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May 30, 2012

Index Finds Perception Gap On Veteran Workforce Skills

Maynard-based career search website found a wide gap in how employers view military veterans' civilian workforce skills and how veterans themselves view their skills.

While 75 percent of veterans think their skills learned in the military were valuable to a civilian career, employers feel differently. Of the more than 900 firms surveyed, only 39 percent felt veterans or people with prior military experience are prepared for a career transition out of the military. That was down sharply from 77 percent in the November 2011 survey.

Employers surveyed felt veterans who applied for jobs with them needed to do a better job of explaining their skills in order to compete with the broader job-seeker pool.

"Veterans bring a wide range of skills and expertise into the mix of professionals seeking employment, but it's difficult shifting their mindset out of military culture and into civilian culture when talking to a hiring manager," said T. McCreary, vice president of

More than a million veterans are expected to transition to civilian life over the next five years, the company said. The two surveys issued thus far have surveyed approximately 1,800 of them. Today's index surveyed 900.

While they're confident in their abilities, veterans seem to lack confidence about their job prospects: 29 percent of veterans felt confident about finding work that suits them, down from 44 percent six months ago.

Results were more encouraging among employers who had hired veterans recently, which accounted for 74 percent of the firms surveyed. Nearly all firms who had hired veterans thought their work experience was equal to or better than that of non-veteran workers.

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