by Randall Scasny
To begin a quick and successful job search, young veterans must do four things in the following order: (1) they must make a realistic review of their job skills; (2) determine what kind of jobs they are qualified for based on employer hiring standards; (3) write their resume targeted to specific jobs and, finally, (4) apply for jobs.
In this article, I will cover the final step in your career transition: how to get noticed by an employer, in other words, the key to getting hired. To do this, I will cover three points:
Whenever military veterans contacts me for job search assistance, they all have one thing in common: all are confused about what employers want.
For early career jobs, that is, the types of jobs that young veterans apply for, employers want (1) specific job skills and (2) demonstrated good work habits, among other things.
Your military service answers point 2 with no problem! Employers know this. What eliminates military veterans is Point 1. Specific job skills are your employment value. And your employment value is what will set you apart from all the other job candidates so you get selected for an interview, that is, noticed by an employer.
In the military, it is required that you strive for conformity to a standard. That's the nature of military service. But in the civilian job market, you need to strive for uniqueness or, in business terms, "market differentiation."
Let me go through a few examples of how market differentiation works:
In all of the above cases, the job seekers have focused and defined themselves in a way that will target and attract an employer who is looking for these specific skills.
These targeted descriptions of employment value are essentially the objective of your resume. Everything written on your resume should support and prove that you are qualified for this unique objective.
To succeed, you must decide what your unique employment value is. If you have nothing unique to offer, it will only make it easy for an employer NOT to select you for an interview!
When you have determined your employment value, you need to make sure the employment value or search keywords are on your resume. Employers frequently search for candidates in the resume databases of Internet job-listing websites. Your resume will never be found if you do not embed search keywords in the resume.
The final thing to know about attracting an employer's attention is to apply for jobs that you are really qualified for!
I always tell people to read the job requirements on the job ad. You should have about 75 percent of the requirements to be considered by employers as having 'hiring appeal.'
If you apply for jobs you are only half qualified for, you will not as easily get a job interview. Why? There are other job candidates who are competing for the same job.
Give up the misguided belief that a half qualified person will be hired by an employer and then will be trained. Jobs nowadays are much too complex for that. You need to come into the job pretty much ready to perform if not immediately, then within a short period of time: a few weeks for easy jobs and 3 months for more difficult jobs (for ex.: engineering technicians).