Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Veteran's Job Search Quiz - Test Your Knowledge, Part 1

There are many common misconceptions - both among veterans and non-veterans. Take part one of the quiz below to see if you have clear expectations of your military transition job search process.

1. Employers tend to hire a veteran over a non-veteran if they have two candidates that are equally qualified.
False. Unfortunately these common misconceptions I spoke of earlier can negatively impact the hiring decision for a veteran. Less than 1% of the population has served in the military. If the civilian that is making the decision does not understand that the veteran has transferable skills, they will tend to shy away from hiring the veteran. To be successful in the transition process, veterans must learn to speak the language of the industry in which they are targeting jobs.

2. Your salary will be up to twice as much in the private sector as you made in the military.
False. There are some cases where veterans have exceeded or even doubled their military pay in the private sector. However, that is usually the exception versus the norm. Do your research on websites such as www.salary.com and www.bls.gov to determine the salary range in your industry and where you want to live. Use military retirement pay calculators on websites such as www.military.com to determine the amount of retirement pay you will receive. Be sure to calculate the loss of benefits such as Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS) and Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH).

3. Private sector employers believe that military veterans do not have the ability to manage profit and loss.
True. The perception in the private sector is that the military has unlimited funds and they do not have to manage with budget constraints or staffing challenges. It is true that the military does not even come close to turning a profit - that is not their purpose. However, most civilians are not aware of things like force shaping or high year tenure that have drawn down the military significantly in recent years. As a veteran, you must dispel these myths by discussing your focus on cost reduction, efficiency management, and budget oversight.

So, how did you do? Check back on Thursday for a continuation of the Veteran's Employment Quiz.

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