Published May 23, 2013
New online tools are launching in time for this Memorial Day to assist veterans hunting for jobs in the private sector.
According to White House statistics, there are currently more than one million unemployed veterans and an additional million are expected to leave military service over the next three years. Many will feel thrust into an entirely different world, without the relationships or knowledge to help them navigate their way to a new job.
Many companies find talent and recruit through social media channels; two new online tools hope to give veterans the social media presence that will ensure they too are considered for these job opportunities.
Military Career Coach
Military Career Coach is an online tool developed by Accenture and LinkedIn to help veterans with resume development, job searching, interviewing and building an online profile.
Launched this week, the app is designed to help educate veterans utilize social media in their job searches.
The tool also offers instructional content and videos such as those featuring Accenture recruiters with military experience. Coaching includes career planning, resume writing, interviewing and more.
LinkedIn provides content that guides veterans as well, with useful tools for job searching. Advice includes how to create a LinkedIn profile, connect with peers, join groups, follow companies and establish an online professional identity.
“Military veterans looking to start a career in the private sector may not be familiar with communicating their military experience and skills in a resume or online profile that translates to civilian work, or have the network to help in their search,” said Meg Garlinghouse, head of LinkedIn for Good, which connects those who want to volunteer with a needy cause.
In many cases, veterans face employers unfamiliar with how military skills can translate and add value to their business. Accenture’s coaching tool can assist a veteran in learning how to best sell him or herself in an interview in a corporate style.
U.S. Marine Corps veteran Neal Ellsworth is a former Reconnaissance Marine and Scout Sniper who served two tours of duty in Fallujah, Iraq. His transition back home and into a corporate job was challenging.
“The technical skills I developed as a Scout Sniper in the Marines don’t fit in the civilian workplace," he told FoxNews.com. The challenges that veterans have to overcome are often overlooked by employers. The transition from the field to school to a career has been difficult, but I’ve learned how to identify and apply my military experience and skill sets in my corporate career."
Leveraging his military-honed skills in leadership, decision-making and mathematics, he found success in the private sector as a mortgage analyst at Accenture Credit Services in Charlotte, N.C.
Accenture says it is committed to helping veterans find employment, and has created a recruiting team dedicated entirely to military veterans.
“Both hiring veterans and equipping them to find employment outside Accenture is a top priority for us,” Jill Smart, chief human resources officer at Accenture, told FoxNews.com. “Veterans aren’t always familiar with how to write a resume, how to really shine in an interview and how to use social media to conduct a successful job search. We designed the Military Career Coach tool to help educate veterans in all these areas.”
On Memorial Day, another online tool designed to provide military personnel with jobs will be launching.
RallyPoint is a free professional social network that launched last year for active military -- it’s a military-only LinkedIn of sorts. Thus far it was exclusively available to Active Duty military personnel, National Guard, Active Reserves and ROTC.
On Monday, it will open its online doors to veterans as well.
The company hopes this tool will help individuals identify and score employment before leaving service.
RallyPoint connects people with veterans who share their military experience and have already successfully transitioned in just a few clicks. The company says it is the most comprehensive employer-to-service member skill matching network in the country.
RallyPoint was launched last year by two Iraq War veterans: ten-year active duty Marine Corps Scout/Sniper Platoon Commander and Army Special Forces Officer Yinon Weiss and five-year active duty Army officer Aaron Kletzing.
"Our research shows that the majority of active military don't even know what LinkedIn is," said Weiss, who is RallyPoint’s CEO. "This is common throughout the military, which is why my co-founder Aaron Kletzing and I saw a profound need for a professional networking platform exclusive to military.”
“Aaron and I … understand the difficulty of transitioning back into civilian life, so we want to do our part to ease a huge part of that transition -- finding a job,” he told FoxNews.com.
RallyPoint says it doesn’t collect any sensitive information and only unclassified data may be entered on the site. This sort of information can be an attractive target,so the company says it uses “the best” enterprise-level security encryption and data protection available.
The company also says it provides security by allowing only verified and trusted members to access the full site.
RallyPoint has no formal relationship with the military and they say they do not share data with the military or chain of command.
Military personnel considering using either tool should absolutely defer to their command’s guidelines as to whether they are permitted to use the websites and if so, what information is acceptable to provide.
Ballet dancer turned defense specialist Allison Barrie has traveled around the world covering the military, terrorism, weapons advancements and life on the front line. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @Allison_Barrie.