OPEC College


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Myth Buster: Are veterans valued by civilian recruiters?

There is a belief amongst veterans that their skills are not transferrable to the civilian world. This is simply not true.

Veterans bring invaluable skills coupled with a strong work ethic to civilian employers and are sought after by recruiters in both the public and private sector.

What gives veterans their edge? Here we list their top four skills:

Work Ethic – veterans are renowned for their ‘can do’ attitude, strong work ethic and attention to detail. Employers appreciate that veterans are typically loyal, trustworthy and self-driven individuals with integrity and solid time management skills. Results matter to veterans and employers recognise this.

Leadership – Leadership is an integral component of life in the Defence force, and civilian employers understand that veterans have practical experience in leading teams. Coupled with this, veterans are competent delegators who accept responsibility and motivate, inspire and lead in the best possible way – by example.

Teamwork – Veterans make excellent leaders but are equally good at working in teams. Within the military, teamwork is often critical for success, and veterans are known for their ability to organise team projects around people’s strengths and weaknesses. Veterans tend to be less focussed on the individual and more focused on the overall success of the project, and this sets them apart.

Adaptability – Veterans are trained throughout their career to perform effectively under pressure and to adapt to change, and these are sought after skills in the civilian world. Typically, veterans are regarded as quick learners and solution seekers who perform effectively in fast paced environments. They are also perceived as continuous learners with well-developed communication skills.


David Kirkby – General Manager OPEC College

[email protected]


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