As a career coach I have noticed a trend. There are certain clients that I can immediately get the phone ringing for job interviews. There has been one that I can’t even get a rejection email. Below are the things that I see my successful clients doing before they begin making the transition from the military to the mainstream or from one job to another.
1. Research what employers want. Start looking at job announcements to see if you have the skills, certifications and degree that the employer wants. If you don’t posses those items get those skills, certifications or the degree required.
2. Keep skills up to date. It is your responsibility to keep your skills current not your current employers. Once you have identified what certifications are trendy or most requested sign up for a certification program. Get certified. Do not have long periods of date gaps where you have not attended a refresher course nor did something to keep your skills up to date. Don’t let your education section on your resume make you look outdated or old.
3. Update your resume. Keep your resume updated but don’t lie. One area I see many people failing to update is their computer skills. They have listed programs that were popular five or ten years ago. I recommend you visit your local community college and attend some of the classes for newest versions of the computer programs.
4. Use social media correctly. Social media is a tool that hiring managers are using to see who you are before they call you for an interview. You must be visible on LinkedIn and other social media platforms. Again keeping your information current is key to job hunting success. Your profile must reflect you are job hunting and use the key words that hiring managers will be using to search for you. If you don’t advertise you are job hunting you won’t be asked to apply for a job, notified about a job or even looked at to join the company.
5. Networking. Networking is not begging for a job. Networking is not kissing someone’s backside. Networking is allowing your family, friends, and other contacts know you are job hunting. It is letting them know that if they hear of something you may be interested in that they are welcome to give your contact card to the hiring manager or get their card for you. Networking can be done online and offline. You will want to have contact cards made to provide to people you meet in person and to the hiring managers you meet at career fairs and job fairs. People can’t contact you or refer you if they don’t have your information readily available. A professionally designed contact card will help sell you.
6. Professional Appearance. Do not neglect you appearance. Research the latest trends for your industry. You may want to contact someone skilled in this area to help you determine what styles work with your body type and to help you go through your wardrobe and eliminate outdated items. A professional stylist will also be able to help you maximize the pieces you already own. Start looking at hairstyles too if you are leaving the military. You won’t want to sport an outdated style or your current military style. You don’t want to intimidate or look dated.
7. Be open to feedback. You must listen and not get offended when you are provided criticism. The feedback may come from a hiring manager who wants to see your resume in a different format or from your coach who wants you to work on certain areas of self improvement. Be willing to listen to constructive feedback and invest in you.
Remember, the employer wants employees that will help grow the business. It is your responsibility to keep your skills current. Times have changed no longer do employers invest in employee professional growth. It is your responsibility. Invest in yourself before your next performance review and before you begin job hunting for a new job. When you implement my seven tips you will be prepared to provide value to the employer and you will get hired.