Veterans are courageous, feel comfortable in third world countries, and fight for our freedom, but how do service members’ skills that they have learned during their service transfer into skills that companies are looking for?
According to Barb O’Reilly, Director of Women Veteran and Employment Programs at the Minnesota Department of Veteran Affairs, veterans have the exact skills that employers are searching for in the sea of unemployed workers.
I had the opportunity to listen to O’Reilly speak at an Elk River Chamber of Commerce event this past week and was blown away by the different skills she rattled off that veterans’ possess that I would have never thought about, and from the look of the business leaders around me, they hadn’t thought about them either. Leadership, teamwork, ability to perform under pressure, loyalty, and competitiveness were just a few.
Continually, in the higher education sector we hear from employers who want employees with better soft skills. After listening to O’Reilly, I would direct employers to at least give veterans a second look. Their resumes may not be polished, however, they will likely make that up with their polished soft skills.
At Minnesota School of Business in Elk River we have slightly more than 50 veteran students, and out of the students who I’ve had a chance to get to know, I would recommend every single one of them. They have awesome transferrable skills. Employers just need to understand how to relate a veteran’s military work experience to a civilian’s.
In my eyes, O’Reilly said it best, “A veteran doesn’t want a hand out; they just want a chance.”