Tagged: transition to civilian life

Must-See Websites for Military Students

Posted by Christine A. Shelly

militaryauthority.com must see websites for military studentsMilitary students – that is, students who serve their country while they work toward completing a degree – have a perspective that is unique to other students. So it makes sense that the resources they need while they’re in college might be a little different than those of the average first year college student.

Below is a list of websites that we’ve found helpful for military students. From student support organizations to scholarship assistance to academic help, these are some of our favorites. We can’t possibly list them all, but if there’s a site you’ve found particularly helpful, let us know in the comments below. Be sure to tell us what you find useful about it, too.

 

Financial Support

http://www.foldsofhonor.org/

This foundation helps military families with scholarships and offers support for children and spouses of disabled or deceased service members.

 

Research/Academic support

http://calnewport.com/blog/

What started out as a college blog project has become one of the most utilized student resources on the web for study advice and strategies. Study Hacks says their mission is ‘demystifying student success.’ 

 

http://www.refdesk.com/

This is an extensive collection of reference material, databases and other resources to help you find and check facts.

 

http://www.collegeboard.org/

The CollegeBoard website has a substantial amount of information for students applying to and attending college.

 

Life/Work Resources

After Deployment – In-depth information, assessments and tools for transitioning/post-transition military.

 

http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/

Request your service records at this website. You’ll need your military service records for college applications, plus you can have them evaluated to determine how much of your training and experience can be counted toward your degree. 

 

Studentveterans.org

Student Veterans is an organization whose focus is to empower military veterans with the educational resources imperative to success in the 21st century. They do this through support and advocacy on behalf of veterans.

 

http://www.acp-usa.org/

This website is dedicated to connecting veterans to corporate business leaders through two free programs. Bonus – Jon Stewart just joined their advisory council.

 

http://www.militaryauthority.com

And my host for this list, MilitaryAuthority.com is a site created for the military community that includes helpful information about education benefits, career planning, pay, retirement planning and healthcare benefits. There’s also a message board for locating and connecting with other military friends as well as helpful tools for finding military-friendly schools.

 

These sites are just a few of the online oases available for military students – and just fyi, mentioning them in this list does not constitute an endorsement. We weren’t compensated in any way. The Internet has made staying connected and informed so much easier – but you have to wade through a lot of garbage to get to the gems. Hopefully, this list will offer student service members a good place to start. 

 

REFERENCES:

http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/

http://calnewport.com/blog/

http://www.militaryauthority.com/benefits/education/education-advice/

http://www.acp-usa.org/

 

 

 

Ms. Shelly has spent more than a decade working in higher education. She currently serves as executive vice president for Grantham Education Corporation. Ms. Shelly is passionate about changing lives – about making college education accessible and affordable to more people and preparing students and graduates for success.

Webinar: Health Care Options After Losing TRICARE Eligibility

Posted by Debi Teter

militaryauthority.com tricare optionsMark your calendars now. This webinar is only a few days away!

If you are transitioning out of the military – whether because of ETS, retirement, divorce from a servicemember or death of a TRICARE sponsor, TRICARE is offering a one-hour Webinar, or online seminar, on August 15th  from 1 to 2PM Eastern time to walk you through your options.

To register, visit this page. Enrollment is limited because of the Go2Meeting software used to conduct the webinar, which imposes a maximum number of participants.

The webinar will be hosted by Mr. Mark Ellis, a senior health program analyst with the TRICARE Management Activity. He manages the Continued Health Care Benefit and TRICARE Young Adult programs, which offer premium based health care coverage to former service members and their family members when they are no longer eligible for TRICARE benefits.  He has 35 years of DoD health care experience.

Lost TRICARE: What Are My Options?

Posted by Jason Van Steenwyk

militaryauthority.com_losing-TRICARE-benefitsUnless you die in service or you retire and enroll in TRICARE for Life, sooner or later you will lose access to TRICARE and transition either to Medicare, private pay, private insurance, COBRA or the VA. But most people leaving the active duty military have little experience navigating the complex health insurance system outside of the military.

If you are transitioning out of the military – whether because of ETS, retirement, divorce from a servicemember or death of a TRICARE sponsor, TRICARE is offering a one-hour Webinar, or online seminar, on August 15th  from 1 to 2PM Eastern time to walk you through your options.

To register, visit this page. Enrollment is limited because of the Go2Meeting software used to conduct the webinar, which imposes a maximum number of participants.

The webinar will be hosted by Mr. Mark Ellis, a senior health program analyst with the TRICARE Management Activity. He manages the Continued Health Care Benefit and TRICARE Young Adult programs, which offer premium based health care coverage to former service members and their family members when they are no longer eligible for TRICARE benefits.  He has 35 years of DoD health care experience.

Create a Personal Scorecard to Ease Transition

Posted by Kelli McKinney

militaryauthority.com transition to civilian lifeIf you’re this guy, you have a pretty solid life plan going. You’ve reverse engineered your career, starting with your vision of successful retirement, and back-stepped your way toward where you are now. It’s highly probable that you have either physically or mentally documented every milestone along the way. Kudos to you, and you can stop reading this now and go read something VanSteenwyk wrote.

If you’re like the rest of us, you need a little help from time to time. One tool that gets results in both the professional and the personal world is the scorecard. The scorecard works because it prompts you to consider your decision-making criteria, set standards, and evaluate against your standards.

The scorecard method can help you weigh your options as you prepare to transition into the civilian world. For example, if you’re considering relocation from your current post, you might be interested in living in New York, Albuquerque, and LaJolla. Your scorecard might look like this: 

 

 

 NYC

 Albuquerque

 LaJolla

Cost of housing

   1

   2

   1

Job opportunities

   3

   2

   1

Friends/Family near

   1

   3

   1

Weather

   2

   2

   3

TOTAL

    7

    9

    6

 

In this scorecard, we’ve set four criteria for evaluation: housing, jobs, friends/family, and weather (you can set your own criteria). On a scale of 1-3, with one being poorest and three being best, we ranked each city based on those criteria. Cost of housing is highest in NY and LaJolla; it’s okay in Albuquerque. This example is a pretty simple one, but you can create your own and make it as complicated or simple as necessary.

You can weight the scorecards if you want to add an element of complexity. Using the same criteria and subjects from above, let’s look at how weighting can add value to your scorecard. 

 

 Weight

 NYC

 Albuquerque

 LaJolla

Cost of housing

   2

   2

   4

   2

Job opportunities

   4

   12

   8

   4

Friends/Family near

   3

   3

   9

   3

Weather

   1

   2

   2

   3

TOTAL

 

   19

   23

   12

 

First we ranked the criteria in order of importance – we thought job opportunities were most important, so we gave it our highest weight (4). Friends, housing cost, and weather followed (in that order). Then we went through our previous scores and multiplied them by their weight – the resulting number is our weighted score.

The beauty of the scorecard exercise is that it imposes a structure to your decision-making process, and structure is a good thing to have when you’re making life decisions. If you’re deciding whether or not go to back to school, scorecards definitely come in handy during the selection process – so does our school finder, which you can visit here or from the military authority web site. What other tools do you turn to help you with important choices? Let us know in the comments below.

The Five Most Useful Online Degrees for Transitioning Military

Posted by Kelli McKinney

militaryauthority.com useful online degrees for transitioning militaryThere’s no question that having a degree can open up job options for transitioning military members. But with the slew of degree options out there, how can service members tell which ones are the most relevant for today’s workplace? Plus, making the transition from military service to civilian life can be stressful enough without adding the added complication of going back to school.

Adding school to your work-life-transition mix can actually help simple things up, especially if you choose an online degree program. Online education programs offer flexibility, access to schools that might not be geographically easy to get to, and the ability to fit school into your life – not cram life around your school.

And if you choose one of these in-demand programs, you are signing up for a competitive edge, not just a piece of paper.

 

Bachelor’s in Business Administration

Why It’s Hot: Education Dynamics and Learning House’s recent study ranked business administration as the top online undergraduate degree program. Nearly one-third of all online students are studying business administration. Why? Because people want to understand the intricacies and theories of successful business, channel their inner entrepreneur and help improve our straggling economy.

What You Could Study: Business administration majors usually study operations management, economics, accounting, marketing, and organizational dynamics or structure, according to the College Board.

What You Can Do With It: A more appropriate question is “what can’t you do with it?” A wide variety of career paths open up in business and industry with a degree in business administration. Graduates can work in fields banking, finance, manufacturing, product development, human resources, and business analysis, all of which offer opportunities for advancement and professional development. 

Bonus: An online Masters in Business Administration is not only a terminal degree, just the act of completing it can give you the real life experience and understanding of what it means to lead a company while maintaining your personal life. That real-time work-life balance experience is priceless, and teaches you what it takes to take the business world by storm.

Potential Careers and Average Salaries:*
Marketing manager: $122,720
Financial manager: $116,970
Management analyst: $87,260

 

Bachelor’s Degree in Education

Why it’s Hot: A second career in education is a viable, honorable, rewarding career for many vets, and studying online is an accommodating way to transition from service to civilian life.

What You Could Study: Online bachelor’s degrees in education teach students about instructional design, education theories and methods, and offer a combination of self-directed classwork with hands-on practice. Online communities also provide a convenient, fulfilling way to connect with other students and share ideas.

What You Can Do With It:  You can take what you’ve learned and experienced and help shape the next generations of students, contribute to education policy by getting involved in educators’ groups or educational administration. 

Bonus: The Department of Labor confirms that the route to a career as a public school teacher is a pretty straightforward path. You earn a bachelor’s degree from a teacher education program, and then pass a license exam.

Potential Careers and Average Salaries:*
Elementary school teacher: $54,330
Middle school teacher: $54,880
High school teacher: $55,990

 

Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science

Why It’s Hot: Technology changes each day. Nearly every company needs someone who understands it, can create it, wrangle it, or help other people use it. Plus –why study computer science offline? If you love technology, computers, and have a knack for both the creative and the technical, this is the field for you.

What You Could Study: Computer science majors study programming, web technologies, software design and theory, artificial intelligence, system analysis and digital systems.

What You Can Do With It: Network and computer systems administrators, application developers and software developers usually have at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science.

Bonus: This is a high-growth field that the Department of Labor predicts will see almost 50 percent increase in wage-and-salary employment between now and 2018. 

Potential Careers and Average Salaries:*
Computer and information systems manager: $123,280
Computer systems analyst: $81,250
Network and computer systems administrator: $72,200

 

Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources

Why it’s Hot:  Companies are made up of people – human beings – and organizations will always need people who understand organizational structure, group behavior, laws and technologies that support human resources.

What You Could Study:  The College Board reports that most human resources programs include coursework in staffing, employment law, performance management, organizational structure and behavior, personnel actions, and payroll management. 

Bonus: The business of human resources is increasingly reliant upon technology. An online degree program offers an opportunity to become adept at some of these technologies. 

Potential Careers and Average Salaries:*
Training and development specialist: $57,280
Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialist: $59,590
Human resources manager: $108,600

 

Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice

Why it’s Popular: It’s human nature to be intrigued by the seedy underbelly of criminal activity. Plus, because human nature is not geographically limited, you could be taking classes with students from all over the world.

What You Could Study: Every aspect of crime, criminal behavior, the justice system, and the law. You could take courses in criminology, law enforcement, statistics and sociology.

What You Can Do With It: A criminal justice degree holder could work at the local, state, or federal level in law enforcement, the corrections system, homeland security, or immigration.

Bonus: The qualities that support a successful military career are also some of the same qualities that drive a successful career in law enforcement. You already know you have what it takes to succeed.

Potential Careers and Average Salaries:*
Police and sheriff’s patrol officer: $55,620
Detective and criminal investigator: $73,010
Probation officer and correctional treatment specialist: $51,240

*All career and average salary information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor, May 2010 statistics. There could be variances depending upon the level of degree completed.

Ready to get started? Click below to find an online school that’s right for you.

 

Great Online Degree Options for Transitioning Service Members or Military Spouses

Posted by Kelli McKinney

online degree programs for militaryYou’ve sacrificed for your country, traveled to places beyond your imagination and dedicated your life to your job. And now you’ve decided that it’s time to make a change. Perhaps education is part of your plan, but you know that you will need to work, care for your growing family and go to school in order to make it happen. It’s a scheduling challenge, to be sure, but it’s not impossible.

Exactly how is this supposed to work, you may be wondering?  Two words: Online. Education.

An online degree program gives you the structure of a degree program, deadlines to work against, and support from professors, advisors, and students – but puts you in the driver’s seat. They’re a smart choice for many working adults because they offer the prestige of an accredited university along with the flexibility that online services provide plus they acquaint you with technology like video conferencing and shared workspaces that you will encounter in many workplaces.

If this sounds like an option for you, consider these popular online degree programs.

 

Business Administration

Looking for an entrance to the business world? Look no further than a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

The Appeal: It’s the closest to a “jack-of-all-trades” degree you can find. The business administration degree provides a solid foundation in the basic building blocks of industry: finance, accounting, marketing and communication. These skills are what most employers seek, regardless of how the economy is performing.

The Degree: The College Board, an academic group that administers exams like the SAT, says that a degree in business administration teaches students how to “plan, organize, direct, and control an organization’s activities. “

The Career Potential: Anything from a personal financial advisor to a marketing research analyst can begin with a bachelor in business administration. 

 

Accounting

If numbers are your thing, check out a degree program in accounting to jump-start a successful career.

The Appeal: When all is said and done, companies need someone who knows how to balance the books and pay the bills.  This makes the tools of the accounting trade desirable now and for years to come.

The Degree: Most accounting students learn about financial measurements and methodology, plus specialized areas like business law, government accounting, auditing and nonprofit financial performance.

The Career Potential: The possibilities are extensive with an accounting degree. From tax examiner or auditor to analyst or accountant, this degree can prepare you for a number of careers with staying power.

 

Health Care Administration

Thanks to the nearly indestructible baby boomers, a health care administration degree is a highly desirable asset.

The Appeal: Health care service providers are gearing up to serve their communities, and with the numerous changes taking place in the medical insurance industry, there will likely continue to be a need for savvy administrators for the foreseeable future.

The Degree: Health care administration majors learn all fathomable aspects of overseeing health care facilities.  According to the College Board, coursework can include health care law, ethics, aging, and long-term care.

The Career Potential: This degree is a must-have if you want to be an executive administrator in the medical field, according to the U. S. Department of Labor.

 

Communications

With the click of a mouse, any message can be delivered in virtually any media anywhere within seconds. If this fact fascinates you, you are not alone. This is why communications degrees are in demand.

The Appeal: Organizations need people who know how to craft, distribute, and monitor messaging in order to both protect their brand and help grow it successfully.

Degree Details: In addition to learning how to read, write and speak publicly, communication majors learn to deconstruct a media message and debate issues.

The Career Potential: A bachelor’s degree in communications is one option to help you prep to pursue a public relations management position, according to the U. S. Department of Labor. You can also take a communications degree to get a job in marketing, advertising and marketing communications.

 

Computer Science

To paraphrase Madonna, we live in a technological world.  If you’re tech-savvy and want to continue to adapt with the ever-changing times, a degree in computer science might give you the staying power you seek.

The Appeal: Application and software development are going to continue to be needed as long as we continue to work and play on mobile devices. 

The Degree: Courses in computer science degree programs usually include programming in various “languages” as well as software design and user interaction.

The Career Potential: Application and software developers, system administrators and technicians usually have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or in a related field.

 

Education

Molding the next generation of thinkers and do-ers is a noble – and much needed – pursuit. If this appeals to you, a bachelor’s degree in education could be the way to go.

The Appeal: Baby boomers are beginning to exit the workforce, and their absence is not going to go unnoticed.  The need for strong teachers is perhaps more urgent than it has been in several years.

The Degree: Education majors study curriculum theory, teaching strategies, special education needs, educational psychology, and practical issues like lesson plan design, school health, and safety issues. 

The Career Potential: To teach in a public school, you must have a license from the state plus a bachelor’s degree in education.  

 

To find a school that offers a program matching your interests, use the Military Authority School Finder. 

Using Social Media Wisely, part 3: How Social Media can Help You Find a Job

Posted by Christine A. Shelly

Using social media wiselyOver the past few weeks, I have shared some ideas about how social media can enhance your education and how an online misstep can unravel your reputation. Now, let’s examine ways you can go from using social media as a way to keep up with friends and family, to using it to help you find a rewarding job opportunity.

Last year, more than 80 percent of companies were expected to use social media as a workforce recruitment tool (source: www.mediabistro.com). Recruiters use social media to help them reach candidates, not just because it saves them money, but also because they can target a specific job level and reach candidates who might not otherwise apply. And a bonus for transitioning military who would like to find a job far from where they are stationed, or for the military spouse who wants to secure a job while packing up the house for the next PCS move, social media allows job hunters to connect with recruiters around the world.

Nearly all recruiters – 98 percent – use social media like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to find candidates. Almost 95% of recruiters have made a successful hire from  LinkedIn. Not only are recruiters actively looking for potential candidates using social media, they are proactively engaging qualified candidates online. So if you’re not using social media as part of your job search, now’s the time to start.

The best place to start preparing for your social media job hunt is with your profile or background pages on sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Eye-tracking studies have demonstrated that the average person spends a little less than six seconds looking at a person’s profile. If you want to make a good impression on potential new employers, you’d be wise to make those six seconds count. Post pleasant, professional profile pictures, use keywords relevant to your job search in your bio, and keep usernames simple and free of profanity or otherwise unprofessional language.

Most people use Twitter as an outlet for expressing their opinions on news, politics, or causes that are near and dear to them. Why not use it to get yourself a job? The Twitter search function can help you find recruiters in your industry. Many companies encourage HR recruiters to tweet about job openings in addition to posting them to the usual job boards and advertisements. As an example, Grantham University job postings are strategically placed — and tweeted — to recruit top faculty and staff for the 100% online university. Start by finding a few recruiters in your field — or better yet, identify recruiters that specialize in placing veterans in jobs — and follow them. You’ll likely see opportunities as a result.

Ten years ago, if you were interested in working for a particular company, you had to rely on cold calling for informational interviews if you didn’t know (or couldn’t remember) someone at a particular organization. Now, you can ask people in your social networks to introduce you or even refer you for open positions. Sites like www.InTheDoor.com  or www.BranchOut.com search your Facebook network for hiring companies.

You can also build your influence and your network by writing thoughtful posts about current industry issues and posting them to your LinkedIn page or other networks. Demonstrate your knowledge, skills and expertise so that when someone in your network thinks about your industry, your name is top of mind.

Gone are the days when job hunting meant sifting through the Sunday classifieds with a cup of coffee and a number two pencil. Companies rely on social media to help them find the top candidates – so you have to engage in social media and put your best foot forward if you want to compete.

 

Have you found a job through social media? Tell us your experience in the comments.

 

Ms. Shelly has spent more than a decade working in higher education. She currently serves as executive vice president for Grantham Education Corporation. Ms. Shelly is passionate about changing lives – about making college education accessible and affordable to more people and preparing students and graduates for success.

Seven Tips for Successful Interviews

Posted by Kelli McKinney

interviewingYou’ve heard it before: You only have one chance to make a great first impression. Those crucial first few minutes of a job interview can make or break your chances to get an offer – or at least a next interview. 

Whether you’re a service member, military retiree, or military spouse, if it’s been while since you’ve interviewed for a job, take a look at these simple tips to help you amaze and astound your prospective new boss. In a good way.

  1. Bring extra copies of your resume.
  2. Arrive early.
  3. Make eye contact and sit up straight.
  4. Use language that demonstrates you know their industry – or at least have done a little research.
  5. Speak clearly and professionally – no slang, profanity, complaining or abbrevs.
  6. Ask relevant questions about the job and the company that demonstrate your interest and your abilities.
  7. Always send a follow-up thank you letter or email.

Above all, relax, do your best, and know that the right job for you is just around the corner.  And if you’re thinking about taking your skills and knowledge to the next level, check out our school finder for an easy way to research the best school for you.

 

Have you had any luck interviewing for a new job as a military spouse or transitioning servicemember? Please tell us about your experience below.

Vet Creates Own Path with G.I. Bill Benefits

Posted by S.E. Davidson Parker

Robert E. Lee did it in order to map the “impassible” Pedregal during the Mexican-American War.

George S. Patton did it in order to take Messina Palermo (oh, those garbled messages…).

fire fighters in trainingAnd now it’s Emmett Middaugh’s turn. It took a year of phone calls, paperwork, and determination, but Emmett Middaugh and the Forest Grove (Oregon) Fire and Rescue created the first on-the-job (OJT) training program in Oregon for students interested in firefighting that allow them to collect VA educational and training benefits.

Emmett Middaugh is studying full time for two associate degrees, fire protection and EMT-paramedics, while also volunteering for a 24-hour shift every three days at Forest Grove Fire and Rescue. That doesn’t leave much time for paying employment. By developing an approved program with the VA, student/volunteer fire fighters are eligible for not just benefits during school terms; if they continue volunteering (now an OJT program), veterans may be eligible for additional (non-school term) benefits through the VA.

Middaugh is the only person in the Oregon program so far. However, Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industry Brad Avakian is hoping to use this program as a template for other military-to-civil service transition programs in Oregon, as well as sharing these types of programs across the nation.

So what does that mean for you? It means the VA is willing to listen to ideas by veterans that can assist veterans. As the cliché goes, “the sky’s the limit.” Contact your local VA office as well as your school’s office of veterans’ services to see just how to proceed and who to speak with to make your program dreams a reality.

Mastering the Web-Based Interview

Posted by Kelli McKinney

online interviewing tipsOh, I love interviewing for a job,” said nobody, ever, “and I especially love interviewing over Skype or other internet-enabled video chat programs. It’s my favorite.”

It’s not that military members are afraid of technology. Quite the opposite – they’ve usually had more exposure to and training with systems and tools than the average civilian. But when the word “interview” enters any conversation, it’s usually followed by a cringe or a shudder.

That’s normal, and like every challenge service members face, preparation is the key for successfully overcoming the pre-Skype or internet interview jitters.

First off, let’s talk about the why. As in, why would the hiring company use online platforms to interview prospective candidates as opposed to scheduling a simple phone call?

Seeing is believing. You know that moment when you’ve paused to consider how you’re going to respond to a question, then you wonder if you’ve taken too long to respond, but since you can’t see the other person’s face over the phone, you can’t really gauge whether you’ve screwed up or not? That moment can still happen when you’re in a video interview, but at least on a video interview you can see the other person’s face. This works both ways – hiring managers want to see you, too, so that they get a feel for your personality, sincerity, and professionalism. These are all qualities you’ve developed in your military career, and they are worth showcasing.

Travel is expensive. Especially if you’re interested in working for a large corporation that’s located in a flyover state, it costs money for either you or the hiring team to bring the two parties together. Early on in the hiring process, it just makes sense for the hiring company to screen candidates from their home base instead of racking up airline, hotel, and rental car costs. You know how much it costs to transport personnel and vehicles, so if you’re open to saving your potential employer money, you’re already worth a second look as a candidate.

Now, about that prep work.

Preparing for the web-based interview is no different than preparing for any other interview, in terms of the kinds of topics covered and questions asked. But just because you’re interviewing from the comfort of your own home, doesn’t mean that etiquette goes by the wayside.

  1. Leave your jammies in the dresser. Sure, it’s tempting to throw a jacket on over your t-shirt. It’s even more tempting to keep your flannel pj pants and fluffy slippers on and point the web cam at your upper half. Remember, this is your future on the line here. Do you really want to gamble with it? Because sure as shootin’, the one time you try to pull this off will be the time you bump the desk with your leg and the camera reveals your little secret. Dress for a web interview as you would for an in-person interview and make a professional impression.
  2. Look at the camera. Have you ever spoken with someone who stared at your nose during the whole conversation? Not only does that make you feel like they’re not really listening to you, it’s just weird. In an interview, maintaining eye contact with your interviewer reassures them that not only are you listening, you’re confident, capable, and somebody worth hiring. But how do you keep eye contact in a web interview? Think of the web cam as the interviewer’s eye, relax, and look directly at it. You can blink, of course, but try not to stare at your notes, look over at your cat, or worse – open a web browser and scroll through your Twitter feed while you’re being interviewed.
  3. Practice with a friend. If you’re not really sure how this is going to work, set up a trial run with a trusted friend or family member. Have them prepare some interview questions, dress up, and do a mock interview over Skype. Tell them to critique your performance, too – are you fidgeting or staring off into space too much? Are you easy to hear, or speaking too fast? Practicing in advance can really boost your confidence because you’re not going through something both stressful and new at the same time.
  4. Clean up your act. Pay attention to what your employer could see – both online and in view of the web cam. Let’s start with your online profile: whether you’re using Skype, Windows Live Messenger, or any of the services, your potential employer will be able to see your account username. Make sure any photos you use are business-friendly and that your username is professional and straightforward. An employer is much more likely to maintain an interest in a candidate with a username that’s their first and last name than they are with someone who calls themselves “istealpuppiesfordrugmoney,” for example. During the interview, make sure you’re in a quiet, well-lit, clean-and-tidy-looking environment, free from distractions like clutter, noisy televisions, loud music, energetic pets or busy children. It’s ok that the interviewer sees you at home, but they don’t need to see you in the middle of life at home. If you have to, hire a babysitter to keep the kids quietly occupied in another room for an hour so you can give the interview your undivided attention.
  5. Don’t lose out on a job because of a technicality. Before the interview, make sure you’ve checked on all power and connectivity sources. You don’t want your brilliant responses to get cut short or delayed because of a slow connection. And you don’t want the embarrassment of having to stop and plug in your a/c adapter in the middle of an interview. Another technical issue worth mentioning is time zone differences. If you’re a San Diego resident interviewing for a New York-based company at 8:30 a.m. Eastern, you better be up bright and early. Make sure you and the interviewer are crystal clear on timing so you can make sure both you and your internet are ready to go.

Technology is a lot of things, but one thing it’s not is unchanging. That’s a great thing, because the more technology continues to develop, the more it helps us connect, live, work – and interview – in ways that save us time and money. Without it, we might miss out on some amazing opportunities. So now’s the time to prepare and take advantage of some of the career opportunities that web-based interviewing can make available for candidates with military backgrounds.