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What Can You Bring To The Table That You Under Value?

May 7, 2024

I’ve seen literally thousands of CVs over the years and although the standard of CV writing has undoubtedly improved in that time, many people are still getting some of the basics wrong. There will be CV writers and consultants who disagree with what I say in this article and if you feel something is not for you, feel free to ignore it but there will almost certainly be something you’re not doing.

Many of you will read this and scoff – please don’t.

When I set up FRS in 2001 it was all about recruiting based on skill – if you were an engineer, a logistician, a clerk, a chef then you were wanted. If you were infantry, RAF Regiment or Royal Marines it was security or driving. I served as a musician – pah! There was no place for me. If you were over 50 you were done.
Has all of this just vanished? No it hasn’t but things have definitely improved. I get asked for the “military mindset” 50% of the time from a new employer. They don’t always articulate it like this but that is what they want.

So what HAS changed? 
I’ve seen a gradual shift away from skill and towards mindset. Those who have employed military or veterans themselves know they will get the following:

  • Can do attitude

  • Fast learners

  • Resilience

  • Give and follow orders

  • Loyalty

  • Integrity

  • Team players

  • Strong work ethic

  • Built to train and to learn

  • Physically fit

  • Able to handle pressure

  • Have stamina

  • Face danger head on

This is a list built into us as servicemen and women from day 1 – those who don’t fit usually drop off but you will almost certainly recognise a list of attributes that you take for granted. It is NOT a list readily found in civvies or I wouldn’t keep getting asked for the “military mindset”

Does that mean skill isn’t important? Of course not, but it’s not the whole picture for the modern-day employer. Behaviour is valued just as much, if not more. One of the things I stand by is that people are hired on skill and fired on behaviour.

It’s also important to note that employers are turning back to experience and older candidates and there is once again value in being over 50 and, far from being “burnt out” this group has much still to offer. This is why the Prime Minister is working on ways to tempt early retirees back into the workplace because their experience – both in skill and in life is vital to get our economy back on track.

We also have a collective responsibility as veterans, to talk about what we can do daily and keep pushing the skills and values of veterans; to get in the faces of employers and show them what we are capable of. If you haven’t done so already, tab into your employer and tell them to start recruitment of veterans NOW.

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