As of October 2020, 5.9% of American veterans were unemployed. Even though that’s lower than the civilian unemployment rate (6.8%), that still means that 483,000 veterans were unemployed in October 2020, up from 274,000 in October 2019.
At Chmura, we believe our veterans deserve a smooth transition from military to civilian life. But know that in an era of COVID-19, that transition is even harder. That’s why we provide labor market data and tools that make it easy to find veterans jobs in their community.
If you’re a career counselor, here are 10 questions you need to ask to help a veteran find a job. Using this list will help you identify jobs that pay well, match your veteran’s skills and interests, and provide your veteran with the quality of life she deserves.
1. What job did she perform in the military?
To start, find out your veteran’s specific military occupation code (MOC). This will help you discover linked occupations, skills, and certifications. Knowing your veteran’s MOC code will also help you articulate your veteran’s skills and find which employers need the same skills.
2. What civilian occupations correspond to that job?
One easy way to match military duties to civilian occupations is by going to O*NET’s free Military—Occupation Crosswalk. Just input your veteran’s MOC or search by title.
If you subscribe to Chmura’s Career Concourse in JobsEQ, you can easily navigate to “Explore Military” and find your veteran’s job title and description there. Career Concourse also makes it easy to find real-time job postings associated with each occupation.
3. What salary does your veteran need to provide for herself or her family?
Finding a job with an adequate salary is crucial to helping veterans thrive. In Career Concourse, you can easily see the entry level pay and salary for each occupation. This example shows entry-level salaries for careers related to “logistics” in the Cleveland, Ohio MSA.
4. Is this occupation projected to grow in the future?
Once you find a potential occupation for your veteran, you need to know if the occupation is expected to grow in the future. This too is available in Career Concourse. Here’s the future of employment growth for transportation, storage, and distribution managers:
5. What skills does your veteran have?
It’s all about transferable skills. To find out what skills your veteran has...start by asking him! You can supplement his answer by looking at O*NET, which breaks down the skills associated with each MOC code. If you have access to JobsEQ’s Real-Time Intelligence, it’s easy to find who’s hiring for the skills your veteran has. For example, as of November 2020 there were 456 open job ads in the Cleveland-Elyria MSA in Ohio for people who know Structured Query Language (SQL).
JobsEQ’s RTI also includes links to original job ads, so your veteran can start applying directly. If you don’t have JobsEQ, try searching for specific skills on other online job sites. You won’t get a comprehensive overview like in JobsEQ, but you’ll be able to point your veteran in the right direction.
6. What is your veteran’s level of educational attainment? Does it match with the job you’re looking at?
In Career Concourse we make it easy to find out how much education your veteran needs for a specific job. For example, here’s the mix of educational attainment for transportation, storage, and distribution managers in the Cleveland MSA:
7. Is going back to school an option?
If your veteran doesn’t have the education needed right now to get the desired job, perhaps he could go back to school for a degree or certification program. Also, find out if your veteran is eligible for GI Bill Funding.
For example, here are the certifications often needed for transportation, storage, and distribution managers:
8. What job ads are open in your veteran’s region?
One of the most powerful features of Career Concourse is the ability to navigate directly from a job description to open job ads. If you don’t have Career Concourse, check to see if your state has an open job board.
9. What are your veteran’s values?
Is it important to your veteran that she is busy all the time? Feel a sense of accomplishment? Provide an opportunity for growth? Career Concourse contains short surveys to help job seekers link their values to careers.
10. What are your veteran’s interests?
Is he more interested in repairing software? Helping people with their personal or emotional problems? Starting his own business? Career Concourse contains short surveys to help job seekers link their interests to careers.
If you ask these 10 questions, you will be well on your way to finding jobs that pay well, match your veterans’ skills and interests, and provide your veterans with the quality of life they deserve.
Chmura provides labor market data and tools that make it easy to match veterans to open jobs in their community. Career Concourse is a software tool within JobsEQ that helps job seekers link their interests and skills to open jobs in their region. Request a demo today!
 Bureau of Labor Statistics, https://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14049526&series_id=LNS14049601