This Veteran’s Day, let’s do more than say, “Thank you for your service!”
Have you ever considered the transition a veteran goes through when they leave the service? While military training is extensive and includes years of required teamwork, advanced education, leadership, and sacrifice, many veterans struggle with how to translate their military experience to the commercial world in their resumes and interviews.
As the Global Leader for the Intuit Military Network (IMN), and as a former Navy officer, I have experienced this transition, as well as mentored many veterans over the years. Our IMN focus this year is on education, recruiting and mentoring for both veterans and hiring managers. Our goal is simple: translate skills and value.
Mentor a vet
Early in my civilian career, I once submitted a resume thinking my military experience would make a huge impact. Instead, the feedback I received was, “I don’t understand anything on your resume, and it doesn’t look like you have any real experience.”
Mentor a veteran by reviewing their resume, help them translate their experience, and teach them about different civilian opportunities. Even if they’re not a fit for your organization, you can still support them by helping with their resume and proving a commercial perspective.
How can you find a veteran to mentor?
- First, mentor a vet at your company. Check with HR or Talent Acquisition within your own organization to determine if there is already a veteran’s network. Reach out to the leader and volunteer to be a mentor and they can connect you directly with a veteran.
- Second, if that’s not an option, or If you would like to seek out a veteran to help outside of your current company, check out Vets in Tech. Their mission is to “support our current and returning veterans with re-integration services, and by connecting them to the national technology ecosystem.” Visit their site, click on “For Employers” and select the dropdown “Mentor Program.”
Help a vet network with hiring managers
Most, but not all, veterans find jobs through networking and people who take the time to help. Support veterans by helping them network, facilitating introductions, and recognizing veterans at your company so you can connect them with the right people who truly understand their experience and potential. It’s more than mentoring. This is about being an active participant in the hiring process. Ideas include helping to develop training for hiring managers on what to look for in a veteran’s resume, how to translate the skill sets and what kind of questions to ask the candidate to ascertain transferable experience.
Interview a vet
Get involved with the hiring process and consider interviewing a veteran that meets your educational and technical requirements, even if you don’t fully understand how to translate their experience. Many veterans have engineering degrees, advanced degrees, technical expertise, and years of management and leadership training. The level of individual responsibility and commitment is unparalleled in the civilian workforce.
California is the state with the highest number of veterans in the country, and we have a “target rich” environment to seek out and consider a veteran for mentorship, networking, interviewing or hiring. It is an opportunity to truly say, “Thank you for your service!” while adding to Intuit’s leadership cache at the same time.
Happy Veteran’s Day to all of our veterans and their families!