Second in the “The Strength of Your Service …and Beyond” blog series targeting the military and military family community who are seeking opportunities in the civilian workforce. Look for more installments of this series in the near future.
By Chris Rath
The value of your network, even after separation, can lead to opportunities you never expected. Many companies receive thousands of applicants. Responding to every candidate is impossible and positions are competitive. The key is to network so the opportunities find YOU. In the service, your network grew with each assignment and just happened by design of your career. In your job search, you are connecting in a new area. Here are 5 ways to re-energize your networking techniques to be successful in your job search:
- You can’t just put your profile on LinkedIn and then wait. Actively engaging is important. Many employers have LinkedIn groups, webinars, virtual office hours with recruiters, and other social/virtual recruiting strategies. Use those platforms to standout by asking questions and showing up to those events.
- Who do you know? Your friends who separated now have jobs which mean they are working with hiring managers who need to fill jobs. So what if a friend left a company that you are interested in or that the person you know is just an acquaintance? They are now with another company who may have a job for you. Make a list of the folks you know and ask them to share your resume. Don’t hesitate. People like to help people.
- Seek opportunities where employers will be present. From job fairs to workshops, these are opportunities to meet other employees from companies who can now be a part of your network. Don’t beat yourself up if you cannot go to all of them. While company representatives may not necessarily be hiring for your skills, they often go back to their organization and share your resume. In other instances, employers send the same representatives to all events. Guess what? The more you go, the more you see them, and now they know you.
- Follow Up…and continue the conversation. I don’t mean call someone and talk forever. Whether you met at a job fair, workshop, or a virtual event – get contact info and follow up. Use the opportunity to navigate further into companies’ networks. Ask if there are upcoming events or another contact to help you learn more about a company. When you meet with that new contact or attend the next event, repeat the process. Similar to the thank you note, a follow up is memorable and strengthens your connection.
- Take it easy. Stay positive. Don’t give up.
To learn more about job searching for your second career, look for more installments of our series, “The Strength of Your Service…and Beyond.”
Chris Rath leads the Veteran Recruiting Program for Booz Allen Hamilton, a publicly traded strategy and technology consulting firm based in Mclean, VA. The program is focused on employment opportunities for former military, transitioning military, military spouses, guard and reservists. Candidates may connect with me, other Booz Allen employees/recruiters, and transitioning military colleagues through our Booz Allen Transitioning Military Recruiting LinkedIn Group athttps://www.linkedin.com/groups?mostRecent=&gid=5144107&trk=my_groups-tile-flipgrp
Booz Allen is an Employer of Choice for former military personnel, who make up a third of our workforce. We’re committed to supporting veterans, Reservists, National Guardsmen and women, and other employees with military backgrounds through outreach, training programs, and our Armed Services Forum, which provides support, camaraderie, and resources for employees formerly or currently serving our nation.
Visit www.boozallen.com/careers/transitioningmilitary to find out more about these and other unparalleled opportunities for transitioning military personnel and veterans, and to learn about webinars and other upcoming events.
Joining Forces Mentoring Plus offers free unlimited personal career and employment coaching and professional guidance – including working women mentors – for women veterans, female military spouses, caregivers of wounded warriors and survivors of fallen soldiers. Visitwww.JoiningForcesMentoringPlus.org. Volunteer women employees from partners including Booz Allen Hamilton and others are waiting to share their expertise and experience with you!