Former members of the U.S. military seeking jobs and employers connected at the 2014 Minnesota Veterans Career Fair last week in Brooklyn Center. Gov. Mark Dayton kicked off the event by thanking employers for hiring veterans and veterans for their service to Minnesota and the nation. The event, attended by 800 job and career seekers, had more than 140 employers participating, a record number.
“Hiring veterans is one of the best investments a business or organization can make,” said Gov. Dayton. “Minnesota veterans have the skills employers are looking for.”
Veterans received advice from a panel of career experts about job search techniques, such as the importance of removing military jargon from resumes. They explained that recruiters take about 30 seconds to review a resume, so it needs to clearly show civilian skills that match requirements of jobs which they are applying for. At a separate presentation, attendees heard about what it takes to start a business. Many business consultants say that skills veterans use in the military and traits they have, such as leadership and dedication, could make starting a business a good choice for them.
Attendees had the opportunity to meet with college representatives about educational options and career experts to receive resume critiques and coaching for job interviews. Service providers assisted veterans with employment-related needs and provided information and referrals to non-work related services for veterans.
DEED, the event organizer, and the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans partnered in a program called Suits for Soldiers that provided donated interview suits for attendees at the event.
And to make it easier for Minnesota veterans to pursue job opportunities, an announcement of a new initiative was also made last week to provide free hotel accommodations to veterans. Under the new pilot program, veterans who are searching for employment, attending job interviews, participating in skills training, or looking for new housing in Minnesota, may be eligible for three free nights at a Hilton Hotel in the state.
According to Hilton Worldwide, the average hotel stay in the Twin Cities metropolitan area costs $200 per night. That’s why veterans who are eligible for free hotel accommodations can save up to $600 under the new pilot program.