Magazine article University Business

Hiring Warriors: Tap Veterans on Campus to Better Understand Military Culture, Competencies and Skills

Magazine article University Business

Hiring Warriors: Tap Veterans on Campus to Better Understand Military Culture, Competencies and Skills

Article excerpt

Like many employers, higher ed institutions are reaching out to military veterans to fill skilled positions. Military service offers rich opportunities for individuals to develop a wide variety of skills that translate to well-paying jobs in the civilian world.

However, deciphering a veterans work history is tricky. Resumes may be cluttered with military jargon, acronyms or technical certifications. Without a military background, it's difficult--if not impossible--for a civilian to assess a veterans abilities. Still, recruiters can implement effective tactics to not only understand military culture, but also to better translate skills and competencies to give veterans a fighting chance at jobs.

Decoding responsibilities

If your school doesn't support any type of veteran's center, try reaching out to your local chamber of commerce, says Julia Ruddock-Elliott, manager of employer development in the Office of Career Services at the University of Tampa. She served for four years as an Army engineer, managing construction jobs in Iraq.

Some chambers of commerce have committees dedicated to transitioning military members into civilian life. Similar groups can also be found online. Ruddock-Elliott, for example, is a member of several LinkedIn groups that help recruiters translate military terminology on resumes and become more aware of military culture. Just type "military transition groups" in the search box and more than 100 groups appear.

An alternative is Googling the candidate's rank and number of years served. Again, plenty of resources pop up, including an Army Study Guide (www. armystudyguide.com). Recruiters can develop a good idea about the candidates duties, authority and even salary.

"It takes a skilled recruiter to get underneath the layer of what's on a resume," says Ruddock-Elliott.

Take an avionics technician in the Army who performed maintenance on helicopters, for example. "That person is probably good with basic electronics and can maybe work with pumps, pneumatics and hydraulics," says Michael Arsenault, vice president of candidate services at Bradley Morris, a national military placement firm in Georgia. "They can do maintenance on security systems and perhaps troubleshooting of equipment that's on the campus of the university or college. …

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