HOUSTON - As the nation struggles to fill open jobs, the Labor Department says the number of 'veterans' looking for work fell to a pre-pandemic low of 3.6%, in August. Finding the right fit, however, can be a challenge.
Most job seekers need to show they've got some applicable experience that will interest employers. Often, for veterans, that can mean a disconnect between the military and civilian worlds, that don't always understand each other.
A unique career fair will try to help change that.
Chris Newsome understands the challenge. The former Army airborne sergeant had to learn that his time in uniform included a wealth of 'management' experience when he transitioned to the civilian world.
"For me, it was 'Who needs a professional door-kicker?'," he says. "That was because I didn't appreciate the intangibles and the human skills that I had developed while leading."
Now, Newsome is helping other veterans find work, with a virtual career fair for transitioning Army veterans and their spouses, sponsored by the organization RecruitMilitary.
Hiring managers from dozens of businesses and organizations, across the country, will be available online to meet with candidates. For those looking for work, the challenge will come from being able to describe their experience in a way that's valuable outside the military.
"Many of these men and women are immensely talented," says Newsome. "In many cases, they lack the ability to translate everything they've done and experienced, into civilian terminology. It's a communication gap more than anything else."
Closing that 'gap' is among the goals of RecruitMilitary as they work to find a match for the experience behind thousands of military job descriptions.
"Anything that one could think of, there's a job for that in the military," says Newsome, "For the military personnel that are in those jobs, there's a job on the civilian side that's almost an apples-to-apples comparison."
For transitioning Army personnel and their spouses, the virtual career fair is set for Tuesday, September 28, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Participants have to register, online, in advance. Click here to register.