Thursday, December 22, 2011

Pros and Cons of Discussing War Experience on a Military Transition Resume

U.S. veterans with war experience on their resumes are sometimes having a difficult time finding work. This is a subject that I find upsetting since I am thankful beyond words for our veterans who have been overseas fighting in any of the conflicts our country is involved in. However, there are many people out there who are engaging in passive discrimination when they discover that veterans have war experience.

Whether you disclose your overseas experience is your own choice and I would like to offer what I feel are the positive and negative aspects of listing war experience on a resume.

> The main reason veterans are being discriminated against is due to the fear of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Employers fear that the veteran employee may be suffering from PTSD and will therefore not be an effective candidate.

> Most civilians don’t know about all the screening, testing, and reintegration training that veterans go through before they transition back to their regular life state-side. This lack of knowledge may also be the cause of a bias against hiring war veterans.

> There are some people who are fundamentally opposed to the war effort in which you served. This is usually based on their personal opinions, belief, and political persuasion. Unfortunately, you have no way of knowing whether or not this could be an issue when you send in the resume.

> Being able to demonstrate leadership under the pressure of a battlefield situation is a testament to your management skills.

> In many fields such as law enforcement and intelligence analysis, the real-world experience from war makes you more valuable to an employer.

Whether you decide to discuss your war experience or not, highlight your most relevant military experience and translate your military terminology into understandable terms that civilians understand.

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