The Ultimate Guide to Finding a Job for Soldiers in TAP
Welcome home brave men and women of our proud Armed Forces! Your dedication and commitment to the ideals the United States holds dear is what makes this country of ours so great. Your country appreciates the hard work you have so willingly and courageously given during your tour of duty. Now that you are preparing for inactive life in a civilian world, we would like to honor you by easing your transition into a dynamic and rewarding career.
We are Federal Resume Writer and we would be honored to put our expertise to work for you through our innovative and exciting Career Guide program.
What is This Career Guide Program About?
Put simply, Federal Resume Writer would like to help men and women currently taking part in the Armed Forces TAP program with our innovative Career Guide.
Your years of service in the military have given you a unique skill set that is highly sought after and valued by our federal government as well as thousands of private sector employers across the country. The education and experience you have is deserving of compensation and benefits. The commitment you’ve shown to protecting our country and the freedom we have built generations on is a valuable commodity in civilian life.
Federal Resume Writer has designed their Career Guide program just for you and we hope it provides you with the tools and resources you need to make a smooth and flawless transition into a rewarding and well-deserved post-military career.
Basically, you rock for all you’ve done and we’d like to give something back. Our expertise lies in federal resume building and writing as well as job search and career coaching and we’d like to make all of this available to the men and women of our Armed Forces.
The Federal Resume Writer Career Guide program is broken into four sections: Readiness, Confidence, Acquisition and Follow Up. By following the recommendations in each section, you just might find yourself with the post-military career you’ve always dreamed of with amazing compensation and fantastic benefits.
Your military training has taught you all about readiness. Finding a job in the federal government or corporate world is a different kind of animal, but you can adapt the skills you’ve learned in the military to tackle this project.
An example of readiness follows:
Former Army PFC Steve Wiideman left Fort Hood, Texas with 12 job interviews scheduled and a clipboard with four pages of potential positions he compiled two weeks before his ETS date.
His first day back in California was a Monday. He suited up in the nicest attire he could afford, giving the same excellent attention to detail as he would if he were being inspected by a four star general.
He purchased a professional leather folder and printed 25 copies of his resume and his references on the nicest paper stock he could afford. He wore an American flag pin on his lapel to remind his interviewers of his history of service. He also had one page of study notes he had put together from the research he had done on each company he had interviews with.
By Friday of the first week, Wiideman had four firms ready to hire him, giving him the freedom to decide which position best matched his career goals.
More often than not, the unemployed and those in the midst of career transitions find themselves desperate to take any position they can get. This is understandable in part from worries over the economic crisis and, for some, simply from a lack of readiness.
Before you leave the military, complete the checklist provided to you by TAP as well as our own checklist below. Better yet, be as prepared as Former PFC Steve Wiideman was by downloading this free PDF he used in his own search. Print 10 copies, attach to a clipboard and start filling out job opportunities.
The bottom line is, the more prepared for your job search you are, the better you will perform in interviews.
- Schedule 2-4 hours per day for job-search planning
- Learn about and enroll in Veteran benefits (http://www.vba.va.gov/VBA/)
- Learn about Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI) benefits (http://www.insurance.va.gov/)
- Secure at least two to five copies of your DD-214 military records
- Learn about other benefits you may be interested in (http://www.govbenefits.gov/govbenefits_en.portal)
- Print five or six copies of the Career Ladders Job Search spreadsheet
- Search for and list opportunities (local paper, PennysaverUSA.com, CraigsList.org, SimplyHired, Monster.com, Dice.com, Backpages.com, Indeed.com, MediaBistro.com, etc.)
What you wear and how you look at your interview is an important component in being evaluated by potential employers. Simply put, your attire is part of the first impression you make. Research the standards for your industry and obtain the best possible interviewing ensemble you can afford. For most industries this will be a well tailored suit with shined shoes. Think about how you felt in your dress uniform while you were in the service and the confidence this gave you. Which leads us to the next section of the Federal Resume Writer Career Guide:
Confidence is key in any successful job search. If you don’t exude a belief in yourself, why would any potential employer?
Part of your confidence can be drawn from knowing you are ready. You have done everything we have recommended to prepare for your job interviews. More confidence can come from knowing you are put together well and appropriately dressed.
Consider also the confidence you should have knowing you courageously served your country. You have learned things and experienced things that you can be proud of. Own that and let it infuse your being with strength, confidence and an unshakable belief in yourself.
You need to walk into your job interviews with the thought and knowledge that you are the best person for this job.
There are certain things confident people have in common. Confident people:
- Believe in their abilities
- Solve their problems, not worry about them
- Face their fears and eliminate them
- Have the ability to take calculated risks
- Love and respect themselves
If you are having a rough time mustering up the confidence necessary for this transition in your career, try some of the following confidence building exercises:
- Take Action – The most important step in building self confidence is simply to take action. Working on something and getting it done.
- Face your Fear – What is it you are afraid of? Be honest with yourself and you will be able to bust through that fear.
- Prepare – as we discussed in the READINESS section, preparation is key. Preparation is also an essential component of confidence.
- Surround Yourself with Expertise – Federal Resume Writer is here to help evaluate and write your resume, assist you with career coaching and job strategies. What other experts are around you that you can go to for assistance?
READINESS and CONFIDENCE are the building blocks for the next stage of the process of landing your new civilian career.
You’ve thought long and hard. You’ve worked on your readiness and on your confidence. You have decided on a post-military career path. Now there is one question to ask yourself:
What do you have to do to get this job?
Let’s say you’ve decided that you want to work in the accounting field. You’ve always been good with numbers and the order and precision of accounting excites you and plays to your strengths.
What skills or education do you need? Would a course in tax preparation help? Would brushing up on your computer skills be what you need to acquire this job?
The transition from active military duty to civilian life can be made smoother by authorizing Federal Resume Writer to assist you in starting an exhaustive search for employment even before you are discharged. Do not wait until you return home.
The expert resume writers and career coaches at Federal Resume Writer have the knowledge and contacts to assist you in your endeavor to find a government job.
The good news is, Federal Resume Writer is here to put our expertise to work for you. We know what it takes to get a great and rewarding career and we will coach you through the steps towards acquiring your new position.
Which leads us to the final section in this guide:
You know the principles of Fast Follow. It is what we do immediately after something else. It ties into every stage of this journey you’re on between active military service and your post military life and career.
You’ve made sure you’re ready.
You’ve mastered your self-confidence.
You’ve identified the job you want and what you need to obtain it.
Now you are ready to move forward and use your intelligence, integrity and skills to forge a rewarding career with amazing compensation and great benefits.
You’ve run the gauntlet and now you get to reap the rewards.
In order to reach this step, there are essential steps to take during the job interview and acquisition process that not only improve your chances of obtaining the job, but also show simple good manners.
- After every interview, write a thank you note (or email) to the interviewer, thanking them for taking the time to meet with you. Reaffirm in a few sentences your interest in the position and why you feel you are the best candidate for the job
- Take notes from each interview, noting which interviews you needed improvement on and which interviews you feel you aced, both may help you during future interviews
- If you are notified that you are not advancing on to the next round of interviews or that you didn’t get the job, follow up with your contact at the company. Once again, thank them for the opportunity to interview and ask them what you could have done better or what would have increased your chances to be selected for the job. And most importantly, keep your spirits up – there are a lot more jobs where that one came from
- Develop a template where you track your progress through the interview process. Excel spreadsheets are great for keeping information organized in an easy to view way
- And finally, welcome home and thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the service you’ve given to our country
RESOURCES FOR YOUR CAREER TRANSITION
In this final section of the Federal Resume Writer Career Guide for Soldiers in TAP, we’ve compiled a list of resources, blogs, tools and tips to assist you on your path to a new career.
The Internet is a wealth of resources for anyone looking for a job. From interview tips to salary calculators to industries on the rise, Federal Resume Writer has compiled the following list of sites as a resource for you.
JOB HUNTING WEBSITES
Not all websites that aggregate job listings are created equal. Finding the right one for you depends on a number of factors such as the industry you are interested in and the city you live in. For instance, if you’re looking for a job in the Federal Government there are two main websites to register at and comb through opportunities on:
Local Job Hunting Resources
Whether you live in Los Angeles or Nashville – your city has unique resources for job hunting. From the websites of your hometown newspaper to free sites like craigslist, job hunting resources are just a click away.
- An example of this is Los Angeles/New York’s www.showbizjobs.com. This site aggregates jobs in entertainment and media in one place. If you live in a city where one industry dominates the landscape, chances are there is a job site related to it.
- Another good resource is www.jobing.com, which allows users to search local jobs, find local employers, connect with local people and discover local job resources in your community.
- If you live in New Jersey, www.nj.com/jobs is a great resource for job hunters.
- In Oregon, job seekers can turn to www.oregonlive.com/jobs/ for job classified listings
- In Cleveland navigate on over to www.cleveland.com/jobs/
- Pennsylvanians should check out www.pennlive.com/jobs/
- Alabamans have the fantastic resource www.al.com/jobs/ for their job hunting
- In Michigan, look no further than www.mlive.com/jobs
Most Popular Job Websites
We’ve all heard of Monster.com but it is not the only job site in town. Following is a list of popular job hunting websites:
Depending on where you live and the type of job you’re looking for, free classifieds can either be great or…not so great. For instance, sites like Craigslist can be a great resource in large metro areas and somewhat less so in smaller cities and towns.
Job aggregators are search engines for jobs that crawl and aggregate job postings and job content into one place. There are distinct advantages to this for the job seeker as these sites are very comprehensive, listing jobs from many of the main job boards and local job sites. Job aggregators can be a big time saver, since you are checking one site rather than dozens, enabling you to search a large number of jobs in one place.
Typically job aggregators pull job listings from thousands of individual sites, including:
- Major job boards - Monster, CareerBuilder and HotJobs
- Direct Employer Career Sites - Google, Microsoft, General Electric, Ford, Accenture, IBM, Federal Express, etc.
- Industry Specific Job Boards – Nurse.com, Showbizjobs.com, Dice, AllRetailJobs.com, etc.
- Local Job Boards – FloridaJobs.com, DenverJobs.com, etc.
- Newspapers – New York Times, Las Vegas Review Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, etc.
- Staffing Agencies – Kelly Services, Manpower, TeamOne, AppleOne, Adecco, etc.
- Federal and State Agencies – US Post Office, State of Texas, Department of Transportation, etc.
- State Job Banks – WorkInTexas.com, Georgia Department of Labor, Michigan Talent Bank, etc.
- Social Media – LinkedIn.com
Sign up for an account at www.LinkedIn.com and fill out your profile. LinkedIn is a free and easy way to network, identify leaders in your field and search for available jobs that match your skill set and career aspirations. You can set your preferences to receive emails listing “Jobs You May Be Interested In” on a weekly or daily basis.
From Salary Calculators to what to wear to your interview to how to negotiate benefits – the Internet is full of resources to guide you through every phase of the job hunt and answer nearly every question you might have.
- Salary Calculator: http://monster.salary.com/SalaryWizard/LayoutScripts/Swzl_NewSearch.aspx
- Dress for Success: http://jobsearch.about.com/od/interviewsnetworking/a/dressforsuccess.htm
- More Dress for Success: http://www.career.vt.edu/interviewing/interviewappearance.html
- Job Hunting Secrets: http://bit.ly/u94Slr
What’s the Next Step?
How about contacting one of our Career Coaches or requesting a free review of your resume by a Certified Federal Resume Writer? Who says nothing in life is free? We believe in you and want to see you succeed with your job hunt. Select the button below to get started.