On Tuesday, military spouse Heather Boyd was busy networking with companies at the Hiring Our Heroes job fair at Camp Pendleton. Boyd has a Master's of education and teaching experience-- yet she still can't find a job.
“It's incredibly challenging,” Boyd said. “I have invested a lot of time and energy in myself, and it was a career I loved.”
Boyd has moved from state to state and needs different credentials to teach in each. Add that to education budget cuts in California, and she has found herself looking for new options.
Boyd isn't alone. More than 450 spouses in similar situations also attended the job fair.
“You have to move around with your spouse, and you can't really focus on the things you're trying to do,” military spouse Loriale Brown said.
A new, online tool to help military spouses get an edge was unveiled at Tuesday’s event. It’s called Career Spark.
“What Career Spark will do is sort of aggregate all of their experiences, their paid experience as well as their volunteer experience, and put it in a skills-based functional resume,” said Noreen O’Neil, Director of the Hiring Our Heroes Military Spouse Program.
A functional resume highlights achievements and reduces the appearance of job gaps from frequent moves. It’s perfect for Boyd who volunteered as president of a Family Readiness Group (FRG.)
“I was a leader in volunteering, and that does translate into a position at a company,” she said.
The Graybill Medical Group sees the benefit in hiring military spouses based on their unique experience.
"They really understand how to make that patient feel warm and welcome because they know what that is like, coming to a new city and needing to feel warm welcome, too,” said Jackie Craw with Graybill.
Toyota sponsored the Camp Pendleton job fair and the Career Spark tool.