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Overcoming Objections in the Job Search

Entering or returning to the civilian workforce with the perfect job after your military career… It’s what our Veterans dream of, but the path to finding it can be tough. From stringent hiring requirements to difficult interviews to second-guessing about skill translations; the process can be challenging. But there are choices when it comes to the path you should follow. Temporary employment is one of them. As a Snelling Field Employee, the focus is on you and finding your best-fit position – the right job that, right now, fits your needs, your lifestyle and your standards.

At Snelling, we call it People +. You can rest assured that you are able to leverage resources that focus on who you are and what you can offer. We work hard every day, positioning our Military Veterans in quality jobs with quality companies that allow them to use the valuable skills they bring with them. When you work with Snelling, you get:

  • More than 70% stated they wanted to hire veterans because they have good leadership and teamwork skills.
  • About 50% cited character as a good reason to hire a veteran.
  • More than 1/3 said that they hired veterans specifically for their expertise.
  • More than 1/3 stated that they valued veterans’ ability to adjust and adapt their decisions and act decisively in dynamic and uncertain environments.
  • Nearly 30 % said hiring veterans was the “right thing” to do
  • About 10% said hiring veterans garnered good publicity for their firm.

However, these same employers also cited several reasons NOT to hire veterans The following are the 4 most common objections stated by employers.

  1. Over 60% reported problems with skills translation, stating that veterans continue to not represent their skills and expertise in ways that are relevant to civilian companies.
  2. Approximately 55% pointed out several negative stereotypes of veterans, including concerns about service-connected disorders, such PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), an inability to think creatively and being too rigid in approaching a problem/situation.
  3. Over 40% reported that they were willing to hire veterans but that their skills are simply mismatched for the job post. In addition, a lack of qualifications and/or certifications was quoted (especially in the medical field).
  4. About 35% reported concerns about future deployments.

So here is a list of 4 things that veterans can do to help overcome these objections.

  1. Communicate military service clearly on resume – This is “Job #1”, and the onus is on you to show how you can be a valuable addition. Civilian employers do not know that military-specific jobs – such as machine gunner or a tank driver or even a helicopter crew chief – have skills that can directly transfer to a civilian workplace. So show them. Translate your military experience into civilian terms.

    There are many resources out there, including several military skills translators, but these should only be used as a starting point. They are very general, and they only tend to identify skills specific to the military occupation entered. Start with these translators, but then make a long list of your job duties, and then in small, digestible chunks begin to translate them into civilian terms. Think about your grandparents or parents. If they cannot understand what you did while in the military, neither will most hiring managers.

  2. Educate and debunk the myths surrounding service-connected disorders, such as PTSD – Employers can play a powerful role in the recovery and rehabilitation of returning veterans as well as debunking the myths surrounding them. About 8% of the U.S. population will develop PTSD at some point in their lives, and not all of them are veterans. It is not brought on by a weakness of character, and it does not make someone prone to violence. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website contains a lot of information for employers about PTSD and does a wonderful job debunking many of the myths surrounding the condition.
  3. Education and Certification – During a recent study employers stated that they prefer military applicants who hold a degree, with 71% stating that the degree is more important than the major. Even with military experience, a high school diploma is not enough to set you apart from other job seekers.

    In fact, the overwhelming majority of employers stated that they would prefer a candidate with 10 years of military experience with a college degree vs. 20 years of military experience but no college degree. Look into college. Your military career has given you the self-direction and discipline needed for the classroom. Remember, if you can handle basic training, you can handle college courses.

  4. Relieve fears of deployment – The median tenure that U.S. workers spend in their current job is 4.4 years according to a recent study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average reservist gets deployed once every five years. Military men and women are no more likely to get deployed than their civilian counterparts are to find a new job.

Transitioning from a military career to a civilian career can be an exciting new chapter in your life, but it is not easy to do. The transition can be hard. It takes time, and you will need to build a support network around yourself to be successful.

Snelling is here to help. We understand that returning veterans are a different kind – a powerful kind – of candidate. Our offices across the country are working to help veterans to enter or re-enter the civilian workforce. Visit our website and locate your local Snelling office today to begin the process.