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Write Your Own Job Description

Job Description Builder

Job descriptions can be a barrier for service members to apply for jobs they are actually well qualified for. Help break down this barrier by writing a job description that speaks in their communication style and reflects their values and priorities.

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Job Summary

The job summary is the first impression a veteran will get of your company and the open position. A great job summary will help a veteran feel like his service and experience is relevant and that he is qualified for and capable of performing the job.

  • Be clear about what the job candidate will be doing and will be responsible for.
  • Simplify the language. Avoid using unnecessarily complex verbiage or business jargon.
  • Brand your company as military-friendly.
  • If possible, show the open position's context within the company: reporting structure, team's mission, etc.
  • Broaden the scope of required experience beyond a certain set of qualifications or certifications
  • Express the position's purpose in terms that show its similarity to a military environment ("mission-driven", "achieve results to win", "face a crisis head-on", etc.)

Read through these examples to get a better idea of what a veteran-friendly job summary looks like.

Job Summary Examples

Mid-sized supply and manufacturing company with geographically separated business units is seeking a professional financial analyst to build financial and operational reports that give insight into the organization's operations. This position will work with all department leaders and the executive team.

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This job summary describes a challenge that's relevant for a veteran’s experience ("geographically separated business units"), uses terms to describe the main duties that any potential employee can understand ("build financial and operational reports that give insight into the organization's operations" as opposed to something like "run preliminary SOC reporting modules"), and tells the applicant briefly about the reporting structure.

The Director (E-9/O-1 equivalent) reports to the Vice President (O-6/Colonel equivalent) and requires experience in project management and leading a team of professionals in a deadline-driven environment with competing priorities.

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Adding equivalent military rank level to civilian titles will assist service members in understanding the level of experience the position requires and its reporting structure. This can also assist job seekers to avoid applying for positions that may be too junior or senior based on their current experience.

In addition to our standard paid time off and healthcare benefits, veteran and military spouse employees enjoy special recognition throughout the year, dedicated employee resource groups, and the opportunity to participate in unique mentoring programs.

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The summary is a great place to include a line or two about corporate benefits that are attractive to veteran job seekers. Don't be shy about sharing your veteran-friendly policies, especially when communicating directly with veterans and military spouses.

Go to next section Requirements
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Requirements

Use these key phrases in the job responsibilities to give veterans confidence that they are qualified and are able to perform the functions of the job.

Veteran Characteristics

  • Leadership skills
  • Ability to work in teams
  • Ability to work in a matrix environment
  • Problem solver
  • Communication skills
  • Supply chain and logistics
  • Supervise, lead and follow
  • Train and mentor subordinates

Put your most-desired skills first, in order of importance. Highlight the critical characteristics of the candidate you want, and don't list too many requirements.

  • Organized
  • Influence and persuasion
  • Respect for procedures
  • Integrity, loyalty and service
  • Diversity and inclusion training
  • Mission aptitude
  • Meet growth expectations
  • Building and growing relationships
  • Innovation

Well-written job requirements and duties will encourage a veteran to think, "I'm qualified! They want me!"

  • Process improvement
  • Human capital management
  • Equipment management
  • Independent worker
  • Self-starter
  • Attention to detail
  • Strategic planning
  • Delivers results in a challenging environment
  • Flexibility
  • Adaptability

We've made a short list of do's and don'ts for writing job requirements for veterans.

Do's and Don'ts:

Use direct, straightforward language.

Elevate the conversation with customer to the strategy level within assigned area of responsibility

Communicate with the customer at a strategic level

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Veterans are used to direct, specific communication. They are often careful when using words that may have more than one meaning.

Eliminate unnecessary words; be succinct.

Ensure the required resources are available in the right location at the right time to meet current and future customer demands

Allocate resources appropriately

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Veterans are not accustomed to flowery or verbose language, so using it may result in their becoming frustrated with the job description. (This often goes for non-veterans too!)

Avoid business-speak, jargon and unfamiliar acronyms.

Ensure execution of the LAMP framework to identify the most critical initiatives and relationships

Learn company system to identify the most critical initiatives and relationships

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Business jargon can be intimidating to anyone, and veterans may not understand it because they haven't had the industry experience. Spell out acronyms where possible and explain jargon.

Go to next section Experience
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Experience

Veterans may have military certifications that allow them to use their equivalent training and experience to acquire a civilian certification with little additional effort.

Be willing to substitute military experience for related corporate or industry experience.

The military offers training that may have a civilian equivalent (for example, the military has its own version of Six Sigma).

Do's and Don'ts:

Avoid industry experience requirements that are too narrow.

5+ years of retail grocery management required

5 years of supply chain or logistics management experience

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Prioritize general skills over specific work history. Know which skills can be learned or honed and which are a must-have from day one, and keep that in mind when writing.

If you list military experience, don't be too specific. (for example, using military occupation codes)

Requires 8 years of experience as an Army truck driver

8 years of experience in military vehicle transportation or large equipment management/servicing

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Each branch of service has its own terminology, which may not directly translate to another branch.

Go to next section Education
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Education

Keep these tips in mind when listing education requirements.

Where appropriate, allow military service to substitute for education. This could be as simple as listing “bachelor’s degree or equivalent military service required.”

Don’t assume too much from a veteran’s rank. Not all officers are fully ready to lead, and enlisted service members are not simply followers. 

This chart gives you a quick look at how a veteran’s rank relates to their education level. (Keep in mind that these are general guidelines and may not apply to every veteran.)

Military Rank To Education

Junior Enlisted E-1, E-2, E-3, E-4         

These are entry-level positions that grow into technicians in their fields. They have a high school diploma, are individual contributors and will get the opportunity to lead or supervise a small team. They receive technical training and introductory leadership training.

Non-commissioned Officer (NCO) E-5, E-6

NCOs are strong technicians who have advanced technical training as well as leadership training. They will manage or supervise small teams and direct day-to-day work activity. Generally, NCOs will be in the process of getting college degrees.

Senior Non-commissioned Officer (SNCO) E-7, E-8, E-9

These are experienced people managers and technical experts, most of whom have college degrees and are mentors to junior officers. They manage leaders who manage teams. They set work priorities for teams to achieve mission success.

What's Next?

Now that you’ve learned all about veteran-friendly job descriptions, what’s next?

Modify your job description with the TRY IT editor

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Save your job description as a separate veteran-friendly version

Post your job description on Virtual Job Scout or other veteran job boards

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