Small business owners, here’s your chance to help a veteran

Last month I was working my way through my stack of unread magazines when I came across an ad in Money with this headline: “Help a veteran during your morning commute.” The ad was for an online Q&A community, ACP AdvisorNet, where you can provide advice to veterans transitioning into new careers in the private sector. You can also post information if you have jobs available. The site is run by a nonprofit.

I have tracked the site for a few weeks now and have found that a number of veterans are seeking advice on how to start a small business. Many others need help on how to craft their resume for the specific industry in which they’re seeking employment. Others are want mentors in either specific industries or geographic areas. These are all areas where the audience could be helpful. I encourage you to give the site a look to see if you can give a helping hand to some of these veterans.

All you have to do to participate is fill out a short profile. Once you’re in the directory, veterans also can reach out to you personally as well through messages sent via the website. I had one veteran do this last week, and I think I was able to provide him with some good advice on marketing his new business.

The list of questions being posted by veterans changes daily but to give you a flavor for what you’ll find at the site, here are some of the current queries:

• Separating from the Army in 4 months, incredibly frustrated by the resume writing process. (From a U.S. Army Sergeant with 11 years of service.)

• Are you aware of any companies or government agencies seeking to hire experienced IT professionals? (From a retired U.S. Navy Petty Officer First Class, with 20 years of service)

• “Over qualified” “Too seasoned” Now What? (From a U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant with 6 years of service)

• Seeking Engineering and or Maintenance Employment Onboard a Vessel with an International Co. (From a U.S. Army Sergeant with six years of service)

• Seeking employment in Northern New Jersey (From a U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer with 23 years of service)

• Job search burnout – Advice/Mentor needed (From a U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant with 20 years served.)

Some times these people just need a little pep talk to keep them going on what for many is a lengthy job search. In other cases, you might have specific advice or news of job opportunities within your network that could make all the difference to them. I hope you’ll consider reaching out to help those who have served our nation.

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