From the President: Translating Military Skills Into Civilian Jobs

By November 11, 2019 November 14th, 2019 From the President, Paramount in the Community

Happy Veterans Day! It would be no surprise to my friends for me to say that the most developmental period of my life was spent in the United States Army. The opportunities I have been afforded professionally and those in my future are all in debt to the skills I gained in the armed forces. 

This is my first Veterans Day as the President of Mortgage at Paramount Bank, and as we work to bring the future to home ownership, I’m extremely proud of our commitment to hiring veterans.

The skills learned in the military, however, aren’t the most translatable into a job interview. I feel lucky to have been hired when I returned home from the military, and to have been taught how to discuss my military skills in an applicable way. Not all veterans get that same training. 

That makes job interviews a challenge for many veterans, and a challenge for those interviewing veterans who don’t understand the military training. The team mentality that all veterans leave the military with, ingrained in our beings, is not what interviewees are looking for. They’re looking for people who can own individual accomplishments and speak to their personal strengths. We simply don’t do that in the military.

Paramount Bank’s hiring process is different, and veteran candidates know that they are being interviewed by someone who has taken the time and effort to acknowledge and understand their military experience. It’s time for other companies to get on board.

A few have. Companies like Southwest and Home Depot have easily accessible Military Skills Translators on their career websites. These allow veterans to input their military job titles and job codes, and then matches them with opportunities in the company that fit their skills. 

These are steps in the right direction, but there are many more that need to be taken to level the playing field, on both sides. Veterans deserve education on how to translate their skills, and hiring managers need to make an effort to understand what’s going unsaid when they interview a veteran.

There’s no better day to kickstart this conversation than on Veterans Day. We honor our veterans today, and a major way to honor them is by taking their individual skills seriously and offering them jobs they deserve. Statistics show that companies excel when they hire veterans. What are they waiting for?

As we work to make hiring veterans more commonplace and the process easier and more understandable for everyone involved, there are many articles out there that we can encourage both parties to seek out.

Search for local programs near you. In Houston, the Combined Arms consolidates military employment services with a wide range of other services as well. And talent placement companies like Lucas Group often have specific recruiting sections for military and recruiting resources for those looking to hire veterans.

Nationally, the USO’s Pathfinder program offers a variety of transitional resources for service members and their families, which can ease the adjustment. Additionally, Military.com has a great skills translator that can help veterans find jobs across industries, and plenty of pieces like the one below to help them acclimate to civilian job. 

Seven Things You Must Say to Get the Job

We should thank and honor our veterans for their military service each day, and one way is by showing that we give them the care and consideration they deserve when they return to our home turf. Happy Veterans Day!