This article applies to anyone seeking employment even though it is written to assist veterans. The process of finding a job will be an exciting venture for veterans because the marketplace is overflowing with jobs. However, it takes more than crafting a dynamite resume to accomplish the mission. It is a matter of knowing how and where to find potential employers which is part of the job hunting operation.
It all begins with a plan. First, you define the objective and then devise strategies to complete the mission. All veterans know how that works. First, decide what you really like to do and assess what you are good at doing, your aptitude. This is an essential first step that will save you time and focus your efforts.
Hunting for just any job could be discouraging and a waste of time. Based on my experience working in the executive recruiting business, I have learned firsthand how workers find jobs. The three best methods are:
- Cold calling on potential employers.
- Attending conventions and job fairs.
This tried and true strategy yields results not only for the immediate job search, but also for staying employed throughout your working life. The process is simple; contact your friends and acquaintances in person (best) or by phone, email, or social media. Tell them that you are seeking a certain kind of job in a certain industry and ask for their guidance and referrals. Your approach could go something like this. “Hi, Bob. I just want to let you know that I’m looking for a job in sales with a life insurance company. I’m focused on securing a long-term job in insurance sales because of my interests and abilities. I would appreciate your guidance and any referrals you might have to hiring authorities in that business.”
A cold call is contacting a potential employer without an appointment. Some call it knocking on doors. This method of finding employers is sometimes considered “so yesterday” but do not believe it. The most productive way to use this method is to focus on companies in industrial parks or office centers, which are located in and around all metropolitan areas. Usually these centers focus on one industry. One might house only medical offices. Another could focus on technology companies. And, others might cater to insurance companies.
The process is easy. Go to the company receptionist and identify yourself as a veteran seeking a sales job in insurance, and ask to speak with the sales manager. This method really does work. Here is an example. Recently, I went to see my doctor for an annual checkup. His office is located in an office park that houses twenty-five doctor’s offices. My doctor’s nurse was new and I asked how she found the job. She said that she was looking for a nurse’s position and went to the office park and knocked on doors. When she cold called at my doctor’s office, she learned that his nurse had resigned just a few days ago. She was hired the next day.
Attending Conventions and Job Fairs
When you attend a major conference or job fair at a convention center like the Javits Center in New York City or McCormick Place in Chicago, you will find hundreds of companies displaying their products. For example, in February 2016, I attended the New York Times Travel Show at the Javits Center in New York City. Six hundred companies were on the exhibit floor displaying their products. Many of the workers staffing the various exhibit booths were managers, directors, and vice presidents, just the people you need to know to land a job. I met the owner/president of a cruise company based in Florida, who told me that being a Marine veteran, he recruits military veterans for his company and gives them a twenty percent discount on the purchase of a franchise. Attending conventions and job fairs is the most productive use of your time for job hunting. Circle the exhibit floor, introduce yourself to the representatives on call, and state your business. Always take a dozen resumes and one hundred business cards to each convention or job fair. You will make numerous contacts.
The job market continues favorable for veterans seeking civilian jobs. According to the most recent survey of executive recruiters by ExecuNet, www.execunet.com, here are five industries showing the greatest potential for growth:
- Pharmaceuticals and medical devices
- Business Services
The top five jobs ticketed for growth by the same ExecuNet survey are:
- Business Development
- Operations Management/Supply Chain Management
Our industry spotlight for September falls on the healthcare and education industries. Both are fertile avenues to explore for entry level and advanced level jobs.
The healthcare industry includes a wide variety of sectors but here we will concentrate on hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and medical device companies. Our favorites, all military friendly are: Cleveland Clinic; Johnson and Johnson, Pharmaceutical Co.; and Medtronic.
Cleveland Clinic,www.my.clevelandclinic.org, is a military friendly medical treatment center located in Cleveland, Ohio. The Clinic is one of the top ranked hospitals in the country for cardiac care. For job opportunities, check out the special category titled Hero Experience Veteran Program JIC.
John and Johnson Pharmaceutical Co., www.jnj.com, is a military friendly employer, whose CEO, Alex Gorsky, is an Army veteran and a West Point graduate. He completed his military service with the rank of Captain and earned the Ranger Tab and Airborne Wings. J & J has a reputation for helping veterans transition to the civilian workplace. When you go to the website, enter Honoring Veterans in the search box to learn more.
Medtronic, www.medtronic.com, is the world’s largest medical device company and employs over 50,000 workers. It produces life saving devices like heart stents and defibrillators. Medtronic is based in Minneapolis and has regional offices across the USA and abroad.
The education industry has two parts: 1. Public and private K-12 schools, colleges and universities; 2. Companies that produce products and provide services for K-12 and higher education. These companies produce textbooks, technology products (both hardware and apps) and provide services such as professional development courses at bricks and mortar facilities and online.
Online Colleges and Universities
Many accredited online universities provide a wide range of job opportunities such as Administrative Assistant, Financial Counselor, Admissions Counselor, Student Recruiter and Professor. These jobs are location specific because most online universities have only one central location. For example, Phoenix University is located in Phoenix AZ and all of their jobs are based there. Drexel Online University is located in Philadelphia, PA and that is where job opportunities are located. (Incidentally, Drexel is one of the best military friendly online universities. Check out the website for job and learning opportunities. www.online.drexel.edu )
Public and Private K-12 Schools, College and Universities
Jobs in this sector are primarily academic…teachers, administrators, professors, and researchers. If you are certified, look for academic jobs on your local school district website and on your State Department of Education (DOE) website. There are, however, non-academic jobs available as well. For example, at the K-12, college and university levels there are jobs in transportation, maintenance, administrative support, finance and marketing that do not require teaching certification.
Educational Testing Service (ETS),www.ets.org
ETS produces testing and assessment products for the K-12 and higher education market. It is noted for developing the SAT exam. It is based in Princeton, New Jersey, and has regional offices throughout the country. This $1 billion company offers many jobs in sales, marketing, product development, human resources, finance and information technology.
This is a K-12 publisher of instructional materials and library books. The company publishes worldwide best sellers like the Harry Potter series of books. Scholastic is based in New York City and has regional offices throughout the country.
Consortium for International Education Exchange (CIEE) www.ciee.org
This is one of the most interesting companies in the education business. It administers study-abroad programs for college and high school students. It is based in Portland Maine and has an energetic staff of youthful employees who are mission driven and who love coming to work each day. Many employees have bilingual skills and have studied abroad.
Read Chapters 17 – 22 in my book Operation Job Search, listed below, to learn more about how and where to find jobs. As you move forward to put into practice all that you have learned about job hunting, remember that jobs do not come to those who sit at a computer and send our resumes by the hundreds to job sites and company career pages. The best methods to find a job are to leave the house to attend conferences, andto make cold calls on prospective employers. Veterans who hit the street to build personal relationships will find jobs. Guaranteed!
Our October article will focus on a topic that is critically important for job hunters; interviewing techniques. In our Industry Spotlight, we will discuss two robust industries; transportation and security.
Veterans who wish to comment or seek visit the guest writers page for my bio and email address.
- Job Hunting goes beyond crafting a resume.
- The best place to look for a job is at major convention centers, which host national and regional conferences and job fairs.
- Cold calling is still alive and well…and very productive.
- Networking is not a one-time initiative. It is a career long practice to ensure continued employment.
Visit our job openings directory for more information on current federal employment opportunities.
Operation Job Search, A Guide for Military Veterans Transitioning to Civilian Careers. John Henry Weiss. c 2016. Skyhorse Publishing Inc.
Federal Government Jobs,www.federaljobs.net . Check this site frequently for federal job listings in healthcare and education…and many other occupations as well.
LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com, is the best online networking site for all workers. Be sure to check out the veteran’s user group, which will help you connect with colleagues making the transition to the civilian workplace.
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