Between takes, Dolan and the other Ask Me About vets talked about the frustrating misconceptions that the public, including prospective employers, seems to cling to. Beth Woloszyn-Redman, 31, a former U.S. Marine signals intelligence analyst who is now a HP marketing research analyst in San Diego, recalls that she has heard employers talk about the “angry vet” who’s likely to bark orders at his or her colleagues, or the “damaged vet” who needs to be treated with caution. “As a vet, I don’t want you to be worried about working with me,” she says.
Another common misconception, this one dating from the days of the military draft, involves the comment, “Thank you for your service.” It’s always nice be thanked, says John-Peter Cruz, 34, who served in a U.S. Army engineering unit in Afghanistan, but it’s really not appropriate when speaking to a member of today’s all-volunteer armed services about their career. “We chose to do this, nobody's forcing us,” Cruz explains. “This is what I signed up to do, so why thank me? This is my job.”
Veterans also want employers to know how experienced they are working with all types of people. "If you want to see how people from all walks of life interact with each other, go check out a military unit," says Jason "Jay" Fraser, who served as a Marine and is now HP's VR business development manager and a member of HP's Veterans Business Impact Network. "They are absolutely fantastic about everybody being on board. It doesn't matter your color, your creed — all that is out the window. So I think the military overall is the model of how folks should interact and be on the same team."
Woloszyn-Redman says she hopes vets will see the video and feel empowered to better sell their skills on job applications and interviews. “You know, the military and companies are alike. They both use a lot of acronyms and lingo that nobody else understands,” she says. “One of the biggest hang ups on the veteran’s side is making your resume understandable. You worked on aircraft? That’s fine and good, but you have to translate it on your resume for the guy who’s hiring a team to do 3D printing. It’s all about speaking the same language.”
Read our profile of HP’s Jason Fraser, a Marine turned business development manager.