As a veteran job seeker and someone that has been around the block a few times with resumes and hiring authorities, I have come to terms with a theory of mine. It might be best to stop applying for jobs online all together. As most of us transitioning veterans have experienced the obvious challenges with landing a job in spite of our appealing resume formats and network connections. Why is this such a challenge? Well society seems to dictate the obvious response to fall on the lack of translation of skills to civilian employees. There has also been some theories on the misconceptions that hiring authorities have on veterans let alone not being able to readily relate skills to civilian competency.
What is the obvious recourse? Stop applying on line for jobs. From my personal experiences on employment seeking, my success rate has always been higher through word of mouth of my character and conduct on previous jobs. If you stop and think about this, it does paint an obvious flaw in the hiring process as these traits cannot be identified by applying on line. The human resource software that scans and essentially rejects our skills, doesn’t know me from Adam! Therefore, why would I want to apply to a “machine” in the first place?
My recommendations to land a job is not to rely on the typical job application process- Instead attend networking events that have influential people. Volunteer anywhere you might get some face time with decision makers and skip all of the heartache trying to play the HR game. Because let’s face it, it’s an uphill battle that takes conscious efforts on both parties to get resolved. And let’s assess the mere reality, we are not seeing the same tree when it comes to our skills sets versus the opportunities we may come across. All of my jobs have been through action and communication with people outside of the HR office. I suggest creating your own pathway and do not fall tired from the endless pursuit of applying online.
Bottom line, get out in the community. Let people see you in action-walk your walk, talk your talk and then you will find the person that has enough clout to get you into a great job that appreciates your strengths.
I believe in my fellow veteran leaders and we can land great jobs doing it a little bit differently than our fellow counterparts. Go out there and be bold and put your computers to rest. I assure you that you are not deficient in anyway-it is the system that needs a reboot, not us.
Author: Carin is a USAF veteran, doctoral candidate and thoughtful writer of veteran and military related issues. Her poem “American Soldier” was awarded and presented in the Veterans Voice magazine as a tribute to her departed father, Donald R. Sendra, U.S Army veteran-1st Air Calvary Division, Vietnam. Carin served active duty on a special duty assignment supporting the commander and traveled the world in support of her patriotic servitude doing security contract work. Carin is a seasoned team development leader with over thirteen years’ experience in operations and training. She is very passionate in creating awareness on the talents and leadership which her fellow veterans have to offer the world both on and off of the battlefield. Her past time hobbies include; cross fit training, mixed martial arts, hiking, traveling and creative writing.