What Veterans Bring to Civilian Workplaces
photo by Jung Youngho/U.S. Army
Veterans have a great deal to offer to potential civilian employers, including valuable nontechnical skills, such as leadership, decisionmaking, being dependable, and attention to detail. However, for civilian employers, understanding what skills veterans have received through training, education, and on-the-job experiences can be challenging, because military and civilian workplace cultures and languages can seem radically different from one another.
A RAND project seeks to help civilian employers appreciate the full value veterans can bring to their organizations, and assist veterans as they convey the essential skills learned during military service to potential employers.
For Veterans Seeking Employment
The research team has produced two reference cards a veteran can use to describe essential skills learned during military service to a potential employer. The Essential Skills reference card describes skills that transitioning servicemembers were taught in formal, in-residence professional military training programs. The Essential Nontechnical Skills card covers skills veterans acquired in the course of their service, such as leadership, decisionmaking, persistence, and communication. The full toolkit describes in detail 19 general skills acquired during military service important to civilian job success.
For quick-reference, also see the list of nontechnical skills gained during military service.
For Civilian Employers
The research team has produced two reference cards that can help leaders and hiring managers evaluate how skills acquired in military service stack up against the skills of a civilian applicant. The Essential Skills reference card covers skills taught formal, in-residence professional military training programs. The Essential Nontechnical Skills card describes skills acquired in the course of particular types of military service such as as leadership, decisionmaking, persistence, and communication. The Full Toolkit describes how veterans develop 19 general skills, important to civilian job success, through on-the-job experience and selected formal military education courses.