Why Veterans Make Good Employees
You lived by the creed of your respective military branch and risked your life to serve the country. Now that you’re transitioning into the civilian world, you wonder if you’ll be considered a good employee, considering your military experience and how that experience connects to the civilian workforce. While military veterans make up approximately 7.3% of the population, this percentage does not account for how many veterans enter the workforce each year.
When asked about the characteristics of a military veteran and why they make good employees, most civilian employers will mention adjectives such as heroic, leader, and discipline. However, those characteristics are a sliver compared to the true worth of a veteran. Today, you’ll discover the strengths Empire Resume contributes to veterans and be able to recognize the factors that makes them good employees.
The Strengths Military Veterans Bring to the Civilian Workforce
We know that military veterans are leaders and disciplined individuals. But what other attributes makes them good employees, besides leadership and discipline? There is much more to a veteran’s qualities than what civilian employers realize.
If employers and recruitment decision makers take the time to truly understand the assets a military veteran brings to the civilian workforce, they’ll find that their opinions surrounding veterans, and the values they bring to the civilian world, are surface based.
When hiring managers look beyond the surface, they will notice the various traits a veteran offers and how those traits can give a company leverage in its industry. Here, we’ve listed some of the important strengths that make veterans good employees:
Mission First Mindset
The military veteran has a work ethic like no other. A veteran Airmen’s work ethic is much like one of the Air Force’s core values – service before self.
While the average employee is content with mediocrity, the military veteran is committed to working diligently to render an outstanding work product.
According to the VA, a veteran’s work ethic is strong because they have a mission first mentality. Needless to say, veterans are loyal and committed to excellence.
Problem Solving and Critical Thinking
The military veteran is a master of analysis. Veterans are trained to analyze situations. They can find the root cause of the situation, find the best possible solution for the situation, establish a plan, and execute on that plan.
Veterans measure the effectiveness of the plan. No matter the issue, this unique problem-solving ability kicks in immediately. For example, Army veterans may remember the days of land navigation or what is commonly referred to as Land Nav. Here’s the problem — reach point A.
Using nothing but a colorful map and a pencil, you analyze the terrain — determine if the land is high or low elevation, look for creeks, hills, mountains and other features, and search for landmarks. Then, you develop a route to best reach your destination on foot and devise a strategy to make your way back out. Once your plan was in place, the journey began and the compass guided you on your way.
Finally, you’d sit with your superior and evaluate the effectiveness of your route or even conduct a debrief to discuss what could have been done better to help you on future land navigation related operations.
Based on the above example, you can see that veterans have great problem-solving and critical thinking skills. A LinkedIn article states that soft skills such as problem solving and critical thinking are viewed as the most valuable by hiring managers. And 59% of hiring managers believe these soft skills are hard to find.
Performing Under Pressure
The military exists to resolve conflict throughout the U.S. and worldwide. Compared to other military forces, the United States has the strongest and most powerful military in the world.
Veterans are known to perform, most times at their best, under pressure and in high stress environments. Military veterans have more than enough discipline to handle tasks under pressure and, most importantly, they will thrive while the average employee crumbles.
The military fosters a team building atmosphere. Military veterans will carry the team builder quality with them on their civilian jobs. Although veterans are trained to lead, they know how to step back when necessary while including every person on the team, getting them involved in accomplishing the task at issue, and boosting the overall spirit of the team.
Unfortunately, the team builder approach doesn’t come natural for the veteran’s civilian counterparts. In the civilian world, the name of the game is survival of the fittest and every person for themselves.
When companies incorporate veterans into the workforce, veterans can help civilians learn this team building trait, therefore allowing the trait to permeate throughout the company.
Adapting and Overcoming
Veterans are always out of their comfort zone. The life of a veteran includes constantly living in different places within the U.S. and abroad. For this reason, they can quickly adapt to unfamiliar situations and overcome.
The military veteran is much like a chameleon and can adjust and blend into their surroundings. You know what the Marine Corps says:
“Improvise, Adapt, Overcome.”
The adapt and overcome characteristic works well for a civilian employer because the veteran can take on different tasks and perform additional job duties with ease.
Negotiating and Crisis Management Skills
A veteran has top-notch negotiation and crisis management skills. Think about the types of situations they’ve experienced. Hostage and combat situations often involve negotiating and crisis management.
Veterans have patience and will take time to manage and preserve relationships within the company and team they work with.
Veterans do not take issues personally, nor do they bring their own personal beliefs to situations. Mission first, remember? In that aspect, they can accept other’s views and work to develop solutions that will make all parties happy.
The Art of Delegation
Because veterans come from an atmosphere where teamwork makes the dream work, they have no problem making sure that everyone on the team has a role in a task.
They can quickly gauge a person’s strengths and weaknesses and give the person a task that will show that individual’s strengths. Doing so provides an opportunity for the person to grow and show value. At the end of the day, this art of delegation benefits the veteran’s employer.
Military Veterans Represent Diversity in the Civilian World
Veterans bring a sense of diversity and global perspectives from their experience in the military. The majority of the reasons why veterans make good employees are not listed on their military to civilian resumes. Therefore, it is important for hiring managers and employers to look beyond the surface when it comes to veterans.
Civilian companies and business owners are aware that its people are the greatest asset. As a veteran, you will notice civilian companies implementing diversity programs and proclaiming that they are committed to diversity.
Today, employers use diversity initiatives to drive change and improve the company’s structure. Veterans are a key component of this, as they are a true representation of diversity.
Below are some companies who hire military veterans and value diversity:
Civilian Employers Reap Benefits of Hiring Veterans
Civilian employers’ profit in several ways when they hire veterans. Not only do they obtain a valuable employee, they reap many benefits such as governmental tax credits and other financial incentives. Some of the advantages mentioned in Empire Resume’s article entitled Benefits of Hiring Veterans include the following:
- The Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) to Hire Heroes Act of 2011
- Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC)
- Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E)
Additional advantages that civilian employers gain from hiring military veterans include the following:
- Unemployment Tax Credits
- Wounded Warrior Tax Credits
VOW Act Calls for Reality in the Transition Assistance Program (TAP)
According to the Department of Labor, the VOW Act of 2011 requires service members separating from the military to attend the Transition Assistance Program (TAP). The VOW Act also required the U.S. Department of Labor to make TAP more realistic when it comes to today’s job market.
Unfortunately, even today, the TAP comes with shortcomings that confuse and leaves transitioning veterans unsure of how they fit it in the workplace. They also wonder whether they can be a marketable candidate in the civilian world.
Empire Resume Helps Show Why Veterans Make Good Employees
Empire Resume works with veterans to help clearly showcase why they’re good employees with military to civilian resume writing services. We specialize in writing resumes for veterans of the Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marine Corps and we are experts in helping veterans’ transition into the civilian world.
Whether you’re a veteran job finder or you’ve officially settled into the civilian workforce, you’ll always be a good employee for an employer, whether in the private or public sector.
Veterans make good employees — not just because an employer benefits financially from hiring them, but because veterans are trained to be good employees. Veterans are skilled. Veterans are prepared. Veterans will walk through the door ready to handle the mission from day one.
Dr. Phillip Gold is President/CEO of Empire Resume and has vast experience writing resumes for service-members transitioning from the military into civilian roles. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Air Force responsible for leading nuclear missile security. Phillip is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and holds a BA in Communications from The Ohio State University, an MS in Instructional Technology, an MBA in Finance, and a PhD in Finance.