Interview tips for veterans—Use these 3 tips to help prepare for a job interview

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Male supervisor sits at desk in his office

by Tricia Hutchinson

Congratulations, vet! You managed to survive military life and transition out of the military. Reentering the civilian job market means that you will have to face the interview process. So how do you take all those skill you learned in the military and apply them to your new life?

There are a few tips and tricks that will help you navigate the transition to working in the civilian sector, Now you have plenty of time on your hands to grow that epic veteran beard and catch up on your sleep. Once you’ve gotten those things off your plate, you’re going to need to acquire some funds, which means you are about to have to enter the civilian job market. Reentering the civilian job market means that you will have to face the interview process. So how do you take all those skill you learned in the military and apply them to your new life?

There are a few tips and tricks that will help you navigate the transition to working in the civilian sector, so get out a pen and pad, because you will see this material again.

Once you walk through the door for your job interview, every question you are asked will fall into one of three categories:

  • “Tell me about yourself.”
  • “Tell me about your work history/qualifications for this job.”
  • “Why are you interested in this job/company?”

Answering these questions the right way will get you a long way towards accomplishing your objective; a successful job interview is 90% preparation and 10% luck, so here are three tips (positive and negative) to help you prepare:

Highlight your military experience.

You bring something unique to every interview that you take: your military experience. Whether you were an artillery forward observer, a chaplain’s assistant, or an infantryman, you bring something extra to the table that your civilian counterparts do not. If contemporary experience has taught us anything, it’s that veterans of the United States military are some of the most widely admired and highly thought of members of society. So congratulations on officially being one of the cool kids. While there is a time and place to live up to the “quiet professional” label, a job interview is not one of them. So highlight your military experience and if there’s another veteran on the interview team, all the better.

Make your military experience relatable.

One thing you ought to be doing for every interview is tailoring your answers for the specific job you are seeking. However, as you well know, there are some aspects of military life that do not cross over into the civilian sphere. Therefore, when you describe your military job, describe it in a way that your interviewer will understand. Were you a NCO responsible for a squad? Congratulations, you were a manager. Did you plan operations in Afghanistan or Iraq? Excellent! You can describe these missions as projects—projects which you oversaw.

Your average civilian interviewer doesn’t understand the ins-and-outs of infantry operations or the planning that goes into planning religious support for deployments. So it’s your job to translate your experience into language that they’ll be able to understand.

Drop the jargon.

Every job has its own jargon and internal language that’s unique to the community, and the military is no different. Keep in mind, however, that military jargon is incomprehensible to the uninitiated, so don’t use jargon that you don’t explain. Don’t assume that your interview knows what you mean by SOP (standard operating procedure), or by some other acronym that’s in common use in the military. Another good term to stop using is “latrine.” Civilians don’t relieve themselves into holes in the ground or PVC pipes leading to pits of filth and shame. Call it a bathroom. For everyone’s sake, don’t ever use FUBAR. And while we’re at it, leave the “hooah” at home.

The transition back to civilian life can be tough, but with time and preparation, there is no reason that any veteran cannot market the unique skills and intangibles that he or she possesses and become a success in the civilian environment.

Read the complete article and more from Human Technologies Inc. at htijobs.com

From Section Leader to Software Engineer

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Cody Baerman pictured with his wife in him fatigues

How I utilized my G.I. Bill benefits to launch a career in coding.

By Cody Baermann

I served in the U.S. Marine Corps for four years as a section leader in the infantry. I supervised training for a team of 20, identified and worked on potential deficiencies in our unit, and was a direct adviser to senior management. I was stationed in Afghanistan, behind a machine gun. It was a very different world.

Before I got into coding, right after getting out of the Marine Corps, I was a full-time college student. I was going job to job and was having a hard time deciding exactly what I wanted to do. I changed my major three times – from chemistry to electrical engineering to biology. The only common denominator in all those majors was that they all required a basic coding class.

My wife and I sat down to discuss the aspects of school that I enjoyed the most. All things pointed toward coding. One of the biggest appeals to me is having the ability to create whatever I want – having that freedom to make visualizations come to life. Our daughter was very young, so there was the aspect of my family leaning on me.

From a financial perspective, many coding bootcamps are covered under GI Bill benefits, including Coding Dojo. It was an all-or-nothing situation – just believing in my abilities, and knowing as a family we would work out.

Coding Dojo had an introductory platform they strongly suggested learning: basic algorithms, getting used to the syntax of code. After that, we built programs, which was a whole different level of coding. I did the “follow-alongs” to get the programs to work.

The biggest obstacle I hit was understanding the syntax in the C# track. In those times, if the material doesn’t immediately make sense, you have to put in the work hours. Coding bootcamp is very condensed – you have to put in the time if you want to succeed. It involved a lot of repetition, reworking the same assignments, until the material cemented in my brain.

Coding Dojo had a “20/20 rule”: Stay with a problem for 20 minutes, then ask a partner to help you figure it out. If the two of you can’t do that after 20 minutes, then ask an instructor. The rule promotes teamwork. Once you get into software engineering and development, that’s an important skill to have. There was never a time we felt the coursework was too much, because there was always someone to lean on and solicit help from.

I was anxious as graduation approached. Obviously, with a family, I wanted to get employment right away, so I put the pressure on myself. I sent the same resume to every company – which isn’t the soundest strategy. The key is looking closely at the job description, noting the language they use, incorporating those words, and then tailoring some of your personal projects to that job. Having multiple projects that you can interchange on a resume is important. If you’re applying for a Python developer position, instead of just having one Python project on there, you should list two or three. It proves how well-versed you are in that language.

After a while in the job hunt, Amazon Web Services came out of the blue and they moved very quickly. The second they got in contact, everything just took off. I did a Chime interview, and then after three or four days, I got a phone call with the job offer. It was a big stress reliever to get that call.

When you’re in a military bootcamp, you don’t have a choice to be there. You wake up whenever they want to wake you up, doing whatever they want you to do. In coding bootcamp, you are in charge of your own success. You have to get up and make yourself do it. You have to be self-accountable to succeed; if you don’t, it’s going to be difficult.

The best approach is to be focused and put in the long hours. The more you learn, the easier getting a job will be. You’re going to coding bootcamp to better your life and your family’s future. There will always be self-doubt and challenges. It’s not easy jamming years of learning into just a few months. But once I got going, there was never a point when I thought I couldn’t do it. You just have to fight your way through and be mentally strong. That’s the nature of coding.

Veteran Career Center Portal Launching in December

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An illustration of a man in a suit standing in front of a large key hole shaped entrance

Estimated to launch in December, the Veteran Career Center job portal’s mission is to connect veterans to a successful civilian career where they can continue putting their talents into practice. Veterans will be able to search through tens of thousands of jobs. This platform is designed to assist veterans who have recently been discharged who may have difficulties finding a job. American companies that hire veterans will benefit from several qualifications they have acquired during their years of service.

Some of the most valued and demanded skills are:

  • Quick learning
  • Leadership
  • Teamwork
  • Adapting
  • Resilience
  • Critical thinking

In addition to these great qualifications, your company can receive up to $9,600 in tax credit. The Work Opportunity Tax Credit is a federal program from the U.S. government to incentivize more job opportunities for groups that could have difficulties being employed. One of the target groups for this program is veterans. When hiring a qualified WOTC veteran, your company is eligible to receive a tax credit for up to $9,600 per new hire. This can greatly benefit the companies’ tax liability.

Below you can see the criteria to consider a veteran as WOTC qualified:

  • Unemployed for a total period of at least 4 weeks (whether or not consecutive), but less than 6 months in the one-year period ending on the hiring date. Tax credit amount: $2,400.
  • Unemployed for a total period of at least 6 months (whether or not consecutive) in the one-year period ending on the hiring date. Tax credit amount: $5,600.
  • A disabled veteran entitled to compensation for a service-connected disability hired not more than one year after being discharged or released from active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces. Tax credit amount: $4,800.
  • A disabled veteran entitled to compensation for a service-connected disability who is unemployed for a total period of at least six months (whether or not consecutive) in the one-year period ending on the hiring date. Tax credit amount: $9,600.
  • A member of a family receiving assistance under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (food stamps) for at least 3 months during the first 15 months of employment. Tax credit amount: $2,400.

Source: globenewswire.com

The 10 Best States for Military Retirees

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Older couple together smiling

Military retirees may find themselves dropped into another war—the one the US is waging against the coronavirus. COVID-19 has killed more Americans than the Vietnam War did and has led to government measures similar to that of wartime, such as restrictions on going out and the conversion of factories to make essential supplies.

Many of our military retirees will need emotional support as they transition back to civilian life amid the pandemic, but may find that support sharply cut back by social distancing. The skyrocketing unemployment rate caused by COVID-19 and the resulting lockdowns will also stand as an obstacle to any former military personnel looking to get civilian jobs.

Even without a pandemic, retirement from the military is always difficult, with many retirees facing major struggles, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), disability and homelessness. These veterans must also consider how state tax policies on military benefits vary, along with the relative friendliness of different job markets and other socioeconomic factors when choosing a state in which to settle down.

To help ease the burden on our nation’s military community, WalletHub compared 50 states and the District of Columbia based on their ability to provide a comfortable military retirement. Our analysis uses a data set of 29 key metrics, ranging from veterans per capita to number of VA health facilities to job opportunities for veterans.

10 Best States for Military Retirees

1          Virginia

2          Florida

3          South Carolina

4          Maryland

5          New Hampshire

6          Alabama

7          Maine

8          Minnesota

9          Alaska

10        Idaho

Source: wallethub.com

Veterans: Interested in a Federal Job?

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A woman smiling with a laptop and two small American flags in front of her

Working for the federal government can be a great option for veterans. Depending on the circumstances, government jobs can offer greater stability than jobs with private companies.

In addition, veterans’ skills often transfer readily to federal agency work, making veterans particularly valued candidates.

How are federal civil service jobs structured?

There are three distinct areas in federal civil service:

  • Competitive Service: offers the greatest number of federal jobs, based in the executive branch of federal government, and veterans’ preference applies. Search for these on USAJOBS.gov
  • Excepted Service: jobs that are excepted from rules of competitive service—agencies may hire in this category when it’s not feasible or practical to hire under competitive service rules. Job notices may either be on USAJOBS.gov or on individual agency websites. Veterans’ preference applies.
  • Senior Executive Service: primarily executive or managerial jobs, emphasizing leading change, leading people, driving results, business acumen, and building coalitions. Some job notices are published on USAJOBS.gov; many are internal postings. Veterans’ preference does not apply.

What is veterans’ preference?

Veterans’ preference gives eligible veterans preference in hiring over many other applicants. It does not guarantee veterans a job and it does not apply to internal agency actions such as promotions and transfers. Eligibility for veteran’s preference is based on dates of active duty service and other specifics of service; not all active duty service qualifies. Learn more about veterans’ preference. 

How can you find federal job openings?

Your federal job search process starts with identifying the type of job you want. Then search for titles related to that job on the USAJOBS website. There are many federal agencies and on any given day USAJOBS lists thousands of jobs available with most of these agencies. You don’t need an account to search for a job, but you must register to apply.

You can apply to most federal jobs with a resume. Use the resume builder on USAJOBS to help ensure your resume is appropriate for federal job applications. Federal resumes must be targeted and tailored to the position, and are usually several pages long, compared to 1-2-page resumes for private sector jobs.

How do you ensure you qualify?

Vacancy announcement” is the federal government’s term for a job description, and it’s critical that you read each carefully to ensure you qualify before applying. There is a difference between being eligible and qualified for federal positions; to be selected, a candidate must meet both criteria.

Eligible

Being eligible for a position means meeting basic criteria. Make sure to review the criteria listed in the “who may apply” section of the announcement. While veterans have access to many of the positions posted on USAJOBS.gov, some jobs may limit the candidate pool, for example, to current employees only.

Qualified

To be qualified for a position, you must meet the specialized skills, specific experience, and any other criteria outlined in the vacancy announcement. Vacancy announcements have a special section for qualifications and evaluations. This is the most important section in determining whether you qualify for the position, so analyze this section to find the key words and specific skills to include in your resume.

Source: careeronestop.org

Six Things Veterans Can Do to Successfully Transition from A Military Career

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transition-to-civilian

Veterans making military career changes can be challenging and stressful. While transitioning from the military, choosing a career at VA can make the experience a lot easier and less stressful.

At VA, we understand the unique circumstances transitioning service members face and have created plenty of resources and tools to support you in your move to a new career. You will work alongside other veterans as you continue your mission to serve.

Here are six things you can do to successfully transition from a military career to one at VA:

  1. Prepare for your transition well in advance.

Planning and preparing for your next move can help relieve stress and boost your confidence. Take advantage of what’s available to you while you’re still a service member, such as the Department of Defense Transition Assistance Program.

Take stock of your skills and think about how you could parlay them into a job at VA. For instance, VA created the Intermediate Care Technician (ICT) Program to hire former medics and military corpsmen into positions at VA medical centers. Ask supervisors for letters of referral or to serve as job references. Brush off your resume and make it shine.

Talk with former service members who have already transitioned to civilian careers for tips and moral support. If you think you want to switch careers or need more education or training to make you competitive in your current career, explore educational opportunities and see how VA benefits may support you.

  1. Make LinkedIn your best friend

LinkedIn is an invaluable career tool that can help you network, search for jobs and take advantage of career-building resources. VA offers transitioning service members a free year of LinkedIn Prime, which includes more than 14,000 LinkedIn learning courses.

LinkedIn Prime also has two learning paths for Veterans: Transition from Military to Civilian Employment and Transition from Military to Student Life. Need some help navigating LinkedIn? Check out these four VA Careers videos for tips on using LinkedIn for your job search.

  1. Activate your support network

Job hunting can take a toll on even the most persistent job seeker. That’s why having a support network is a good idea. In addition to current and former military colleagues, family members, neighbors, friends and acquaintances may all potentially be great contacts.

You might be surprised to learn where they worked, who they know and who they might be able to connect you with. Keep an open mind and network, network, network!

  1. Spend time on the VA Careers website

The VA Careers website has all kinds of resources to help you explore and apply for positions at VA. A page dedicated to veterans has useful information about benefits and veterans’ hiring preference — and lets you view available opportunities or search for specific VA careers.

On our Navigating the Hiring Process page, you’ll find an instructional guide that can help you search and apply for positions through USAJOBS.gov, as well as tips for preparing and submitting a job application.

The VA Careers blog is chock full of information about topics like how to ace a cover letter, how VA helps transitioning service members and spouses pursue civilian careers and what you can expect in a post-military career at VA. Consider participating in virtual career fairs, allowing you to speak with VA recruiters and learn about available positions.

5. Contact a VA recruiter

Be proactive and email a VA recruiter. Connecting with a VA recruiter will speed the job application process and help you secure an interview. A recruiter can answer questions and guide you on finding the opportunity that best matches your skillset, preparing your resume and planning for interviews.

6. Finally, don’t give up!

Finding a job takes time and patience, especially in a tight job market. Create a transition plan, rely on your network, use LinkedIn often, take advantage of all the resources VA Careers has to offer, connect with a recruiter and stick with it!

Source: VA.gov

3 Career Fields That Require Experience That Veterans Already Have

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IT Professional working on a laptop

By Jay Hicks

Preparing for the transition from active duty to civilian life can be challenging, especially when it comes to career choices.

If you are in mid-transition to civilian life, you probably have been told to hone your resume for the job you want. If you’re concerned about relating your military skills to the rest of world, don’t worry. Here are three great career fields for your career after the military.

LOGISTICS
It’s not just for the loggies anymore! The outlook through 2025 indicates 21% growth for the logistics industry, far better than the national outlook average of 11%.

How many inventories have you been involved with? Have you worked in the NBC or arms room? You know how to order supplies, stock and issue repair parts, clothing and gear utilizing the supply system. You have been responsible for proper transaction follow up and receipt procedures, how to enhance warehouse layout and storage, and the proper operation of the Government Purchase Card Program.

You have driven countless miles, performed duties associated with hazardous material control and management, and maintained inventory databases for material stocked in warehouses and storerooms.

You have received expert training from the military for the career field of logistics. Your leadership, planning skills, and adaptability enable you to successfully transition into this great career field as a logistics manager. So how do you get started?

First, your skill set needs to be translated and repackaged so that hiring managers can quickly understand who you are. Second, you may need to get a certification, but not necessarily a four-year degree. However, a minimum of a High School (HS) Diploma or Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is required.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM), Institute of Certified Professional Managers (ICPM), Institute of Hazardous Materials Management (IHMM), Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP), and Mail Systems Management Association all provide logistics certifications for veterans interested in getting ahead in the commercial supply career field.

If you decide to take a deeper dive into commercial logistics, read “The Transitioning Military Logistician” which is part of the “Transitioning Military Series”, available on Amazon and at AAFES.
You may be unaware, but you already are a Project Manager! If you enjoy planning, scheduling, and executing operations, your future career path could be project management.

Your leadership and planning skills and your adaptability, ingrained during military service, will enable you to successfully transition into project management. Action officer, training officer, operations planner, commander, platoon sergeant, are all military terms that equate to project manager in the commercial world. Best of all, project management spans all industries.

Project Management pays well, provides for a definitive career ladder, and has a very positive future. Nearly 12 million project management related jobs will be added globally by 2022. Further, the average salary in the US for Project Managers with 5 years’ experience is nearly $100,000. You can expect a 16% bump with the coveted Project Management Professional (PMP)® Certification.
The Project Management Institute (PMI)® is the certifying body for the PMP. It is a great organization to belong to during your transition and certification process.

You can enhance your network with project managers in commercial industry while attending meetings and learning about the career field. Further, many local chapters have a PMI Military Liaison that can assist you with your certification process and link you to mentors.

You do not need a degree to be a project manager, but you may need experience and certification. If you lack experience, get certified as a Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)®. The PMP®, recognizes demonstrated experience, skill and performance in leading and directing projects.

An excellent resource for learning more about this exciting career field is “The Transitioning Military Project Manager”, part of the “The Transitioning Military Series”.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (IT)
The outlook for the IT career field is incredibly positive. The IT industry continues to enjoy unfettered growth, as the IT career field will grow 13% over the next 4 years. Glassdoor states the national average for IT salaries is currently over $69,080 per year.

Computers and information systems managers should expect a 15% growth through 2022, with a median salary over $120,000 per year.
Your IT skills from the military are transportable and desirable!

There is an increasing demand for skilled IT professionals, enabling you to launch into the lucrative career. You may start out as a technician, but as you develop, you could end up as the CIO, Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), or Chief Operations Officer (COO).

Another lucrative path is cybersecurity, which is needed for all functions and jobs within IT. Either direction, you will be heavily rewarded for years to come. An additional way to gain a more in-depth understanding of the IT career field, is by reading “The Transitioning Military Information Technology Professional” or “The Transitioning Military Cybersecurity Professional”, which are both components of the “Transitioning Military Series,” both available at AAFES and on Amazon.

Source: news.clearancejobs.com

Skills Veterans Bring to the Contracting and Construction Industry

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Three contractors from Hoosier Contractors sit on top of their newly completed roofing project

By: Josh White, President of Hoosier Contractors  

Recognized by the U.S. government every year, November marks Veterans and Military Families Month, with Veterans Day falling on Nov. 11.

During this month, the country honors the brave men and women and their families who have served or are continuing to serve our nation through increased awareness and support. In the lead up to November’s annual celebrations, it’s important to provide a broader perspective on how veterans can be invaluable assets to the job force.

Oftentimes, it can be difficult for employers to recognize the key experiences and transferable skills veterans acquire during their time of military service. This creates a deep knowledge gap between veterans entering the workforce and employers searching for top talent in their industries. One industry that stands out amongst the rest in terms of hiring veterans is the contracting and construction industry.

A total of 15.5% of all U.S. veterans will enter the construction industry at some point, and about 666,400 veterans are currently working in this field. These hard-working and determined individuals can contribute in an assortment of ways to this industry, bringing their military background of unique skillsets to an American workforce in dire need of productive workers.

Experience working in a diverse team setting.  

From the moment they enter the service, military veterans are taught that genuine teamwork derives from a responsibility to one’s peers. Being an ultimate team player is not taken lightly, as members must learn to think in terms of the greater good of the team and what they can do to improve, grow and strengthen it. A blend of individual and group responsibilities allows veterans to work side-by-side successfully with teammates of all backgrounds – regardless of gender, race, religion, economic status or geographic origin. As much of the job force is done with a team in a diverse workspace, veterans with vast teamwork experience are already ahead of the curve.

Easily trainable, adaptable and determined.

Veterans continuously learn, develop and grow from day one. As situations can change rapidly and without notice, veterans master adaptability and learn to improvise as their specific roles can be affected day to day. Adaptable and capable, veterans are quick learners with little that can faze them. Not to mention that veterans are persistent and determined, sticking with a problem or solution until results are achieved. An ongoing focus on development not only proves successful for the individual, but for their team and their organization as well.

Putting the team first.

When military personnel enter into the service, the majority of whom have just reached adulthood, they quickly learn the skills to be a good follower and obtain the experience to become a great leader. Through training, education and experiences, veterans take on a variety of roles and responsibilities. In the face of ever-changing and unpredictable situations, veterans are required to make quick and smart decisions as leaders, a parallel that translates to the fast-paced work environment.  Additionally, veterans have an innate, conscientious obligation to serve others. It’s this servant leadership philosophy that allows veterans to be selfless, putting the needs of teams first and acting towards improving the organization, rather than only themselves. These skills and characteristics are becoming increasingly more desirable among prospective employees as employers are looking for the ones who will take their business and the industry as a whole to the next level.

Contractors work on a full roof replacement for a home in the suburbs of Indianapolis
Contractors work on a full roof replacement for a home in the suburbs of Indianapolis. Photo Credit: Hoosier Contractors

The contracting and construction industries are ready to welcome veterans like you (and me!). We bring these sets of dynamic traits from the military world that can transfer directly to the business world – and contracting/construction is no exception. With proper training and opportunities, veterans can and will continue to succeed in this business. What are you waiting for? Take the plunge and apply to a construction job today!

About the Author

A disabled veteran from Indianapolis, Indiana, Josh White has served as the President of Hoosier Contractors since 2013. Hoosier Contractors is a locally owned and operated residential and commercial contracting business serving the greater Indianapolis area. Using a customer-first approach to build business, Hoosier Contractors’ services include roof repair and replacement, gutters, siding, painting, home construction and more. Hoosier Contractors is part of the National Roofing Contractor Association and accredited by the Better Business Bureau. To learn more, visit www.hoosierroof.com.

The 7 Best Work-From-Home Jobs for Veterans

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With our “new normal” of social distancing and self-quarantine, working from home is quickly becoming an essential part of life.

Check out this list of some of the best work-from-home jobs for veterans, military spouses and service members:

  1. Medical Transcriptionist – Average Salary – $32,900

Translating the jargon of medical professionals into readable reports is no easy task, and medical transcriptionists get paid well to do it. Typically, transcriptionists work inside hospitals or other medical establishments, but there are work-from-home opportunities within the career field. Individuals best suited for this job should have patience, some medical knowledge, and excellent typing skills.

  1. Virtual Assistant – Average Salary – $34,660

There are plenty of professionals in all industries that need help managing their daily activities. Virtual assistants are secretaries of the digital age. While many still work inside offices, it is possible to do the job from home. Attention to detail and excellent time management skills are a must for this position.

  1. Translator – Average Salary – $43,300

While many translators work in-person to facilitate everything from important business meetings to personal exchanges, some translators can work remotely. This usually entails translating text or audio, but the work is largely the same. Fluency in another language is an absolute prerequisite, but patience and communication skills are usually required as well.

  1. Technical Support Specialist – Average Salary – $46,260

Tech support is one of the jobs that helps keep the modern world of business and consumer electronics running. Without specialists trained in troubleshooting technical problems, using modern technology would seem insurmountable. A certain level of tech-savvy is required, as well as customer service skills.

  1. Call Center Representative – Average Salary – $30,460

Call centers are the locus of support for products and services. The operators who man them are the first line of assistance most customers will interact with, and usually the last. Because these positions only require a telephone line or internet connection, many of them are work-at-home positions.

  1. Online Teacher – Average Salary – $51,380

Whether it’s online or in a classroom, teachers are responsible for educating the youth, and some adults, of the world. Online classrooms are a more popular venue for teaching than they were a few years ago, so it’s becoming a more viable and accepted way of learning. If you’re a teacher who can’t find a job in a classroom, or you want to pick up a job on the side, teaching classes online might just be what you need.

Source: Military.com

How to Get a ‘Leg-Up’ When Looking for a Job

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Veteran working on the smartphone

If thinking about getting out of the military, or you are already out and ready to enter the civilian workplace, here are two things you should be aware of that can make it easier to find the job you want:

Veteran’s Preference

Veteran’s preference is a preferential hiring treatment that can give you a “leg-up” when looking at getting hired. Being able to claim the preference can move you up higher on the hiring list than other non-veteran applicants. Generally speaking, to be eligible, at least the first three (and at least one of the others) must apply:

  • Have been under the rank of O4 (Major or equivalent)
  • Been discharged under honorable conditions
  • Have served during one of the eligible time periods
  • Have earned a campaign badge or
  • Have been awarded a Purple Heart or
  • Have a service-connected disability – applies to all ranks

And veteran’s preference where applicable usually only applies during the initial hire or in time of Reduction-In-Force (RIF), and does not play a factor in other personnel actions such as promotions, transfers, reassignments or reinstatements.

Where is Veteran’s Preference Applicable?

Many of the agencies within the federal government (although not all) honor veteran’s preference. This can mean either an additional 5 or 10 points depending on the level of eligibility added to the veteran’s score if they meet the requirements of veteran’s preference.

Even businesses doing business with the federal government, as can be the case with certain government contractors—defense and others are bound by contract to advertise jobs where veterans will see them—actively recruit veterans and report back to the government what actions they have taken to employ veterans. They may or may not offer veteran’s preference depending on the company.

Veteran’s preference has even filtered down to many of the states in their hiring practices. Roughly half of the 50 states now have laws in place that allow employers to give eligible veterans preference when hiring into open job positions.

Veteran-Friendly States

Other states might not offer veteran’s preference but are more veteran-friendly than others. A recent survey by the Pew Research Center found 27 percent of veterans have a difficult time adjusting to civilian life. Another survey found these top 10 states make transition easier than other states by going out of their way to help veterans:

  1. Alaska
  2. South Dakota
  3. Wyoming
  4. Nebraska
  5. North Dakota
  6. Maine
  7. Montana
  8. South Carolina
  9. Virginia
  10. Alabama

However…

Being able to claim a veteran’s preference does not guarantee getting a certain position. While it does give a veteran an advantage, it also has limitations. For example, if an employer wants to hire a veteran, but other more qualified individuals in one or more of the protected categories (age, gender, race, etc.) have also applied, it would be discriminatory to hire the less-qualified veteran and in violation of certain anti-discrimination laws.

Veterans can use these two tips to their advantage when seeking employment. Knowing this information can give them an inside track to getting a job and make what can be a difficult transition process easier.

Source: news.clearancejobs.com

Tulsa Welding School and Hire Heroes USA Partner for Veteran Scholarship Program

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welding wearing face shield working in shop

Tulsa Welding School (TWS) has partnered with Hire Heroes USA, a national veteran employment nonprofit, to help military members entering the civilian workforce find opportunities for training programs in the skilled trades.

The partnership will provide Hire Heroes’ clients who no longer receive military funding with a $2,500 scholarship to TWS.

“We are honored to work with Hire Heroes USA,” said Mary Kelly, president and CEO of StrataTech Education Group. “We are incredibly passionate about supporting veterans, as well as active military, to achieve their career goals. We understand that the transition from military to civilian life can be challenging, so with this new partnership we hope to make that transition a little easier.”

As a part of Hire Heroes’ education and training program, the TWS partnership provides transitioning military members with access to a world-class skilled trades education. At TWS, students can explore careers in welding, HVAC, refrigeration and electrical. They will receive hands-on training that equips them with the skills necessary to find job opportunities in their field after graduation. With an 87% job placement rate, TWS graduates experience meaningful and lucrative careers.

“Hire Heroes USA is excited to be partnering with TWS,” said Ross Dickman, chief executive officer at Hire Heroes USA. “Employment assistance is the number one requested service among military members entering civilian life. In 2019, we were able to help more than 10,000 clients find meaningful employment. By welcoming TWS as a training partner, we are excited to work to increase that number this year.”

TWS will be an ongoing employee partner with Hire Heroes USA. For clients interested in enrolling at TWS and receiving a $2,500 scholarship, they can visit www.hireheroesusa.org or call (866)-269-4596 to learn more.

Operated by StrataTech Education Group, TWS is the largest accredited welding school in the country and has been training students for sustainable welding careers for more than 70 years.

For more information about TWS, please visit www.tws.edu.

About Tulsa Welding School

Tulsa Welding School (TWS) was founded in 1949 in Tulsa, Okla. and has trained thousands of individuals to become professional, entry-level welders for more than 70 years. Students learn hands-on, technical competencies and skills in labs, workshops and classrooms, with a curriculum designed to meet employers’ needs. TWS offers Professional Welder and Pipefitting programs. Upon program completion, TWS graduates are equipped to start entry-level careers in a variety of industries, ranging from automotive to manufacturing. TWS is an ACCSC accredited school and licensed by OBPVS. For more information, visit www.tws.edu or follow along on Facebook and Twitter.

About StrataTech Education Group

StrataTech Education Group focuses on the education, growth and development of specialized career education schools, particularly skilled-trade programs designed to address the nation’s growing infrastructure needs. Holding an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau, StrataTech Education Group’s portfolio includes The Refrigeration School, Inc. (RSI)Tulsa Welding School (TWS)Tulsa Welding School Jacksonville, and Tulsa Welding School & Technology Center (TWSTC). For more information, visit www.StrataTech.com.

About Hire Heroes USA 

Hire Heroes USA is a nonprofit organization that empowers U.S. military members, veterans and their spouses to succeed in the civilian workforce. We offer personalized one-on-one coaching, professionally revised resumes, mentoring, workshops, a job board, career fairs and more, to tens of thousands of job-seeking veterans and military spouses annually. Funded exclusively through public donations and private grants, we provide our services at no cost to clients. Hire Heroes USA prioritizes transparency, earning a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and the GuideStar Platinum Seal. For more information about our organization, visit hireheroesusa.org.

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Dept. of Veteran Affairs

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Central Michigan

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