The Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), an organization whose vision is to develop and promote a culture in which employers support and value the military service of their employees, is partnering with the Employer Partnership of the Armed Forces (EPAF) to provide hiring employers with the ability to post available jobs and for service members to post resumes, search for jobs, and make a connection with potential employers through www.EmployerPartnership.org.
Category: Blog Post
It can be difficult transitioning out of the military into civilian life. CBS2’s Pat Harvey shows us one LAUSD program that helps veterans use their military strengths in the classroom.
See full story by clicking on link: https://cbsloc.al/2B3N7ip
After serving in the Marines and Army Reserves, Elliott McKenzie struggled to find his new identity as a civilian. From dropping out of college, experiencing homelessness, then eventually landing a job with the help of the Call of Duty Endowment, his transition was a balance of highs and lows.
Like many veterans, adjusting from the high tempo and hyper-aware environment from deployments was a challenge. In a place like Ramadi, Iraq where McKenzie kept his head on a swivel at all times, he didn’t face the same threat when he went home. READ MORE…
Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI), a leading standalone interactive entertainment company, will visit the Nasdaq MarketSite in Times Square in celebration of the Call of Duty Endowment. The Call of Duty Endowment, the nonprofit arm of Activision Blizzard, Inc. , helps veterans find high quality careers by supporting groups that prepare them for the job market and by raising awareness of the value veterans bring to the workplace. Activision Blizzard, Inc. is a member company of the Nasdaq-100 Index.
In honor of the occasion Dan Goldenberg, Executive Director of the Call of Duty Endowment, will ring the Opening Bell.
When it comes to looking for a job, your resume is one of the most important tools you have. It’s one of the best ways to showcase your unique skills and experience to employers, which is the first step to getting the interviews (and job) you want. READ MORE
- Chronological Resume Template
- Functional Resume Template (Education-Focused)
- Functional Resume Template (Skills-Focused)
HOW DO WE CONNECT TALENT WITH OPPORTUNITY?
RecruitMilitary’s goal is to engage transitioning and civilian-experienced military veteran men and women in the most meaningful way. Some will discover new possibilities in our magazine, others will target jobs through our website, and still others will find success face-to-face with employers at our job fairs.
RECRUITMILITARY CONNECTS EMPLOYERS WITH HIGH-QUALITY VETERAN TALENT
The event was a success! There were job offers made on the spot!
Thank you! Army Corps of Engineers for making this event possible…
You’re almost there. Your resume landed you an interview and now it’s time to seal the deal. So what’s the best way to prepare?
To find the answer, I looked back on my interviews, sifted through research, and most
importantly, asked employees from today’s most coveted companies. I tried to find deep insights beyond the typical “sit up straight!” and “dress to impress!” tips we hear too much.
Below you’ll find the 12 best tips to help before, during and after your interview.
1. Research Earnings Calls, Quarterly Reports & Blog Posts
In today’s world, content is king. Goldman Sachs publishes quarterly reports, Microsoft records its earning calls, and every startup has a blog.
With so much out there, I’m baffled that few of us look past the company’s homepage. It’s like we’re writing an essay on The Odyssey without quoting a single passage from the book.
Example: If you’re interviewing with Google, here’s two ways to answer: “What’s Google’s biggest opportunity in the next 5 years?”
- Weak: “I think wearable technology will be big because Google Glass and Apple Watch represent a new trend that shows…”
- Strong: “Call me geeky, but I was listening to Google’s quarterly earnings call and was blown away by the fact that display advertising hit over $5 billion in the past few years. Therefore, I think that…”
Neither answer is wrong, but the latter says much more. It shows you’ve done your homework and give answers rooted in data.
2. Use Google Alerts
Keeping up with company news is hard, especially if you’re interviewing with multiple places at once. That’s why Google Alerts is a savior; it’s a tool that emails you anytime a new story appears for a specific term. That way, you learn about current events without searching for them.
Example: If you’re applying to Creative Artists Agency, follow these steps:
- Go to www.google.com/alerts
- Type in “Creative Artists Agency”
- Put in your email address if you’re not already logged in to Gmail
Soon enough, you’ll get updates on CAA and have more ammo for your interview.
3. Use Social Sweepster To Clean Your Facebook & Twitter
Nowadays, 91% of employers search your social media for any red flags. While most people tell you to watch every single thing you upload, there’s a much easier solution. Use Social Sweepster, an app that detects pictures of red solo cups, beer bottles, and other “suspicious” objects. It even detects profanity from your past posts! Now, that’s f%$king awesome!
“Too many recruiters reject candidate because of something they found on their social platforms” Social Sweepster CEO Tom McGrath says. “We help you create the first impression on your own terms.”
4. Schedule For Tuesday at 10:30 AM
According to Glassdoor, the best time to interview is 10:30 AM on Tuesday. Remember, your interviewer has a world of responsibilities beyond hiring. They’re responding to emails, balancing projects, and meeting tons of other candidates so it’s crucial to consider when they’ll be in the best mental state to meet you.
10:30 AM Tuesday is the sweet spot because you:
- Avoid the bookends. On Mondays and Fridays, employees gear up for the week or wind down. By the same token, avoid the first or last slots of any workday.
- Avoid lunchtime. Immediately before noon, your interviewer may be too hungry to concentrate; immediately after, they may be in a food coma.
But there’s a caveat. Research shows it’s best to take the earliest interview slot “in circumstances under which decisions must be made quickly or without much deliberation because preferences are unconsciously and immediately guided to those options presented first.”
Bottom line: if the firm is hiring for a job starting in a few months, try to interview late morning between Tuesday through Thursday. If the firm is hiring immediately, grab the earliest slot.
5. Craft Your “Story Statement”
Though most interviews start with the same prompt (“tell me about yourself” or “walk me through your resume”), we blow it off with boring answers like:
I studied [major X] because I really care about making a difference in [industry Y] as you can see through my last job at [company Z]…
This answer is like tearing out the first 200 pages of your autobiography. You leave out everything that gives meaning to why you want this job in the first place. What was your moment of epiphany? How did your childhood influence you? Why does this job move you? Most people don’t answer these questions. They start and end with their professional experience, leaving little to inspire the interviewer.
Next time, use what I call a “Story Statement,” which is a Cliff Notes of your autobiography.
Example: Here’s an amazing Story Statement that Teach For America fellow Kareli Lizarraga used for her interviews.
I grew up in California and Arizona after immigrating to the United States when I was four years old. Since neither of my parents went to college, I relied on my high school teachers to help me apply to top universities. With their support, I was able to attend the University of Pennsylvania. Then I spent a summer at a Washington DC law firm, which represented low-income students and helped me realize that my passion lay within creating educational opportunities for all.
I decided to become a teacher because I see myself so deeply reflected in the stories of so many students in your schools – and that’s why I’m so excited about the opportunity to interview with you today. Like my teachers did for me, I want to impact the next generation of students by supporting them and understanding the experiences they’re facing.
A Story Statement shows that you’re a person, not just a professional. It also makes it easy for your interviewer to predict the next chapter of your story. For Kareli, Teach For America is a logical next step. Of course, if she interviewed for Apple, she may change her Story Statement to include an early experience with her first computer and talk about how her passion for tech grew from there. For a Bain interview, she could mention how she started problem solving at a young age and now wants to do it on a big scale.
Chances are, we’ve all had experiences we can connect to where we’re trying to go. It’s just a matter of selecting the right ones to tell our story. That said, if you struggle to craft your Story Statement for a particular interview, you might be applying for the wrong job.
6. Wear a Subtle Fashion Statement
We already know dressing well makes a difference. But what if we took our attention to detail a step further? That’s exactly what Morgan Stanley analyst Julio German Arias Castillo did for his interviews.
“Wear something that represents your culture or background,” he says. “In my case, I always wear a pin of the Panamanian flag on my suit lapel. Most of my interviewers ask about it so it becomes a chance to discuss my upbringing and love of my homeland.”
Julio created a conversation starter with his clothing. Depending on the company, you can be more playful: wear a bracelet from your recent travels to India, a tie with a quirky pattern, or — if you can pull it off — a small mockingjay pin if you’re a Hunger Games fan. As long as it’s subtle and tasteful, your fashion statement can build rapport through fun conversations about your hometown or mutual love for Katniss Everdeen.
7. Prepare for The “What’s Your Weakness?” Question
Most people overthink this question and give a canned answer like “I’m too much of a perfectionist!” Others give a genuine answer but still fall short of what this question is really asking. It’s not about admitting your weaknesses. It’s about showing how you overcome them. What systems have you put in place? What progress have you made? Include those thoughts to strengthen your answer.
- Weak: “My weakness is that I struggle to run efficient meetings…”
- Strong: “I sometimes struggle to run efficient meetings. But I’ve worked to improve by drafting an agenda before every meeting, sending it to all participants, and then following up with a recap and clear action items so everyone knows what to do moving forward.”
8. Brainstorm 3 “PAR” Anecdotes
Your interview is as memorable as the stories you share. Many people have fascinating experiences but forget them when they’re on the spot. To remedy this, have three anecdotes ready to plug into your interview. Your anecdotes should follow a simple format:
- Problem – what was the situation?
- Action – what did you do to solve it?
- Result – what changed afterwards?
With this format, you can adapt your PAR anecdotes to fit a variety of questions such as “tell me about a time you worked with a team” or “when have you struggled most?”
Example: University of Pennsylvania Senior Hunter Horsley has a terrific PAR anecdote for his interviews.
- Problem: “When I worked on Lore, an education tech startup, our big marketing challenge was finding a way to get professors to try our product. Ads are inefficient and competitors like Blackboard and Canvas had sales teams call IT administrators to sign multi-year contracts — a very slow and expensive process. We needed to move faster.”
- Action: “We realized that students preferred our product so we teamed up with about 200 students from 100 colleges. They developed a custom outreach plan for their campus and we provided resources to support them.”
- Result: “This was highly effective in creating awareness with professors. In fact, it became a competitive advantage. During our first two semesters, our team of 15 people drove adoption that outpaced a competing product launched by Pearson at the same time. An additional benefit was that the approach created brand affinity. Because professors heard about the tool from students instead of an ad, the value proposition came across more authentically.”
9. Think Aloud on Analytical Questions
Some interviews include tough analytical questions. Whether you’re solving for an exact number (“what’s the EBITDA of Company X?”) or rough estimate (“how many ping pong balls can fit in a Boeing 777?”), it’s important to talk through your thinking. Don’t just give an answer; show how you got there.
Example: Consider these two answers to “How many lawn mowers are there today in the United States?”
- Weak: After 45 seconds of silence, you blurt out “75 million!”
- Strong: You’re talking the entire way through, sharing your calculations and assumptions.
“Let’s start from the top down. Assuming the US population is 300 million and each household averages 3 people, then we have 100 million families in the US. Let’s assume urban households don’t have lawns to mow and therefore only suburban and rural families buy lawnmowers. If roughly 25% of America is urban and 75% is suburban and rural then we have 75 million households that own a lawnmower.”
(side note: it’s okay to make assumptions and for those assumptions to be off. But that’s why you need to communicate them first).
This is a great way to show your communication skills alongside your analytical ones. Plus, if you make an error, it’s easier to know where you went wrong and fix it.
10. Ask Questions That Kill Two Birds With One Stone
At the end of your interview, it’ll be your turn to ask a few questions. This is a perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone – that is, asking a genuine question while conveying something new about you. Most people just do the first part and forgo a final chance to impress the interviewer.
- Weak: Will this role provide opportunities to work in emerging markets?
- Strong: I’m passionate about languages and minored in Arabic in college. Will this role provide opportunities to work in emerging markets in the Middle East?
- Weak: Are there opportunities for community service?
- Strong: I used to work with Habitat for Humanity and was so grateful for the opportunity to give back. For a full time employee, are there company-wide community service events that I could take part in?
- Weak: What’s [Company X]’s fastest growing division?
- Strong: According to your quarterly report, your revenues grew by 17%. Is that because of a particular division within the company?
This works beautifully if you haven’t found a natural way to bring up an accomplishment or cite a publication beforehand.
11. Grow A Backbone & Ask This Final Question
This one takes guts — and that’s why I love it. Spredfast Product Manager Luke Fernandez says it’s the “single piece of advice that has consistently made a difference.”
Before your interview ends, ask this one last question: “Have I said anything in this interview or given you any other reason to doubt that I am a good fit for the role?”
“It’s bold, but if delivered honestly, it displays true desire and confidence,” Luke said. “I’ve been commended for that specific question in interviews with Google, YouTube, BCG, Deloitte, Twitter, and Spredfast. In one situation, the interviewer actually said yes and gave me the chance to clarify something that would have otherwise lost me an offer.”
Talk about badass!
12. Email a Personalized Thank You Note
Thank your interviewer within 24 hours of finishing. It not only shows your gratitude, it also combats recency bias if you interviewed early. Not to mention, it opens the door for dialogue even if you don’t get the job. Sometimes, recruiters reach back out on the same email thread months later, mentioning new job opportunities.
Example: Accenture senior analyst Anthony Scafidi shared a wonderful email from Robert Hsu, an interviewee whose follow up email shows how to do it right.
Appreciate your taking the time to chat with me today. I really enjoyed hearing about your two projects so far, how much you love the people at Accenture, and how you’ve been able to continue your community service work even while working. (Hope you had a good meeting with your mentee!) Best wishes on your current project.
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.