Veterans

A Presentation Guide for Career Professionals

Introduction

First of all, we want to thank you for serving in the military and to let you know how proud we are of the great job you have done. We also want to give you some ideas on how you can use the skills you developed in the service and your unique talents and interests to find new career opportunities. We are here to help you get the education and training you need to launch your next career. We want to make your experience on campus interesting, valuable and comfortable. Many veterans returning to college find it difficult to fit into life on campus.  Here is what some veterans had to say about the challenges of adjusting to college life. (View Video)

Discussion

Many of these veterans found it uncomfortable going back to college.
  • Do you identify with any of the vets in the video?
  • What challenges are you finding on campus?
  • What kind of help do you want or need?
Veterans definitely have unique educational and training needs. They also bring an exceptional set of skills and life experiences to the classroom and to the workplace. Whether you realize it or not you have a great deal to offer, and there are many things we can learn from you.

Exercise

In the military, you learned technical skills, or hard skills, those skills that enabled you to do your job. Maybe you learned the skills to maintain and repair aircraft or skills to set up complicated computer networks. These are technical skills. You also developed a strong work ethic, learned how to communicate with others and you probably became a good team player. These skills are called soft skills. While employers value and expect good technical skills, experts estimate that 85% of an employee’s success on the job comes from his/her set of soft skills. Because soft skills are much more difficult to measure, you need to be prepared to explain and share examples of the soft skills that helped you succeed in the service.
  • Distribute Student Activity, review instructions, and have students complete the activity.
  • Who will share one of your stories with us?
  • How do you think these stories will help in a job interview?
  • If an interviewer asked you about your team skills, what would you say?

Additions

As you begin to looking for a job, there are hundreds of sites to help you. Here are some interesting opportunities.
  • Careers in energy are a great place to be these days and PG&E wants to hire and train vets in their PowerPathway Program. This short video will give us more information.
  • There are thousands of Civil Service jobs and veterans receive preferential consideration. At the Feds Hire Vets site there is advice on the federal hiring process.
  • This GI Jobs site offers excellent information and career advice. Check out the list of Military Friendly Employers. (Discuss local military friendly employers.)
  • The new CaCareerCafe.com site will also help you find your best career direction. Check out he Get Hired section for some great tips.
We encourage you to make an appointment with our counselors who have many resources and services to offer. (Provide your audience with their next step options available on your campus.)