Veterans returning to the U.S. after active duty may now be facing a different battle: finding a job. Nearly one-in-five (17 percent) veterans looking for a job said it took more than six months to secure one after leaving active duty; nearly one-in-ten said it took one year or more. This is according to a CareerBuilder.com survey conducted among more than 750 U.S. veterans between August 21 and September 9, 2008. Clearly, if asked today, that percentage would have only increased. One-in-five veterans believe that the biggest challenge to getting hired for a civilian position is employers’ inability to understand how military skills can fulfill qualifications for civilian positions. Veterans also point to a lack of a college degree, a low number of jobs in their area and an inexperience with civilian job interviewing as other reasons they feel they aren’t finding employment. Even though veterans may feel disconnected from employers, nearly 20 percent of employers said that they will be actively recruiting veterans over the next 12 months.
When asked what qualities are most important that a veteran can bring to their organization, employers said:
1. The ability to be part of a team (74%)
2. Disciplined approach to work (73%)
3. Leadership skills (66%)
4. Respect and integrity (64%)
5. Ability to perform under pressure (62%)