Closing the gap between employers’ needs and veterans’ skills

By George E. Matthews, Manager, SFL-TAP

A key service that the Transition Assistance Programs provide is helping transitioning military service members construct resumes.

When leaving the military, service members consider the story they want their resume to tell. However, despite a perfectly constructed resume that’s absent military acronyms, and makes it easier for hiring managers or recruiters to see what they have done, ultimately the resume has to reflect skills employers need.

This is especially true in fields that require hard skills such as informational technology, cyber and logistics.

Transitioning service members and veterans can add more relevance to their resumes through certifications, internships and apprenticeships. Through the Army’s Career Skills Program and DoD Skillbridge, service members coming to the end of their enlistment, and some veterans, can beef up their resume with extra training, certifications, apprenticeships and internships.

Examples of previous and ongoing opportunities include training partnerships with General Motors and Georgia Power. The Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry’s Veterans in Piping has trained more than 750 service members through their United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices, and Microsoft trains people in the IT field.

In the National Capital Region, the Hiring Our Heroes Corporate Fellows Program is scheduled to start its third class in May and fourth class in August.

The 12-week program offers transitioning service members a combination of education and onsite training for corporate careers.

The Corporate Fellows Program is intended for those transitioning service members who are within six months of transition from the military.

This is a good fit for those interested in working for corporate America. The companies involved have a vested interest in transitioning service members. There has been an outstanding post-military placement rate for participants.

Many TAP and veterans assistance experts agree that certifications are a good way to get noticed by civilian employers and get high-paying jobs in growing industries.

A partnership that includes Anne Arundel County Workforce Development Corporation, the Fort Meade TAP and Amazon is exploring the bringing of Amazon Web Services Associate certification to the Fort Meade area in July. This training is already being successfully executed at a few installations.

Some employment websites list AWS Associate certification as among the top-15 most desirable certifications in the market today. The overall goal of this 16-week course is to train students in the skills needed to be successful Cloud support associates to diagnose user problems and issues and provide solutions.

This training will be open to transitioning service members and their spouses. Reservists and veterans who have been separated less than 48 months.

Training is free. Classes will meet at night and possibly on weekends.

Take a survey online to reflect interest in this training.

It’s imperative that transitioning service members start the TAP process early in order to learn about these programs and prepare to take advantage of them.

Transitioning service members can’t act on what they don’t know. Additionally, they must know the information with the proper lead time required.

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