Marine veteran from Arlington Heights helps comrades get jobs
After four years in the Marine Corps, the transition from military service to civilian life wasn't easy, Arlington Heights resident Scott Lietzow admits.
Finding a job so he could financially support his family was a particular challenge.
"When I transitioned in 2010, most companies did not have military (hiring) programs, so most companies didn't know what value a mortar man brought to the table," Lietzow, 30, said.
But an encounter with then-congressman Bob Dold led to a job as the Kenilworth Republican's district representative for veterans outreach.
"This position was a defining moment in my life," Lietzow said.
"It allowed me to leverage my valuable experience in the military."
It also prepared Lietzow for his current job as military and veterans talent recruiter for Northbrook-based insurance giant Allstate.
Lietzow recruits active-duty troops, veterans and military spouses for jobs at Allstate. He also trains hiring managers to use veteran-specific interview tactics and how to translate military skills and resumes into company skills, among other tasks.
Lietzow also works with Allstate's Joining Forces for Good program, which helps veterans become licensed sales workers at Allstate agencies.
More than 400 veterans were hired through that program in 2018, he said, and about 300 veterans were hired in other roles at Allstate last year.
"There is no better feeling in the world than to tell a veteran that they got the job," Lietzow said.
"I know what it is like to make the transition, and I know what it is like for someone to give you the chance to prove yourself."
Lietzow believes many veterans have trouble finding civilian jobs after their military service primarily for three reasons: many don't know how to translate their military experience into civilian skills on a resume; they may not know which companies value their experience; and they may never have experienced a job interview.
Lietzow, who has been with Allstate about two years, said he's proud to work for a company that helps hire and develop veterans and their spouses.
"Many companies are now starting to realize that hiring veterans is not only the right thing to do, but that hiring veterans is good for business," he said. "If companies are not actively trying to hire veterans, they are going to miss out on great employees."
To learn more about job opportunities for veterans at Allstate, visit allstate.jobs/veterans.
• Do you know of veterans helping other veterans, doing good things for their community or who have an interesting story to tell? Share your story at firstname.lastname@example.org.