This month, the military’s Hiring Our Heroes campaign introduced a new branding workshop to their job fairs. The workshop focuses on resumes, interviewing, and career transition skills. Recognizing the importance of the personal brand, the workshop will be a permanent addition to all Hiring Our Heroes job fairs.

In honor of Memorial Day, here are five tips for veterans trying to build their brand:

Get networking

Coming out of the military, you probably already have an extensive professional network. But this doesn’t mean you need to stop meeting new allies. Veteran networks provide the perfect opportunities to expand your connections. For example, Hiring Our Heroes has landed jobs for more than 18,400 veterans and military spouses since 2011. Strong networks are important for the job search because veterans want to help fellow veterans succeed.

Communicate effectively

For anyone sharpening their personal brand, communication is an essential tool. You need to make sure you’re communicating effectively and with the right people. Determine a message highlighting your strengths and share it with the world. Find people who will hire you. Use a variety of communication channels like social media and emails to reach these people.

Use online resources

Veterans have great resources online to help them amp up their brand. Online Personal Branding Resume Engine, for instance, cross-references all service military occupational specialties and Navy enlisted classification codes. The program was developed with help from Fortune 500 human resource managers. Do a search for other veteran job search resources. There are plenty.

Translate your skill set

One of the biggest challenges for veterans is translating their skills, according to Matt Giobbi, a Hiring Our Heroes associate. It’s important to take military skills and translate them into civilian skills on your resume. You have the skills for the job. Now it’s about making employers understand your skills.

Take advantage of all opportunities

There are lots of opportunities for veteran job seekers. Take advantage of the fact that you are a veteran. Many employers are committing to hiring veterans in the next few years. Capital One made a three-year commitment of $4.5 million to engage the business community in hiring 500,000 more veterans by year-end 2014. Since March 2012, more than 1,000 employers have pledged to hire 222,000 veterans and military spouses. Don’t miss out on these opportunities.

Shaping your personal brand is simple. There are more and more opportunities for veterans to learn the best job search techniques and form professional networks. Building a brand is all about taking advantage of the opportunities presented to you.

What other personal branding advice do you have for veterans?


Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.