- The Essential Military-to-Civilian Transition Resource

Four Job Hunting Lessons You Might Not Learn at TAP
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by Tom Wolfe, Career Coach and Contributing Editor

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Article Sponsored by: Dale Carnegie

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4. Selectivity

Career transition, job hunting and interviewing is hard work, but do not make it harder than it already is. Consider the adages don’t reinvent the wheel and chase someone who wants to be caught. You would be wise to apply that wisdom to your job search. First, understand that interviewing for a job is a form of sales - you are selling a product called YOU to a company called YOUR NEXT EMPLOYER. As any successful salesperson will tell you, it is easier to fill a customer’s existing and acknowledged need with your product than it is to convince a prospective client that the need even exists.

How does that relate to finding a job? As hard as it may be to convince an employer to hire you, what if you had to first convince that same employer to hire a veteran for the first time? Even if you are successful in educating that employer about veterans and convincing that hiring manager of the potential value added by a veteran, you have yet to convince him or her to hire you. This is where selectivity comes into play: You would be much better served to target employers that already value veterans and military leaders as employees. How do you find these predisposed, military-friendly employers? Here are four ways.

  • First, take a look at the companies that advertise or are featured in print and digital media that target military personnel, such as the one you are reading right now. They already have YOU on their radar.
  • Second, take full advantage of government-sponsored programs and resources. Check out Transition GPS and VETS. Pay particular attention to the interviewing events and job fairs sponsored by your local TAP office. The companies in attendance are looking for YOU.
  • Third, seek out organizations that host job fairs and placement firms that specialize in military-to-civilian transition and employment. These companies have already done the pre-sell, stacking the deck in your favor. Their clients contract with them because they want to hire YOU. Bradley-Morris, Inc. and, both of which are affiliated with Military Transition News, are examples of those types of firms.
  • Fourth, take a look at joint private sector initiatives such as the JP Morgan Chase 100K Jobs Mission and the U. S. Chamber of Commerce Hiring our Heroes program. The list of companies that support those initiatives is impressive, and they signed up because they want to hire YOU.

Thank you for your service, and good hunting!

Tom Wolfe is a Career Coach, Columnist, Author and Veteran and can be found at

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