Let’s face it, you’re intimidating.
Less than one half of one percent of America serves in uniform. Only about 7% of the country is made up of veterans. The majority of America cannot relate to military service. What’s portrayed by the media doesn’t help either. Just look at the headlines: military rape and sexual assault, PTSD, drug use, homelessness, alternative court programs; let’s just say the headlines don’t help the case for someone separating from the military find a job.
Here’s a great quote in reference to fighting against stigma due to popular portrayals in the media.
In a Los Angeles Times article discussing the divide between military and civilian cultures:
“I am well-aware that many Americans, especially our elite classes, consider the military a bit like a guard dog,” said Lt. Col. Remi M. Hajjar, a professor of behavioral sciences and leadership at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
“They are very thankful for our protection, but they probably wouldn’t want to have it as a neighbor,” he said. “And they certainly are not going to influence or inspire their own kids to join that pack of Rottweilers to protect America.”
Whether you want to believe it or not, your military service intimidates a lot of people.
In a previous post, “Cash me online howbow dah”, I talked about challenges separating military service members face with the process of searching and applying for a job. Add in the intangible effects of media portrayal and unspoken negative stigmas and one can quickly understand why there’s not the fan fare and parade of employers that many veterans think there will be outside the gates when they get out.
Here are some things to consider:
- What veterans know as military bearing, civilians can interpret as being rigid, cold, or stoic.
- Don’t sir and ma’am people. What you might consider as showing respect is in fact uncomfortable for many.
- You’re not wearing a uniform anymore. There’s no need for 27 lapel pins and other fancy accoutrements. Your resume is best suited for paper now, not your chest.
- Relax. There’s no need to sit upright with your hands on your knees. You’re freaking everyone out sitting like a robot.
- You learned military etiquette; learn the civilian equivalent for email. Very respectfully, Respectfully, V/R, R, aren’t the way to go.
People work with people. The interview process is as much of a way to determine if you’re someone they want to work with a.k.a. “like” as it is to verify your qualifications and experience. Being rigid and talking only about your military service is not going to help your case.
Be a person, not a veteran. It will make you less intimidating.
Military Talent Source
Military Talent Source, LLC matches talent with opportunity. We are a specialized firm that conducts military recruiting and veteran employment consulting as a full focus. We provide a personalized service to both separating military service members and corporate clients in order to match talent to specific opportunities in the civilian corporate sector. Because we understand both the military and corporate cultures we are able to break through barriers and overcome the all too common frustrating challenges.Contact Us