Posted November 09, 2012 by

Employment Prospects Improving for Military Veterans

Brent Rasmussen of Careerbuilder

Brent Rasmussen of Careerbuilder

Despite higher than average unemployment rates, employment prospects for U.S. military veterans may be improving.

According to a new CareerBuilder study, 29 percent of employers say they are actively recruiting veterans to work for their organizations, up 9 percentage points from a year ago. Twenty-two percent are planning on adding members of the National Guard to their headcount, up 8 percentage points. Sixty-five percent said they would be more likely to hire a veteran over another equally qualified candidate. The survey was conducted by Harris Interactive© of more than 2,600 employers nationwide from August 13 to September 6, 2012.

Where The Job Opportunities Are

Employers are looking to leverage the technical and leadership skills of military personnel, with 3 in 10 hoping to fill information technology positions with veterans. The most common areas for hiring U.S. service men and women are:

  • Information Technology – 30 percent
  • Customer Service – 23 percent
  • Engineering – 22 percent
  • Sales – 20 percent
  • Manufacturing – 20 percent
  • Business Development – 15 percent

“The unemployment rate for veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq, though declining, is still considerably higher than the general population,” said Brent Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder North America. “While military veterans possess a great deal of the business-friendly skills that employers look for in candidates, one of the challenges vets face is knowing where to begin when job hunting after they return from active duty.”

“Today’s military is a well-educated, professional, all-volunteer force,” said Elaine Howard, president of Gannett Government Media Corp., publisher of the Military Times brands. “So when troops join the civilian workforce, they bring with them skills, discipline and unmatched drive. But navigating the job search and translating military skills into civilian terms has always been a challenge. In partnering with CareerBuilder, troops and veterans now have a better way to make the critical transition from military to civilian success.

Challenges for Veteran Job Searchers

One of the biggest challenges employers face when recruiting U.S. veterans is that service men and women don’t always market themselves as veterans. Forty-five percent of employers say they pay more attention to applications submitted by U.S. veterans, but 30 percent say it’s not always obvious whether a candidate is a veteran.

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