionals transitioning into civilian roles a resource at http://www.brightfuse.com/Groups/transitioning-military
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder.com among 4,478 U.S. workers (employed full-time; not self-employed; non government); ages 18 over and 2,667 hiring managers and human resource professionals (employed full-time; not self-employed; with at least significant involvement in hiring decisions; non-government) ages 18 and over and between May 22nd and June 10th, 2009 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset US HR Managers, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 4,478 and 2,667 one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 1.46 percentage points and +/-1.9 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.
CareerBuilder is the global leader in human capital solutions, helping companies target and attract their most important asset - their people. Its online career site, CareerBuilder.com , is the largest in the United States with more than 23 million unique visitors, 1 million jobs and 32 million resumes. CareerBuilder works with the world's top employers, providing resources for everything from employment branding and data analysis to talent acquisition. More than 9,000 websites, including 140 newspapers and broadband portals such as MSN and AOL, feature CareerBuilder's proprietary job search technology on their career sites. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc.
Media Contact: CareerBuilder Michael Erwin 773-527-3637
First Call Analyst:
CONTACT: Michael Erwin of CareerBuilder, +1-773-527-3637,
Web Site: http://www.careerbuilder.com/