Weathering the storm

posted on
Jeffrey C. Hall, National Employment Director

In a relatively short period of time, our nation’s economy and employment rates have been turned upside down as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. For many of our veterans, steady jobs have been replaced by slashed hours, layoffs, unemployment checks and uncertainty about the future.

At the onset of the outbreak, and as social distancing quickly became the new normal, all in-person career fairs were converted to online virtual events to ensure our nation’s heroes still have access to employment opportunities.

It’s hard to predict the full impact of this pandemic on our country, but we owe it to the veterans we serve to honor their resilience and help them get back on their feet as quickly as possible.

DAV’s in-person and virtual events are always free to veterans, their spouses, active-duty military personnel, and members of the National Guard and Reserve, and they are a great platform to help make connections with employers.

Whether you’re currently transitioning out of the military, recently out of work or simply looking for a new start, job hunting can be a stressful task. This mission is made more difficult in the face of a national health crisis, but not any less important.

The pandemic has had an immediate impact on event participation. The first national virtual event in the era of “shelter in place” did extremely well. We hope that, in spite of the anxiety we all face, companies are still looking to hire veterans to fill their ranks.

You can register for and find a complete listing of DAV career fairs at davjobfairs.org. For those of you interested in attending a virtual event, here are four quick tips:

  1. Test your equipment. At least a few days before the fair, test your internet connection to ensure it’s reliable. And, although a camera and microphone are not necessary, it never hurts to ensure they are functioning properly for a potential video call with a prospective employer.
  2. Find employers and job openings that fit. It’s extremely important that you research employers who will be attending the virtual career fair. Many employers will also list the openings they are hoping to fill.
  3. Develop tailored resumes. Develop a list of keywords and phrases from each employer and job listing that you can use on your resume to help you succeed.
  4. Prepare responses. You should prepare short accomplishment stories to answer typical screening interview questions. Practice your responses, even write out an outline of what you want to say, but do not memorize responses. Keep them concise. When possible, include some keywords you found.

DAV’s employment department will continue to do all we can to assist veterans, their spouses and transitioning service members during this hard time. Together, we can weather the storm.