Job-hunting can be an exciting activity, especially in good times as we enjoy now. This may fly in the face of the negative reports you hear about the job market from the talking heads on TV, candidates for public office, and others who have an agenda. To put it all in perspective, good news does sell newspapers and magazines, or boost TV ratings. It is bad news, true or contrived, that makes the headlines. We will elect a new president and many new members of congress in 2016 so expect to hear about the “terrible job market” as candidates continue to invent and trumpet “bad news.” In reality, good times are rolling, and veterans who know how to go about job hunting will find work that brings a good salary and job satisfaction.
However, what about the many job candidates who complain they have not found anything after submitting hundreds of resumes to multiple job boards? Well, job hunting is more than preparing a dynamite resume and sending it to internet job boards. Job-hunting is really an operation. It begins with writing a well-defined objective followed by written strategies to accomplish that objective. Writing a good resume is only one activity in this process. Let’s take it step by step.
THE JOB HUNTING OBJECTIVE
First, define your objective. A well-defined objective will keep your job search focused. It is not merely stating, “to find a job that pays well and will be satisfying.” That is a flawed objective. For example, after much self-examination you learn that you are interested in sports and in meeting people. You are a true extrovert. In addition, you played on school and military teams and you were considered a team leader. With this particular interest and knowledge of sports, a job with a professional team would be a good place to look for a job. Now, your objective might read, “To find a marketing or sales position with a professional athletic team.” If you live in the Northeast Corridor, your target could be any of the following: the Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees; Washington Redskins; or the Pittsburgh Penguins. If you live in the Midwest, look at the Chicago White Sox and the Minnesota Vikings. West Coast residents can target the Los Angeles Dodgers and many other pro teams.
JOB HUNTING STRATEGIES
After defining your objective, the next step in the operation is to design strategies for accomplishing the mission. Here are some general strategies to get you started:
- Prepare an operations center, (aka, home office) in your home to conduct your job search.
- Craft a resume that translates your military experience into civilian terminology.
- Post your profile on LinkedIn. Make sure it is in harmony your resume. Join the LinkedIn Veterans User Group
- Research the websites of your target Military Friendly companies for job opportunities in your area of interest.
- Learn the names of the president, hiring managers and human resources director by conducting a google search, reviewing the company website, and reviewing LinkedIn.
- Check your local convention center website to learn about upcoming trade shows or conferences. Attend conferences of interest to meet hiring managers personally.
- Practice for interviews by playing question-answer with a trusted friend. Learn to speak using civilian terminology.
- Learn what is considered appropriate dress for attending trade shows and interviews.
- Become technology literate, and prepare to articulate your technology skills to hiring managers and human resources directors.
- Ask for the support of previous co-workers and bosses who will speak to your abilities and character. It will help your cause if you include a letter of reference along with your resume.
These are general strategies. Flesh them out to meet a particular situation. In future blogs on this site, I will go into detail on these general operation strategies. In the meantime, make this your cardinal rule for job hunting: Employers do not hire resumes, Tweets or Facebook postings. They hire veterans who contacted them personally to present their candidacy. Securing a job is all about building personal relationships.
ROBUST INDUSTRIES AND COMPANIES
In addition to the basic three industries, food, shelter, clothing, there are other industries offering plentiful job opportunities. Two of the best are Travel and Entertainment, and Insurance. There industries provide jobs spanning everything from Assistant Marketing Services Representative, to Sr.Vice President for Sales, to President.
TRAVEL AND ENTERTAINMENT
This is what I call a happy industry. It is increasing exponentially and includes guided tours, ocean cruising, professional sports, theme parks, TV and radio programming, and the movies. Here are some of my favorite companies in this industry.
In addition to fielding a winning team and having a profitable balance sheet, this team is community conscious and employee friendly. When I checked their website, www.baltimore.orioles.mlb.com, I found the following openings: Information Systems Assistant; Spanish Translator and Media Relations Assistant.
Another place to look for jobs in major league baseball is a website called MLB Team Careers. www.mlb.mlb.com/careers/index.jsp. This is a clearinghouse for jobs offered by every major league baseball team. Recently, I found the following interesting job postings: Director of Human Resources, Kansas City Royals; Executive Legal assistant, Philadelphia Phillies; After School Academy Baseball Coordinator, Washington Nationals; Cybersecurity Network Administrator, Chicago White Sox.
This TV channel is the premier spot for financial news and telecasts a variety of programs every weekday from six AM to seven PM. The TV hosts are knowledgeable in everything financial including employment matters. When I reviewed their website, www.cnbc.com, I found the following job postings: Producer; Strategic Content Analyst; Publicist; Reporter; Director of Marketing, and many more
The Walt Disney Company
Disney is the global leader in family entertainment and has been in business for 90 years. It offers employment at many different levels at locations around the world. It enjoys a sterling reputation for customer service and for treating employees like family. In addition, Disney is a Military Friendly company. To learn about current job openings, go to the website, www.disney.com, click on careers and then open “Heroes Work Here.”
Many workers consider the Insurance industry a boring place to carve out a career. Forget everything you have ever heard about the Insurance industry because this is one of the best for long-term employment. Why? Insurance companies have been in business for hundreds of years because customers and employees benefit from their services. The reason why insurance companies rarely go out of business is that some of the brightest workers in the world called actuaries build their business model. They assess risk by evaluating hundreds of variables and then pricing their products, policies and annuities, accordingly. Here are some of my faves.
United Services Automobile Association (USAA)
The United Services Automobile Association is a Military Friendly multiline insurer that hires veterans by the hundreds for jobs in every state. Visit their website. www.USSA.com, for recent job postings. They not only cater to veterans, but also to their spouses. Check out their Junior Military Officer (JMO) program, which helps veterans through their transition to civilian careers.
Northwestern specializes in life and property insurance, and is based in Milwaukee Wisconsin. It has been in business since 1907, employs over 6,000 workers and has assets totaling $120 billion. The story does not stop there. The company is community conscious in the extreme. One of their hallmark programs, the Northwestern Mutual Foundation, provides funding to find a cure for childhood cancer. Check the website for job opportunities, www.northwesternmutual.com
State Farm Insurance Company
State Farm is a multiline insurer working across the country. It is the nation’s largest automobile insurance company. Jobs at State Farm include selling, marketing, claims adjustment, underwriting and other specialties. Their sales offices are are independently owned and operated by agents and their family members. See what they have to offer at www.statefarm.com.
This multiline insurer has been in business since 1851, which indicates it is doing something right for both employees and customers. Few companies in America have been in business for 165 years! In 2016, MassMutual’s dividend payout to policyholders exceeded $1.7 billion. It ranks in the top one hundred companies in the Fortune 500 List and is highly rated for providing executive employment opportunities for women. MassMutual provides multi-million dollar support for many community initiatives and is highly ranked for diversity employment.
MassMutual has earned Military Friendly status from several ranking organizations, including Military.com, G.I. Jobs Magazine, and Military Spouse (www.militaryspouse.com). The company is firmly committed to helping military veterans and their spouses make the transition to civilian employment. To view job opportunities go to, www.MassMutual.com.
In our July newsletter, we will explore methods for learning about your interests and abilities and how to channel them toward career goals. In addition, we will list additional robust industries and companies offering job opportunities for veterans.
- Job-hunting is an operation, not merely a matter of sending resumes to job boards.
- Construct a job-hunting objective that echoes your interests, abilities and experience.
- Building a personal relationship with the hiring manager is a vital strategy for winning a job offer.
- Focus your job hunting efforts on Military Friendly companies.
OPERATION JOB SEARCH: A Guide for Military Veterans Transitioning to Civilian Careers. John Henry Weiss. Skyhorse Publishing Inc. c 2016
Networking for Veterans: A Guidebook for a Successful Military Transition into the Civilian Workforce. Michael Faulkner and Andrea Nierenberg. Pearson Learning Solutions. c 2012
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