As the Blue Star mom of two Iraq War veterans, I’ve been honored to interact with service members, vets and military families for more than a decade now. I’m constantly struck by the altruism, professionalism and decency you all possess. And it pains me to hear of the challenges that vets face in finding gainful employment after serving our country.
The sad reality is, you’re looking for work in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression and the odds you face are tremendous. At Publix, we receive more than two million applications a year for 40,000 openings. And in our industry, where margins are as slim as the hole in a needle, matching a company’s needs with the perfect candidate is mission critical.
Be encouraged, though, because there are several things in your favor as a service member transitioning out, or an honorably discharged vet. You probably have marketable skills such as communications, technology, management, procurement, logistics, or culinary. You also have a number of great personal attributes — dedication, loyalty, self-discipline, the ability to function amidst chaos, experience working with team members from diverse backgrounds – that will serve an employer well too.
Here at Publix, we find veterans with the appropriate experience as potential matches for a wide range of jobs. We’re talking store skilled positions leading to management such as Bakers, Meat Cutters, and Pharmacists. We’re also talking about jobs within our Distribution, Industrial Maintenance, I.T., Human Resources, Accounting and Procurement departments, among others.
So just how do you translate your experience into “civilianese” that a hiring manager can understand? I’ve got just the tool! This handy Occupation Translator identifies transferrable skills and provides equivalent civilian terms to use on a resume.
Let’s use the Marine Corps Rifleman ( 0311) for example. That Military Occupation Specialty (MOS) has 11 marketable civilian skills according to the translator which identifies comparable civilian job titles most suited to those skills. Watch for openings among your preferred employers that match the titles from your list and apply when they are posted. Be sure to note the corresponding civilian skills prominently in your resume or application alongside your MOS title.
If you are hoping to get a job with Publix (and we’d be honored if you are), know that being able to work effectively with customers is the most important characteristic needed to succeed here. We are dedicated to providing premier customer service to internal and external customers alike and seek that same dedication in those we hire. If you share that commitment, decide whether you want to work in one of our more than 1,075 stores located throughout the Southeast, or would prefer a support position in one of our Corporate, Manufacturing or Warehouse locations.
If a store position sounds appealing to you, visit your favorite store and apply at the Job Application Center kiosk. Read more about this process here. If a support position is what you are after, go to this page to see current openings. Apply for any for which you are qualified and interested. While at that site, set up a Job Search Agent to receive emails when new job openings matching your interests are posted.
Thank you for your service to our country and “welcome home.” Here’s hoping you land the civilian job of your dreams in short order. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, feel free to share them below!