For some time, I have used this venue to expound on the virtues of attracting and hiring applicants that have served in the military, and have appreciated the laudatory comments from readers citing positive examples of their own successful military recruitment strategies. As everyone seeks new talent pools to access, yet another community of applicants deserves your attention: the military spouses. Often, it is the military spouse that makes the greatest sacrifices of all, being left to be both mother and father to the family, responsible at a moment’s notice to take on their duties as the service member heads off to an assignment whose outcome is unsure. In the process, the spouse learns to deal with stress, developing conflict resolution skills and uncovering hidden talents to meet the challenges. It’s important to note that the spousal community is an extremely tight-knit one, and highly networked out of necessity, making it an easy target to develop, for the right recruiter. Even during peacetime, the life of a military spouse is not easy, with a new assignment requiring a complete household move every three years or so, it’s hard to develop a resume that makes sense, unless you appreciate the “hidden skills” that one develops in coping with constant change, creating new support networks, and taking on responsibilities one didn’t bargain for. Such talents are directly transferable in today’s corporate environment. The life of a military spouse may or may not take them away from the home in order to create a better quality of life for their family; however, spouses are not purely “domestic engineers.” Before entering the military life themselves, their education and experiences may have been as computer programmers, healthcare workers, sales professionals or a variety of other occupations. Even without a formal education, applicants with a strong work ethic, excellent people skills, and proven time/stress management techniques are much in demand. Similar to their military service member counterpart, they also share the desire to succeed, not merely survive. In that quest, new skills are obtained and perfected, but it takes an “investigative recruiter” to see how these talented individuals could be an asset to any organization. Especially in this era of cyber-recruiting and telecommuting, this pool of applicants scattered in sometimes remote locations have few alternatives to develop potential career alternatives. Either in a transitioning or accompanying spouse role, this talent pool should not be overlooked simply because their resumes don’t read right?it’s what you don’t see on the resume that really counts.
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