If you’re a veteran, how can industry certifications help you get a job?
How often do we hear about how difficult it is for veterans, especially young veterans, to find a job, write a resume and explain their qualifications to civilian employers? There are many resources, organizations and people out there to help, many of which have been or will be chronicled here on this blog. Today, let’s look at industry certifications, specifically MSSC certifications, and how veterans can use them to get jobs. See below for full post:
First, a little background. MSSC has been working with the federal government, military and veterans’ aid organizations to provide increased access to our Certified Logistics Technician (CLT) certification among active duty and veteran populations. CLT is a certification for frontline workers throughout the supply chain – you can learn more about it here http://www.msscusa.org/logistics-certification-claclt/. So how can our certifications and those of our partners help veterans get a job?
Industry certifications serve three basic purposes for veterans during the job search. First, they help document your skills in the language of the industry. When you’re in the military, you are taught to think, speak and act a certain way. Much of that teaching has great value in a civilian job. You have leadership skills, ability to follow procedures, specific occupational specialties, and more. But if you’re seeking a job in an industry like manufacturing or logistics (there are high paying jobs in these industries!), how do you explain that being a unit supply specialist in the Army has given you the skills to be a team leader for a distribution center? Industry certifications can often be earned in a short amount of time, compared to traditional degree programs. And they are based on industry-defined standards, so they mean something to the employers who might want to hire you.
Second, they show that you’re willing to go the extra mile. Many employers view a veteran as a great potential employee. I’m sure that you’ve seen announcements all over the internet about this company or that company that has a veterans’ hiring initiative or commitment. So how do you distinguish yourself from all the other vets out there clamoring for the same jobs? An industry credential is one tool you can use to set yourself apart. It shows that in addition to your military service and education, you have taken extra steps to learn about what’s important to the employer.
Finally, it can help you change your career track. Maybe you were in a military occupation that you don’t want to or can’t seek in the civilian sector. Maybe you are a combat veteran, or you chose a field when you enlisted and then learned that you don’t want to do that type of work for the rest of your life.
As mentioned above, industry certifications can often be earned in less time than a two- or four-year college degree. So, you can use the credential to get a job right away in a new industry. Many industry certifications count toward college credit, so you can set yourself on a path to employment and further education at the same time.
If you want to learn more about MSSC’s certifications, check out our Military page http://www.msscusa.org/military-initiatives/
-Rebekah Hutton, Director of Strategic Initiatives