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Transition Talk

by Mike Arsenault, Vice President of Candidate Services

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credit check of a military job seeker

Bradley-Morris answers questions from transitioning military job seekers.

Q: I read that Zappos doesn’t even post jobs. Instead they use their employees and social networks to attract potential employees. How many businesses do this and how do I get into a company like Zappos if I don’t know anyone?

A: That’s a great question because it highlights how important it is that transitioning military job seekers must network. The fact is that every company usually has at least several positions available, but not all opportunities are advertised. Waiting for a job post which can be viewed by the public at large could make you among the last in line. Networking through professional associations and local networking groups can give you connections within organization so that you can be an insider. There are other ways to get connected as well:

1. Be Visible: I highly recommend posting your resume on CivilianJobs.com and other job boards, and make sure you include your veteran status. Many companies are actively searching for potential candidates and numerous organizations have initiatives that mandate a certain number of hires who are veterans. So it is important for transitioning military job seekers to have a presence where these companies search.

2. Connect on LinkedIn: You’ll find many different LinkedIn groups focused on jobs for vets. You should also search in the jobs section of LinkedIn coupled with a title you might want to pursue: accounting clerk, engineering manager, etc. This makes you an active career seeker instead of a passive candidate and will provide you with more control in your search.

3. Internships: Lastly, if there are no full-time positions that are a fit for your career goals, consider applying for an internship or an “On the Job Training” (OJT) assignment. The pay may not be optimal, but nearly two-thirds of companies with interns offered them a full-time position in 2012 according to Internships.com. In other words, internships can lead to full-time jobs and OJT positions may come with GI Bill benefits (http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/onthejob_apprenticeship.asp). Be sure and ask your V.A. rep if you have questions.

Your job search should be active, not passive. Take the initiative in a number of different areas and you may find many opportunities you otherwise may not have considered.

Mike Arsenault is Vice President of Candidate Services at military placement firm Bradley-Morris, Inc. He can be reached at (800) 330-4950 ext. 2105 or by email at marsenault@bradley-morris.com.

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