6 Traits That Make Veterans Excellent Job Candidates

career
Two Marines with Black Sea Rotational Force 14 from 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, reach the peak of a cliff with two Romanian soldiers of the 17th Mountain Troop Bn. during Exercise Platinum Lynx in the Carpathian Mountains.
Photo by Lance Cpl. Scot Whiting

Whether you’re a veteran in search of a job or an employer who is considering hiring a veteran to fill an open position, there is likely one question on your mind --- what is it that makes veterans so special when compared to other job candidates?


It’s not just the specialized skills that veterans learned while working for the military that make them different. The very nature of being in the military has given them attributes unlike those that people can gain through any other type of employment.

For those who are considering hiring a vet, knowing what these special attributes are can not only help you decide one of these individuals is right for your team, but help you determine where the best placement for these individuals may be. And for veterans, knowing what these skills are, and how prized they are by potential employers, can better help you to build a resume and a cover letter that will make a lasting impression on potential employers.

1. Camaraderie: Teamwork is crucial for a business’s success, but too few people in the workplace know how to really work together as a team. That’s something that veterans know how to do in spades, because they have spent years not only cooperating with but relying on their team members to stay safe and complete crucial tasks. Camaraderie is a crucial part of the military experience, and can be highly beneficial for employers who choose to bring these skills into the workplace.

2. Communication: Veterans have the ability to communicate a message quickly, clearly, and efficiently. Hiring a veteran can help to open up channels for communication in your workplace, and can facilitate the further openness and honesty needed to get work done, whatever that work may be. Employers place high emphasis on strong communication skills, no matter what type of industry they work in.

Related: Why veterans have advantages in the civilian job market.

3. Professionalism and Respect: All too often, workers tend to forget that just because their workplace has a relaxed atmosphere doesn’t mean they can get away with immaturity and unprofessionalism. That will not be the case with most veterans, who have come to value a high level of professionalism and respect in their workplace environment. While veterans may not emphasize this professionalism in their cover letter or resume, they can, and usually do, showcase it during the interview and hiring process, something which employers are sure to appreciate.

4. Ability to Perform in Stressful Situations: Naturally most veterans have had to perform their jobs under some of the most stressful situations imaginable. That means they’re less likely to crack under pressure even on the busiest or most stressful of days in the workplace, which can be crucial for industries that work with tight deadlines or sensitive materials.

5. Problem-Solving Skills: Virtually every interviewer at some point will ask the question, “Tell me about a problem you’ve encountered in the workplace and how you’ve taken steps to solve it.” Members of the military are in the unique position of having to work to solve problems almost every day, which means that veterans have unrivaled problem-solving abilities when compared to others in the work force.

6. Leadership: Members of the military aren’t followers --- they are true leaders, and this is something that can be critical in the workplace. Above all else, employers should know that when they choose to hire veterans, they are gaining employees with the leadership abilities to make real differences, to forge connections between team members, and to delegate tasks if they are in the position to do so.

Clearly, veterans have some incredible traits at their disposal --- something that can make them a valuable asset as a part of any workplace team.

Former Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis (DoD photo)

Former Defense Secretary James Mattis, who led a Marine task force to Afghanistan shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, said the Washington Post's recent reporting about the U.S. government's pattern of lies about the war over the last two decades is not "revelatory."

Mattis, who was interviewed by the Washington Post's David Ignatius on Friday, also said he does not believe the U.S. government made any efforts to hide the true situation in Afghanistan and he argued the war has not been in vain.

Here are 10 key quotes from Mattis regarding the Washington Post's reporting in the 'Afghanistan Papers.'

Read More Show Less
Cmdr. Sean Shigeru Kido (Navy photo)

The Navy relieved a decorated explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) officer on Thursday due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command, the Navy announced on Friday.

Read More Show Less
U.S. Air Force airmen from the 405th Expeditionary Support Squadron work together to clear debris inside the passenger terminal the day after a Taliban-led attack at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Dec. 12, 2019. (U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Brandon Cribelar)

Blasts from Taliban car bombs outside of Bagram Airfield on Wednesday caused extensive damage to the base's passenger terminal, new pictures released by the 45th Expeditionary Wing show.

The pictures, which are part of a photo essay called "Bagram stands fast," were posted on the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service's website on Thursday.

Read More Show Less
The U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) returns to Fleet Activities Yokosuka following a collision with a merchant vessel while operating southwest of Yokosuka, Japan, June 17, 2017 (U.S. Navy photo)

Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.

Shortly after seven sailors died aboard USS Fitzgerald when she collided with a merchant ship off Japan in 2017, I wrote that the Fitzgerald's watch team could have been mine. My ship had once had a close call with me on watch, and I had attempted to explain how such a thing could happen. "Operating ships at sea is hard, and dangerous. Stand enough watches, and you'll have close calls," I wrote at the time. "When the Fitzgerald's investigation comes out, I, for one, will likely be forgiving."

The investigations, both public and private, are out, and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released a report assessing the changes to training implemented since the collisions.

So, am I forgiving? Yes — for some.

Read More Show Less
Belgian nurse Augusta Chiwy, left, talks with author and military historian Martin King moments before receiving an award for valor from the U.S. Army, in Brussels, Dec. 12, 2011. (Associated Press/Yves Logghe)

Editor's note: a version of this story first appeared in 2015.

Most people haven't heard of an elderly Belgian-Congolese nurse named Augusta Chiwy. But students of history know that adversity and dread can turn on a dime into freedom and change, and it's often the most humble and little-known individuals who are the drivers of it.

During the very darkest days of the Battle of the Bulge in World War II, Chiwy was such a catalyst, and hundreds of Americans lived because of her. She died quietly on Aug. 23, 2015, at the age of 94 at her home in Brussels, Belgium, and had it not been for the efforts of my friend — British military historian Martin King — the world may never have heard her astonishing story.

Read More Show Less