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There are so many ways to connect with veterans and spouses that for many companies, the challenge is knowing which resources to turn to first.

Although there are other resources out there that contain guidance and opportunities for job seekers and employers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation's Hiring Our Heroes programs and tools combine all of that under one roof. Employers can post jobs, and veterans can respond to them. There’s also information on hiring fairs, workshops, hot markets, networking events for spouses and more.

HIRING OUR HEROES (HOH)

Hiring Our Heroes started in 2011 with a simple goal: to create meaningful employment opportunities for veterans, transitioning veterans and military spouses. Over the past three years, the program has hosted over 750 hiring fairs in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, DC. Employers such as USAA, Toyota, GE and Capital One send their recruiters to these events all over the country. Register for these free hiring fairs at HiringOurHeroes.org. Through the Hiring 500,000 Heroes campaign, 1,700 employers have pledged to hire 460,000 veterans and military spouses, and over 260,000 have been hired. Employers can make a pledge here. Once your company makes a commitment, socialize it with your CEO, employees, customers, your community and your suppliers.

The HOH Military Spouse Employment Program hosts career fairs and networking receptions just for military spouses. For a complete calendar, go here. If you can’t get to an event but would still like to stay connected, check out one of the Military Spouse LinkedIn groups connecting employers and job seekers in areas like Tampa, San Diego and Colorado Springs.

WORKSHOPS AND WEBINARS

Employment workshops for job seekers are held at each of the hiring fairs. These workshops cover the job search, elevator pitch, resume writing and interviewing skills. Over 5,500 job seekers have attended these workshops in the past year alone. Career coaches are always needed for resume reviews and mock interviews. Those interested in volunteering can register here.

HOH offers webinars for employers on Military 101, Employer Best Practices and Wounded Warrior Employment. Register here. These webinars are free, are packed with information and offer a perfect way for a new HR professional to get up to speed.

Here's a brief guide to the HOH offerings employers can take advantage of:

FAST TRACK

Fast Track integrates the National Labor Exchange and other job resources into a geographic representation, highlighting industries and concentrated job markets around the country.

Each “track” educates veterans on a particular industry and shows them critical paths to employment in that industry.

As an employer, you can post to the National Labor Exchange, review potential candidates and list job requirements.

For example, last year the Chamber unveiled a new “Fast Track” for the entertainment and media industries. Many of the most recognizable names in Hollywood showed their commitment to hiring veterans, providing A-to-Z guidance on how to find and secure jobs. Participating companies included CBS, Creative Artists Agency, DreamWorks Animation, FOX, Imageworks, NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures Entertainment and The Walt Disney Company. To include your jobs, click here.

VIRTUAL JOB SCOUT

This service facilitates online hiring fairs that allow veterans and spouses to connect with employers. During an event, or hiring fair, job seekers can inquire about a job and carry on a conversation with an employer through online messaging. The fairs are held periodically, while job postings are available to employers 24/7. Businesses can post as many jobs as they want for free, and the service is free for job seekers as well. To sign up, go to VirtualJobScout.org.

PERSONAL BRANDING RESUME ENGINE AND CAREER SPARK

The Personal Branding Resume Engine is a resume-building tool for veterans that translates their military occupation into civilian-readable language. Career Spark serves military spouses by enabling them to build a resume that focuses on their skills. Employers can search all of these resumes for qualified candidates by creating an Employer Search Engine account.

EMPLOYER ROADMAP

You’re already here! To maximize all of this platform’s offering, create a profile so you can bookmark information and receive custom content based on your company’s size and veteran hiring expertise. Check back often, as articles and case studies will be updated frequently.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are all now an important part of connecting with job seekers—especially Millennials. Some veterans choose not to opt in to social media because of security concerns, but many veterans and military spouses do. Leverage the HOH platform to spread the message about your commitment, hiring practices and job opportunities. Keep up-to-date with these and other resources by subscribing to the monthly employer newsletter at HiringOurHeroes.org.

For a comprehensive manual of ideas and tips that will complement the information on this website, check out the Department of Veterans Affairs hiring guide, co-authored with the Department of Labor and Hiring Our Heroes.

NEXT STEPS FOR VETS

NBCUniversal has partnered with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation to launch “Next Steps for Vets,” a web portal that supplies an array of nimble tools and ready resources to veterans, transitioning service members and military spouses, leading them into employment and educational opportunities.

The centralized hub, hosted by NBC News, serves as a nationwide network that equips veterans and their spouses with online instruments and critical intel, allowing them to more easily map out new lives after shedding their uniforms for good.

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