How Veterans Get Hired at SolarCity

solar panel technicianI recently sat down with two of the key people in SolarCity's Veteran Hiring Initiative, Otis Collier and Seth Sharp. Otis is a ten year Navy veteran who worked as a electronics technician on submarines and also as a U.S. Navy recruiter. Otis now leads the SolarCity Veteran Hiring Initiative. Seth is a one term Air Force veteran who served as an F16 Attack Control System Specialist. Part 1 of the interview, was published at Inside SolarCity's Veteran Hiring Initiative. In this part of the interview, they provide insight on what veterans can do to increase their chance of getting hired at SolarCity.

Sean: What would your recommendations be regarding what can veterans do to improve their chances of getting hired at SolarCity?

Otis: Let me focus on a veteran candidate that was recently hired on He got the job offer on Veterans Day. He connected with one of SolarCity's recruiters while he was on Naval duty in Japan. He was due to get out in 45-60 days, and one of the things he did was that he kept in contact with the recruiter. He wanted to make sure the recruiter understood that he was very interested in SolarCity. One of the things the recruiter said that he noticed about this candidate was that he had a sincere interest in Solar City. The recruiter said the veteran wanted a job with SolarCity, that he wanted to work there, and he showed it by his persistence and his follow-up. He stayed in touch with the recruiter. I think any military candidate needs to know that they are in a unique situation. While we have people like myself and Seth who understand the military side, we understand their situation as soldiers, the soldiers also need to understand the recruiters. Recruiters are trying to fill jobs that are open today. Six months from now we have no idea what jobs will be open. Those military candidates really need to understand that and the best way you work with a recruiter is to stay in contact. Say, "Listen, I'm getting out in three months. I'm coming home for vacation, can I meet with you, can we talk? I want to learn more about the company, I want to learn more about the organization.” Maybe using linked in to connect with different managers or to connect with different people who are at SolarCity who served in the military or who work in areas where you want to relocate to. So there is some onus on the soldier to make sure they stay on the minds of that recruiter here at SolarCity. I think that because we have a recruiter at SolarCity who is prior military themselves and we had a sailor who kept in contact with that recruiter it was a hire. The sailor got out of the military and two days later he was interviewing and got hired. That was a testimony not only to our recruiter here at Solar City, but also to the sailor who was very persistent and made sure he stayed in contact with our recruiter. Seth, is there anything I left out?

Seth: No, not in regards to that specific instance, but I would like to add something else that a candidate can do that a SolarCity recruiter would find valuable. Take the initiative and research the company, research the roles. Do some digging about the company, understand who the founders are, read some articles in regards to the direction of the company. In other words, educate yourself on the industry as well as the company and its position within the industry. I would encourage them to do that for any role they are applying for. Another thing when a veteran is applying I know that they are told not to go back more than 10 years for their resume however, if I could give any advice to any candidate applying to a position, I would say always tailor your resume with regards to your experience and the job description. What I mean by that is highlight what you have done that is related to the details of the job description. You want to make as many comparisons between yourself and the vacancy so that gives you that extra shot when you're being considered for it.

Sean: That's good advice. And that's all the questions I have. Thank you so much Otis and Seth. I really appreciate your time today. Hopefully that will give our candidates some more information and insight into Solar City. We at MilitaryHire are excited about SolarCity and the many excellent opportunities it offers to transitioning veterans!

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

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