Career Guidance System
Online Networking Tools are Part of Accenture’s Operation: Employment
Returning military veterans face many obstacles to finding employment, from communicating transferrable military skills on their resumes to learning how to connect at networking events and in interviews, and using social media in job searches.
Creating a tool that would provide more veterans with relevant and impactful job search information was the goal when Accenture created its Military Career Coach. A robust online tool developed with the assistance of LinkedIn, Military Career Coach offers instructional content and videos—many of them featuring Accenture recruiters with military experience—to coach returning service members in areas like career planning, resume writing, interviewing, and networking.
The app also walks veterans through the steps needed to create the right social media presence, to encourage successful networking, and to improve their online fluency, so they can gain equal access to opportunities in today’s recruitment market.
In many cases, veterans face employers unfamiliar with how military skills can translate and add value to their business. Accenture’s coaching tool can assist a veteran in learning how to best sell him or herself in an interview in a corporate style.
“Accenture is great at understanding, and helping translate, the skills veterans bring from the field to the office. Leadership, discipline, organization, teamwork, and just doing what it takes to get the job done in general, are some of the areas in which military experience directly applies to our work.” – Linda Singh, Managing Director, Accenture; Brigadier General, Maryland Army National Guard
“Overall, it’s difficult for both military and nonmilitary professionals to understand how a veteran’s skill set can translate and how they can make an impact,” says Rebekah Hanks, a business analyst at Accenture and U.S. Air Force Reservist, who spent her last seven years of active duty as a Chinese cryptologic linguist.
“Many of the military roles may not seem transferable to those of the civilian workforce. It’s understandable to think, for example, that the skills of a surface warfare officer on a submarine would be difficult to transfer to a corporate role. Aspects, however, like leadership and work ethic as well as skills in technology, supply chain/procurement, program management, and finance and accounting, are highly transferrable. If companies can learn to identify translatable military skills, they can tap into a great pool of employees and future leaders.
“During my time in the U.S. Air Force, I was taught discipline and determination,” says Hanks, “and this has set me apart in my career. I gained the experience of working with people from different backgrounds, interests, and levels of education, which, in turn, taught me to be patient and understanding while working with others. Additionally, and because of the linguistics skills I gained from the military, I get opportunities at Accenture to work on projects in which speaking and translating Chinese is necessary.”
Military Career Coach is just one of the many efforts that are part of Accenture’s Operation: Employment military outreach program. Through Operation: Employment, Accenture works not only to draw candidates from this talented pool, but to equip veterans with the skills they need to transition to the civilian workforce.
In partnership with organizations like the Veterans Administration and Student Veterans of America, Accenture hosts workshops specifically for military veterans, to help them create corporate resumes, learn about interviewing and start a job search as they transition to civilian life.
Accenture collaborates with outside organizations, such as the 10,000 Jobs Mission and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes program, to both share and learn industry-leading practices. The company is a member of the SAP Veterans to Work initiative, which aims to help U.S. veterans acquire the skills and certifications they need for IT careers. Accenture also partners with a wide network of local and national nonprofits, schools, and government agencies, including the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF), to provide guidance and resources for veterans as they transition.
A critical component of Operation: Employment’s success is the Military Employee Resource Group.
“The most challenging aspect for any veteran is, and will continue to be, adjusting to an organizational culture different from the military,” says Linda Singh, Managing Director at Accenture and Brigadier General in the Maryland Army National Guard. “In many cases, a veteran’s role and the work that she or he does will be somewhat ambiguous. Finding a niche or leveraging strengths based on prior experience may not come naturally. For all veterans—to different extents—this will be something that they have to work at.
“For me, being able to continue to contribute to the success of my clients associated with public service is one of the best ways to continually give back every day. I feel that I make a significant impact by continuing to mentor and coach our young people and help them become better leaders.”
Accenture has been designated a Military Friendly Employer by Militaryfriendly.com and G.I. Jobs and has been named one of the top employers for veterans by Military Times.
“It’s important for veterans to join groups in the workplace that can help ease the transition from the field to the off ice. Accenture has many internal networking groups, including a Military Employee Resource Group (ERG). The Military ERG has helped me connect with fellow veterans at Accenture, and that’s really been helpful.” – Rebekah Hanks Business Analyst, Accenture; U.S. Air Force, Staff Sergeant, Chinese Cryptologic Linguist