There’s no doubt that veterans are highly trained individuals with strong work ethics and good values. However, it can sometimes be a challenge to successfully make the move from a structured military work environment to the corporate world. To overcome this challenge, WilsonHCG's Operation Transition helps veterans connect with and be found by top employers in an effort to eliminate veteran unemployment. Every great career needs to start somewhere, and in today's market, that often means an online job search. That why this Memorial Day and beyond we're sharing these tips for veterans on where to begin.
Are you a veteran who would like to speak with a Recruitment Specialist about your resume? Click here.
Start with your resume
A resume is a critical component of your job search. Whether you already have a resume, or are starting from scratch, it’s important to put in the effort to make sure it’s done right. The resume should be unique to you, as it should actively portray your personal brand, value proposition and career goals.
WilsonHCG’s Operation Transition offers the opportunity to work with talent acquisition experts who will help veterans review their resumes, identify the best avenues for their search, and provide general career guidance at any stage of the job search process.
Identify your Target and do Your Homework
Once your resume is ready to go, the next step is identifying target companies. Chances are, you have a general idea of the industry you would like to work in, so a quick Google search can reveal some of the more popular companies to target. If you are not sure what type of role or company you are interested in, you can check out the Forbes Top Employers for Veterans list. Another way to find more local companies with jobs for veterans is to search job boards such as Indeed, Monster or CareerBuilder for open positions in your area and take note of the company names.
It is time to gather intelligence and establish your “most wanted” list. Glassdoor is a great resource to gain insight from both candidates and current employees in regards to the culture and working environment, and ensure that the company values are in line with your personal values. Glassdoor also lists information such as approval of the CEO, average salary ranges, interview process information and interview questions that can help you prepare for the interview stages of your job search.
Take advantage of resources available to you
Many veterans are familiar with LinkedIn as a job search tool, but aren’t using it to its full potential. Not only is it a great professional resource to search and apply for jobs on, but it is a global platform for networking. LinkedIn has now made available to eligible military and veteran members a free 1-year job seeker membership to LinkedIn and Lynda.com.
The benefits to this upgraded membership on LinkedIn include making your profile two times more prominent than other candidates in recruiting search results. It also grants the ability to apply to jobs as a Featured Applicant, which will put you at the top of the list, above regular LinkedIn members who apply, and it also provides access to the full list of people who viewed your profile within the last 90 days, so you can reach out to continue building your network or follow up.
In addition to the benefits of the free job seeker membership, Lynda.com provides an entire library of training videos that give advice on how to make the transition to civilian work life seamless as well as videos showing you how to navigate through the application and interview processes.
Engage your prospective employers
In addition to applying for positions on job boards, take the extra step to go to the company’s career page and apply directly. This approach to job searching focuses on quality over quantity. Rather than applying to every viable position, you are strategically selecting those that are most in line with your values and career aspirations based on intelligence gathered through research. Thorough preparation is key to success with all battle plans, especially your job search.
Do some research to find the names of human resources or recruiting professionals in the organizations that you find most interesting. Reach out to them on LinkedIn or send them a direct email expressing your interest in working for their company. In the message, be sure to mention information you discovered about the company or position through research, and how you can help the company achieve their goals for the future. You can also follow the company on Glassdoor and LinkedIn, or join their talent community if available. This helps set you apart as a candidate who is proactive, ambitious and well-researched to land that job in a corporate environment.