Tagged: veteran job search

Veterans Can Find Jobs Through Transition Offices

Posted by Debi Teter
militaryauthority.com_veterans-use-transition-offices-to-find-jobsService members leaving the military are often reluctant to initiate their pre-separation activities because they dread the thought of finding a job. It’s a common part of American life, though, and shouldn’t be feared. Most people change careers at least three times in their lives. Most Transition Offices have programs and counselors to assist you and your family members in seeking employment in government and the private sector. Job-hunting assistance is available at your Transition Office. Some of the services available at your Transition Office are listed below: • Counseling: The Transition staff provides individual career development counseling, comprehensive assessment of employment skills, and identification of employment opportunities. • Services: Transition Offices offer computerized listings of jobs, career workshops, and training opportunities, as well as automated resume writing. Many Transition Offices also provide access to a mini-reference library, word processing, and copying equipment to assist in job search preparation. • Job banks: Job banks provide information and referrals on temporary, permanent, part-time, and full-time positions in the federal, State, and private sectors. Separating service members are strongly encouraged to start their job search by using the following websites: DoD Job SearchTransition Assistance Program  and Public and Community Service. Whatever you do, start by putting your resume online in the Department of Labor’s job bank under the DoD Job Search website. Employers who are registered with the Department of Labor looking to hire former military personnel go to this website to look for resumes. • Workshops and seminars: A variety of workshops and seminars are available through your Transition Office to help you and your spouse become more competitive in the job market. Topics include enhancing job search skills, goal setting, and preparation of standard and optional forms for federal civil service employment, resumes, and interviewing techniques. • Training: Some locations offer occupational skills training for those seeking entry-level classes in typing, word processing, and data entry.

Six Rules of Professional Networking

Posted by Kelli McKinney

militaryauthority.com networking for a post military jobMention networking to most people and you’ll be met with reactions that range from an audible groan and an eyeroll to a blank stare. But landing a new job today is tough, and relationships matter. After all, that’s precisely why sites like LinkedIn and their ilk exist.

In a completely-unscientific survey of people I know, four out of six got their current job through a personal referral. The referrals were not necessarily from a “friend,” but from a contact, people they met at a conference, a professional organization, and even a former employer. The other two were contacted by corporate recruiters who had viewed their resumes on a service like Monster or Indeed.

When you’ve been in the military, you have not only the network of people with whom you served, but connections through your spouse, your family, and the instant recognition that comes from having the US Armed Forces on your resume. But that doesn’t mean you won’t need to continue developing and expanding your network once you’ve left the service.

Most people don’t get excited by the prospect of networking. But if you can think of it less in terms of “do they have a job opening for me” and more along the lines of “how can I help someone,” you can find it becomes a satisfying part of your professional life.

There are tons of resources out there offering networking tips and relationship-building guidance. At the risk of bogging readers down with loads of advice, here are six simple rules of professional networking that can help you get off to a great start (or pick up where you may have left off).

 

Rule #1: Be a giver, not a taker.

 

People can spot a taker right away. He or she is a familiar face at group gatherings, with a fist full of business cards and a permanently plastered over-wide smile. This person collects (and drops) names like others might collect baseball cards: they’re neat to look at, but he only spends time on them when he  want something out of them.

When you’re building a network, you are really building a group of people you trust – and who trust you. You want to be someone your group can rely on to listen and deliver results. Focus your effort not on trying to sell yourself, but on getting to know what other people seek. When you listen, follow up and add value to their goals, they will remember and respond in kind. You have to cultivate trust – that’s not something you gain with a “what’s in it for me” attitude.

 

Rule #2: Be thoughtful.

 

Shakespeare said, “There are no small parts, only small players” about the theater, but the same can be said about building your professional relationships. No one is irrelevant, except for those who would treat people poorly. Be deliberate and thoughtful about the associations you join and events you attend. Consider people you already know as well as people you’d like to know. Both are important. You might think twice before dismissing a small group of local business owners  – it’s the quality of people in your group that matters, not quantity. It’s better to have 5 people you know well and who are willing to help each other than to have 305 contacts who don’t know much about each other or you. First think about what your contacts need and how you might be able to help them achieve their goals. Then think about your own plans.

 

Rule #3: Use your ears more than your mouth. But use them both wisely.

 

We’ve all been trapped at parties with someone who insists on telling you their life story, interrupts anything you have to say with a “one-up,” and offers unsolicited advice on problems you didn’t know you had. Don’t be that person. And if you encounter them, don’t put up with them too long, either.

Before you go anywhere there might be an opportunity to network, prepare two or three questions as conversation starters, and prepare graceful exit lines for those situations where it’s clear the other person is a “taker” (see Rule #1).

There’s a reason villains always monologue. Heroes are too busy helping other people to talk. If your conversation partner seems like more of a Joker than a Batman, make a graceful exit. Networking is about building a mutually-beneficial, trusting relationship. You have to demonstrate you’re there for the good of others as well as yourself.

 

Rule #4: Keep it professional.

 

It’s true that networking can happen on the sidelines of your child’s soccer game as easily as it can happen at a professional meeting. But if you’re reaching out to people with the sole purpose of giving or getting professional advice or advancement, keep to a professional setting. Don’t hound contacts on the playground or grocery store. Some day a friendship could develop, sure, but until everyone involved is comfortable with that, keep professional boundaries at all times.

Professional boundaries include taking steps to prevent unnecessary gossip and inappropriate assumptions on other peoples’ part. Don’t meet outside the office with people of the opposite gender. It might seem old fashioned and a bit absurd, but people tend toward speculation and gossip, and your professional reputation is too important to risk. Lunch with the boss or co-worker in a well-lit, busy restaurant could be acceptable, but no dinner/drinks/dessert in any quiet, dark place that might suggest you’re trying to hide something.

Having said that: If someone’s behavior makes you uncomfortable – if they’re calling or emailing too much, perhaps acting like they’re a bit too familiar with you, set them straight clearly but gently. And let a friend or family member know what’s going on so they can help if needed.

 

Rule #5: Spread wealth and expect nothing.

 

Just because you’ve had a great conversation with someone doesn’t mean they are obligated to do anything for you. In fact, now that you’ve had a great conversation, the ball is in your court to follow up – not theirs. Once you’ve made a connection, it’s time to start learning more about them. Your new contacts’ interests, challenges, and needs all offer you an opportunity to demonstrate your value. Follow up with a brief, specific email or phone call that shares something worthwhile and shows sincere interest. Here’s some ideas for following up after a connection at an association function:

Email: John, I enjoyed our conversation Thursday about your widget project. The attached article on widgets 3.0 caught my attention and I thought I’d share. Would like to hear your thoughts on it when you have a chance. Best regards, Jamie

Phone call: Hi John, this is Jamie – we met at Thursday’s AWA meeting and talked about your widget project. I’d love to send you a copy of an article I just read on widgets 3.0 – would that be okay?

Delivery: Pick up a copy of the publication or copy the relevant article and either drop it off personally or send it in the mail to your new contact with an attached note similar to email above.

The very best thing you can do to grow your network is share information. Whether it’s something you’ve read, a tool you’ve acquired, or music you’ve heard, share something with your connections that’s relevant and useful to them. Your contact may or may not respond to your attempts. They may even say “no, thanks” when you offer something. Don’t take it personally. Simply chalk it up as a learning experience and move on. Either way, you gain information and practice. There’s nothing wrong with that.

 

Rule #6: Networking is a lot like brushing your teeth: You must do it daily for best results.

 

Networking is a habit. When you do it a little bit each day, it doesn’t seem quite so overwhelming and the results consistently pile up. Make no mistake, though: Networking is often disguised as work. Volunteer opportunities, group projects, committee activities – all are great opportunities to meet some fascinating people and learn about them. You can also make a habit of introducing two people with the same backgrounds, interests, or goals. What happens next is up to them, but do this a few times and you become the go-to resource for people in your network who seek to meet new talent.

Now what?

Getting started is a lot simpler than you might think. Consider who your network is and think about who you want it to include. Pick up the phone, use email, or go to an event or activity. Be sincere. Listen. Be useful. That’s pretty much it, and it’s not so scary when you think about it that way.

Do you have any networking strategies or stories to share? We’d love to hear them. Dish them out in the comments below.

Hot Jobs for Veterans 2013

Posted by Kelli McKinney

veteran job opportunitiesThere are some employers who just get it: If you want highly skilled, well-trained employees who work hard and learn fast, you want to employ ex-military personnel. Our military men and women have incredibly adaptable, translatable skills that make them very valuable to any industry.

What are some of the more popular careers for ex-military members who want to take what they’ve learned in the service and grow in the civilian world?  Take a look at these five career paths that are not only in-demand even in today’s economy, but also offer service members an opportunity to continue growing and learning.

Information Technology

The United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics names computer scientists and database administrators among the “fastest growing occupations through 2014.” You would be hard pressed to name any successful business or organization that does not rely heavily on computer technology or data. The US Armed Forces uses some of the most technically advanced systems on the planet, which makes service members who have experience with IT part of an elite crew. Take this expertise into the civilian marketplace as an IT professional, whether as an entrepreneur, a certified contractor or a specialist.

Computer systems analysts, for example, are named by Economic Systems Modeling Specialists, Inc. as the fourth largest job opportunity in the country. Nearly 30,000 new jobs have been added in this field since 2010, and data indicates that the industry will continue to see growth. The biggest job opportunity, according to ESMSI, is in applications and systems software development, which has seen an addition of more than 70,000 jobs since 2010.

Police Officer

Law enforcement and military personnel seem to be cut from the same cloth. Both have a heart for service and an appetite to protect their community. Perhaps this is why veterans are offered hiring preferences with most police departments like bonus points on entrance exams, retirement perks, and even GI Bill benefits.

Plus, similar to the military, within law enforcement there are a number of specialized departments that offer professionals a chance to demonstrate specialized expertise.

Teacher

How about a career that offers its professionals the chance to make a difference in young peoples’ lives, summers off, and the chance to earn extra income? Many veterans find immense satisfaction in the education field, particularly those who have science, technology, or math backgrounds. Think about it: Who is better suited to maintain order in the classroom, thrive under pressure and motivate young minds than our former military personnel?

There are also programs like DANTES Troops to Teachers that not only help train veterans and help them gain their teaching certification but also assist with placement in areas where the need for motivated, qualified teachers is greatest.

Entrepreneur

The American Dream at its finest: Owning and operating your own business. Once you’ve gained invaluable experience in the military, why not take what you’ve learned and live the dream?

Nearly 25% of all US veterans either seriously considers buying or starting their own business – or they actually do it, says SCORE, a nonprofit partner with the US Small Business Administration. They do this for good reason. Government regulation requires that a certain percentage of all federal government agencies must do business with a small, minority-owned or veteran-owned company.

Plus, if there’s anyone who has what it takes to navigate the stressful first years of business ownership, it’s military servicemembers. Not only do they have the discipline, they have had exposure to some of the finest examples of leadership (and possibly an example of how not to manage people), and they have access to some of the best entrepreneurial resources out there.

Civilian Public Service

It’s no surprise that many veterans opt to continue serving their country through civil service. The sense of altruism and public service that drives so many men and women to join the military in the first place is also what motivates many public servants to work in the hundreds if not thousands of federal agencies and organizations across the country.

EMSI ranked accounting, market research/marketing, and human resources among the top five job fields for 2013 – numbers 2, 3 and 4, respectively. And all of which, of course, are fields that can be found within the federal civil service.

Plus, some veterans qualify to receive special hiring preference when they apply for federal jobs.

Former members of the US military hold a number of highly desirable skills. This list is just the beginning of possibilities. With some additional education and training, even more doors can open to a huge array of potential second careers.

Free IT Training Opportunity Puts Vets in Jobs Market Sweet Spot

Posted by Jason Van Steenwyk

veterans to workSAP, a major German software development company with over 55,000 employees, has committed to offering free IT training to qualified American veterans, the company announced last week. The new program, called Veterans to Work, will provide scholarships for veterans to pursue training and certification programs on SAP software, including analytics, data management and mobility solutions, the company said.

The first group of veterans started class this week in Texas. Within 12 months, SAP aims to train and certify 1,000 veterans in California, Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia. Eventually the program will expand nationally through its online accessibility.

The goal, ultimately, is to have up to 20,000 transitioning veterans trained up to manage SAP’s business software solutions.

Veterans selected for the program can choose from a variety of offered courses and certification programs:

  • Analytics
    • SAP Business Intelligence Platform
    • SAP Crystal Reports
    • SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence
  • Database & Technology
    • SAP Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise
    • SAP HANA, In-Memory Computing
    • SAP Sybase PowerBuilder
    • SAP Sybase PowerDesigner
  • Mobility
    • Sybase Unwired Platform – Developers

A Growth Field

Even as the overall economy is mired in growth that is tepid at best, the software development, data management and IT fields continue to grow – and will need a steady inflow of fresh talent for the next several years. The SAP opportunity dovetails nicely with the economy of the 20-teens.

According to the IT and HR consulting firm Gartner, Inc., the data architecture industry is going to need to find an additional 4.4 million workers, worldwide, to service the exploding demand for data management – all in the next three years.

There simply aren’t enough qualified workers to meet the project demand, notes Gartner. In fact, Gartner anticipates that two thirds of those jobs will never be filled. SAP’s move is potentially a shrewd way of ensuring itself market share in the data services and business software and analytics field going forward; after all, they will not be able to sell much software to companies if the companies can’t find qualified IT staff to run them. The Veterans to Work program gets SAP ahead of that hiring curve.

One of SAP’s disciplines is mobile technology – a field that continues to grow in leaps and bounds. Gartner projects 1.6 billion new smart mobile devices will be sold in 2016. Two out of three workers will own a smartphone, and 40 percent of workers will be mobile.

This program puts the selected veterans in one of the ‘sweet spots’ of the 21st century economy. And SAP will benefit from the veteran talent pool.

For more information, and to apply for the program, visit sap.com/veteranstowork.

VA Student Work-Study Program Could Mean Long Delays in Paycheck Processing; Our Veterans Deserve Better

Posted by Jason Van Steenwyk

Veterans AffairsThe Department of Veterans Affairs makes a practice of hiring veterans to help other vets as they transition out of the military and into college. Unfortunately, they also make a practice out of not paying them on time.

NBC News obtained an internal survey of VA employees hired under the “work-study” program.

From the NBC News article:

“Student veterans hired by the Department of Veterans Affairs to help fellow ex-service members transition into college have routinely waited four to six weeks — and, in one case, four months — for unpaid wages, prompting eviction worries and mounting debt…”

The work-study program is a feature of the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Qualifying veterans going to school themselves can get paid to assist transitioning veterans and helping them navigate the VA system.

Participants earn the minimum wage in their jurisdictions, and log hours serving in a variety of capacities:

  • Assisting with processing VA paperwork at schools or at Veterans Administration offices
  • Veteran outreach services performed under VA supervision or under the auspices of a State approving agency
  • Providing services at VA hospitals and clinics
  • Serving at DoD facilities assisting with education benefits under the Montgomery GI Bill-Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR), or the Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP) (though only participants receiving these benefits can get paid for this work under the program
  • Administrative assistance at the National Cemetery Association

Participating veterans can get paid up to 50 hours in advance, or up to 40 percent of the number of hours in their work-study agreement with their school, whichever is less. The amount of hours worked is limited to an average of 25 per week during your enrollment period. But veterans can work between enrollment periods, bunch the hours however they want, consistent with the work available.

Once the first advance period is up, the VA promises to pay participants every time they complete 50 hours of service in the program.

But the VA seems to be having trouble delivering on its promise. More from the NBC article:

“Metcalf’s survey found VA work-study employees at five campuses who reported waiting one month to two months for payments — and a student in North Dakota who was not compensated for four months. (Among the 18 schools represented in the survey were Texas A&M, Florida State and the University of Kentucky). Survey participants also revealed that a number of student veterans have quit their work-study jobs due to the chronic payment delays, hamstringing veteran-services departments at some campuses.”

Veterans are complaining that it takes weeks or months before they are paid – and that the VA is not giving them any answers in the meantime about why their paychecks are hung up. Typically, veterans will get a voicemail message saying that VA workers are “busy processing time cards.” Calls are frequently not returned.

Even the reporter looking into the story didn’t get anyone from the VA on the phone. Instead – he got an email from a VA spokesperson – blaming veterans!

“A voicemail left Monday by NBC News with the VA media relations office prompted an emailed response Wednesday from a VA spokesperson: ‘VA will review any issues with the work-study to ensure payments are delivered in a timely manner. To allow more timely payments to work-study students, our regional processing offices recommend that employers submit time records to the work-study coordinator once 50 work hours have been accrued. In some cases, time records are submitted after a student has accrued 100 or more hours.'”

To be eligible for the program, you must be enrolled in a college degree, professional or vocational training program. You must be enrolled at least “three-quarter” time.

Priority goes to applicants with a VA disability rating of 30 percent or more, or those with a service-related disability.

Interested veterans eligible for the 9/11 GI Bill can apply for the program with the VA using this form.

Tips:

I regret I cannot strongly recommend this program for the vast majority of veterans – even if the VA were better at paying on time. The vast majority of veterans transitioning back into the civilian sector, or seeking to go to school, have better options to earn money, gain valuable contacts , and obtain private sector experience.

Don’t rely on the VA for your tuition and your income, if you can help it. If you have your tuition benefits coming from one source, and your income from another, a glitch won’t cause a meltdown in everything at once. Work somewhere else. Don’t settle for minimum wage. You are honorably discharged veterans. Many of you have combat experience, and most have at least some marketable skill somewhere. If nothing else, you should have a maturity level, experience level and an ability to handle stress that is much greater than the typical minimum wage worker in your city. Yes, jobs are tight. Keep looking. There’s nothing wrong with picking up a few hours while you are looking — but have a contingency plan in the event your pay check is delayed. Not every town has a lot of private sector jobs available. And the VA Work Study Program has the advantage of flexible hours. Keep looking.

Most internships are better. Your work in this particular work-study program is unlikely to help you much in your civilian career. If you’re going to work for minimum wage, it’s much better to get in the door at an internship, apprenticeship, or entry-level position in your chosen field or industry. Unless you want to be a career VA employee and can work with VA supervisors in a position to hire you once you are finished with school, move on. Build a Rolodex of contacts elsewhere.

Join the Reserves or Guard. If you haven’t signed on with a Reserve or National Guard unit, consider it. One weekend a month of drill pay equals about 4 days of active duty base pay. This may work out to a big chunk of what you would earn in the Work-Study Program anyway. Your unit may have other work you can do during the week, on RMP or Active Duty Special Work status, State Active Duty for Air or Army National Guard members. Plus, many states offer free tuition to National Guard members and other valuable benefits.

 

Have you had problems getting paid in the VA Work-Study Program? What have you done to find a job after leaving the service. Leave your advice in the comments below.

Senate Republicans Block Controversial Veterans Jobs Bill

Posted by Jason Van Steenwyk

CongressSenate Republicans rallied to block a controversial $1 billion bill that would have created temporary jobs for veterans within the National Park System. The law, the Veterans Jobs Corps Act of 2012, was modeled on the Civilian Conservation Corps, a much broader jobs program, primarily for young, unemployed people, during the Great Depression. The law also would have helped local officials hire veterans for certain “first responder” jobs in emergency services, such as police and fire departments. The law would also have extended funding for the “TAP” program, which provided funding for entrepreneurship training for veterans.

The bill was a legislative priority for the Obama Administration, which is eager to be seen creating jobs. But Democrats, who hold a majority in the Senate, were unable to reach the 60-vote majority that would bring it to a vote.

Democrats pointed out that unemployment amongst GWOT and veterans is over 10 percent, and assert that the jobs are desperately needed by this population. However, Democratic Senators admitted that they did not know how many jobs would be created by the $1 billion expenditure.

Republicans objected to the measure on a number of grounds: Earlier this week, Senator Rand Paul unsuccessfully moved to have the bill amended with a provision that would tie federal aid to Pakistan with the release of a key informant in the hunt for Bin Ladin, now serving time in a Pakistani prison for treason.

Republican Tom Coburn also stated that the U.S. already has six jobs programs already earmarked for veterans – and little accounting of how effective these jobs programs are.

Republicans also objected to the $1 billion price tag, coming at a time when other government programs were being rolled back.

Some GOP members objected to the provision in the law that exempted Vietnam-era veterans from consideration for the program.

Additionally, the Republicans also objected on procedural grounds, stating that the Constitution requires spending and budget matters to originate in the House, not the Senate. The law is not expected to pass the Republican-led House of Representatives.

And finally, Republicans also pointed out that the bill did not conform to the Budget Control Act of 2011, which imposes a zero sum game on all Senate committees for new spending. If any committee wants to add funding for any veterans program, it must strip that money from another veterans program.

According to Republicans, the bill violated budget caps agreed to by both parties last year. Republicans raised a point of order pointing out the violation of the Budget Control Act.

A few Republicans did break ranks and vote to move the bill forward: Scott Brown of Massachusetts, Dean Heller of Nevada, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, both from Maine.

Murkowski’s state has a large number of National Park facilities that would stand to benefit from the bill. Senators Inhofe (Illinois) and Kirk (Oklahoma), both Republicans, did not cast votes. Full roll call is available here.

Veterans groups generally support the bill. The President of the group Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America – historically a Democrat-friendly advocacy group – issued a blistering statement:

“This Congress let partisan bickering stand in the way of putting thousands of America’s heroes back to work. Lowering veteran unemployment is something both parties should be able to agree on – even in an election year, election politics should never stand in the way of creating job opportunities for our nation’s veterans, especially with an official 10.9% unemployment rate. We hope constituents, veterans and their families across the country will hold the Senate accountable for this failure.

The blockage of the Veterans Job Corps Act, a bipartisan effort authored by Senators Murray, Burr, Boozman, Heller and Toomey, should outrage all Americans. This bill was smart bipartisan policy that would put veterans back into service for their communities as policemen, firefighters and first responders. The result of today’s vote creates tremendous doubt that this Congress will be able to pass any additional veterans legislation in 2012. Iraq and Afghanistan veterans should not have to wait until 2013 for critical support from Congress.”

The bill didn’t just receive support from the Democratic-leaning IAVA, though. The Veterans Jobs Corps Act also received conceptual support from the Veterans of Foreign Wars. The VFW also opposed the provisions of the Budget Control Act – the law that threatens a series of draconian cuts across all federal departments under sequestration, if Congress does not sooner strike a deal to limit spending.

Hunting the Headhunter: A Task for Transitioning Servicemembers

Posted by Kelli McKinney

headhuntersWhen you think about it, finding a job is kind of like selling a house. When you sell a house, you’ve got to make sure you have curb appeal and a solid foundation. You’ve got to have up-to-date fixtures and the perfect combination of storage and open space. And you’ve got to have a rockstar seller’s agent to make sure your home’s selling points are seen by the right buyer.

It’s not really that different when you’re looking for a job. You have to make sure your resume is up to date and features your most competitive qualities for the job you’re after. You have to have the right mixture of skills, abilities, and “fit” for the company you’re interested in. And it doesn’t hurt to have a few strategically-selected headhunters looking out for you, either.

Working with a headhunter isn’t as violent as it might sound. A civilian headhunter is very much like a military recruiter in that they screen potential employees. The difference is that unlike the military, a civilian headhunter is usually an independant agent, who has several client companies.  

Finding headhunters isn’t hard. Finding the right headhunter can be a bit tricky at first, but it’s worth it for one reason alone: Headhunters often know about the unposted opportunities. Those are the ones you want. Here are a few tips to help you connect with the headhunter that’s right for you.

1) Get specific. Whether you’re just starting your quest for the perfect civilian job, or if you’ve been looking for a while, it’s a lot easier to find what you’re looking for if, well, you know what you’re looking for. If you haven’t written it down, write it down: the industry/ies, titles, experience, growth path, everything you’re targeting. Include “finding a headhunter with contacts at Dream Company, HQ” as part of your list. 

2) Use your network. Now that you know what you want, enlist help from people you trust. Use your Military Authority discussion boards, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn to reach out to people and let them know what you’re looking for. Chances are, you have a few trusted people in your contact files who have connections to the goals you seek. If people you trust recommend a specific headhunter, ask for an introduction. 

3) Be courteous. When looking for or working with a headhunter, it’s important to remember that you are one of many people they interact with. It’s not that your job search isn’t important – it is. But yours is one of many, and your connections/friends/headhunters also have their own lives to live outside of working hard on your behalf. Respect their time, communicate clearly and routinely (unless they establish other ground rules, checking in once bi-weekly is plenty – they will let you know when they find a good fit for you) and let them do their job. When you get an interview, no matter how well or poorly it goes, be sure to thank the person who helped you get the interview. A little kindness and courtesy goes a long way, and you just never know – in a few years, you might be reaching out to that same headhunter to help you fill a vacancy at your new company.  

There are plenty of resources out there to help guide you through your next job search. Headhunters are only one of many options. We’d like to hear from you – what’s your story?  Have you/did you use a headhunter or other search assistance? Tell us about it below.


Better times ahead for veterans seeking employment

Posted by Kelli McKinney

successful interviewingStars and Stripes reported last week that the unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans dropped from 12.7 in May to 9.5 percent in June. 

This is encouraging for a couple of reasons: One is that in the 24 months between January 2010 to December 2011, the unemployment rate has dipped below 10 percent only twice. In 2012 alone, it has seen single digits four times. 

It’s definitely too soon to stake any claims of recovery, but there could be a positive trend in veteran hiring, even while national employment remains in a holding pattern. And I don’t know about anyone else, but while I’m looking for a job, even the suggestion of positive news is good news.

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, there are nearly 800,000 veterans seeking work. About 200,000 of these are post-9/11 era vets. In recent months, both the White House and Congress have encouraged private and government agencies to hire veterans. The Department of Labor’s Veteran Retraining Assitance Program reports that within less than two months of kickoff, they’ve already had 25,000 applicants. 

If you are or if you know a veteran who is looking for work, know that there are people out there who appreciate your knowledge and skills and want to help you put them to continued good use. And we have resources to help you in your transition – whether your next steps include the pursuit of additional training and education, or if you are ready to launch a civilian career. Plus, there is a community of people just like you on our discussion boards, so you know that you’re in good company. 

 

 

 

Freaky Friday or TGIF? You be the judge.

Posted by Debi Teter

Friday the 13th black catIf you’re superstitious, listen up. This is the last Friday the 13th of 2012. There won’t be another one until September of 2013. If you’re one of those folks who pays extra attention to the whereabouts of black cats and ladders today, this should come as a relief.

Although some insurance statisticians claim that Friday 13th can actually be safer than an average Friday because people are extra conscientious, there have been more than a few interesting incidents associated with this infamous day.

Need convincing? Here are just a handful of examples:

  • July 1951: The Great Flood killed 24 people, destroyed more than 2 million acres of land in Kansas and caused $760 million in damage
  • July 1987: An F4 tornado tore through Edmonton, Alberta, killing 27 people and injuring at least 300
  • March 1992: An earthquake killed nearly 2,000 people and left 50,000 homeless in Turkey
  • Tupac Shakur was shot and killed in Las Vegas on a Friday the 13th
  • Al Capone was sentenced to prison on a Friday the 13th
  • Benny Goodman, the King of Swing, died on a Friday the 13th
  • June 1986: The Olsen twins, Mary-Kate and Ashley, were born (I’ll let you decide how frightening this one is!)

A lot of the reason people are afraid of Friday the 13th is because they simply don’t know what might happen. Superstition and fear can be powerful, but they don’t have to hold you back. I happen to embrace every Friday the 13th that comes along and try to use it my advantage.

Want to apply for a job? Send your resume to the recruiter or hiring manager today! It will stand out because many other people will avoid sending theirs in.

Need to renew your driver’s license soon? Head to the DMV — likely empty thanks to superstitious people too nervous to take their test on such a horrible, dreadful day.

Have questions about your military financial aid benefits at the college you’re attending? Give them a call now, when other people are avoiding any questions about money because they’re sure they’ll get bad news thanks to the date on the calendar.

So what do you think about the date? Are you extra cautious on Friday the 13th? Or do you think the spooky stories and superstitions are a bunch of phooey? Do you throw caution to the wind and walk under ladders, or hide in your house? Either way, it’s Friday, and we hope you enjoy whatever you do today!

Dog gets online medical degree

Posted by Debi Teter

The economy looks pretty bleak. The unemployment rate is high. What does that mean for you?

Perhaps you are active duty military, ETSing soon and have been considering a new degree to give you an edge in the civilian world. Maybe you’re a veteran who has decided to go back to school for a couple of years to wait out the poor job market.

Well, you are in luck! Nevermind using your GI Bill benefits or signing up with the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program. Don’t waste precious time studying. You can now get a degree — even a doctorate — for the low, low price of $450 in as little as a week!

Don’t believe it? Watch Sonny’s story…

Seriously, getting a degree will help you improve your chances of scoring a good job, and a high paying one. Unemployment rates drop and income increases as you move up the education degree ladder

So how do you know that a college offering an online degree is legit? 

First, make sure you check that it is accredited. Then spend some time on its website. A legit school will have a lot of information, not just a few pages encouraging you to enroll and send a check today. Try checking it out on social media. If you find successful people listing it as part of their profile on LinkedIn, odds are it’s a good school. And people will talk about a school on Twitter, whether they like it or not, so search its name with a hashtag. 

Ok, so now that you know how to spot a scam school, how do you find a good one that offers the program you’re interested in?

Two things:

  • Check out our School Finder. You can search by education level and degree program. It will match you with schools that provide exactly what you want.
  • Once you have a list of potential schools, evaluate the colleges to see which one is right for you.
Don’t end up like Sonny. Use your military education benefits and take the time to get a real education. Otherwise, you could find yourself in the doghouse with less money in your bank account, a pretty piece of paper, and no employers taking you seriously.