How to Obtain your DD214 or ORB/ERB

Your DD214

Many veterans already have their DD214 in paper form or saved to their computer. If you have your DD214 saved to your computer in PDF form, there is no needto go to eBenefits. Simply upload your DD214 (in PDF form) from your computer to GuideOn.

If you have paper copies of your DD214, you will need to scan and save your DD214 to your computer in PDF form, or you can snap a picture with your smart phone and save it in PDF form with one of the many apps in the Apple or Google store.

If you have already ETSed from the Army and can’t find your DD214, you will need to go to eBenefits to obtain it. Access will require either a CAC or Department of Defense Self-Service (DS*) log in:

  1. EB1
  2. Select Log In or Register, depending on if you’ve created an accountEB2
  3. If you have already set up an account, you will be taken to a Login page; you must first agree to the terms before logging inEB3
  4. Select “Request your OPMF Information” button on right side of screen   EB4
  5. You will be taken to DPRIS – U.S. Government Information System page; select the “Accept” button with your cursorEB5
  6. Enter the email you wish to have your DD214 emailed to, check the Army box, check the DD214 box, and press “Submit” with your cursorEB6
  7. The system will email you once your records are ready for view; it can take up to 3 days for your records to be ready; once the records are ready for review follow steps 1-4 above.
  8. After completing steps 1-4; Select “View your retrieved OMPF Information” button on the right side of the page.
  9. Your records will be located at the bottom of the page and will be viewable/downloadable for 14 days only.
  10. Save your DD214 as a PDF, to a location where they can be easily retrieved.
  11. Finally, upload your DD214 to GuideOn.

*DS log in can be created by using the eBenefits website located in step 1 above.

Your ORB/ERB/SRB/2-1

Why an updated and accurate ORB/ERB/SRB/2-1 is important?

The ORB/ERB/SRB can be considered a military resume. It details all of your accomplishments and achievements while serving in the military. To best prepare for transition out of the military, it is an excellent practice to ensure that your record brief is always up-to-date especially with your schooling, awards, and assignments. 

How do you obtain your ORB/ERB?

How to obtain your ORB/ERB from AKO (Active duty Soldiers only):

  1. Go to Army AKO at
  2. Select “ORB: Officer Record Brief”/ “ERB: Enlisted Record Brief” link under Army Links column on right side of the screen.
  3. Once forwarded to the ORB/ERB page, select the “view/print” button.
  4. Save as a PDF to your desktop, where they can be easily retrieved.
  5. Finished!

How to obtain your ORB/ERB in the Reserves/National Guard:

  1. Contact your Unit Administrator (UA) for assistance in building your 2-1/SRB.
  2. Ensure that you have all documentation required to help the UA build out your completed and accurate 2-1/SRB.

Feel free to contact us for assistance or with any questions in gathering your military documents and records.

-The GuideOn Team

The GuideOn Skills Translation Method

Have you ever been to a Military resume builder or translation website and the system tells you that your Military position doesn’t transfer into a civilian job or it provides few skills for all the experience you have earned and the work you accomplished?

We’ve seen it, we’ve experienced it, and we know you have, too. That feeling you had of “what do you mean?” is understood and felt here at GuideOn.

Unlike many resume builders and websites that know little more than military titles and ranks, GuideOn knows “how the military runs” and more importantly deeply understands the amazing takeaways from your service experience.

We know the complexity of each military speciality and we work hard to fully and accurately understand where you’ve been and what you have done in your specific specialty.

We are able do this because at GuideOn we possess a rich and clear understanding of your military career path, training, education, and position responsibilities that correspond directly to your career experience.

Additionally, GuideOn possesses a real time inventory of job postings to make sure we can match your real capabilities to your future civilian job aspirations.

We do this in a revolutionary way. First, we take a hard look at your military position experience by examining each position held against the official regulation based responsibilities and duty bullets. Second, we research and determine the skills you acquired during your military career path, that includes broadening assignments, training and real world problem solving. Third, we relate your total experience, training, and final position level attained to a compatible civilian industry job position and role. Fourth, GuideOn develops civilian compatible resume statements to compliment your military duties by position. Lastly, with each resume statement, we pair up civilian leadership and technical skills that reflect what you bring to the civilian job market.

As a Military member, your rank and duty title/position may not make sense to a corporate recruiter. Your GuideOn resume bridges the gap between Military and civilian life as you transition. Your civilian compatible job title and resume statements may not be clear to you at first because we are focusing on descriptions of what you accomplished with the mindset of a civilian recruiter/hiring manager at the forefront of the translation. You’ll see differences in what you may have created in the past and what your GuideOn resume states. We match a civilian job title with your Military duty title to support your job responsibilities and level within the Army. That civilian job title is listed on your resume to bridge the gap.

At the top of your GuideOn resume, you will see your top nine civilian skills. GuideOn uses its research based, proprietary Skills Bank and mapping algorithm to accurately map in-demand skills that you have acquired during your military service to your resume statements. Review your resume statements and compare them with the skills listed. Make sure they make sense to you. Then review your top skills and research what they mean and how they relate to what you did in the Military.

We know this transition process is “the road less traveled” for you, your buddies, and even your families. The job search process brings uncertainty and fear to many people. Consider us your battle buddy in your search for a new job. We are here to provide support to veterans along this journey.

ETS Equals Active Job Seekers

I decided to leave the Army in April of 2006. My 8 years of Active Duty Service would be complete May of 2007, which gave me roughly a year to prepare for my ETS.

I didn’t realize I should have begun my job search as soon as I decided to ETS. No one explained to me that my civilian counter parts have their next job lined up before leaving their current job. No one explained to me that I should have been applying for jobs, networking, and discovering how my military skills transferred to specific job opportunities in the private sector.

To be honest, I figured after leaving the Army I would find a job while taking a break from work. However, being unemployed in the private sector while looking for a job is a red flag for recruiters and employers. Here are some of the stereotypes:

  • The unemployed are lazy
  • The unemployed are incompetent
  • The unemployed don’t want to work
  • Something is wrong with the unemployed
  • The unemployed lack the skills to be necessary to find work

Bottom line, employers believe the best workers are the ones who already have work. If I had known this to be true I would have been actively seeking work while employed by the U.S. Army.

So what does being an active job seeker mean? LinkedIn says that an active job seeker or candidate is actively looking for work. This does not mean they’re unemployed, but it can. In our case, we’re not unemployed; we’ve just made the decision to transition from the military. The key is now to find work before our ETS date.

LinkedIn further explains that the active job seeker is looking for new work for a variety of reasons:

  • They’re concerned about their current employer’s stability
  • They would like to take more responsibility and grow professionally
  • Their job was outsourced (meaning the job is now held by someone separate from the current company)
  • Their employer went out of business

About 25% of the work force falls in this category, so we’re not alone from our civilian counter parts.

Now that we know we’re active job seekers, there are a few steps to being effective active job seekers.


First, it starts with creating a resume that translates your military professional identity to a civilian professional identity. If you’re Army Combat Arms, GuideOn can take care of this for you in the time it takes to do your taxes online.

Building your resume is simple with GuideOn! We’re currently focused on The Combat Arms, but we’re working hard to service other branches! Building your resume is simple with GuideOn! We’re currently focused on The Combat Arms, but we’re working hard to service other branches!

A resume is important because it provides an overview of your professional achievements to a recruiter and employer. In many ways, a resume is similar to your ORB or ERB. Like your ORB/ERB, the resume provides a snapshot of your past and current jobs (duty assignments), achievements (awards), and education (training, badges, schools).

Your resume is:

  • What you will apply to jobs with, online
  • What you will email or take with you, when networking with professionals
  • What you will take with you to all interviews

Job Search

Once you’ve created your resume and understand how your military skills map to private sector skills, you’ll want to begin your job search.

Here is where you will want to be strategic in searching for your next career in the private sector. You will search for your job in one of three ways:

  • Location
  • Company
  • And of course, Job

When I left the Army, I followed on to complete my masters in business administration. Once I completed my education, I knew living in the San Francisco Bay Area, was top priority to my next career.

This told me that I would not be looking for any career opportunities outside of The Bay Area.

After I settled on my location, the next most important factor to me was the type of job I wanted. This put the priority of company last and actually allowed for more job opportunities.

Once I decided on the type of job I wanted, I compiled a list of all the ideal companies I wanted to work at in the SF Bay Area. This is not as simple as it sounds and takes research to discover what companies where ideal for me. Here are some topics to research that can be discovered online or through Glassdoor.

  • The product or service provided to the consumer
  • The Culture
  • Company Leadership
  • Salaries
  • Current events and news concerning the company
  • Company Vision, Mission and Goals – what do they ultimate want to accomplish and create in the future
  • Current financial and cultural health of the company – i.e. have they laid employees off recently, how are their products and services doing in relevance to market share – in other words, are customers happy and are the products and service successful

I realize this all may seem overwhelming, but GuideOn will provide future information on how to break this analysis down, in a manageable method of determining the company you want to work at.


Once you’ve decided the location, job, and company you want to work at, it’s time to network. I’ve chosen to discuss networking before applying for a job, because of one main reason – It’s all about who you know in the private sector. By knowing someone who works at a company you desire to work at, or an industry you desire to work in, your chances of finding a job increase. This does not mean you have to network to obtain a job; it just might speed up the process.

When I moved to San Francisco, I applied to countless jobs. What was surprising was 90% of my interviews came from knowing someone at the company before submitting my job application.

For example, I was interested in working at a major health care system located in Oakland. Before applying for the job, I did my research on the company and later reached out to a gentleman, who I’ll call James. James also graduated from the same masters program I had attended. This was a connection I obtained from a friend who I also went to school with.

Coffee Macbook

When I met James it was over coffee and he had 30 minutes to meet with me. Prior to our meeting, I had studied the company and knew of 3 jobs I was interested in. James first asked me why I was interested in his company? I explained that my background in the Army was Medical Service, in terms he would understand. I handed him my resume and explained my background. James asked a few questions about my Army experience and I fired back responses similar to being interviewed.

He then asked, how can I help? At this point I had brought up the jobs I was interested in and asked questions about these oportunities. I also explained why I was qualified. James explained that he knew people in that department to include the hiring manager (The employee who requested the position you are interviewing for. If you are provided a job offer, and decide to accept, you will be working for the hiring manager). James explained to send him an email with my resume to forward to the hiring manager. This experience resulted in an interview.

This happens across all industries and job types. One of my good friends, who had worked in a warehouse at a major grocery company, obtained a job as a forklift operator/driver from networking with my father. My father also worked in the same distribution warehouse and introduced my friend to the hiring manager after filling out a job application. It does not matter what type of skilled worker you are, networking works.

Applying for a Job

I discussed networking in length and believe it helps, but it’s not necessary to get a job. What is necessary is having a resume and filling out a job application. If you’ve never done this it can be a bit challenging and over whelming at first. This is why I recommend having a job search strategy. This will at least allow you to focus on specific jobs and companies to apply to.

So what does this process look like? The short answer is you have to apply for a job online. This could be through a companies own website or a job board like

Job boards like are helpful in your job search.

Family Dollar uses Taleo for their application process.

Nestle also uses Taleo – this can make it easy when applying to other companies who use Taleo.

If you look closely at the Family Dollar’s and Nestle’s job application site, you will notice they are quite similar – that’s because they’re both powered by Teleo. Taleo is a talent software product for companies, which allows a company to manage their job applications. This also makes it easier for job seekers who have already filled out an application under within the Taleo system.

For example, if I fill out an application at a company that uses Taleo, I may not have to fill out a complete application or upload my resume to the next company. This definitely makes it easy if you’re applying to similar jobs, however if you’re applying for a different job, it’s best that you start over and complete the application to satisfy the job you’re applying for. This may also require you to upload a different resume with different skills selected. Luckily, GuideOn makes this easy to change.

Becoming an active job seeker is a job in of-its-own. I know this can seem overwhelming, but it takes practice and it’s best to start as soon as you’ve made the decision to ETS. I’ve found that on average, it can take 3-6 months to find a job, once you’ve fine-tuned your process. Which means you need to treat your job search as a second job.

You’ve got incredible experience and skills that transfer perfectly to several career opportunities. Employers respect your service, they know you will learn on the job, and they know you’ve got core values that ensure success. A GuideOn resume will assist in translating the rest.

Anthony Garcia
GuideOn, CEO
U.S. Army Combat Veteran, Iraq ‘03-’04 and ‘05

3 Innovative Ways To Source Top Talent

Your organization is seeking candidates that will positively impact operations, culture, and bottom line. The problem is, pressing demand for skilled talent has made hiring more difficult than ever. As the overall talent pool shrinks, especially for highly specialized skill sets, recruiters have to adapt to these challenges by sourcing outside the box.

When it comes to sourcing the best of the best, business leaders are increasingly understanding the value of hiring veterans. After all, many of the qualities hiring managers look for when sourcing talent — such as leadership, drive, problem solving skills, and integrity — are evident in veteran candidates.

Here, we’ll offer tips on how recruiters can source top talent (which includes veteran talent!) more innovatively and effectively.

Seek Out Students

In order to overcome the challenge of sourcing candidates with highly specialized or technical skill sets, seeking out students is a solid strategy. Recruiters can plan to attend skill aligned certification classes and university courses that are being held locally or in the nearest metropolitan area. You can also establish school partnerships to build up your candidate pipeline and have professionals with real life experience come and speak to students and offer guidance.

Since many higher-education institutions have special programs and initiatives for veteran students seeking degrees after they have completed their time in the service, employers looking to hire veterans should look to colleges and universities.

Connect On a Personal Level

A great way to catch the attention of skilled candidates is to leverage their areas of interest in order to connect. You can search for blogs, vlogs, or other social resources that relate to extracurricular activities listed on candidates’ resumes. Prophet is a great tool for discovering more information about candidates via social media. This browser extension will help you find other ways to connect with a candidate when you’re visiting their social media profile, such as other social media sites, blogs, and additional contact information.

You should also consider reaching out to interest-based organizations or meetups that align with requisitions. There are countless local and national nonprofit organizations dedicated to connecting veterans and employers, so be sure to research the ones that serve your area. Larger government-sponsored resources include the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS), and Hiring Our Heroes, which is a U.S. Chamber of Commerce affiliate.

Being able speak with potential candidates, personally, helps to create a more effective pipeline.

Use a Talent Sourcing Tool

Talent sourcing tools can accelerate your recruiting efforts in innovative, and even little-known, ways. Consider using a browser extension like Breezy HR that imports candidates from around the web including directly from LinkedIn. Breezy allows recruiters to post to more than 2,000 job boards and easily manage their candidate pipeline on any device.

You can quickly tap into the right talent for your organization by leveraging a talent acquisition platform. GuideOn is a veteran talent acquisition platform that screens candidates via military translation technology. Being able to quickly and accurately translate veteran candidate skills makes the sourcing process a lot easier for recruiters. Knowing exactly which skilled veterans best match your open jobs will amplify your sourcing process and bring more value to your organization — not to mention place veterans in roles they’re best suited for and increase retention.

If you’d like more information about how GuideOn can accelerate your hiring process, request a call with a dedicated member of our team!

Veteran Transition Story

Hear from Cali Arboleda, a member of the GuideOn team, on how he was able to make a successful veteran transition from the military to the civilian workforce.

All my life, I had to fight for the things I wanted. I always had some interest in joining the military since I was a child. As I grew up, I decided to go to college. I joined ROTC while I was attending the University of South Carolina to pursue my bachelors in Criminal Justice. Some cadets found the ROTC course and training regimen pretty easy, but unfortunately I was not one of those people. I remember I failed the PT test the first time. So, I started exercising more and more. Then, I went to the Leaders Training Course in Fort Knox, KY, which was my first exposure to the US Army. It was like a watered down version of basic training. It was hard — I got yelled at, did a lot of push ups, stood in formations, exercised, marched, learned to shoot, and got lost during land navigation.  

Somehow, I managed to graduate the course. Then, I had a year to improve my warrior skills and tasks with ROTC. I worked hard — I developed and persevered and made it to my culminating exercise. During this, I choose to join the National Guard versus going to active duty. I went to the Armor Basic Officer Leaders Course in order to become qualified as Armor Officer. I went in 2011 and graduated in 2012. Shortly after, I returned to the South Carolina Army National Guard and went straight into a pre-mobilization for Kosovo.  I was deployed to Kosovo as 1LT where I started developing all sorts of skills that I thought would be applicable to any civilian career such as project management, working with teams, and strategic planning. In 2013, I came back to US from Kosovo and felt confident that I had a launching point for my career as young professional, but really I had no idea what I was getting into.

I decided to move to San Francisco, CA from my childhood home of Greenville, SC. My first job here was a security guard manager working graveyard shift from 12am to 8am making 18 dollars an hour. Initially, I was pretty excited to pursue this new job and start my new life in San Francisco. I started working and eventually began to realize how under utilized I would be as a security guard manager. Furthermore, I began to realize how much 18 dollars an hour really is worth in the SF bay area. I grew frustrated with the awkward hours and low pay that is typical to most private security jobs and eventually left the company.

I wanted to do more with my life but I realized I had no clue what to do. So I applied online, but had no success whatsoever with online applications. I went through many JMO-centric recruiters like Bradley Morris. Despite setting me up with interviews, they offered very little advice or career guidance and just seemed interested in meeting quotas. A thousand rejection emails later, I decided to go to graduate school. I started perusing my Masters in Advertising degree at Academy of Art University in San Francisco, but it wasn’t really my cup of Tea. The program was too expensive and too focused on art and creative components of advertising and less on the business side. So I stopped two semesters in transferred to the Hult International Business School to to complete my Masters in International Marketing. During this process, I met GuideOn CEO Anthony Garcia while I was studying, and I explained to him my dilemma. He introduced me to the concept of GuideOn, which sounded like the thing I was missing from the military.

The whole move from South Carolina to California was hard enough, considering the cost of living laws and weather, but adding on the military elements made it nearly impossible. There were many days I looked at meager earnings in my bank account and wondered how I was going to make it through the week. I spent a lot of time wondering how I could have avoided this predicament. Maybe if there were some resources that were more relevant to the things I needed, I could have avoided it. In spite of of all my trials and tribulations, I managed to succeessfully complete my masters and become a Marketing Analyst with GuideOn. I don’t consider myself the most military person, but the one thing I took from the army is that with the right amount of perseverance, you can overcome anything.

Want to start getting the help you really need to get your career off the ground? Download our free eBook below!

The Best Civilian Roles for Veteran Candidates

As an HR professional, it’s your job to place qualified candidates in the right roles. You need to recruit talent that will positively impact your organization — and once you’ve determined the skills and values required for working at your company, you’ll know exactly which type of talent you need.

Business leaders are increasingly understanding the value of hiring veterans. These candidates have proven to be strong leaders and problem solvers with mission focus and team mentality. The problem is, many civilian workplaces are still trying to deepen their understanding of veteran skillsets, as a lot of military experience tends to get lost in translation on veteran resumes.

Employers say that deciphering the acronyms that make up veterans’ work experience on their resumes is too complex to gain an immediate understanding of their capabilities. Furthermore, veterans often have trouble explaining how their military experience can be adapted to civilian roles.

Here at GuideOn, we aim to bridge the gap in translating veteran skills with our team’s military expertise and technology. In an effort to make your hiring process easier, the following are roles that are best suited for veteran skills:

Operations Manager/Team Leader

Candidates with military experience have worked in operations since Basic Training. Whether it was a rifleman in a line company or as a mechanic fixing vehicles, veterans understand how to meet timelines, prioritize, and effectively lead a team.

Veterans are well suited to be Team Leaders because they have had experience leading teams during their time in the military. As soldiers move up the ranks, their leadership duties progress in tandem. Just as there are different levels of hierarchy within a business, soldiers can progress through levels of team leadership roles during their service and, thus, be prepared to continue that leadership after transitioning out.

Project/Program Manager

Project Management hinges on the ability to work well with timelines and strategize how to execute key tasks with your team. Project Managers need to keep their teams focused and hitting timelines. All branches of the military have had this type of experience, especially vets who served in the Army, as the military decision making process has been engrained.

Sales Manager/Business Development Manager

Candidates with military experience have exercised the skills needed to be a great salesperson or business development manager. How?

  • They briefed their commander on a possible courses of action and execution strategies.
  • They had to get the buy in of their team or leadership that their strategy will prove effective.
  • They extended their influence outside of the command structure, building relationships to help the organization run smoother.

Business Intelligence Operations

Veterans who have experience as an Intel Analyst or an S2, or have done extensive research and intel gathering, will succeed in a Business Intelligence Operations role. Being able to research competition, industry trends, and potential business partnerships are all valuable skills that many vets possess.

Technical Fields

When it comes to hard skills, veteran candidates tend to have advanced technical experience.

Military resumes may include:

  • Fixed a tank
  • Worked on a nuclear submarine
  • Underwater welding

These are all valuable skills that are highly specialized jobs that require a good amount of training. Vets have the necessary technical skills to excel in these jobs and add value to the roles and companies they’re placed in.

If you’re interested in learning more about translating veteran skills or have any questions, please request a call below and a member of our team will reach out shortly to assist you!

5 Reasons Why Veterans Make Great Project Managers

I know you’ve heard it before — that the Military makes you SO VALUABLE in the private sector. The truth is, what the recruiter said isn’t false. Sure, the really cool (or really mundane) parts of what you learned in the military may not fully transition well into the civilian world (read: military drill, BRM, digging trenches, or watching the perimeter), but everything you EXPERIENCED in the military prepares everyone to be awesome Project Managers. If you’ve been in operations, you’ve already done Project Management. Here are the top 5 reasons why veterans make great project managers. 

1. You’ve done it before: From leading a mission to an equipment overhaul, everything you do in the military is a project. Thinking, planning, performing, controlling, and closing are all crucial steps to project management. You savvy types will already recognize these as the steps in the MDMP process.

2. You value that feeling of mission completion: The mission always comes first. This kind of thinking is what really makes exceptional project managers. Being able to think in timelines, deadlines, project goals, and milestones all for the end result of project completion is at the core of what we do in the military. If the feeling of a job well done is something you loved in the military, you’ll love replicating that feeling as a Project Manager.

3. Project Management involves traveling, and veterans are
 already used to traveling! And as a certified PMP (Project Management Professional), you can expect to travel all over the world. After all, a project by definition is a temporary goal, so when you’re done with your project in the US, be prepared to jump to wherever they need you next. While some may see this as a negative, the fact that you’re probably well compensated and not staying in austere conditions (for the most part) makes this a great way to gain worldly experience in a much more comfortable way.

4. You’ll be w
orking in a team again. Projects are completed by people, and so all the rewards and challenges about working in a team is present in projects. Working well with others, delegating tasks to key personnel, being competitive, and being able to communicate are all essential characteristics of good operational thinkers, and thus great Project Managers.

A Warrior Ethos: Mission First, Never Accept Defeat, Never quit and Never leave a fallen comrade. These values that are at the core of all soldiers is also the biggest value to any company who wants to hire great Project Managers. It sets apart leaders and those who can step up when its tough, when deadlines loom, when people need a dressing down, and when mistakes are made and you take responsibility. These values forge focused teams and that is the ultimate goal of a project manager — someone who can bring focus to a team and get them to mission completion.

These five points will help you relay to hiring managers how exactly your military experience will enable you to fill a Project Management role exceptionally. If you’d like to gain more key tips on how to improve your resume and interviewing skills, download out free eBook below!

Thank a Veteran By Placing Them in an Impactful Job

Hiring managers across the United States understand the value that veterans bring to the workplace – from their leadership and problem solving skills to their mission focus and team mentality. However, the reality is that most HR professionals don’t completely understand how military experience tangibly translates into civilian job requirements. According to a report by the University of Southern California School of Social Work, more than 60 percent of Orange County veterans believe employers don’t understand or value their skills. LA county, which borders Orange County, is the region of the US with the highest veteran population.

While corporate America is increasingly advocating for veteran hiring to help the major vet employment problem we’re currently facing, there is still uncharted territory in terms of making the right veteran hires.

If you’re looking to thank a vet for their service, place them in a role that is not only applicable to their skillset, but fulfilling for them. If you can better understand military skills and resumes, you’ll help vets make a stronger impact in the workplace and also increase retention.

So, what types of post-military duties would veterans feel fill their need to continue serving their country in the workforce?

Transitioning vets are looking for their next career, not just a job.

  • They care about working for an organization that is as devoted to teamwork as they are, or else they won’t feel comfortable.

Advancement is also important.

  • In the military, vets are accustomed to opportunities to move forward in their career. Offering training and other skill-honing opportunities, such as conferences, can deepen vets’ appreciation for the job at hand.

According to recent research from Stacie Furst-Holloway, psychology associate professor at the University of Cincinnati, veterans are far more likely to be hired into lower-level positions in compared to their non-veteran peers, despite the fact that they tend to have as much work experience as non-veterans.

Veterans who possess the knowledge and skills for a job may end up being hired for lower level positions because they lack the civilian credentials or education that employers typically expect, and because employers may have difficulty translating military skills into more traditional work experience. If they feel underemployed, they may end up perceiving such lower level jobs as a bad match, leading to higher rates of turnover and job dissatisfaction.

Vets tend to have lower perceptions of their jobs (less job satisfaction, employee development opportunities, workplace innovation, promotion opportunity, and work/family balance) despite stronger feelings of commitment to the mission and values of the workplace than their non-veteran colleagues.

Successful hires and retention simply go hand in hand. You want to hire veterans into jobs where they will be successful and happy with the work they’re doing.

HR managers and corporate organizations can “thank” veterans for their service by providing meaningful careers after their service, allowing their learned skills and valuable experiences from the military to benefit the company, the culture, and our country.

In order to accomplish this, it’s crucial that hiring managers employ “veteran-friendly” recruiting practices, such as matching military skills sets with civilian job descriptions, to help smooth the work transition and improve job fit for veterans. Interested in learning more? Request a call with a member of our team to start easily translating veteran skills and providing these candidates with promising new career paths.

The First Civilian Job: Advice from a Veteran After Securing their New Job

You have traded in your camo for your new work clothes. Your day doesn’t start with PT. Meetings start 3-5 minutes after their start time. You are now in the civilian workforce.

Last year, you had a chance to meet one of our team members, Wayne Ludwig, in his Transition Blog regarding his active retirement process after 22 years in the Army as a 31A MP. In the early spring, Wayne began a job search for a full-time position in the Boston area as a GS Security Specialist.

We checked in with Wayne six months after the start of his first civilian job to see what advice he had for Veterans during their ETS and how it went from point A to B.

What are the most important lessons you learned from your time between activity duty to your first civilian job?  I learned that it is important to spend time before you officially retire and even before transition leave to actively look at what opportunities are out there in the job market.

An early start enabled me to have many different applications in for not only civilian companies, but also on USA Jobs for federal jobs. If you are looking for a shortened transition, it is really important to try for that head start. I also found that talking to my friends, old colleagues, and former bosses led to many possible job solutions for me. It enabled me to get a job working in my initial transition period with an amazing start up company [GuideOn] and ultimately to my current federal job that I occupy.

The military network is strong, so never forget to use those opportunities. And then also remember to try to be there for others in return when they begin their transition journey.

What are two resources you used while transitioning (workshops, websites, etc)? I went through the Soldier for Life transition program which provided some general guidance. I tried a few other websites, like Hire our Heroes, but achieved little success. I also used a military transition group on LinkedIn that provided a lot of perspectives from other people on what they were going through on their transitions.

My real benefits came from my job initially working with GuideOn. It was there I started realizing how to capitalize on my military experience by relating it back to the civilian job market in ways they can understand. As I assisted in the translation of combat arms job skills to civilian job language, I began to see the relevance to the leadership and training gained from the military and how it brings the necessary skills to the civilian job market that managers are all looking for. We, veterans, have so many skills and experiences to offer in the civilian world, we just have to understand the right way to promote it.

What advice would you give another Veteran for finding a job, negotiating salary, and/or interviewing?  I would say avoid forcing the fact you were in the Military as the reason to hire you. Tell them what you did in the military in terms they can easily understand and show them you are more than qualified to hold the position you are looking for. Sell the leadership skills and teamwork that is so often missing in a lot of civilian agencies. DON’T sell yourself short! I have often heard now that I am “out” of the military that I don’t act like I am still in. I think that is important to know because that “in the military still” attitude can be a big negative to people that have not been in the military. I am very proud of my military background but don’t force it down people’s throats.

Again, it is what you bring from your time in the military that sets you apart; a working attitude in your new environment is just as important. In my interviews, I used terms I knew that my interviewers would easily understand, stayed away from acronyms, and kept a positive, confident vibe throughout. My interviews all seemed to go well because I prepared myself on knowledge of the job position and the company it was with. I made sure my lasting impression was what I could bring to the table in that position to make the company more successful. I also negotiated a higher scale for my job by very thoroughly detailing my military job experience to the requirements of the position I was hired into. That attention to detail allowed me to start in the middle of the scale versus the beginning. It definitely makes a difference.

I guess I would end by saying: Use the amazing skills you gained from the military to propel you to the next platform in your civilian job, but make sure it is in ways the interviewers and hiring authorities can understand.

Tips To Spend Less Time Translating Veteran Resumes

More than ever, hiring departments across corporate America are creating company goals and missions with veterans in mind as critical components for success. Not only do these individuals bring in standout hard and soft skills but thanks to the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act (the PATH Act) signed by President Obama in 2015, companies are now incentivized to hire veterans to get tax credits.

Statistics from the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs show that an average of 300,000 active-duty soldiers will transition from the military to civilian life each year for the next five years. That’s more than 1.5 million service members that need to be placed in jobs in veteran-friendly organizations.

While this seems like a simple win-win situation, many hiring managers struggle with  actually understanding how certain military skills apply to private-sector workplaces before they hire veterans. Overcoming this hurdle will enable companies to fully comprehend the value vets bring to the workplace and place them accurately, combatting attrition and improving retention rates.

The solution lies in effectively translating veteran resumes while not allowing a lag to occur in the normal onboarding process. Here are some key ways to efficiently translate veteran resumes so that you’re able to hire vets with the necessary acumen.

Hire a veteran internally who understands what veteran resumes mean.

Having a veteran on your internal hiring team means having an expert on vet skills at your disposal. Military experience differs across branches. So if you’re considering hiring a vet to join your internal team, it is crucial that this individual has a diverse knowledge of skills in each area of the armed forces. 

This solution will ensure your hiring team has extensive knowledge and understanding of veteran resumes and capabilities in the civilian workforce. Keep in mind that this route will not make sense for every organization. If your veteran hiring initiative involves hiring hundreds of vets per year, spending a significant cost to hire a dedicated specialist – that will bring in the right talent — is in your wheelhouse.

Use a military-skills translator or resume generator.

Translators and resume generators have been growing in popularity over the last few years. For instance, AT&T, Microsoft, and have translators on their sites, and they work well. This is a great tactic for quickly decoding military jargon into work experience more relevant to your needs.

But, these tools have limitations. While all the candidates look solid, the resumes are essentially identical; the listed job skills and experience aren’t differentiated. It’s important to understand each veteran candidate’s unique skillset so that you can accurately fill your organization’s needs.

Leverage a veteran-talent acquisition platform that serves up pre-vetted candidates.

Every hiring manager wants to efficiently source the best candidates, and that comes down to tapping into the right talent off the bat through translating veteran resumes experiences.

With a pool of pre-vetted veterans, you’ll have instant access to candidates that fit your open roles.

GuideOn is a veteran-talent acquisition platform that pre-vets candidates via military translation technology that makes their skills and experience easier for you to understand. Having pre-translated resumes and knowing exactly which skilled veterans best match your open jobs will amplify your sourcing process and bring more value to your organization, not to mention place veterans in roles they’re best suited for.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to leverage a veteran-talent acquisition platform that serves up pre-vetted candidates to transform your hiring process, request a call with a member of our team!

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