As a member of the U.S. Military, there is a PCS pattern that occurs around the May to August timeframe. In some cases, you could be transitioning out of the Army during these peak times.
Starting your career exploration before your last day in the Army is vital to landing a job at the right time. Depending on the industry you choose to enter, certain times of year might not be the best hiring season for a company. As you review these dates, start planning ahead – it’s never too early to apply for a job. Continue reading
How do Veterans fit into a Civilian Recruiting Funnel?
Veterans are no strangers to strategy, models, organizational structures, and formal processes focused on goals or outcomes. Whether this brings any comfort or not, the civilian world does function very similarly in that capacity, especially in the job selection and recruiting arenas.
(The Army actually utilizes a version of a recruiting funnel for its own recruiting and selection process too.)
So what is a recruiting funnel? Continue reading
Do you know where you fit in, in the labor force?
The labor force is no longer divided into the white-collar and blue-collar workers. It’s actually broken up into three categories:
High-Skilled: a college degree or higher
Middle-Skilled: associates degree or some college courses
Low-Line: high school diploma or GED
When you look closely at U.S. jobs and workers, we’re actually over capacity with high-skilled and low-skilled workers. In other words, there are not enough jobs to fill the demand for workers in the two categories. However, the opposite holds true for middle-skilled workers. As a nation, we don’t have enough workers to fill the demand for middle-skilled jobs. Continue reading
There is an art in being able to explain yourself. Telling your story in a way that makes it compelling to an employer or interviewer is a skill to be mastered. Explaining your personal contribution and relevance to others doesn’t necessarily involve comprising your background and content but it does involve some self-awareness and delivery.
How can you effectively talk and communicate your way through an interview process? Melissa Marshall has some great tips… gone are the days of death by PowerPoint. Continue reading
Once you have a solid understanding of the breakdown and best practices in the interviewing process, you can begin to drill down to the more specific and detailed practices which can push you over the top. These vary from developing your story to mastering your non-verbals, and ultimately to honing your impromptu responses to standard – and surprise – questions.
The Darden Alumni Career Services website has a very nicely organized set of tips and best practices that are highly effective and can be applied in just about any interviewing scenario. Having your own personal story down to a science is paramount to setting the tone for the interview. Continue reading
Military experience is complex. Trying to explain it to someone who has never been a part of the community or even known a soldier, personally or professionally, is even more complex. When you sit down to look at career exploration, start with resume translation and interview preparation.
Breaking down the process into two phases can be helpful. The resume will be the written, first impression that a potential employer sees as it slides onto the desk amongst possibly hundreds of other qualified applicants. The interview is your opportunity to present yourself as the qualified, professional you are — in person, in real-time.
So when you’ve made it through the application process, translated resume in hand, you look good on paper, but what other qualities may an employer be interested in talking about in person that you can directly relate to from the framework of your military experience? Continue reading
You can’t launch a job search without a great resume, but now that you’ve got a great one, you have to strategize about the next steps in your search. This process is oddly similar to dating: If you know what you’re looking for, you’re more likely to find it – target selectively! It also doesn’t hurt to have some great connections or wingmen in both of these processes so – network, network, network!
Scattershot is never the most effective way to conduct your job search. You’ll only exhaust yourself and get discouraged if you send tons of resumes to tons of employers. If you just randomly blanket the market with resumes, you’re going to get more rejections – no matter how awesome your resume is – because employers are wise to that kind of mass marketing. Think about those mass mail marketing pieces you find in your snail mail or those spam emails you get in your inbox. You likely don’t even open them. Employers won’t read past the first few lines if you are unfocused. So focus in on your true target, and your search will be more effective and less draining. Being targeted also comes across as more genuine and enthusiastic to potential employers. Think quality vs. quantity.
Consider your VIPS:
Values – We all have them, but we don’t always consider them in our job search. What’s most important to you in this life? Has this changed over time? How do you want to represent your values in your work?
Interests – What do you do in your free time? What makes you lose track of time you’re so interested in it? You love it so much, you’d do it for free if you could afford to.
Personality – Are you introverted or extroverted? Highly structured or a free-spirit? Do you possess the power of ‘WOO’ (Winning Others Over)?
Skills – We often know the most about this aspect of ourselves, but it’s not the only thing we should consider. Your skills are broader than just your job titles and duties. You likely have more skills than you even realize.
If you want assistance clarifying any of your VIPS, commonly used assessments available are: Sokanu, Myers-Briggs (MBTI), MyPlan, and Strengths Finder are just the tip of the iceberg. Often the assessments are available online, but avoid anything with a fee.
There are also many books available that coordinate with these assessments, if the printed page is more your style. Do What You Are and Strengths-Based Leadership are a couple great ones!
Ever wonder if people are really listening to you? As we’ve seen in previous TedTalk highlights, there are great behavioral methods to adopt to be not only a more effective communicator, but also someone who others’ actually listen, absorb, and react to.
As your transition from military to civilian life involves many conversations where you need answers, assistance, opportunities, and results, Julian Treasure has some great tips on how to speak so that people WANT to listen. Continue reading
The Interview Process
The job interview is a culmination of all of your efforts to sell yourself as a viable candidate for the target position you are seeking. For the hiring manager and recruiter, the interview is a chance to meet you face-to-face and to determine whether or not you are a good culture fit for the organization.
While the interview process varies from firm to firm it generally follows a general structure involving an initial phone screening, then an in-person behavioral interview, followed by a technical or case interview, and ultimately a final behavioral style interview with the key decision-maker. Continue reading
Explaining the gaps in your employment history can be both nerve-wracking and confusing for most people.
As many Veterans decide to leave the Military and use additional vacation time to transition into their next career path, this additional gap combined with military service can prove confusing to potential employers too. Employers will sometimes make assumptions about candidates with a gap in their employment and often employers believe the best workers are the ones who already have work.
But as with life, things happen. Unemployment happens, transitions happen, and in the end, honesty is always the best route. Continue reading