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VOW to Hire Veterans Act and “WOW” Come Together for Veterans Seeking Employment at Sears!

A VOW from Congress and a big WOW for Sears!

Citing Labor Department statistics with 900,000 unemployed veterans in October this year and with more returning from Iraq as the war ends there, David Works, Senior Vice President Talent & Human Capital Services for Sears, excitedly explained to MilitaryAvenue how they were increasing vet hires at Sears Holdings. A Navy veteran of fast attack submarines, David highlighted the efforts of Sears to increase veteran hires by 10% in 2012 with veterans filling positions from hourly associates to store managers, global logistics, corporate level and more with military experience a plus for new hires! Challenging other corporations to support our veterans, he noted that Sears had hired 1,637 veterans as of December 1st this year!  A 200% jump from 2010!  WOW!

Hiring veterans is “not an act of goodwill” but simply “good business” according to David who said they plan to hire from all the services, both enlisted and officer ranks and have a specific military recruitment team at Sears! They plan to be at 100 job fairs in 2012 around major military population locations/installations to find veteran hires. So how do you find out if you fit their requirements? "Do my skills transfer to a civilian job"? According to David, “they will” and he gave some thoughts on how to prepare. Ready? He wants to help you find a job, has the credentials and is willing to push Sears corporate to hire you!  These are words from the guy in charge of hiring!  Pay attention!

There are 30,000 veterans working at Sears and so how do you join them? First, three things to improve your opportunity from David:

Mr. David Works, Navy Vet & SVP Sears
1) Do Your Homework and Take Ownership of the Process

Prepare for your next job - do research at http://mynextmove.dol.gov/ and http://www.searsholdings.com/careers/opportunities/military/ . Find out what interests you and where you can go.  (Also, look at what congress has done to help with the VOW Act.- editor note)

2) Talk to Your Buddies about Civilian Life

Give your veteran friends a call or contact them via social media. It is a super way to find out what next steps are, how they handled the challenges and where they found military friendly businesses like Sears.

3) Get Your Resume Right

Avoid military terms! There are many helpful resources out there (many are free during Transition Assistance Programs or from military associations - editor's note) to make the resume experience easier. Pass it around and do not be afraid to have someone provide critiques before you submit to the recruiter. In fact, have a civilian friend who does not speak military read it and see if they can understand it.

When I queried David about worst case and best case to get hired, David explained that the worst case is a veteran who does not recognize they are in charge now. We/they are so used to being told what to do, when to be there, follow orders, etc. but now the rules have changed. Be proactive, get help and be connected. Best case for Sears is that they do support veterans with dedicated military recruiting teams. Word of mouth is critical piece of reaching out for help, talk to those friends or other veterans. One of their best military to civilian transitions includes logistics folks, so if you are involved in military logistics think of the opportunities to move product within the Sears Distribution Centers.

Are you considering a job in the Reserves or Guard after active duty? Sears will maintain your pay level and benefits while serving on active duty! WOW! That is not a national standard but it certainly does encourage employees to continue serving. Family member? They will help you find a new job location after that next PCS too!

Are you up to date with social media?  Here are a couple of follows or likes for you at Sears:

Twitter  @SearsHoldings

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/SHCCareers

Researching current events at a company before you go to an interview or job fair can show the recruiter that you really want that job!  If you have an experience with the military to civilian transition process, please let us know and leave a method to connect with other veterans who might need some help. Thank you David for taking the time to talk with me and for showing that veterans can help each other!  Your efforts are truly honoring our veterans' service in a measurable way. 

Have a wonderful Christmas and Holiday Season during that job search! Seasons Greetings and Godspeed to all of our troops!  Follow MilitaryAvenue on Facebook for the most current military family events as well!

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