Despite today's high unemployment numbers, employers continue to struggle finding job candidates with the right soft skills, such as leadership and problem-solving abilities. Veterans, however, faced demanding situations during their military service, and they're better prepared to handle high-pressure conditions, says Nancy Hammer, senior government affairs policy counsel at the Society for Human Resource Management.

Unlike technical skills, these soft skills are not easily taught, especially in the civilian setting. Workers entering the work force straight out of school typically haven't been involved in situations that call for the kind of leadership that veterans have faced. Developing those soft skills takes experience; those skills simply cannot be taught in the classroom.

"These soft skills, such as being a team member and working under pressure, come through experience," Hammer says. "It's trial and error, and sometimes when you're newly in the work force, you haven't had a lot of experience like that under your belt, but someone who has served in the military has been in those situations."

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