MISSION TRANSITION: Making The Move From Military Service To Civilian Employment Part II

MISSION TRANSITION: Making The Move From Military Service To Civilian Employment

Part Two

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Leveraging Technology & Social Media

As current or former military members, we are intimately aware of how to use social media to stay in touch when we can’t be there in person.   The human resource and recruiting world is no different and leveraging social media can help you make the right connections with professionals, hiring managers, and other leaders that can ultimately land you a job or internship opportunity.  Using it properly can substantially shorten your job search and get you in the door for an interview.  However, bear in mind that the improper use of social media can be just as damaging as it is helpful to a successful transition.

Below are some simple to follow guidelines to help maximize social media as tool in getting hired.

Networking

If you are using the internet and social media as a tool in your transition kit, make sure it portrays that.  Your public profiles need to be professional and polished in nature.  Use the first impressions rule, as social media may very well be a potential hiring manager’s first contact with you.  A sloppy, unprofessional profile may be seen by a potential interviewer as a representation of your work ethic and character.   Things to be aware of include having a professional profile that is consistent across each channel, an objective relevant to your career goals, and appropriate content in your postings and interactions online.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn was built specifically for professional networking, making this the primary method to find career opportunities on social media.  Your profile needs to be up-to-date and highlight the relevant skills and competencies based on your objectives.  LinkedIn provides several sections for you to fill out on a profile, much like a traditional resume online.  This is your opportunity to briefly describe your experiences, education, interests, and career goals.  In fact, according to LinkedIn those that provide a full and accurate profile are 40 times more likely to receive a job opportunity than someone who has not taken the time to completely fill out their profile.  Finally, use it to begin networking by connecting with industry professionals and joining groups associated with your career path, industry, and professional goals.  Each one of these professional touches has the potential to lead to a valuable relationship and interview.

Facebook

Facebook is the most popular social network in the world, meaning it is the most likely profile a potential interviewer is going to check when considering an interview.  Again, keep it professional regardless of your pre-conceived notions on the use of Facebook.  It may be generally used as a true “social” network, but it can provide strong insight into your softer skills and overall character to hiring managers researching more about you.  Additionally, using it in the same way your target audience does can also help create an advantage over other candidates.  Prepare for interviews and follow-ups by reviewing your favorite companies, their leadership, and their culture; along with the actual people you are most likely to meet with.

Twitter

Twitter may not be the first network you think of as a resource in job hunting, but if you use it creatively it can prove valuable.  Some ideas for using twitter as a professional networking and career tool include:

  • Use your personal bio to make a statement about an industry you are passionate about.
  • Professional picture. I cannot stress this enough.
  • Use a professional background image.
  • Highlight your qualifications.
  • If you have an online resume, link it. If not, make one. Then link it.
  • Follow industry experts and influencers to stay “in the know”.
  • Tweet content about your industry of interest. You do not have to create or curate all or even most of it here.  Simply sharing daily will show people you know what you are talking about.
  • You can have targeted job tweets sent to your twitter feed and cell phone.

As you can see social media can be a powerful asset during your career transition, if used properly.  Always remember to be professional, build value into your experience using descriptions, and show you are on top of the latest trends and tools by sharing relevant, timely content with your network.  Don’t be afraid to run counter-intelligence operations on your favorite organizations and it’s culture, it may just give you a small advantage when competing for open positions.

If you are unsure how to get started yourself or just want a professional to help guide you in your transition contact TPGS today.  Our team of Resource Managers are here to help you transition into a new career in contracting.