Thursday Missoula will host one of the largest career fairs in western Montana and coordinators tell us they hope to see a good number of military veterans there.
NBC Montana caught up with a local vet who says it can be tough working your way back into a civilian career.
“I had combat tour in Iraq and a couple of other mobilization deployments and that transition was very difficult,” said Missoula veteran Samuel Redfern. “I went from working for a law firm in northern Virginia and then Washington, D.C., to a combat zone, to active duty NCO at Fort Campbell, back into the civilian world.”
Redfern says he understands how rough the transition from military back to civilian life can be. That’s why he says, with veteran unemployment so high, he wants to encourage his fellow vets, who may be in need of a job, to attend the career fair tomorrow.
“You have to push your skills, you have to brand yourself and you have to get your resume out there,” he said.
Redfern tells NBC Montana that veterans have a lot of qualities that make them top-notch employees like having a strong work ethic.
“They're going to be used to discipline, they're going to be used to order and they're going to be on time,” said Redfern. “In the military, especially in the army if you’re not 15 minutes early you’re not on time.”
Director of Missoula Job Service Wolf Ametsbichler says attendees should bring plenty of resumes, dress for interviews and be ready to sell their skills.
“They should have a half-minute elevator speech selling themselves as best as they can,” said Ametsbichler. “Pointing to their service and what they have learned in the military and what skill's they've acquired.”
“If you're looking for an unselfish team player, veterans are the way to go for your company,” said Redfern.
He says despite how difficult the transition can be, he hopes his fellow vets take advantage of the career fair opportunity.
“Ninety percent of life is showing up and you can't get the job you're looking for unless you're there and put yourself forward tomorrow,” said Redfern. “I would encourage vets who are watching your program to show up.”
Event coordinators told NBC Montana there will be nearly 100 employers at Thursday’s event, covering a huge variety of careers so if you're looking for a job this is the place to be.
NBC Montana is a proud sponsor of the Hiring Our Heroes job event. You can check it out at the Hilton Garden Inn on North Reserve, Thursday in Missoula.
Doors open at 2:30 p.m. for veterans, National Guard and Reserve personnel. The general public will be let in at 3:00 p.m.
Click here for more information.