Jobs for Veterans Job search advice for transitioning veterans

Finding and Landing a Remote Job

More and more work can be done remotely these days and veterans are able to capitalize on this potential as they seek work in the civilian sector. But what do they need to know about evaluating these opportunities? Which are legit? Which may not be? What best practices should veterans use to find and land a remote job?

Growth in Remote Work Opportunities

According to FlexJobs, growth in remote work has grown 159% since 2005—over the past five years alone the growth rate has been 44%. Remote work tends to be most common for positions that represent knowledge work and that pay higher salaries. They point to software engineering and accounting as two examples. IT-related work and graphic design and other creative development roles also often gravitate to remote workers in part because the talent pool can be competitive on a local basis.

The ability to recruit top talent from a wider geographic range is a big benefit to employers and something that veteran job seekers can leverage to their advantage.

Is Remote Work Right for You?

Andrew Meadows is senior vice president of HR, brand and culture at Ubiquity Retirement + Savings. At Ubiquity, 80% of the employees work remotely in locations around the country. He’s a long-time proponent of remote work and says: “With the advancements in technology, almost any job could potentially be remote unless otherwise stated. If not listed, but sure to ask if that is a possibility should you get that first interview,” he says. At Ubiquity, he says, there are three rules for working remotely:

  • Overcommunicate
  • Be available throughout the day
  • Get the job done

Just as not every job will lend itself to remote work (retail clerks, for instance), not every individual will find remote work to be satisfying or right for them. Business Insider has identified “11 traits you need to be an effective remote worker.” They include the ability to:

  • Communicate clearly regardless of the medium they’re using (e.g. email, phone, video conferencing)
  • Keep to a routine
  • Make maximum use of organizational and productivity tools
  • Create a space to focus on work
  • Develop a sense of structure outside of a traditional work environment
  • Avoid over-analyzing social cues when communicating with team members
  • Separate themselves from distractions or other people while working
  • Welcome new methods of working and communicating
  • Remain focused on task and project completion even when dealing with differences in time zones or schedules
  • Connect with colleagues on a personal level
  • Build a network beyond the remote workspace

“Reliability is of the utmost importance for remote roles,” says Meadows. “The best way to demonstrate reliability is to know the mechanics of the required work and have as much experience as possible related to the role.”

It can be particularly helpful to share examples of past remote roles that you’ve held and how you’ve been able to succeed in them, Meadows advises. “Stating that you have an in-home office and that you’ve worked remotely in the past is important,” he says. “Describing an impressive project you’ve completed where the team wasn’t centrally located is a great way to illustrate proficiency.”

Make Sure the Company is Legit

These days it’s relatively easy to do a background search to determine whether a company is legitimate or not. Visit the company’s website as a starting point. While it’s relatively easy for just about anyone to put up a credible-looking site, there are some signs to watch out for that might indicate that a site—and the company it represents—may not be credible.

Gargi Rajan is head of HR for Mercer|Mettl, an HR technology and talent measurement firm. “A lot of websites you find for remote working or freelancing could be fake,” says Rajan. To minimize the odds that you get drawn into a non-legitimate opportunity, Rajan suggests checking the company out on “review websites, social media websites or LinkedIn.”

Glassdoor is an example of one very popular site where you can find reviews left by current and former employers. While negative reviews may simply be a factor of “sour grapes” among former employees, browsing through comments will give you a sense of consistency and help you identify any trends that may stand out—either positively or negatively.

Consider Tax Implications

Some remote workers are considered to be full-time employees of a company; others are not. Full-time employees will have withholding and other taxes taken out of their paychecks. Non-employees, or contractors, will not—but they will be personally responsible for paying those taxes. Be sure to clarify with any potential employer—or client—whether you will be considered an employee or contractor and, if a contractor, take steps to ensure that you are setting aside money to pay for taxes you may owe at the end of the year.

In today’s technology-enabled environment there are ample opportunities to pursue work in non-traditional ways—including working remotely for companies that could literally be located anywhere in the world.

Military Hire and TECHEXPO Top Secret Enter into Partnership Agreement

Military Hire, a holding of The SaaS Factory, signed a partnership agreement with TECHEXPO Top Secret. TECHEXPO is the Nation’s premier producer of professional job fairs, primarily for those with an active Security-Clearance and Cyber Security industry experience. is a leading online career center where defense contractors, technology companies, consulting firms, and numerous agencies of the US Government can recruit and hire experienced professionals along with Transitioning Military and Veterans. 

Military Hire and TECHEXPO Top Secret Enter into Partnership Agreement

The team at TECHEXPO also produces the Cyber Security Summit /, ranked “Top 50” globally as a must attend security conference. 

Under this exclusive partnership, TECHEXPO events will include promotion of Military Hire and its services. Speaking events on key topics facing veteran communities will cooperatively be hosted by both companies prior to TECHEXPO events. 

As a partner with TECHEXPO, Military Hire will inform its veteran membership of upcoming TECHEXPO hiring events and open House events.  The companies will also coordinate recruiting services to maximize the opportunities for veterans and companies to connect.

Both parties have agreed to form a mutually exclusive partnership. TECHEXPO will be the sole job fair / tradeshow partner of Military Hire. This new collaboration will be featured in nearly 20 shows in the US in 2020.

Mike Fischer, CEO of MilitaryHire, stated: "The missions of Military Hire and TECHEXPO are very complementary. This partnership provides multiple points of connection between U.S veterans entering the workforce through both Military Hire’s online presence as well as TECHEXPO's in person hiring event presence. We are excited to team with TECHEXPO to further our efforts in serving candidate job search objectives.”

Bradford Rand, Founder & CEO of TECHEXPO Top Secret and the Cyber Security Summit stated: “We have been partnering with Military Hire for nearly 20 years, since the events of 9/11 and have always had a mutually beneficial relationship.  I am extremely pleased that we have now signed a formal agreement that will surely benefit thousands of security-cleared professionals, especially those transitioning out of our armed services by way of helping them secure their next job at our hiring events throughout the country.” 

About Military Hire

Military Hire has created a network where former military personnel can seek careers and utilize their professional skills. Our mission is to "Serve Those Who Served" by connecting veterans of America's armed forces with employers who value their experience and skills. The Military Hire platform has the resources needed to successfully make a veteran’s initial transition to civilian life and to make any future career change after transition.  

About TECHEXPO Top Secret 

For over 25 years, TECHEXPO has produced hiring events for a multitude of industries with a major focus on Technology, Engineering, Cyber Security, Aerospace, Telecommunications, and Intelligence. With over 1,600 events produced, the nation’s most prestigious companies have exhibited at TECHEXPO to recruit leading talent in the industry and have provided hundreds of thousands of professionals new opportunities to advance their careers. TECHEXPO also continues to be the leader in producing private Open House recruitment events for such companies as IBM, Booz Allen Hamilton, Verizon, Boeing, ManTech, KeyW, AT&T, L-3, General Dynamics, SEI / Carnegie Mellon, Unisys, and  HP. TECHEXPO also produces, ranked Top 50 infosec security conferences globally. 

Tips for Crafting an Effective Elevator Pitch

Veterans seeking jobs in the civilian sector face both challenges and opportunities in terms of making the transition from a military to a civilian role—and clearly communicating their ability to do just that.

Tips for Crafting an effective Elevator Pitch

One important tool to help them do that is the elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is a brief, benefit-oriented statement that succinctly summarizes a person’s background and qualifications. It’s named “elevator pitch” because the idea is that you would be able to share this information in the amount of time you might spend with someone on an elevator in response to a question like: “What do you do?”

The Value of an Elevator Pitch

For veterans seeking job opportunities, the elevator pitch can be a great way to position their background, credentials and interest to those they may encounter in a variety of settings—from elevators, to business meetings, and even to friends and relatives. You never know where that next job opportunity may come from!

“All veterans should prepare an elevator pitch when they are looking to transition into the civilian sector,” says Ryan Guina, an Air Force veteran and the founder of The Military Wallet and Cash Money Life. That statement, he says, should include four main elements: a brief introduction, a career objective, your accomplishments and your skills. 

It’s important, Guina says, for veterans to translate their military skills into civilian terms. “You can’t spend precious time trying to decode your previous service,” he says. “you need to take the time to do this for your audience so they can hone in on your message.”

Draw Upon Your Military Skills

While you should work to communicate in civilian terms, you should still draw upon some of the skills you learned in the military when preparing your elevator speech. This, says Mike Clawson, should come naturally to veterans. Clawson is retired from the US Army and is director, academic and military outreach with the University of North Carolina at Pembroke

Having successfully made the transition from the military to a civilian role and now working with veterans to help them transition from the military to higher education, Clawson has some insights on how they can best position themselves through an effective elevator speech.

“Former military are familiar with having to be direct and succinct,” he says. It’s something that military leaders require when subordinates are delivering information. He adds: “Many military compare what they know as a mission statement—the who, what, when, where and why—to an elevator speech,” Clawson says.  

What’s In It For Them?

When framing your elevator pitch make sure to do it from your audience’s point of view. Your pitch shouldn’t be about why you need a job, Guina cautions. Instead, he says, “focus on showing them how you can help an organization achieve its goals.” 

Think about your audience and how your background and skills can help their organization. That’s what they’re ultimately interested in and what you should strive to deliver. 

Bryan Zawikowski has been a recruiter for 25 years and is vice president and general manager of the military transition division for Lucas Group, an executive search firm. While it’s important to “de-militarize” the language you use, you shouldn’t “un-militarize” it, he says. “It should be clear to the listener that you are a military veteran, but you need to avoid using military-specific terms and acronyms.

He offers an example of what his own elevator speech might be: “My military career afforded me leadership opportunities starting at age 19, and also taught me problem-solving, team-building and decision-making skills that have served me well in all aspects of my life. As a nuclear missile operations officer in the Air Force, there was no tolerance for incomplete knowledge or substandard performance, so I carry that ethos with me as I transition into the civilian sector.”

That statement clearly conveys the benefits that Zawikowski could offer by translating his military experience into the value he could bring to an organization. 

Exude Confidence, But Don’t Oversell

“Smile, but deliver the elevator speech with the same confidence you developed in your military experience,” Clawson advises. “Don’t hesitate.” And, he adds: “Just as all units do in the military—rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. Anticipate what could go wrong, what questions could be asked and develop courses of action.”

But, cautions Jon Hill, CEO and Chairman of The Energists, a staffing and managing firm that serves the energy industry, don’t oversell. Bad elevator pitches, he says, sound like pitches—they shouldn’t. “I know it’s called a pitch, but you don’t have to sound like you’re pitching a product on Shark Tank,” he says. “You just have to be able to communicate your skills in a succinct, engaging way.”

Wrap up your pitch with a call to action. This will vary depending on the situation, Hill says. Maybe it’s an invitation for coffee. Maybe it’s a request to review your resume. Maybe it’s a request for someone to introduce you to someone at a company you’re interested in. Or, Hill adds, maybe you just want to get your name out there. In this case, he says, you don’t need a specific call to action. 

In any event it pays to be prepared. You never know when, or where, someone will ask a question like “what kind of work are you looking for?” 

Veterans Share Their Tips for Landing a Job Interview

An interview—over the phone, or in person—is generally the first positive step in a job search process. Landing an interview is a must do to move on to the next, and final phase—landing the job! Unfortunately, it can often feel like a futile effort to get an interview despite sending out application after application, mining personal networks and doing everything in your power to get noticed and get that interview. 

Veterans share tips for landing job interview

Here are some tips from business experts with a background in the military on how to get your foot in the door. 

Make Sure You’re Taking a Targeted Approach

Susan Joyce is a USMC veteran (also married to a USN veteran, daughter of USAF and US Army veterans) and publisher/editor of, a site she’s been running since 1998. Sometimes job seekers cast a net that is too wide. Focus can help, says Joyce. “You can’t have a successful mission without hitting the right target,” she says. “In this case, the target is your preferred job/career and target employers.” While job seekers are obviously eager to get a job—sometimes any job—Joyce cautions against being too flexible or “open to anything.” A lack of focus, she says, “means lack of appropriate networking efforts, information collection and online visibility.” 

Instead, she advises: “Learn as much as possible about the target jobs and employers so you can either be very successful reaching those targets or adjust your aim to find better targets if you learn things that make you change your mind about a job or employer.”

Paul A. Dillon, CMC, also points to an emphasis on accomplishing the mission as a key benefit that veterans bring to organizations. “The military is extremely mission focused,” he says. “The whole idea in the Armed Forces is to seize the objective—to capture or kill the enemy—while, at the same time, ensuring the integrity and welfare of your troops. You can't get distracted by small things along the way. You need a vision of what your battle plan is going to accomplish, and then execute that plan flawlessly.” Dillon is the owner/founder of Dillon Consulting Services, LLC, and an Accenture Visiting Professor of the Practice with Sanford School of Public Policy. He is retired from the McGladrey accounting firm and is a former U.S. Army Reserve 1st Lieutenant who fought in the Vietnam War. 

Speak the Language of a Civilian Employer Audience

Rebecca Wareing is a managing consultant with the professional search division for ZRG, an executive recruitment firm, where she is focused on the aerospace, defense and industrial manufacturing industries. She is an Army veteran who served in Bosnia in Operation Joint Forge. 

When we spend a lot of time in a particular industry interacting with people like us, it’s easy to fall into speaking a language that only our “in group” understands. And that’s certainly true for those with military experience, says Wareing. It’s important, she says, to “make sure your resume highlights your experience in a way the civilian audience can understand.” For instance, she says: “It’s far better to say: ‘Coordinated operations support for a 200-person team’ than it is to say, ‘served as command S2’.” Ask a friend outside of the military to take a look at your resume and cover letter to see if they can understand what you’re trying to say, Wareing recommends. 

Another important best practice here is to make sure that you’re mining the value of the military experience you’ve had by translating that experience into skills that resonate with potential employers. “Most employers get excited about people who have team leadership experience, training experience and global business experience,” says Wareing. “You may have all of that experience but have never considered it as part of your job description,” she says. Make sure this comes through in your resume and application materials.

Take Steps to Clear Up Potential Misconceptions

It’s not uncommon for those outside of the military to consider those with service experience as, perhaps, being overly rigid and inflexible. “When most people think about military service, they think that it's all just about the rigidity of following orders,” Dillon says, acknowledging that this is true—in part. Military personnel do, of course, need to follow orders. But he adds: “What most people never see is that the military teaches you to think and act flexibly, so that if your battle plan isn't working, you pivot immediately to a plan that does. You have to do that, if your plan isn't working—you have to be quick and think on your feet—or, you risk defeat and death at the hands of the enemy. Flexibility and immediate action are key to survival.”

And these are important things to point out through your resume and cover letter.

Pay Attention to the Passive Signals You May Be Sending

Submitting a resume or job application is an active means of indicating your interest in a position and sharing information about yourself. But in this digital age, where social media channels abound, it’s important to be on top of the passive signals you may be sending. 

“For most professions today, that means a focused, clear, complete and robust LinkedIn profile,” says Joyce. “It is more important today than a good resume.” The best profiles, Joyce says, are clearly focused on the target job and employers that candidates are interested in connected with. LinkedIn profiles, she says, should be considered to be both personal marketing and personal online reputation management.

There are a lot of benefits that veterans can bring to the workplace in a wide array of industries. You know that. But the challenge is clearly conveying the benefits you can bring during the application process so you can get in the door and tell them face-to-face about the value you can bring. The tips above can help.

Veterans Day 2019: Appreciation and Thanks to Veterans from

Since 1954 Veterans Day has honored all who have served their country through military service. The holiday is always held on the same day without exception unlike other Federal Holidays that are often moved to provide a three-day weekend. November 11 was originally set aside in 1919 to remember those who honored our great nation through their service in World War I and today we honor all who served.

Veterans Day 2019

As a veteran, I want to pass on my personal thanks to my brothers and sisters in arms. As the Chief Operating Officer for, it gives me great pleasure to know that in some small measure we are able to help our military heroes transition from their service to America to a nearly unlimited field of jobs throughout our great country. Over 5000 MilitaryHire customers annually employ 100,000 former military servicemen and servicewomen. I want to thank each of them on this day as well.

Veterans can be counted on to deliver dependable and quality work no matter the profession they serve. Working under stress is inevitable in most jobs and veterans deliver under the most extreme conditions. They always have and always will.

As we remember this day I ask all those who have a veteran peer to thank them for their service. They will humbly express their thanks, but internally they are grateful to those who notice their association to the day. 

Lastly, I want to ask all Americans—veterans and others—to be attentive to any veteran who may appear to be struggling. The cost of service is often not apparent and many veterans place a veil over their anxiety and depression and internalize their struggles to disguise any perceptions of weakness. We are all human and can all fall prey to dark periods in our life that can often be avoided by attentive friends and co-workers. Twenty-two veterans a day take their own lives. This tragic reality can and should be addressed not only on this day which honors them, but every day of our lives.

Thank you,
Robert C. Riegle

Negative Signals That May Be Keeping You From Getting a Job Offer

You aced the interview—at least you thought you did. Maybe you were even called back for two or more opportunities to meet with various representatives from the company you applied to. But then, nothing. When you finally reached out to inquire about the process and when you might expect a decision you’re told that, “we’re sorry, but we’ve selected another candidate.”

Negative Signals That Keep You From Getting a Job Offer

What went wrong?
Here, some hiring managers, HR pros and recruiters weigh in, sharing some of the reasons that they may not move forward with an offer, even after what may have seemed like a great round of interviews.

You Brought Up the M-Word: Money

All candidates are obviously keenly interested in knowing what a position pays and what benefits will be included. But, despite the fact that these questions may be top of mind, candidates should avoid compensation-related questions during the interview process, say the experts.

“In the interview, don’t ask about compensation and benefits,” says Ellen Mullarkey, VP of business development for Messina Staffing Group. “We can discuss this after you’ve received the offer.” Yes, money is important. But, says Mullarkey: “The interview is the time for us to learn about you and for you to learn about us. As a hiring manager, I want to be confident that you’re coming to work for me because you feel that can add value to our organization. I don’t want to walk away from the interview with the impression that you’re simply looking for a paycheck.”

The same advice applies to other perks, like vacation time and time off. “If you ask about time off before you even receive the job offer, your interviewers will get a bad impression,” says Mullarkey. “No one wants to hire someone who is more excited to leave the office than to actually work there.”

The interview, Mullarkey stresses, is the time to talk about your skills and your interest in the company—to ask questions about the position, its responsibilities and the organization itself. Compensation and benefit questions should come later.

You’re Not a Brand Match

Today the concept of “hiring for fit” is top-of-mind for most HR pros, recruiters and hiring managers. Background, skills and competencies are important, of course, but more important for most organizations is how well a candidate will fit within the culture of the organization.

Amazon is a good example to illustrate. A few years ago Amazon took some heat in the media because of what some perceived as a cut-throat, overly competitive culture. But, here’s an important thought to consider: some employees thrive in that kind of environment—others don’t. The same is true of other organizations—each will have a unique dynamic, or culture, that employees either will or will not fit into.

“Employers want to know that you are committed to their company, the mission statement, and overall brand,” says Ladan Davia, founder and CEO of Beeya, a job portal. “Even though you haven’t been hired on as a full-time employee, you should act as if you are one.

How to get some insights into the type of culture the company has? First visit their website. Most companies, especially larger companies, will post their mission, vision and values somewhere on their site. Then, check out online review sites like Glassdoor where you can see what past and current employees have to say about the company, including its culture. Finally, check out the comments on social media and any media coverage that the company may have received. From these sources you should be able to glean a good degree of information to help you discern what the company culture is like—and how you can best convey the fact that you’re a good fit.

You Haven’t Sufficiently Made Your Case

“A job interview is not the time for modesty,” says Davia. “Be proud of who you are, what you have accomplished, and what skills you can bring to the company and other employees. A resume isn’t enough to show who you are, an interview is the time to show an employer why you are the best fit.”

The interview, says Erica McCurdy, a career coach and transition mentor for the Navy SEAL Future Foundation, and owner of McCurdy Solutions Group, LLC, needs to remain an “employability conversation” and not a “watercooler conversation.”

She explains: “An employability interview is one in which the conversation is focused around the benefit to the employer. How can the candidate’s skills, experience, and abilities work to solve the problem that the interviewer has right now. A watercooler conversation is one that leaves one side or the other with stories that they can talk about with their friends or coworkers around the watercooler.”

Your goal in the interview isn’t about conveying what a great conversationalist, storyteller, or fascinating person you are—it’s about clearly conveying how you can help the company solve its problems, says McCurdy.

The next time you have an interview make sure you focus on why you would be the best choice for that company to fill their open position. Don’t just talk about your credentials—talk about them in a way that clearly conveys how those credentials could benefit the company. And put the compensation chatter on hold until you get that offer!

How to Build a Diverse Network

Today’s employers often say that they wish to recruit diverse candidates and that’s good news for most job applicants because most are in some way diverse, or different, from other potential candidates. It also means, though, that job seekers need to build a diverse network of contacts to help them show up on the radar screens of companies, recruiters and hiring managers.

Too often, though, we have a tendency to interact with people “just like us.” Military professionals are no exception. Military professionals know and interact with other military professionals. But, when they’re looking for jobs as civilians, it pays to cast a wider net to become top of mind for the companies they wish to work for.

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Interview with AT&T at their upcoming hiring event!

Interview with AT&T at their upcoming hiring event!

Wednesday, October 2
2:00PM to 7:00PM
Westfields Marriott Washington Dulles
14750 Conference Center Dr.
Chantilly, VA 20151

  • CI or Full Scope Polygraph Clearance Required to Attend. 
  • Offer letters will be presented onsite to qualified candidates. 
  • Bring 5 copies of your resume with you.
  • Please share this event with your fellow cleared colleagues & friends.

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How to Spin Lack of Experience to Your Advantage

How to spin your lack of experience Don’t have all the skills? Don’t sweat it—consider how you can spin your exceptional and unique military experiences to showcase your ability to learn and grow in any environment.

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The “4 Be’s,” and Additional Tips, for Acing the Telephone Interview

Acing the Telephone interview Telephone interviews are often used as a second step in the screening process.  Employers want to feel out the candidate, see if they've researched the position and the company and to get a general sense of whether they're a good fit. You want to leave a positive memorable impression with the interviewers. By following these "4Be's" you can ensure you will Ace the Telephone Interview and be hired for the job.

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Questions to Ask in a Job Interview to Get a Good Sense of Company Culture

Organizations will have unique cultures, some which you will feel aligned with, others which may make you feel like a square peg in a round hole. To avoid a culture mismatch, use the time at the end of the interview to ask some specific questions designed to help you get a better sense of the culture, and whether it’s a good fit for you.

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Recruiters using LinkedIn Veterans

LinkedIn is a very powerful tool that should play a prominent role in a Veterans job search efforts. Follow these tips to build your network of recruiters to help ensure that your profile shows up prominently.

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Questions You Should Never Ask During the Interview Process, And Why

At the end of most interviews, candidates can expect to be asked one final question: “Do you have any questions for us?” While it is a best practice to come prepared for this question and to have some potential questions jotted down to refer to (yes, it’s okay to pull out your list of questions, in fact, that often makes a very positive impression on the hiring team because it shows you have done some preparation), there are certain questions that are better left unasked. Why? Because they may paint you in a negative light or suggest that your interests are more personally than organizationally oriented.

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Questions You Should Always Ask During the Interview Process, And Why

Interviews are designed to be conversations, not interrogations. While you can expect to be asked questions by those involved in the interview process, you should also come armed with your own questions. Not only will there be certain things that you want, or need, to know about. Asking thoughtful questions can help convey to potential employers that you are a serious candidate and that your thought process aligns well with their mission and culture.

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Insights on Landing a Job from Retired Marine Squadron Commanding Officer

Bob Wiedower is VP of sales development and military programs for Combined Insurance. A retired Marine Squadron Commanding Officer who moved his way up in his career after leaving the military, Wiedower recommends a focus on four key areas of the job search process: research, networking, creating a great resume and participating in interviews. He offers some best practices for each stage of the process.

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