It’s no surprise that Veterans make phenomenal employees. They have incredible leadership skills, work ethic and dedication to the mission at hand.

Training and development come easily to Veterans, and the experience they gained in the Military usually translates well in a corporate environment because they are cool under pressure and are adaptable, resilient and natural problem solvers.

Veterans are technically adept, they are process-orientated and many of them seek out employment that can provide the same dynamic yet structured environment that their time in the service gave them. Naturally, corporations are taking notice.

Every year, more and more companies are creating Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives aimed at attracting and retaining Veteran job seekers. Whether it be Wells Fargo, which pledged to hiring 20,000 Veteran employees by 2020, or Northrop Grumman, a long-standing Military-friendly company, every employer is taking steps to educate transitioning service members on what they have to offer their potential new Veteran employees.

It is clear that Veteran recruiting has moved beyond your traditional public relations project or media and marketing campaign. Veteran hiring has proven itself to be just plain good for business, and there have been very successful programs and initiatives born from the booming need for Veteran talent in Corporate America.

So what are these companies doing right? How are they recruiting Veterans, and retaining them for years over their smaller counterparts in the same industries?

There are a few key areas that have set these employers apart. Outlined below are the 5 Best Practices I have identified in employers that have had sustainable success in recruiting and retaining Veteran employees within their company.

Communicating Values: Companies with clear values and strong communication of those values are speaking a Veterans’ language. Veterans are generally values-driven, as they have volunteered their lives for their country for the greater good of what they believe in.

To attract and retain someone with strong values, an employer must also have strong actionable values. For more on values communication, watch this TED clip of Simon Sinek explaining his “Start With Why” theory. You can see how a company that is communicating their Why and not just their What will have stronger ties to military job seekers and employees. Companies like Amazon and Starbucks clearly communicate what they believe in and why they do the work they do. They are also extremely successful in their Veteran Hiring Initiatives.

Structure in Transition: Transitioning from a Federal employer to a private one is a huge culture shift for a Veteran job seeker. Veterans exiting the military have acclimated to an environment of extreme structure. Their leadership roles are defined distinctly, and chain of command is easily understood in every situation. This is not the same in corporate culture. Often leadership is more fluid and the team you work with may have competing agendas in civilian work places. Not everyone works the same way, or communicates the same way.

Because of the shift in culture and environment, Veterans must learn a completely new set of social and professional “languages” for the workplace. This wont be a challenge for a new Veteran hire, but they will require a structured onboarding specifically tailored to their needs as a Veteran to understand and adapt to their new employment. Companies with structured Veteran-specific training or onboarding programs have proven to attract and retain more Veteran Talent, one example being the Raytheon onboarding and training programs.

Mentorship: Veterans are thrust into a culture unlike any other when they join the Military. Once they transition back into civilian culture and find employment with a company, their culture shock does not just disappear. Do you recall beginning college, being alone and in a new environment with completely different rules than where you came from? It was overwhelming to say the least, but most likely you had an assigned mentor to assist you in the transition, either your new roommate or even an older student within your school.

Similar to training and onboarding programs, mentorship is another common theme among successful Military-friendly employers. Mentorship can take different forms depending on the size of the company and the style of leadership and culture, but it is clear that Veterans benefit from familiarity in a new place. They thrive in mentorship programs and learn quickly from their assigned mentor within the company, tending to stay longer with companies that offer it. American Corporate Partners (ACP) offers Veterans mentors across different companies.

Leadership and Development: It is no secret that the leadership skills found in Veterans are second to none. Natural leaders are attracted to the Military, and those entering the civilian workforce after the Military possess strong skills in leading, training, teacher and developing themselves and others. In the Military, promotional opportunities are already outlined clearly, and you know exactly what you must do to achieve the next rank. Corporate environments are not the same, and it may be costing companies valuable Veteran talent as a result.

Conversely, companies that offer unique leadership and development opportunities are attracting and retaining Veteran talent for the long haul. Wells Fargo boasts that over half of their Veteran employees have stayed with them for over 5 years. The Deloitte CORE program offers Veteran recent graduates a unique opportunity to gain insight in business environments. Each of these companies has also hired and retained large numbers of Veterans and spouses over the years.

Community: The last identifier for a strong Veteran-focused company that retains its employees is its understanding that when you hire a new employee, you also hire their family. In the Military, the military members’ family is supported in all aspects of their lives. From education, to benefits, to healthcare and living quarters. A civilian company is not responsible for all of these things, but the “safety net” mentality is still something that is desired and appreciated by Veterans in the civilian workforce.

Companies can adopt a community-based support network for Veteran employees through starting Veteran Resource Groups (VRG’s), Veteran appreciation programs, and by supporting Veteran spouses. Southern California Edison has VALOR resource group events for its military-related employees, as does Raytheon RayVets. Starbucks offers tuition reimbursement for full time employee Veterans and their spouses too, to gain a Bachelors degree through ASU online, all free. The common theme in these companies is that their Veteran employees stay longer and perform better in an environment where they feel at home.

Not all of these Best Practices will be feasible for a company. Depending on staff, resources and infrastructure, a company may or may not be able to execute them all. However, if you try to adopt them, buy-in on the executive leadership level will be key to implementing the changes in a corporate environment. But whether you adopt one or five of these traits as a Military-Friendly company, exploring these options is a great start to creating sustainable, successful Veteran Hiring and Retention Initiatives.

I’ve included examples of companies in various industries who have proven themselves successful in their Veteran hiring initiatives, to illustrate the different ways that an employer can attract and retain Veteran talent. This is not a complete list by any means, but in my work these companies have stood out. This is not a ranking, and the order in which the companies are listed is random.

1.    Verizon – This company was not only ranked #1 on Military friendly in 2018, it also funds many training and workforce nonprofit programs for Veterans. Oh, and its hires 11,000 Veterans to date.

2.    Accenture – Along with its pledge to hire 5,000 Veterans and spouses by 2020, Accenture has been clear in its values and goals on this front.

3.    Raytheon – A well-known Military employer, Raytheon not only hires thousands of Veterans a every year, it also offers an Operation Phoenix Program for post 9/11 Veterans.

4.    Home Depot – Other than being a great store for home improvement, since 2012 Home Depot has improved the lives of 55,000 Veterans by hiring them for new careers.

5.    Starbucks – Starbucks recruits for Veterans and Spouses, and has hired 15,000 to date. It also provides free tuition for employees without degrees through ASU online, spouses too.

6.    JPMorgan Chase – JPMC has not only hired 13,000 veterans themselves, they also created a very successful Veteran mentorship program.

7.    Amazon – Amazon Military has recently begun shining the spotlight on Veterans and spouses, and has put its money where its mouth is with full staff Veteran recruiting teams.

8.    Cedars-Sinai – Relatively new to the Veteran initiative space, Cedars has already proven itself as a dedicated employer with its own Veteran Recruiter and career pathways.

9.    Boeing – Boeing has hired nearly 10,000 Veterans in the last seven years, making up about 15% of its workforce.

10. Booz Allen Hamilton – Another employer with internal programs designed just for Military, this company was ranked highly on the job-hunt.org list for Veterans.

11. Comcast NBCUniversal – Another company with its own Veteran recruiting department, Comcast has received several accolades including being ranked #4 on Military Friendly’s list in 2017.

12. AECOM – In addition to hiring over 9,000 veterans since its Veteran initiative inception, AECOM partners with Veteran organizations like Semper Fi Fund and American Corporate Partner (ACP).

13. Walt Disney – This company began its initiative in 2012 with Heroes Work Here. Six years later, it is still going strong and offers numerous benefits for its Veteran employees.

14. UPS United Postal Service has an extensive careers and resources page for Veterans. The Military landing page dives deep into skills translators and culture fit.

15. Edison International – This energy company not only ensures that 5% of its incoming workforce are prior Military, they also have 7% veteran representation at the executive level. Impressive.

16. Lockheed Martin – Lockheed has extensive internal programs for Veteran hiring, and in 2017 won a spot as #9 on the Military Times’ “Best for Vets” list.

17. Deloitte – Consulting is a phenomenal second career for Veterans, especially retirees, and the Deloitte CORE program has helped many recent graduate veterans.

18. Metro – LA Metro began its Veteran Hiring initiative in 2012, and has been transparent in its hiring reports of veterans annually every year since.

19. Wells Fargo – As stated earlier, this company has long been working on recruiting and retaining Vets, and has pledged to hiring 20,000 Veteran employees by 2020

20. Northrop Grumman – A dedicated Military recruiting team sits at Northrop’s corporate offices, and the company is known for hiring transitioning members right out of the service.

From Military.com

The VA has compiled their top tips to help veterans seeking employment. These tips will help veterans identify areas where they can improve and how to navigate the job-seeking process.

1. Network

Ask family members, friends, and other veterans to put you in touch with the decision-makers at the places you would like to work. Contact those people and ask for an informational interview. Unlike job interviews, informational interviews let you talk with potential employers about your strengths and experiences. Even if they are not hiring, the people you connect with may be able to refer you to others who are — and they themselves may keep you in mind for future openings.

2. Emphasize character

Your skills and certifications are important, but civilian employers also want to know about your broader experience and understand how you applied your skills. Use your cover letter, résumé, and networking conversations to emphasize situations in which you took initiative, demonstrated flexibility, exhibited leadership abilities, and performed for the good of the team.

3. Translate your credentials

Most of your military training can be applied to your post-military career. However, most states and the federal government require their own licenses and certifications for jobs including flying planes, treating patients, and operating certain machinery. Find out whether you need to take an exam or a recertification course to make use of your military credentials.

4. PACE yourself

From your time in the military, you may already be familiar with PACE planning — the primary, alternate, contingency, and emergency plan for each undertaking. As you begin your search for civilian employment, recognize that your top job choices may not work out. Identify your top job picks, positions you can live with, and positions that you’d rather not take, and apply to all of them. As long as the work won’t aggravate any health concerns, don’t hesitate to take a less desirable position to pay the bills while you look for something else.

5. Use veterans’ preference

The federal government gives preference to job-seeking veterans over many other applicants. Not all military service qualifies someone to receive veterans’ preference, and so it is important to understand the specific requirements. For more information about veterans’ preference visit the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s VetGuide.

6. Reduce stress, increase confidence

Employers want to know whether your personality will fit in well with their other employees’ personalities. Put your best foot forward at job interviews by keeping your stress levels down. Get plenty of exercise, rest, and engage in normal social activities. If you start to feel anxious about your job search or any other matter, contact your VocRehab Counselor for support.

7. Ready your paperwork

Every Veteran knows the value of his or her DD214 (Report of Separation) or DD2586 (Verification of Military Experience and Training) for VA-related purposes, but these documents are also important as you prepare to enter the civilian workforce or go back to school. Make sure you have copies of your DD214 and DD2586 to show your employer or school so that it can verify your military service, training, and experience. It may also be helpful to provide transcripts of any military training and coursework you completed.

8. Prepare for a new culture

The cultures of the civilian workforce and the military are different. Know in advance that you may feel disoriented for the first few weeks in the civilian workforce, and take your time in getting used to the new work culture.

9. Take control

Career advancement in the military is linear and highly structured: You move up the ladder one step at a time. In comparison, civilian career development is less regimented. Take control of your career development: If you want to learn new skills, identify a course at your local college, university, or other institution of learning and discuss it with your supervisor. Think about how horizontal career moves will help you broaden your skills. And don’t be afraid to talk about your career development goals with your supervisor.

10. Connect to VocRehab

VocRehab helps veterans and servicemembers navigate the transition from military to civilian employment. VocRehab offers counseling, training, education, and other services to help prepare you for your next mission.

 

Source: https://www.legion.org/careers/242134/vas-top-10-tips-veteran-job-seekers

ACP’s Approach:

ACP’s free Mentoring Program connects post-9/11 veterans (Protégés) with corporate professionals (Mentors) for customized mentorships. ACP assists veterans on their path towards fulfilling, long-term careers, whether the veteran is job searching or newly employed.

Typical mentorship goals include:

  • Résumé review and interview preparation
  • Career exploration and understanding job opportunities
  • Career advancement once a position is obtained
  • Work-life balance
  • Networking
  • Small business development
  • Leadership and professional communication
Program Guidelines

An ACP mentorship is a yearlong commitment. ACP encourages Mentors and Protégés to connect for monthly discussions to advance the veteran’s goals.

Each mentorship is supported by an ACP staff member who offers customized resources, training and suggestions and to help the pair build a successful mentorship.

Pairing Process

ACP’s staff personally pairs every applicant, hand-picking a Mentor for each Protégé based on career compatibility, experience level, location and personal interests. Every Mentor and Protégé has a phone call with an ACP staff member to communicate preferences, which are then taken into account during the pairing process.

Most mentoring pairs are long-distance and communicate primarily through phone, videoconference and email exchanges.

ACP’s Veteran Protégés

Article Source: https://www.acp-usa.org/mentoring-program/program-overview

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The unemployment rate for veterans is the lowest it has ever been since September 2001, and it continuing to fall. This achievement is due in part to the employers who have made a commitment to hire those who have served in our armed forces.

In advance of Veterans Day, job site Monster worked with a panel of veteran hiring experts and Military.com to gather a list of the 10 best companies for veterans. All of the companies in the top 10 employed at least 15 percent veterans.

Evan Guzman, founder of The MiLBRAND Project, which helps companies attract and retain veteran hires, says the reason that companies love to hire veterans is because of the values that military service instills in them.

“Veterans are loyal, resilient, possess a strong work ethic and are masters of teamwork,” he says. “Companies, especially the nominees and winners on our list, know that veterans bring advanced experience in meeting mission objectives and will adapt those skills into their jobs.”

Read on to see Monster’s list of the 10 best companies for veterans:

10. Boeing

Headquarters: Chicago, Illinois

Percentage of 2017 hires who are vets: 15 percent

Percentage of workforce who are vets: 15 percent

Monster’s company description: “Boeing is the world’s largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners and defense, space and security systems. Their products include commercial and military aircraft, satellites, weapons, electronic and defense systems, launch systems, advanced information and communication systems, and performance-based logistics and training.”

How they support veteran employees: Boeing’s veteran hire retention rate in 2016 was 92 percent and the Boeing Military & Veteran Engagement Team (BMVET) integrates Boeing’s efforts within the military and veterans communities. Boeing is a frequent sponsor of Veterans in Aerospace Symposium and the Veterans Transition Initiative.

9. Union Pacific Railroad

Headquarters: Omaha, Nebraska

Percentage of 2017 hires who are vets: 20 percent

Percentage of workforce who are vets: 17.5 percent

Monster’s company description: “Union Pacific Railroad is North America’s premier railroad franchise, covering 23 states across the western two-thirds of the United States.”

How they support veteran employees: Union Pacific hosts regional Military Leadership Hiring programs to place vets in management positions and sponsors UPVETS, which provides support, networking and mentorships to veteran employees. The company has a 61 percent veteran retention rate.

8. BAE Systems

Headquarters: Arlington, Virginia

Percentage of 2017 hires who are vets: 21 percent

Percentage of workforce who are vets: 16.5 percent

Monster’s company description: “BAE is an international defense, aerospace and security company that delivers a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, security, information technology solutions and customer support services.”

How they support veteran employees: BAE aims to hire 100 veterans a month in 2018, with an emphasis on female veteran hiring. Their Warrior Integration Program focuses on integrating combat-wounded veterans into the workforce through on-boarding, mentoring, and career development. The CEO of BAE Systems recognizes 5,000 veteran employees a year for their accomplishments and contributions to the company.

7. USAA

Headquarters: San Antonio, Texas

Percentage of 2017 hires who are vets: 22 percent

Percentage of workforce who are vets: 15 percent

Monster’s company description: “USAA provides insurance, banking, investments, retirement products and advice to more than 11 million members who are serving or have received an honorable discharge from the military, plus their eligible family members.”

How they support veteran employees: In 2018, USAA aims for 30 percent of all hires to be veterans or military spouses. USAA offers a 12-month VetsLeaD (Veteran Transition Leadership Development) program which offers classroom training and executive mentorships.

6. Schneider National

Headquarters: Green Bay, Wisconsin

Percentage of 2017 hires who are vets: 22 percent

Percentage of workforce who are vets: 28 percent

Monster’s company description: “Schneider National is a provider of trucking and transportation logistics services.”

How they support veteran employees: Schneider was ranked the best company for veterans in 2016. Over a quarter of all Schneider employees are veterans, in part because the company accepts driving certifications through the Military Skills Test Waiver.

5. Booz Allen Hamilton

Headquarters: McLean, Virginia

Percentage of 2017 hires who are vets: 27.2 percent

Percentage of workforce who are vets: 29.8 percent

Monster’s company description: “Booz Allen Hamilton provides management and technology consulting and engineering services to major corporations, governments, and not-for-profit organizations.”

How they support veteran employees: Booz Allen Hamilton runs the Veteran Recruiting Center of Excellence (VRCE) with a specific talent acquisition team geared wholly to recruiting and retaining veterans. Programs like these are why 49 of the company’s leaders are veterans.

4. Lockheed Martin

Headquarters: Bethesda, Maryland

Percentage of 2017 hires who are vets: 28 percent

Percentage of workforce who are vets: 23 percent

Monster’s company description: “Lockheed Martin is a global aerospace, defense, security, and advanced technology defense contractor.”

How they support veteran employees: Lockheed Martin employs a full-time military relations and recruiting team that attends over 170 military recruiting events a year. The company also hosts an annual Military/Veterans Leadership forum to explore solutions for better supporting veterans in the workplace.

3. U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Headquarters: Washington, D.C.

Percentage of 2017 hires who are vets: 31 percent

Percentage of workforce who are vets: 29 percent

Monster’s company description: “U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), one of the world’s largest law enforcement agencies, is charged with keeping terrorists and their weapons out of the U.S., while also facilitating lawful international travel and trade.”

How they support veteran employees: CBP makes strategic use of Special Hiring Authorities for Veterans, which allow CBP to circumvent the typical job-application process by directly appointing qualified veterans into positions within the workforce.

2. Intelligent Waves

Headquarters: Reson, Virginia

Percentage of 2017 hires who are vets: 37 percent

Percentage of workforce who are vets: 47 percent

Monster’s company description: “New to the list this year, Intelligent Waves LLC is a veteran-owned small business that specializes in providing IT and communications support to a wide variety of U.S. government customers.”

How they support veteran employees: Intelligent Waves offers an Employee Assistance Program that provides counseling and referral services to their veterans, whether they are in need of personal, health or wellness assistance.

1. ManTech International Corporation

Headquarters: Fairfax, Virginia

Percentage of 2017 hires who are vets: 64 percent

Percentage of workforce who are vets: 46 percent

Monster’s company description: “ManTech provides advanced technological services to the U.S. government in the areas of defense, intelligence, law enforcement, science, administration, health and other fields.”

How they support veteran employees: ManTech hired a higher percentage of veterans in 2017 than any other company on the list. A whopping 64 percent of their hires in 2017 are veterans and ManTech plans to increase this

A broad range of industries are represented in Monster’s list.

“This year’s list shows an increased acknowledgment from industry that veteran’s experiences and skills reach well beyond traditional industries of defense and aerospace and into transportation logistics, technology and financial services,” says Jodi Hon, SVP and GM of enterprise business for Monster.

Terry Howell, senior director at Military.com, says that efforts from both for-profit companies and non-profit organizations have been crucial for the improvements that veterans have seen across sectors.

“Companies like Starbucks and Amazon have made efforts to bring employment opportunities for veterans and military spouses to the public’s attention,” Howell says. “Their leadership and support for organizations, such as the Veterans Jobs Mission, is having a great impact on veteran unemployment.”

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/10/the-10-best-companies-for-veterans.html

I was watching “Chefs Table” this weekend, and a now-famous pastry chef was being interviewed about how he found his first job at a renowned restaurant. He said that he was living in Italy, and he called the restaurant and asked for work. The restaurant said, “sure, when do you want to start?” and that was how he landed his first job.

I stared at the screen, and laughed out loud. This business did not see his resume, did not know anything about who he was, they weren’t even aware of his relevant experience! Granted, this took place the early 2000’s, before the internet exploded onto the scene and changed the way we search and apply for employment. Wouldn’t is be great if it were that easy now?

Applying to jobs today can be…frustrating. In the past, you would look for a help wanted sign, walk into a building, and speak to the manager or owner there. Or, you would call around until someone said they had a vacancy.

Now, we have the internet. The internet has allowed us access to thousands of job opportunities we never would have known existed, which is wonderful. However, the internet has also allowed thousands of job seekers to apply to for jobs, and that has made the market extremely competitive for the job seeker. It is a gift and a curse.

Part of my role as a career strategist for my clients is to assist them in the daunting task of job applications. As one applicant in a sea of thousands, they often feel overwhelmed by the prospect of applying for jobs through job boards. To add to the stress of applying, I also have to explain to them how imperative it is to tailor their resume to every individual application; to make it unique and to show the employer how valuable they are.

As a job seeker, this is an impossible ask. Not only do they have to spend hours tailoring applications and writing cover letters for jobs, they usually never hear back from them. How can we expect them to put in this much effort?

So, as a way to alleviate some of stress in this arduous process and to empower my clients to make the most of their time and energy, I have employed the help of some nifty technology that can be found – you guessed it – on the internet. If you can’t beat them, join them! Battle technology with technology, use these tools to work smarter, not harder. And soon enough, you’ll feel like an expert in the game of online application.

1)   VMock

 What It Does: VMock: Smart Career Platform is an online tool that provides assessments of your application content. This can be a scan of your resume, cover letter, or even a presentation you are using in an interview. The tool “scans” your resume, and provides a score from 1-100 on a bell curve, on your resumes “strength”. The tool scores your resume using 3 core modules across 100+ parameters, and outlines in detail the strong and weak aspects of every bullet of your resume. It also provides recommendations on who to improve your score in the weak areas of your resume, one by one.

 Why I Like it: VMock made the list because of the multi-dimensional aspects of this tool. Not only does it score your resume, but it gives you algorithmic feedback on specific areas. This tool gives you an overview on your resume, and is not specific to an employer or industry too. The online tool provides feedback in other areas as well, such as “Career Fit”, which give you career advise based on the content of your resume. VMock is equally useful to students and recent grads and seasoned professionals.

2)   JobScan

What It Does: One of the most frustrating things about applying online is the Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS’s). They determine your fit for a position based on keyword matching. You could be a good fit for a position, but if you do not match the keywords correctly, you get pushed out of the applicant pool. JobScan uses ATS technology to “scan” the resume you used for an application along with the position description, and score you out of 100 on how well it matches the position. It does not recommend you submit an application with a score less than 80. The tool provides a detailed “match report” which outlines areas that you fit the position (marked with a green check) and areas where you can improve (marked with a red x). You can add the keywords you missed, incorporate the tips it provides, and re-scan until you achieve that 80% or higher match.

Why I Like it: This tool is great for two reasons. For one, it helps you outsmart those pesky ATS’s and get called in for interview 3X more than if you tried tailoring your resume on your own. Two, it gives you an idea of how ATS’s work, and teaches you the things to look out for in your applications. I like JobScan because it has a “teach a man to fish” mentality. You can pay for premium and scan every application you use, but I have shown this to clients who have used it a few times for free (you receive 5 free scans a month) and then gone on to become master keyword matchers on their own. However, you choose to utilize this tool, you understand the game much better for it.

 3)   Glassdoor

 What It Does: Most job seekers are familiar with Glassdoor. It is the free online “yelp” of companies and positons, basically. Most people utilize Glassdoor to look up salaries of positions. But, there is much more to this online tool. Yes, you can research salaries on Glassdoor, and filter them by location, which is very advantageous if you’re about to negotiate salary with a potential employer. In addition to this, however, this tool provides in-depth reviews of a company, from benefits to perks, to work life balance and more. The information can never be edited or deleted, too, so you know you’re receiving somewhat genuine intel. You can also look an interviews – yes interviews! You can see what types of questions the applicants were asked, and whether or not they were hired.

Why I Like it: Glassdoor keeps it real for job applicants. If you’re about to interview with a company and want to do real research, this tool is a great start. It provides you with the good, the bad and the ugly of what a company or organization has to offer, and you can go into the interview armed with the right questions about how they treat employees, how often the promote, how great the culture is, and more. A note: I would keep in mind that despite the “no edit and no delete” feature, this information must be taken with a grain of salt. Most people will only review something if they have a wonderful experience, or a terrible one. So, the reviews may be extreme and the personal accounts from past or current employees may air on the negative side. Keeping that in mind, however, the information is more useful than not.

 4)   JobHero

 What it Does: Do you ever feel overwhelmed by all of the things you’re using and documents you’re saving in the job search process? You have documents saved here, an excel spreadsheet tracker there, jobs saved on various job boards like LinkedIn, ZipRecruiter, and Indeed. You can lose information pretty easily, and its annoying to have to remember where everything is. JobHero allows you to store all of that precious information in one place. This tool allows you to save your job applications across web platforms and track your progress. You can also set reminders for yourself for follow-ups and deadlines for applications and assignments. You can also upload documents to the tool, like the resume you used to apply or specific things you were tasked with submitting to specific opportunities.

 Why I Like it: JobHero is an organizers dream. You don’t have to continually create systems to track things, because you can link everything to this one tool. You can filter things by date created, due dates and status of applications. JobHero Sidekick syncs your applications from all of your job boards to one dashboard. You can also search jobs and receive career advice on this tool, there are articles on salary negotiation, interviewing and more. If you enjoy streamlining your life, this tool helps you do it.

 5)   My Interview Practice

 What it Does: In addition to applying for jobs and tracking them, preparing for what happens when you finally get the call you have been hoping for is another source of anxiety. Soft skills are something I have seen as the biggest area of need for my clients. People simply do not practice their interview techniques, and it is killing their chances of landing a job! Practice really does make perfect. My interview practice is an online interview simulator that aids you in practicing your answers tot hose pesky behavior-based questions, as well as the more basic “strengths and weaknesses” ones. It provides interviews across various industries and positions, and provides you with a professional review of your answers.

 Why I Like it: I think it is always important to practice your job interview techniques. New questions are being proposed by Human Resource professionals all the time, and it is important to stay up to date. Like a muscle you must exercise, you need to keep your interview performance in shape. This tool not only helps you keep yourself well-versed, it allows you to practice with different interviewers, across industries and professions. You can also share your interview with a coach or a peer for their feedback. The question bank is updated constantly, to stay competitive with what the job market is demanding. If you’re applying for jobs, you should be practicing your interview techniques, too.

Those are my top favorite online tools at the moment. Keep in mind, there are hundreds of online tools, and these are just the ones I have used. You can research your won tools to find what works best for you – and share them with your peers on LinkedIn!

The job search journey can be difficult sometimes, but if you apply the “work smarter, not harder” methodology, you’ll see a change in the way you apply and the way that employers respond to you in the job market. Keep up the great work!

Cheers,

Maggie

 

Often, I hear veterans say that they become discouraged in the job hunt. So much so that they believe that this an actual reflection of who they are. It is important to never take the job search personally. Sure we could all learn more skills, have more training, have more degrees, but who you are is not the problem. Here are a few ways to remain positive and getting effective results in the job search process.

Enroll with an Employment Program:

Sometimes we all need a little help. Non-profit organizations like U.S.VETS are here to aid you in building your resume, bridging the gap with certifications, and connecting you to employers from the inside. But most all of it is helpful to have a point person to go to bounce ideas off of and to ask questions of. As you may have noticed in life we have to go out and get the opportunities, they don’t just come to us from inside our houses. By plugging into an organization it can also allow you have access to events that will allow you to connect with employers directly and explore your options. You may not know this but employers are looking for you! Ok, maybe not you specifically… but your set of skills. 🙂 So widen your net and get connected into the community.

Schedule Informational Interviews:

Did you know you can reach out to employers and ask them questions? Some people are even willing to sit down with you and discuss what it is that you do. This is a great option if you aren’t completely sold on what you want to do and want to learn more or even just want to get your foot in the door. Talking to someone in the inside will give you a lot more ideas of how to work there. (The employees that work at a business usually have the inside scoop.) They may be able to even tell you the ‘what not to do’ things as well that they wish they had done. Either way, always make sure to follow-up and thank them, and also connect with them on LinkedIn if you hadn’t already. Lastly make sure you reach out again to let them know you are still looking and if they have anything that would be a good fit. People are more likely to help people they have met, not just a name through a computer.

Remember, who you are is not the problem. You just need to get out there and catch one of the million possibilities right in front of you. You can do this through getting help with a non-profit or even going directly to the companies themselves to ask questions. The key is to be consistent and be bold while improving your skills. We are here for you!

-Denise Berry

Are you actively applying for jobs and want to brush up on your interviewing skills? Here are a 4 tips and tricks of techniques you can use to nail your interview:

 

  1. Utilize the S.T.A.R. Interviewing method: The S.T.A.R. Method is a behavioral based interviewing technique that evaluates problem solving skills, past performance, and measurable results produced in prior roles. When answering interview questions, follow the S.T.A.R. outline below:

 

  • Situation – Describe the context in which your job duties took place. Example: School, work, or volunteer
  • Task – Describe your role in completing a task and your responsibility within the group or company
  • Action – Describe what steps you took to complete the task you were given
  • Result – Describe the outcome and achievements generated by the work you produced

 

  1. Articulate WHY You Are Interested in the Position: While employers do want to hear what you can bring to the table to add value to their company, they also want to hear why you are interested in working for them! Figure out why you are attracted to a position and speak to it on your interview. This well hopefully resonate with the hiring manager and set you apart from other candidates.

 

  1. Conduct Research on the Company and the Person You Are Interviewing With: In order to maximize your interview time and impress the hiring manager DO YOUR HOMEWORK! You can do this by researching important statistic and milestones within the company you are interviewing for. If you are fortunate enough to know who you are interviewing with, take a little time to conduct background research on them as well by looking up their LinkedIn profile and biography on the company website. This can ultimately help you potentially connect with your interviewer and obtain the position.

 

  1. Demonstrate your value: Pitch ideas or suggestions you have specific to initiatives or goals within the company. This will allow the hiring manager to draw a direct correlation about how your work fits into the bigger vision of the company.

 

  1. Show Your Work: Provide a portfolio of previous projects you have completed with companies to demonstrate the work you have produced in the past. This includes but is not limited to: drawings, photos, diagrams, contracts, newsletters, and flyers. Showing visual representation of your work helps hiring managers draw a direct correlation of how you can apply your skill set to the position you are interviewing for.

 

 

The U.S.VETS hiring event was a hit! 25 veterans were given the opportunity to interview for positions with U.S.VETS Inglewood, U.S.VETS Inland Empire, JVS, & Volunteers of America. Some veterans were even hired on the spot, during the interview. Since the event was such a success we hope to do another U.S.VETS Hiring Event soon!

 

Networking is the key to finding the perfect career, and connecting veterans to employers who want to hire them is the goal of U.S.VETS Career Network.

On March 23rd, U.S.VETS Career Network teamed up with ZipRecruiter and their corporate responsibility team Zip Cares to host a Veteran-specific workshop at ZipRecruiter HQ.

The event went beautifully, with 14 Career Network clients experiencing the intimate meet and greet with 14 ZipRecruiter employees. We began the event with a lunch at the Santa Monica ZipRecruiter Headquarters, allowing the attendees to network with one another as well as with the employees, breaking the ice and opening the event up for more informal connections and information sharing. The Veterans also received a full tour of the ZipRecruiter HQ offices.

Next, five ZipRecruiter leaders formed a panel, answering questions regarding their experiences at the company, and any advice on finding the perfect career in tech. The panel consisted of Elliot Wilson, VP of Operations (and veteran), Claudia Chen, onboarding coordinator, Jeff Zwelling, Chief Operating Officer, Jeff Moore, Manager of Engineering (and veteran), and Greg DeLong, Key Account Manager (and veteran).

The panel discussion was enlightening for the attendees, opening discussion around ZipRecruiter culture, the stories of each panelist on how they found and achieved their career, and advice on personal branding and networking in the civilian workforce.

After the panel, we broke up into intimate one on one informational interviews, one veteran matched with one ZipRecruiter employee. This “speed networking” activity helps each attendee to connect with more than one employee, and helps them to build internal connections within the company if they choose to pursue a position in the future. It also provides them with the opportunity to receive intimate knowledge on what their resume should look like, and how to apply this knowledge to applications.

Veteran attendees walked away from the event with new tips on how to improve and tailor their job search, as well as new connections to build and grow their professional networks. Special thanks to ZipRecruiter for co-hosting this event with U.S.VETS Career Network!

 

Cheers,

Maggie Cutler, MSW

 

Recruit Military Recap:

 

Yesterday, U.S.VETS Career Network attended the Recruit Military Career Expo in San Diego California. Over 300 veteran and 40 employers were in attendance. Top employers that attended yesterday’s event included Pepsi Co, Northface, Blue Cross Blue Shield California, Raytheon, and Aetna.

 

If you are interested in attending a RecruitMilitary event in the future please email crobinson@usvetsinc.org .

 

Best,

Chanise Simms-Robinson, MSW