In the Trenches

ConnectVETS Focuses on Transitioning Today's Military to Tomorrow’s Workforce

Emily Garrity - Friday, September 30, 2016

Military Employment Assisstance from ConnectVetsBelow is an excerpt from the article ConnectVETS Focuses on Transitioning Today’s Military to Tomorrow's Workforce by Mark Donahue on National Louis University Blog, which is most relevant to those unfamiliar with ConnectVETS.


Tell us about ConnectVETS.


Chicago-based ConnectVETS is a national leader in providing online job search education and career transition resources for transitioning service members and veterans to facilitate military talent acquisition. The organization focuses on building the bridge between military veterans and employers. ConnectVETS was founded in 2007 to support the men and women who have served our country by connecting veterans with private sector employment opportunities. ConnectVETS is also active in the Illinois Joining Forces Initiative, where I serve as the employer engagement sub-committee chair in the employment and training working group.


What are some key facts about veterans and employment?


  • More than 80% of veterans feel unprepared for the private sector when they leave the military.
  • Ninety-one percent of those in the military’s job transition program with less than 10 years of services do not have a job lined up when they are discharged.


More than 60% of U.S. employers say they have favorable impressions of military service but don’t understand the qualifications this service instills.


Read the whole blog post here 


Article Excerpt of What Recruiters Want to See On Your LinkedIn Profile

Emily Garrity - Friday, August 05, 2016

What Recruiters Look For on Your LinkedIn ProfileBelow is an excerpt from the article What Recruiters Want to See On Your LinkedIn Profile by Jaime Petkanics on, which is most relevant for unemployed military veterans.


While I am not the authority on LinkedIn by any means, I have spent a lot of time looking for candidates on it (for many real, open roles at amazing companies) and I know what I like to see. So here it is... what recruiters really want to see on your LinkedIn:


The Facts


The facts are the high-level details about your work experience and goals.

  • Companies you've worked for
  • Dates you've worked for those companies
  • The title of your role
  • A quick description of what that title means


A Clear "Career Story"


Your profile should give off a sense of the direction of where you want to go. You can use the "headline" and "summary" to clarify this if necessary.


  • Do my experiences build upon one another and show some sort of growth path?
  • If I add or take out any experience, will my story be stronger?
  • What does it look like my next step should be?


Your Connections


If they know someone who has endorsed you (or may be able to), that might go a long way.


A Professional Picture


Good LinkedIn pictures are:


  • Photos of just you (half of your best friend's face should not be present after cropping)
  • Ones where you look polished and professional (neat hair, conservative outfit)
  • Ones where you have a simple smile/friendly expression. That means no sassy face!


Read the whole article on the Levo League website

Article Excerpt of The War at Home: The Struggle for Veterans to Find Jobs

Emily Garrity - Friday, May 27, 2016

OnlineCollege.orgBelow is an excerpt from the excellent article The War at Home: The Struggle for Veterans to Find Jobs on Friend of ConnectVETS, Tim Graves, is quoted…


In today's tough and competitive job market, it can be challenging for any adult to land a decent job. Though education can definitely improve outcomes, sometimes it's not just about the degree. Experience can also play a major role in helping people find jobs. Yet in some cases, experience can work against you. Just ask one of the many college-educated military veterans who serve their country only to return to find a job market that doesn't want anything to do with them.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for female veterans was 8.8% in January, compared to 7.5% for men and 7.7% for female civilians. And with an unemployment rate of about 20%, members of the National Guard and Reserve are faring far worse in the job market.




Statistics suggest that employers do want to hire veterans. According to a Career Builder survey, 65% of employers said they would be more likely to hire a veteran over another equally qualified candidate, while 29% of employers say they are actively recruiting veterans to work for their organizations.


So what's the problem?


One issue is that veterans are too modest when it comes to stating their accomplishments in the military.


"For some reason, I've had veterans not tell me about their awards and honors, but it should all be listed – from commanders' coins to medals of honor," Hurwitz said.


Navy veteran Tim Graves, who has a career in workforce development helping companies understand the benefits of hiring skilled and experienced military veterans, agreed.


"[Employers] often complain that they can't identify veterans because it is never on their resumes," he said. "It doesn't matter how long ago you served, you need to highlight that service."


Read the whole article here

Interview with Emily Garrity of ConnectVETS

Emily Garrity - Thursday, February 25, 2016

ConnectVETS Works to Help Bridge the Skilled Workforce Shortage


In the spring, the Supplier Network hosted a Skilled Workforce Shortage panel. One of the panelists was kind enough to share the following information regarding returning Veteran and Service members who are one of our country's untapped resources. Since many TMA members are government contractors and have to give preference to veterans, this month's article focuses on ConnectVETS and how area manufacturing companies have the ability to tap into their pool of returning military personnel.


This interview originally ran on the TMA website.


How many returning Vets in the area are unemployed?


It is much higher than the norm. Currently, the unemployment rate for post 9/11 Veterans is 12.1%.


Why do you think it is so difficult for military personnel to transition to jobs?


Once assigned to a unit, most don't get to pick the type of job they will be doing and since the military uses its own nomenclature, upon return, many don't know how to effectively communicate their skills to perspective employers. The military has tried to address this but they have not been very successful. Also, upon return, the service member spends some time with family before going out on a job search. What they did learn about job hunting while still in the service is sometimes forgotten.


What type of employee should the member expect to find?


Beyond job skilled, loyalty, good work ethic, committed, teamwork, able to follow direction, ability to learn new skills and adapt to change quickly are some of the skills instilled in all military personnel. Mechanical skills are prevalent. Whether assigned to a battle ship or on the ground, our service personnel need to know how to fix or adjust a variety of machinery and equipment without hesitation.


How does ConnectVETS help?


ConnectVETS takes the service member / veterans through a process to help them write their resume, describe the skills they have obtained, write an effective cover letter, and basically how to market oneself for a position.  Then, they learn how to interview and follow up effectively. Currently, there is no direct connection for employers to learn how to hire and connect with transitioning service members and Veterans. ConnectVETS would like to help that as well and are currently registering employers that would like to hire veterans.


How would a TMA member access ConnectVETS to find employees and learn how to help?


Emily Garrity can be reached at 847-980-7222, email at or via their website at