ARLINGTON — The Arlington Fly-In hosted the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs’ “Hero 2 Hired” program for the first time this year, as the H2H Mobile Job Store welcomed military members and their families from throughout the area to address their employment questions and concerns to H2H advisors on July 12-13.
“This is our first visit here at the Fly-In, because this big rig has only existed for a little over a year,” said John Patterson, who provided career advice to a steady stream of service members on both days. “I’ve seen a number of Navy boatswain’s mates, as well as some Army veterans who have been out for a while. We’ve even gotten spouses and parents who have come in to try and help their loved ones find jobs before they get out.”
Patterson touted H2H as a comprehensive, multi-faceted program that utilizes an electronic job and career web platform, mobile applications and Facebook integration, and virtual and physical career fairs to address the unique employment challenges facing members of the Guard and Reserve in particular. The Mobile Job Store allows Guard and Reserve attendees to search for available jobs through the H2H jobs website, which is specifically designed to connect them with military-friendly civilian employers that have made a stated commitment to hire veterans. It also provides service members assistance with resume building and translating their military skills to civilian job qualifications.
Steve and Millie Kettel came from Mount Vernon to check out the Mobile Job Store for their son, who’s still serving in the Army and stationed in Germany, and Patterson supplied them with a number of suggestions, including that their son should consider signing up for the Guard to continue supplementing his income as a civilian.
“It can be tough to make do while you’re trying to find a civilian job,” said Patterson, who also pointed out the difference between civilian and military resumes. “Civilian recruiters will look at a resume for maybe 15-30 seconds, so military members need to write their resumes more concisely than they’re used to.”
Patterson explained that H2H even offers resume critiquing services via email, since employers such as Boeing “don’t even let a human being look at a resume until a machine has scanned it twice, looking for the right words.”
“This is so well done,” Millie Kettel said of the Mobile Job Store, after speaking with Patterson.
“I’m very impressed, especially as a parent,” Steve Kettel said. “Our son has four children of his own, and has faithfully served his country for nine years, so we just want what’s right for him.”
The Mobile Job Store is traveling across the country to help members of the Guard and Reserve find employment through the H2H program. Prior to Arlington, the Mobile Job Store visited Joint Base Lewis McChord, and is set to cover Mississippi and Kansas in the following weeks.