THE BLOG
05/09/2011 01:07 pm ET Updated Jul 04, 2011

Veterans Need Help Getting Jobs

Veterans with post-traumatic stress syndrome was my HuffPost topic on February 19. My readers will recall that it spoke to non-drug solutions to mitigate the symptoms.

Many of these veterans are also having a tough time finding jobs. To help, Mark Lyden, a national employment recruiter and author has written a book about the secrets of finding a job. He targeted veterans -- especially the ones that are experiencing double-digit unemployment. Many are young and having a tough time transitioning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to civilian life.

According to HonorVet, 60 percent of the warriors returning from Iraq or Afghanistan require mental health services. Veterans average 18 suicides per day and young soldiers transitioning to civilian life had an unemployment rate of 21.1 percent last year. The nonprofit organization was founded by Sen. John McCain's son, Jim McCain, and his U.S. Marine Corps buddy Jessie Canella.

HonorVet "asked me to help by writing a book for veterans," Lyden says. "Veterans are concerned that companies might not be interested in them because they are damaged in some way." As a result, he wrote, Veterans: DO THIS! GET HIRED!

You can see a video clip of Lyden speaking about his book at the HonorVet site.

Many of the book's tips are specific to transitioning military while others are generic. "Two thirds of the vets get automatically counted out because they simply do not know how to write a résumé and apply online," Lyden says. "There are more people being hired off the internet than through all recruiting events and all the professional recruiters combined."

The trick is to learn the keywords that can get your résumé selected among the hoards of others seeking the same position. You can find the keywords at the company's web site by noting the list of qualifications mentioned in the posted job opening. Pick out the same words and phrases from the job-opening announcement and parrot them in your résumé.

"The screening process is actually very primitive," Lyden says. A keyword search is performed among the clutter of applications, and whoever does not have it in their résumé, "is simply counted out."

The person disqualifying applicants may be a low-level clerical assistant who is told to cull the résumés by matching keywords. So even if you are eminently qualified, your résumé may be eliminated from contention.

The book further advises, "count your hours" on your résumé. That is because soldiers work long days. So tell the prospective employer when your workweek's average 60-hours. It showcases your "experience, stamina and a can-do-spirit," Lyden writes.

"Employers love to see experience with numbers attached to it," he says. So include the number of hours saved, percent that production was increased and how many soldiers are reporting to you.

Lyden coaches you to list your security clearances separately and prominently. It shows the recruiter that you are trustworthy and honest, even if the job being sought does not require a security clearance, Lyden says.

Meanwhile, Hire Disability Solutions will be presenting its 2011 Veterans Career Expo in New York City on May 24. It can also be attended virtually online. Check it out and register at beahero-hireahero.com/registration.

Jeff Klare, CEO of Hire Disability Solutions, is producing the event. "This year for the first time we will be going virtual, broadcasting worldwide to the eyes of every military man and women who has access to a computer," he e-mailed me. "We also will be using high speed video for interviewing candidates across the globe."

Jerry Chautin is a volunteer SCORE business counselor, business columnist and SBA's 2006 national "Journalist of the Year" award winner. He is a former entrepreneur, commercial mortgage banker, commercial real estate dealmaker and business lender. You can follow him at www.Twitter.com/JerryChautin

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