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Nick Wakeman

Are vets getting short changed in today's market?

I want to float this out after having a conversation with a friend who is a veteran and is looking for a job. He’s been at it for a few months with limited success.

He told me recently that he had been told to remove “veteran” from his resume. An experienced job search coach told him this. The coach apparently is a veteran as well.

My friend was surprised – as was I – because being a veteran was often a mark of distinction.

The coach explained that some recruiters today avoid including veterans in the interviewee pool when they can.

The logic goes like this: A Vietnam-era veteran is deemed too old and probably not up to date in their skills and knowledge.

An Iraq or Afghanistan veteran is seen as relatively young and they “only know the military stuff.”

Ironically, if a veteran slips through and gets hired, the company benefits because it helps their veteran hiring numbers.

A recruiter and a vice president of human resources separately told my friend that discrimination against veterans is happening.

If this is wide spread, it is sad. Veterans bring a lot to the work force: a strong work ethic, a belief in teamwork, and a focus on getting the job done and done properly.

But my question is, are you seeing this in the market as well? Are you a vet or do you know a vet struggling to find the right job? Have you been told not to hire vets?

I want to hear your thoughts. Use the comment field below.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Apr 14, 2016 at 12:13 PM

Reader Comments

Tue, Apr 19, 2016

Having worked for a very large govcon firm, one could not help but notice that almost all its execs had not served, and that creeping militaristic culture was honored on the one hand but disrespected on the other. Being accused of thinking or acting like a service member was not a good thing; many understand and agree with this. Convincing combat veterans got more respect, but we know that the vast majority of service members never see combat. Nontheless, they may have several meritorious attributes. They also might have a few that need some change, e.g., lack of initiative, easy dependency on others, undue trust or distrust in authority, or feelings of superiority. Some veterans believe that there is a continuum of patriotism, and only those who serve are at the highest level of patriotism. They need to acknowledge that all Americans, regardless of station in life, have to be considered to be patriotic unless they demonstrate other behavior and values that are antithetical. That is our American way.

Fri, Apr 15, 2016 Maxwell Bova

There have been lots of 'cheats' I have been given - including not giving any indication of my advanced age (I don't look like a guy who just missed Vietnam) and underselling my rating in the Military (Nuclear Power Plant Operator) but because I don't work in the Private Sector, I don't understand why any employer would want to avoid hiring a Veteran.

Fri, Apr 15, 2016 Mark Gross www.oakgrovetech.com

Companies that discriminate against veterans are shorting themselves. Over 60% of our staff are veterans and we have managed to build a very successful company. Veteran and CEO

Fri, Apr 15, 2016

As a vet, the only "company" who appears to be anti-vet in hiring is (ironically), the VHA - I have friends in HR at VHA, Baltimore, and they agree - and the VHA doesn't like change. Many ex-military come into a VA position and ask, "Why are you doing this action this way? Why not try this way, which is faster and easier (as an example)?" and the VHA doesn't like change.

Fri, Apr 15, 2016 Deb Carlson Omaha, NE

Our company, StrategicHealthSolutions, LLC, actively recruits veterans.

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