CivilianJobNews.com - The Essential Military-to-Civilian Transition Resource

Publisher's Letter: Education is Key

by Bill Basnett, Publisher

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Bill Basnett

Dear Readers,

It's spring again! Finally, you can mothball those snow boots, hunt for your long-lost flip flops and unearth the grill. But spring also means graduation season: will you, a veteran and jobseeker, just be snapping cap-and-gown photos of loved ones in the coming months, or will you be starring in them?


While the economy is improving, we don't need to tell you how much competition there is for each and every job opening out there. Inundated employers use every possible method to separate the best- from the least-qualified and recent, relevant education properly showcased on your resume is an excellent way to make the cut. Your graduating friends and family are interviewing for jobs right now; this time next year, that could be you, an interviewee holding forth in a HR office, wowing them with your cutting-edge knowledge and military experience.

Obviously, returning to school isn't a viable option for everyone but, in a world of global competition, it's one every jobseeker should consider. Given the plethora of technical and community colleges, continuing education programs, online offerings and certificate programs - many of which require only a few months - a determined jobseeker who can make further education work probably should. Difficult as it might be, and loathe as we are to sound grim, furthering your education is only going to be that much more difficult later. Remember: once your GI 'can-do' spirit has overcome the financial and logistical obstacles, you're likely to actually enjoy sharpening your skills.

You'll be glad you went the extra mile when your find yourself at yet another crowded Career Fair, looking for a way to stand out from the throngs queued at your desired employer's booth. If you've just completed a relevant class or program (and if you've done your homework about the employer's needs), highlighting the overlap between your studies and the position the company is trying to fill will get the recruiter's attention. This will be especially true when it's coupled with your boots-on-the-ground experience. To stand out even more, offer to provide a free seminar on the subject for the company's employees. Win or lose, you've almost certainly made an impression (which we know you'll cement with a follow-up call or e-mail).

Once you've embarked upon, or completed, your educational upgrade, it's crucial to reflect its significance on a professional resume. That document is usually your only point of contact with a potential employer who is receiving hundreds, sometimes thousands, of resumes for each position. A certified, professional resume service, like www.MilitaryResumes.com will ensure that yours makes it to the top of the pile.

Remember, the 2012 graduation season is going to arrive, regardless of how you've spent the intervening time. Which side of the camera - and the unemployment statistics - do you plan to be on?

- Bill Basnett

Bill Basnett is a graduate of the U.S.M.A. at West Point and former cavalry officer with the U.S. Army. He began his recruiting career with Bradley-Morris, Inc. in 1991 as the first candidate recruiter and regional operations manager. He has over 18 years in the recruiting industry, focusing on the hiring and placement of transitioning military and veterans. In December 2008, he was promoted to the position of vice president of CivilianJobs.com.

Return to March/April 2011 Issue