The Univeral Military Job Hunt Method
by Randall Scasny, Director, MilitaryJobHunts.com
If you are separating from the U.S. Armed Forces and have found a job, I would agree, the question lacks importance. But the need for job hunt training increases in value when a military veteran, who expects an easy career transition, cannot find a job or even an invitation to a job interview! And plenty of veterans, both young and retireed, have experienced job hunts going nowhere.
If you are unsuccessful at obtaining employment, the obvious question asked is, Why can’t I find a job? Well, there are many reasons why military veterans cannot find employment.
The usual ones revolve around (1) a lack of education, (2) poorly written resumes, or (3) ineffective interviewing techniques. But these reasons fall flat on their face when they are corrected and still no job offer is on the horizon. In situations like these, military job hunters must investigate other factors that are impeding their career transition success.
The least discussed reasons why a military veteran cannot find a job have to do with the immense changes occurring in American business and the global economy. Jobs have more complex job descriptions than they did 10 years ago. There are more people competing for jobs. And many jobs previously filled by military veterans do not exist anymore or are filled by outsourced workers in places like China and India or authorized guest workers (H1-B and L-3) brought to the U.S. by sponsor companies.
Do you still think a tutorial on job hunting is unnecessary?
To gain employment in today’s competitive global economy requires a military job hunter to do more than post his or her resume on a website and wait. It requires targeting, selectivity, and strategy. These requirements are not obvious and require training to successfully implement. Hence, the existence of a training tutorial on military job hunting.
It can be used by all veterans, young or retired, enlisted or officer. This article will discuss the entire method and give one, practical example. In subsequent months, I will discuss each of the elements of the method.
The Universal Military Job Hunt Method
To succeed in gaining the notice of an employer, you must “advertise” your uniqueness, commonly called, “job market differentiation.” When an employer reviews a pile of resumes on his or her desk or searches for a resume on an Internet website, he is looking for someone who fills a specific business need, that is, someone who has job market differentiation. The Universal Military Job Hunt Method implants job market differentiation into a job hunter’s overall process of looking for work to enable the job hunter to see what skills and experience of his military service have job market value (differentiation).
The Universal Military Job Hunt Method is a comprehensive job hunt campaign that is broken into skills-differentiated “sub-campaigns.” (See Figure 1). Thus, when a military job hunter looks for a job, he or she is not looking for one job. Rather, he is waging a comprehensive campaign that consists of a lot of targeted, mini-campaigns.
Some of these mini-campaigns will reap results; these tell the veteran where he is most competitive in the civilian job market. And some of the mini-campaigns he will receive no results; these tell the vet where he is not competitive.
What is competitiveness? Good question. Competitiveness is more than qualifications; it is a condition where employers will naturally find you to be a top candidate for a job over all the other job candidates.
Hence, the Universal Military Job Hunt Method gives the job hunting veteran a vehicle to learn about the job market and learn what employers want and where they best fit into the civilian job market.
This method will focus your efforts towards jobs where you are competitive. And it filters out jobs where you are not competitive, thus, you avoid wasting time applying for jobs that don’t fit you.
Figure 1: Overall Structure of a Comprehensive Military Job Hunt
Description of Job Hunt Mini-Campaigns
Disabled: this tutorial focuses on how disabled veterans can differentiate themselves and find jobs they are competitive for.
Job Specialty: this tutorial focuses on how veterans with a specific job specialty (technical, combat skills, administrative) can differentiate themselves and find jobs they are competitive for.
Supervisory: this tutorial focuses on how veterans can differentiate themselves and find jobs they are competitive for.
Managerial: this tutorial focuses on how veterans can differentiate themselves and find jobs they are competitive for.
Security Clearance: this tutorial focuses on how veterans with active scurity clearances can differentiate themselves and find jobs they are competitive for.
Geographic: this tutorial focuses on how veterans can differentiate themselves and find jobs they are competitive for, based on a specific geographic area.
Federal: this tutorial focuses on how veterans can differentiate themselves and find Federal jobs they are competitive for.
Diversity: this tutorial focuses on how female or racial minority veterans can differentiate themselves and find jobs they are competitive for.
Case History: How Bob Found a Job In A Month
Like many retirees, Bob did not know what he wanted to do after retirement. He just wanted a good job that paid well and he wanted to remain Germany because his wife wanted to remain there, close to her family.
After we completed his resume, we began implementing the first stage of his job hunt plan using the Univrsal Method. We exam ined all the mini-campaigns and immediately eliminated those that did not apply to him. These were: Entry-Level, Disabled and Diversity. This left us with 6 sub-campaigns. (See Figure 2)
Figure 2: Bob’s First Step: He eliminated the mini-campaigns that did not apply to him.
The second step to implementing his job hunt plan according to The Method was to test the job market via the Geographic sub-campaign, which helped us determine the job supply and demand for his skills. We did this so he can avoid a job skill-geography mismatch.
So, Bob conducted job searches across a variety of Internet websites, both private and public, for his target area in Germany. All in all, he found few jobs. But he did select some jobs. Unfortunately, when we reviewed them together, we both agreed he was not “fully” qualified for them.
So, Bob repeated the job search process again for the United States; he was open to living on the East Coast. He searched for Supervisory, Managerial, Security Clearance, Federal and Specialty jobs. (See Figure 3)
Security Clearance and Specialty jobs (Communication Security) ranked the highest in supply in his target geographic area, the U.S., East Coast. Next in line were Federal jobs, which also were Security Clearance jobs. There were few Training jobs and those were in the Human Resources or Sales areas, which did not appeal to him. There were many General Supervisory and Managerial jobs but he did not see any that really caught his attention.
Figure 3: Bob’s Second Step: He checked the job supply in his target geographic areas.
After we discovered the areas where there was a decent supply of jobs, we tailored his resume to each mini-campaign (a total of 5 resume versions) and he began applying to jobs for a period of three weeks.
At the end of three weeks, the results were:
No employer interest for Federal, general supervisory or managerial jobs. However, he received about 8 inquiries from employers regarding his communications security experience and top secret clearance. I told him 1 month was not enough time to get feedback for a Federal job. But he told me he needed to be employed within one month of retireement, which was only 2 weeks away. So, he dropped the idea of seeking a Federal job at this point. However, left it open to some point in the future. (See Figure 4)
Figure 4: What Bob Learned After Applying for Jobs: He found out where he was most competitive in the job market.
Thus, he decided to focus on Security Clearance jobs that needed COMSEC experience for a private contractor. We modified his resume once more to “deepen” it for COMSEC jobs. I suggested he attend a security clearance job fair. He did not get a job offer via the job fair, but he made some contacts. He accepted an offer 35 days after he started job hunting.
The Univeral Military Job Hunt Method: Don’t Give a Veteran a Fish, Teach Him How To Fish
Telling Bob where he was best suited would not have helped him. He needed to “learn how to fish,” that is, learn how to job hunt. And that is the one clear advantage of employing the Universal Military Job Hunt method: the job seeking veteran learns how to job hunt by letting the supply and demand of economy and the job market determine where he is competitive.
Why is job hunting so complicated? Well, technology has increased a level of complexity, for sure. Employers are using the Internet to find competitive job candidates more and more. This is causing more candidates to place their resumes online. More resumes, more job hunters makes for more job competition.
Technology will not disappear. Military Job Hunters must learn how to use it to their advantage. The Universal MilitaryJob Hunt Model is a structured approach to helping veterans find jobs and and leverage the use of techology to their advantage.
Next Month: How To Wage a Geographic Job Hunt Mini-Campaign
Hunting for a job with little success? Are you feeling frustrated or just don’t know where to start? Then email me at [email protected]. I’ll try to give you some suggestions.
For those who are seeking help with resume and cover letter writing, job-hunting strategies, or are in need of inexpensive job-hunt coaching/advising, I offer a variety of services to help you efficiently conduct your job-hunt campaign. You can learn about these inexpensive services by clicking here: THE RESUME SERVICE
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