Interview tips for veterans—Use these 3 tips to help prepare for a job interview

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by Tricia Hutchinson

Congratulations, vet! You managed to survive military life and transition out of the military. Reentering the civilian job market means that you will have to face the interview process. So how do you take all those skill you learned in the military and apply them to your new life?

There are a few tips and tricks that will help you navigate the transition to working in the civilian sector, Now you have plenty of time on your hands to grow that epic veteran beard and catch up on your sleep. Once you’ve gotten those things off your plate, you’re going to need to acquire some funds, which means you are about to have to enter the civilian job market. Reentering the civilian job market means that you will have to face the interview process. So how do you take all those skill you learned in the military and apply them to your new life?

There are a few tips and tricks that will help you navigate the transition to working in the civilian sector, so get out a pen and pad, because you will see this material again.

Once you walk through the door for your job interview, every question you are asked will fall into one of three categories:

  • “Tell me about yourself.”
  • “Tell me about your work history/qualifications for this job.”
  • “Why are you interested in this job/company?”

Answering these questions the right way will get you a long way towards accomplishing your objective; a successful job interview is 90% preparation and 10% luck, so here are three tips (positive and negative) to help you prepare:

Highlight your military experience.

You bring something unique to every interview that you take: your military experience. Whether you were an artillery forward observer, a chaplain’s assistant, or an infantryman, you bring something extra to the table that your civilian counterparts do not. If contemporary experience has taught us anything, it’s that veterans of the United States military are some of the most widely admired and highly thought of members of society. So congratulations on officially being one of the cool kids. While there is a time and place to live up to the “quiet professional” label, a job interview is not one of them. So highlight your military experience and if there’s another veteran on the interview team, all the better.

Make your military experience relatable.

One thing you ought to be doing for every interview is tailoring your answers for the specific job you are seeking. However, as you well know, there are some aspects of military life that do not cross over into the civilian sphere. Therefore, when you describe your military job, describe it in a way that your interviewer will understand. Were you a NCO responsible for a squad? Congratulations, you were a manager. Did you plan operations in Afghanistan or Iraq? Excellent! You can describe these missions as projects—projects which you oversaw.

Your average civilian interviewer doesn’t understand the ins-and-outs of infantry operations or the planning that goes into planning religious support for deployments. So it’s your job to translate your experience into language that they’ll be able to understand.

Drop the jargon.

Every job has its own jargon and internal language that’s unique to the community, and the military is no different. Keep in mind, however, that military jargon is incomprehensible to the uninitiated, so don’t use jargon that you don’t explain. Don’t assume that your interview knows what you mean by SOP (standard operating procedure), or by some other acronym that’s in common use in the military. Another good term to stop using is “latrine.” Civilians don’t relieve themselves into holes in the ground or PVC pipes leading to pits of filth and shame. Call it a bathroom. For everyone’s sake, don’t ever use FUBAR. And while we’re at it, leave the “hooah” at home.

The transition back to civilian life can be tough, but with time and preparation, there is no reason that any veteran cannot market the unique skills and intangibles that he or she possesses and become a success in the civilian environment.

Read the complete article and more from Human Technologies Inc. at htijobs.com

Careers for Veterans in the Oil and Gas Industry

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The Oil & Gas industry is a global powerhouse employing hundreds of thousands of workers worldwide as well as generating hundreds of billions of dollars globally each year. While the oil & gas industry is always changing, a career in the industry is steady, since the need for oil is always present across a variety of industries. Oil is not just used in automobiles and airplanes, but in everyday items, such as plastic, cleaning supplies, medical supplies, and even clothing and cosmetics contain oil compounds.

Because of the technical knowledge and intangible skills gained in the military, a career in oil and gas is a natural transition for veterans. “There are a lot of similarities between the military and the oil and gas industry,” explains Steve Casey, Vice President at Orion. “Managers in this industry today are looking for disciplined, hard working, reliable, get-your-hands-dirty, technically capable, and trainable people who want to learn and grow. They’re looking for people who have no problem working in the field and handling tougher environments, and who don’t want to sit inside of an office all day,” he says.

There are many benefits to a career in the oil & gas industry. Compensation is historically higher than most other industries, with entry level Operator positions earning $70,000-$80,000+ in the first year, and Engineers earning well over $100,000. There are also many opportunities for promotion and growth, with the option to move around all over the U.S. and internationally. In addition to compensation, the oil and gas industry allows its employees the opportunity to work with some of the most advanced technology available today. “Many candidates don’t realize how high-tech the oil and gas industry is. Whenever I tour one of the facilities I’m amazed by the technology,” says Casey.

Continue onto Orion Talent to read the complete article.

4 In-Demand Jobs That Value Military Skills

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Soldier using a laptop to job search

Retiring from the military and moving into civilian life is a big step to take. You’re used to living a certain way, taking or giving orders, and performing duties related to your training.

While you may not miss the lifestyle or the commands, you do leave with a skill set ready to be utilized. And you might be surprised to learn that certain industries are looking for experienced employees with the ability to walk onto the “shop floor” and start work with a reasonable amount of training. Transitioning from military to civilian life and earning a living is easier than you think when you consider one of the following industries for employment.

Aircraft Technician

Aviation is an industry in which a wave of retirement is washing up against a major global expansion. The median age of aviation technicians and mechanics in the United States is 51 years old, and not a lot of younger people are stepping up to take their place. The Aviation Technician Education Council’s Pipeline Report predicts that a record number of technicians in the aviation industry will be retiring by 2027. Simultaneously, the airline industry will add an estimated 10,000 planes by 2027, a 40 percent increase in capacity. Although the aviation field won’t be the only one affected by mass retirement, without replacing retiring workers, the industry will find itself hampered in its plans to bring online new planes that are more technologically advanced than ever before.

This is where people with military aviation training can take advantage of the foreseeable shortage of employees — especially women, as the industry is looking to recruit more females, who now make up 2.3% of the certificated mechanic workforce, up from 1.7% in 2001. The shortage means you can write your own ticket just about anywhere in the nation. If you feel you’re not getting anywhere in a specific market, you stand a good chance of finding better employment in another market. All you need is the flexibility to pack up your belongings and find an apartment wherever you decide to go.

Construction Equipment Operator

The construction industry is always in need of qualified people to operate machinery. If you spent time behind the controls of heavy equipment while in the military, you’re almost a shoo-in to become an equipment operator. Controls on civilian machinery are slightly different from military equipment, but experienced operators are able to adapt and get to work quickly. You’ll have to get certifications from the state to operate the equipment, but once you’ve obtained them, you’ll find that employers look at you more favorably as a hire. Construction company operators want people who will show up on time, do a good job, understand their role, and understand what they have to do with a minimum of instruction.

This is another industry where you can find employment anywhere in the country, even in climates where inclement weather can put a halt to outdoor work: Indoor construction can sometimes involve the use of small machines, which also require certification. Also, keep in mind that construction work is almost always union-based, and you can take advantage of the benefits that come with membership. Make connections at the hall, keep your ear to the ground, and pay attention to the job boards for work opportunities.

Disaster Planning and Preparation

All communities and governments must anticipate disasters and have emergency plans ready, so disaster preparation is standard training in all military branches. Many service members could probably execute a disaster plan in their sleep because it was drilled into their heads during their service. However, the civilian sector has nowhere near the experience it needs to plan for a disaster. Your military experience in this field will be welcomed by the civilian sector as it faces threats from a world changing faster than it can keep up with. And you can increase your value as a consultant or employee by getting first aid certifications from FEMA, Red Cross, or other organizations that respond during an emergency situation.

Weather-related disasters are one of the biggest threats that private businesses face. Changes in weather patterns are bringing more adverse weather events than ever before, and businesses are ill-equipped to deal with floods and high winds that destroy buildings. Demand is on the rise for people who can create disaster plans for businesses and show them how to prepare.

Emergency Medical Services

Responding to medical emergencies requires the ability to stay cool, calm, and collected while working to save someone’s life or stabilize injuries during transportation to an ER. Working in the emergency medical service field is a great fit for someone who’s had experience in a medical role while serving. Your military experience is regarded as a bonus by employers because you’re trained to handle a variety of stressful factors without losing focus while taking care of a patient.

All the aspects of the civilian job are the same as in the military, and so are the requirements. You will need to continue renewing your first aid certifications every two years, but the tests are the same as in the service.

The civilian world is full of jobs that value retired members of the military as employees. You’ll find that your experience goes a long way toward opening doors to employment and securing you an excellent quality of life.

Author
Brad Miller
TheMilitaryGuide.org

How to Ace the Career Fair

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Man holding a Job Fair sign

By Susan Ricker

Advance your job search with a wide variety of employers and organizations that can be found at career fairs—and learn how to do your military service justice.

A career fair is a great opportunity to interact with employers, share your experience and possibly secure a follow-up job interview or even an offer. With five to 10 minutes of an interviewer’s time, you can learn about their opportunities and talk yourself up, and discern if their organization might be right for you to join.

With all the perks that come along with career fairs, it can be easy to view this as the answer to your job search. But for job fair attendees – and military veterans in particular – it will greatly improve your chances of finding the right job match if you take careful steps to prepare. Along with dressing sharply and being punctual, here are the steps to take to make sure you can ace the career fair.

Go in with a plan. Career fairs are an efficient way to pack progress into your job search, since plenty of employers are assembled specifically to meet job seekers and identify prospective talent. But if you plan to make the rounds once you’re there and see who you’re interested in, you may be wasting your time.

Not every employer will be a good fit for your experience or career goals, so check the career fair’s website ahead of time to identify who will be in attendance and who’s company goals and positions are the best match for you. Create a list of who you want to make sure you meet, and take the time to research the company and customize your job application materials. You’ll be able to speak intelligently to their reps, as well as offer tailored information about yourself. Prepare for this by reading through their website, browsing past press releases or checking them out on social media.

Make your resume readable for civilians. A strong resume sums up your past experience and skills, then applies them to your prospective employer’s needs to demonstrate that you’re the best person for the job. For veterans, your service experience can be just as applicable to the position as a civilians, but you need to make sure that a non-military employer can understand how.

Translate your skills and experience into more business-friendly language, like your leadership skills, project management or experience in high-stress situations. The biggest challenge employers face in hiring veterans is understanding how their experience applies to the open position, so take out the guesswork for them and make it clear how you’ll benefit the organization.

Point out veteran advantages. While you were serving in the military, you picked up a number of skills and training, as well as some characteristics that allowed you to work well on a team and act as a strong leader and service member. Even though you’re no longer on active duty, those traits can still serve you and others well – and it helps to point this out to employers. A CareerBuilder survey shared the top qualities and soft skills that employers know to expect from employees with military experience, including:

  • Disciplined approach to work—63 percent
  • Ability to work as a team—60 percent
  • Respect and integrity—56 percent
  • Ability to perform under pressure—51 percent
  • Leadership skills—51 percent
  • Problem-solving skills—47 percent
  • Ability to adapt quickly—45 percent
  • Attitude of perseverance—41 percent
  • Communication skills—40 percent
  • Strong technical skills—31 percent

There are also a number of other advantages veterans have in the job market. For one, former military members have federal security clearance, which is not only required for many government jobs, but also for jobs at government-contracted companies that work on classified or defense-related projects. Because it can cost companies a lot of time and money to get security clearance for civilian employees, veterans are usually preferred for these types of positions.

End on a high note. When your time with the recruiter is coming to a close, express your interest in learning more about the position and company, and ask for the opportunity to come in for a longer interview. Also be sure to get their business card or information for connecting on social media, and follow up within 48 hours with a thank-you note for their time and reiterate your interest.

The career fair will go by quickly if you’ve done your prep work and come ready to talk about your experience and ideas. And for military veterans who prepare in advance and understand their best qualities to share, a career fair can be one of the best opportunities for connecting with the right employer.

Source:  CareerBuilder

6 Tips for a Killer Resume

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Transitioning Veteran

Whether you’re new to the workforce or are looking to make a change, one of the best things you can do for your career is craft a stellar resume. Even if writing isn’t your strong suit, you can still put together a solid resume to entice prospective employers. Here’s how to do it.

1. Craft a compelling opening summary

The opening section of your resume sets the tone for the rest of that document — so it’s important to get it right. Your introductory statement should give a brief, snappy overview of who you are and why you’re such a valuable asset, so use it to draw in your audience and convince those hiring managers to keep reading. Do not, however, mistake your introduction for an objective. “Seeking a role where I can prosper and grow” doesn’t speak to your talents or personality. “Fearless marketer with boundary-pushing tendencies,” on the other hand, is a far more captivating way to start.

2. List your responsibilities and achievements from most to least significant

The folks who receive your resume may not always read it in its entirety. In fact, there’s a good chance they’ll merely skim through it at first, and then go back for a more thorough read once interested. That’s why it’s critical to put your most valuable skills and accomplishments toward the top of each section, where readers’ eyes are most likely to land initially, and stick those mundane, less impressive tasks lower down on the list. Even if you spent most of your time at your last job booking conference rooms and making travel arrangements for other people, if you were given several key projects to run with, highlight those first.

3. Use hard numbers

It’s one thing to boast of your sales prowess, but it’s another to document the extent to which you’ve actually delivered results. That’s why it pays to use hard numbers to highlight your achievements whenever possible. If you increased sales by 20% at your last job, say so — with a number.

4. Don’t list skills that should be a given

Pretty much everyone who works in an office also knows how to use the internet. The same holds true for basic word processing and spreadsheets. Calling out these skills on your resume could be a sign that you’re desperate for content — which might turn prospective employers away. Instead, focus on the skills that make you stand out, and avoid stating what should be the obvious.

5. Show, don’t just tell

It’s hard to pin down your entire career to a one-page snapshot, but thankfully, you don’t have to. If you’ve developed an online portfolio showcasing your work, include a link to it on your resume so that prospective employers know where to look for further detail. It’s one thing to talk about what a wonderful graphic designer you are, but it’s much more powerful to let those hiring managers see for themselves.

6. Keep it clean

In the hiring world, there’s no greater turnoff than a resume laden with errors. Similarly, if your fonts and italics usage are all over the place on the document, your potential employer is bound to notice that sloppiness. Before you submit your resume, examine it thoroughly for stylistic consistency. This means that if you bold the name of a previous employer in one section, you should do the same in another. And though the following should go without saying, for the love of grammar, run your resume through a spell-checking program to ensure that the words it contains are, well, actual words.

Finally, make certain your contact information is both up-to-date and professional. “Beerdrinker52@wazoomail.com” may be a perfectly fine email address to share with your friends, but for resume purposes, you’re much better off with the classic “first name_last name” format.

Though we’re told not to judge books by their covers, there’s no question that those reading your resume will use it to determine whether or not you’re worth pursuing as a job candidate. The more work you put into that document, the more likely it is to help get you hired.

Continue on to The Motley Fool to read the complete article.

These are the fastest-growing jobs in the next 5 years

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Job Transition for veterans

Being a home health aide is predicted to be the fastest-growing job from 2018 to 2023, according to a new report from CareerBuilder. The CareerBuilder data was calculated based on info from Emsi, a national leader in medical information services, and focuses on 774 occupations that are classified by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The biggest jumps are for home health aides, software developers, and medical assistants. Registered nurses, the occupation on the list with the most expected jobs added, are expected to see an 8.39% jump in job openings by 2023.

“What we see across industries … is that most professionals are becoming tech workers in some capacity,” Irina Novoselsky, CEO of CareerBuilder, told Yahoo Finance in an email.

With technology continuing to evolve, skills that employees will need are being redefined as well. Novoselsky noted that most of the fastest-growing occupations include some kind of technological component. Earlier this year, tech jobs took the top two spots as the “Best Jobs in America,” largely due to the high demand for the position.

“As we have seen historically, technology and healthcare positions continue to dominate the fastest-growing occupations,” she said. “Technology is an integral part of business and everyday life. Advancements in medicine are enabling people to live longer.

The occupations were sorted into three categories: high-wage jobs, middle-wage jobs, and low-wage jobs. Low-wage jobs were defined as those that pay $14.17 or less an hour, middle-wage jobs as $14.18-$23.59 per hour, and high-wage jobs as $23.24 per hour.

Fatest Growing Jobs

Jobs on the rise in the high-wage category include postsecondary teachers, accountants and auditors, and computer user support specialists. Among middle-wage occupations, customer service representatives, construction laborers, and general maintenance and repair workers are seeing the biggest jump. In the low-wage category are occupations such as retail salespersons, security guards, and restaurant cooks.

Continue on to Yahoonews.com to read the complete article.

5 Questions Hiring Managers Think During Interviews (But Might Not Ask)

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interview sign on door

Interviews are fairly anxiety inducing, especially when your interviewer has what can only be described as a professional poker face.

You could drive yourself insane trying to figure out what exactly is going on behind that diplomatic smile.

To save you from the agony and to help you better prepare, here is an insider look at what goes through a hiring manager’s mind during an interview. In general, employers are looking for the best technical and cultural fit that their budgets will allow for. While these questions will all go through their minds, the questions they end up asking usually aren’t as direct. So, know that no matter how wacky or irrelevant the question might seem, they all come back to these five core concerns.

1. Have You Successfully Done Similar Work in the Past?

Really, the question should be more along the lines of, “Can you do the job?” but that’s not always the easiest thing to evaluate. That’s why such weight is given to your ability to show relevant work that you have done, whether it was for another company, for school, or just independently.

Any chance you get, you should be talking about your relevant experience and transferable skills. Of course, it’s not always just about results. Being able to talk about why you were successful is also important. Tell stories about your previous experience (here’s how, and be introspective. The interviewer will be attempting to draw insights from your answers, so you might as well spell them out to make sure you’re sending the message you want to send.

2. Will You Work Well With My Current Team?

There is always some context that you’re being hired into, and it’s in the hiring manager’s best interest to make sure you will be a good fit and can hit the ground running.

How exactly can a hiring manager discern whether or not you’ll work out? In the end, it’s still a bit of a gamble, but a few things you should definitely try to get across are your communication style and effectiveness, your work ethic, your career values, and how you approach problems. Think broadly about these things, and then come up with a concrete supporting example as you’re preparing for the interview.

And remember: There’s no right or wrong answer here. After all, you don’t want to end up in a situation where you’re a bad fit either.

3. What Do You Know About My Company?

You’re applying for a specific role that probably exists in many other companies as well, so why this one? Hiring managers want you to show not only that you know what makes their particular company special, but that you’re really excited about it. Doing your homework on the company and considering why you’d be a good fit shows that you’re invested.

Naturally, it doesn’t stop there. Asking thoughtful and informed questions about the company is a great way to show continued enthusiasm as the interview progresses (here are a few great ones). Do the company research beforehand, and show off what you know in both your answers and your questions.

4. Does the Job You’re Expecting Align With What the Job Actually Is?

In other words, do you know what you’re signing up for, and is it what you’re really looking for? No one wants to hire someone who just wants the job to tide him or her over until a new, more desirable job turns up. And, while we’re on the topic of expectations, are your salary expectations in line with the company’s? To get to the point, can the company afford to hire you?

To get to this, the interviewer might ask anything from your motivation for leaving your previous position to what you’re most excited about in the new role. The current salary question will likely come up at some point as well. In the end, there are a hundred different questions that could get at this concern. To prepare in a realistic amount of time, figure out what your career narrative is. Where did you come from, where are you going, and why? How does this job fit in with your goals? Oh, and read up on negotiation.

5. Are You Confident in Your Abilities?

This might not be something hiring managers are thinking about consciously, but you can bet that their perception of your confidence will make a difference in how they remember you. Now, confidence can mean different things to different people, but in general if you can show that you’re passionate about the work and you look the part, half the battle is won. If you want to boost your confidence even more, set some time aside to do a few power poses before the big interview.

Of course, looking confident is just a matter of practice, but being confident requires a whole new mindset. If you’re short on time, get a pep talk from your support network of friends and mentors. Having the right people in your life can make a world of difference when it comes to self-confidence—not to mention it’s easier (and more effective) to say, “My manager would describe me as hardworking,” rather than “I’d say I’m a pretty hard worker.”

Author-Lily Zhang
Continue on to The Muse to read the complete article.

DraftKings’ High-Tech Jobs Skills Training Program Now Open for Texas Veterans

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BOSTON, MA–DraftKings Inc. recently announced that it is expanding its Tech for Heroes initiative to Austin, Texas. The eight-week course, beginning October 9 and offered free of charge, is designed to provide high-tech job skills training to current and returning veterans and military spouses, so they can expand their knowledge base and find gainful employment in the tech sector.

“The Tech for Heroes program was designed with one goal in mind–help veterans gain a real advantage in an extremely competitive tech industry,” said Paul Liberman, co-founder and COO of DraftKings. “The skills acquired through the program can be applied to nearly any company, no matter their size or industry, giving each individual the ability to explore career paths of all types. These individuals have all made tremendous sacrifices in service to our country and this program is one way we are showing our collective appreciation.”

Working in partnership with the national nonprofit VetsinTech, DraftKings launched the company’s first corporate social responsibility initiative in June with its inaugural Tech for Heroes training class taking place in Boston. Last month, the company announced an expansion of the program to San Francisco, California, where it is training more than 30 veterans and military spouses in web development.

“We are excited to continue the expansion of the Tech for Heroes program to Austin. The partnership with DraftKings has allowed us to impact so many veterans and their families all across the country, and we look forward to the opportunity to bring this life changing training to Texas,” said Katherine Webster, founder and CEO of VetsinTech.

DraftKings’ employees will be working with the veterans to grow their understanding of employment opportunities at high-tech companies and to further support the veteran graduates pursuing careers in tech. Efforts include resume development, career roadmapping and skills translation as well as peer to peer networking.

The deadline for signing-up is October 8.

For additional information on the DraftKings Tech For Heroes program and to inquire about joining a class, please visit Tech for Heroes.

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About DraftKings

DraftKings is a global sports technology and entertainment company that believes life is more fun with skin in the game. Its mission is to bring fans closer to the games they love via a unique combination of daily fantasy sports, sports betting and media platforms that, combined, deliver “The Game Inside The Game.” Founded in 2012 by Matt Kalish, Paul Liberman and Jason Robins, DraftKings is headquartered in Boston, MA, and offers daily fantasy sports contests across 11 professional sports in 8 countries including the U.S., Canada, U.K and Australia. Now a licensed operator in New Jersey, DraftKings Sportsbook allows players in the state to engage in betting for major U.S. and international sports.

About VetsinTech

VetsinTech supports current and returning veterans with re-integration services, and by connecting them to the national technology ecosystem. VIT is committed to bringing together a tech-specific network, resources, and programs for our veterans interested in education, entrepreneurship, and employment.

The Power of First Impressions

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You only get one shot at a first impression—and that shot may count for more than you think.

Why do so many job search posts deal with perfecting your handshake, making strong eye contact, and dressing properly? The reality is that those small factors comprise the first impression you make on a person. That impression frames your entire interaction, fairly or not.

Blink – a book by bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell – investigates thin-slicing, a concept in psychology describing a person’s ability to make accurate assessments of people and situations based on brief observations and limited information.

The implications of thin-slicing on first impressions have been explored in great detail. The conclusion: First impressions are formed quickly and accurately.

During networking events and job interviews – environments where people are short on time and hypersensitive to perceived “red flags” – making your best impression during the “thin slice” of interactions takes on even greater importance.

Unfortunately, simply knowing the importance of first impressions doesn’t necessarily follow that you’ll make a better one. Understand the elements that make up a first impression (what they are, what they communicate), however, and you can begin to improve how you are perceived in the opening moments of meeting someone new.

Before diving too deep, it is important to caution against missing the forest for the trees. Impressions matter. But the substance of who you are and the value you have matters considerably more.

Consider perfecting your first impression as the equivalent of a chef plating their dish; you want to present yourself in an appealing way, but the meal (and you) has to be satisfying beginning to end.

What influences a first impression?

Appearance
What you wear is up to you. We choose clothes based on their utility, their comfort, their style. We also choose clothes to express who we are and how we would like to be viewed.

But often, we can’t control how others view us based on those choices. Clothing and appearance matter when making a first impression. Snap judgements can be – and are – made based on the fit of your suit, the length of your skirt, or the color of your shoes.

A study published by psychologists in the UK compared snap judgements made about the same model wearing two slightly different suits. In one photo, he’s shown wearing a tailored suit and in another he’s wearing a suit of similar color and style, but off-the-rack. In a 3-second snap judgement, participants rated the model in a tailored suit as more successful and confident.

Not everyone can go out and get a tailored suit. However, you can make a concerted effort to dress the part for job interviews and networking events. If the event/interview is formal, match or exceed the formality of the interviewer. But if you’re networking at a Meetup.com gathering for web developers, you can probably lose the tie and wear something more relaxed.

Body language
Our bodies provide constant clues about how we feel, what we’re thinking, and who we are, often without us realizing.

Your body can reveal anxiety and nervousness often manifested in the tapping of your feet/hands, touching of your face, and biting of your nails.

Clearly, the best solution is to not be nervous. For most of us, including myself, this simply isn’t an option during a job interview or when meeting someone you admire.

Adequate preparation for a job interview or a networking event should limit your nervousness which, in turn, will lessen negative body language signals. You can also take steps to reduce jittery hands and face touching by holding something, like a coffee, pen or bag.

You can also make a conscious effort promote positive signals – like confidence and comfortability – through your body language. Maintain an open and upright posture. Limit the crossing of your arms or legs and avoid hunching your shoulders.

The introduction
You’ve already walked into the room dressed for success and with a posture that screams confidence. Next up is the introduction and obligatory handshake. Nothing has been pored over more by career, business and job search blogs than the handshake. And with good reason: the handshake matters.

A firm handshake is a strong indicator of extroversion and openness to new experiences. People with firm handshakes are also seen as less neurotic and shy. So if you have to, practice your handshake until you can deliver a firm, confident introduction.

The second part of a strong introduction is eye contact. Making consistent eye contact shows that you are confident and engaged. Avoiding eye contact shows anxiety and, potentially, deceptiveness.

You are looking to build trust and project confidence with your first impression, so make consistent eye contact. Avoid staring too long, however, as that can be intimidating.

Body temperature
Warm beverages may be the key to warm thoughts.

Researchers at Yale University conducted a study to show that physical warmth promoted interpersonal warmth. The study revealed that participants were more likely to view a person in a positive light if they were holding a warm object (like a cup of coffee), than if they were holding a cold object (like an iced coffee).

Physical warmth promotes positive feelings, so when setting up a first meeting or an interview try sitting down over a cup of coffee.

Of course, if your interviewer has an iced coffee habit, it doesn’t mean that you’re chances of making a good first impression are ruined. It just means your chances may be slightly improved if that interviewer is also wearing a sweater.

What is the takeaway
Understand that first impressions matter, but that they aren’t the whole story of who you are and what you can accomplish.

You can study the factors that go into making a positive first impression. You can buy the perfect outfit, master the handshake, use all the right body language and calculate an exact equation for appropriate eye contact. But at the end of the day you need to back up your first impression with actual substance, otherwise it’s all a show.

The best way to project confidence, aptitude and personality is to possess confidence, aptitude and personality.

You have to recognize what you can control. You can control your preparation. You can control your own abilities. You can control how you communicate your value.

You can’t, however, fully control how another person will view you. You just have to put the best version of yourself forward and hope for the best.

Author: Jeff Ayers at silvermanmcgovern.com

8 Secrets That Can Revolutionize Your Job Search

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interview-veteran tips

You might think that in the era of LinkedIn and social media that you no longer need to have a resume. That is unequivocally wrong. A resume is a key component of a job search, and cannot be replaced by a LinkedIn profile, or your digital presence.

This article will offer a number of resume tips, all of which are designed to help you succeed in your job search. We’ll review the importance of customization, best resume format, and the various resume sections you need to include, to name a few. Let’s get started with our review of the key resume tips you need to keep in mind when creating yours.

  1. A resume is a marketing tool.

The sad truth is that most people do not write particularly well. Make sure that your resume is impeccably written, and make sure it stands out. A well-constructed resume conveys that you’re an organized person. Concise resume language gives the feeling that you’re a no-nonsense individual who gets right to the point. A great resume can convince a hiring manager that you have the background that will be an asset to the company and can compel them to contact you for an interview.

  1. It helps the hiring manager decide that you have the necessary skills and experiences.

A well-written, concise resume does the job of quickly telling the hiring manager that you’re the answer to their problems. When you’re writing your resume, be sure to use clear, succinct language, and focus on your achievements (especially the ones that are quantifiable), rather than on your job duties or tasks. One of the biggest resume tips you can keep in mind is this: the purpose of the resume is to sell you, and what you can do to help a company succeed. The purpose of the resume is to not catalog all of your duties and tasks from the past.

  1. Customization is key.

A question I’m frequently asked is whether or not it’s necessary to customize the resume for each application. My answer is always a resounding YES. This is one the key resume tips! You have only about six seconds to impress the reader, so be sure that your resume speaks to exactly what the company is seeking. You do this by studying the job description and optimizing your resume with relevant keywords.

  1. Your resume helps with your personal branding.

A resume is a marketing document that you craft to sell yourself. But in addition to that, it is also a component of your brand. You want to ensure that your resume conveys the key messages of your brand; that is, what your strengths are, what you can deliver on, and what you’re passionate about.

  1. Add a little humanity and originality.

Let’s face it, most resumes read pretty much the same, and most of them are boring and sterile. How many resumes for a PR Director role can someone read before they all begin to blur together? Every single applicant is going to say they’re expert at media relations and that they’ve overseen a team of communications professionals. Say something different, and say something that makes you sound like an actual person and not a machine.

Here’s one of my key resume tips: Instead of writing something like “Crisis communications expert who maximizes brand potential via various channels” in the Summary section of your resume, try “I don’t put out fires. I start them. I ignite excitement and engagement among clients. When something inevitably explodes, I add another log to the fire.”

  1. What resume sections should be included?

Resume tips about resume sections are abundant; here are the key ones you need to be including in today’s day and age. Your resume should consist of a header that includes your name and contact information; a Summary section, which should provide a high-level overview of your qualifications, and what you can do for the company; a Work Experience section, which details current and previous positions you’ve held during your career; a Skills section, which should list the hard and soft skills you possess, particularly, the ones that align to the job advertisement; and an Education section, which should list the educational degrees you’ve acquired.

  1. What’s the best resume format?

The reverse chronological format is, in my opinion, the best resume format. The reason it’s the best resume format is simple—it makes it very easy for the right people to see your employment history and achievements. If you’re unsure on what reverse chronological means, it means this—you start off the Work Experience section of your resume with your most recent position, and work backwards from there.

  1. Here’s the bottom line.

A resume remains one of the foundational tools in the job seeker’s toolkit. Hiring managers and recruiters still want resumes, and they want them to be easy to read and to quickly answer the key questions they have. A good resume is one that benefits both the hiring manager and the job seeker; hopefully, the resume tips offered here will put you on the path to success with creating yours!

About the Author
Debra Wheatman is a certified professional resume writer and career coach, and the president of Careers Done Write, a leader in professional resume and career services. careersdonewrite.com/

Wisconsin taps transitioning veterans for 90,000 job opportunities in the state

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Wisconsin partners with Hiring Our Heroes to highlight career and lifestyle opportunities in the state for transitioning veterans

A delegation from the State of Wisconsin was  in Camp Pendleton recently to launch a transitioning veteran outreach program to help fill the more than 90,000 job opportunities in the state.

The delegation of representatives from state government and Wisconsin businesses highlighted the state’s career and lifestyle opportunities at the Hiring Our Heroes Transition Summit that took place on Aug. 29-30. Hiring Our Heroes is an initiative of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, a non-profit organization, aimed at helping the nearly 250,000 annual transitioning service members and their spouses prepare for civilian careers.

Leading the country in offering the most state-funded benefits to veterans and their families, Wisconsin is the first and only state to nationally and internationally partner with Hiring Our Heroes to encourage transitioning military personnel and their spouses to live and work in the state once they leave the service.

Representatives from the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, and the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, along with Wisconsin business WPS Health Solutions, will engage one-on-one with service members to highlight the businesses in Wisconsin that are recruiting transitioning veterans as well as the quality of life attributes the state has to offer them and their families.

“Wisconsin has long led the nation in state benefits for veterans and their families. And now we are leading the nation in employment, endeavoring to get veterans AND spouses jobs several months prior to their separation from service,” said Daniel J. Zimmerman, secretary, Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs. “Wisconsin understands the incredible contributions veterans and their families make to the communities in which they live and we look forward to welcoming them to our great state.”

“The service members and military spouses who attend our events are looking to connect with the resources and tools they need to successfully transition out of military service and into civilian life,” said Eric Eversole, president at Hiring Our Heroes and vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “We are honored that the State of Wisconsin is partnering with us to showcase their commitment to our veterans and their families as they invite them to work, live, and thrive in their state.”

Veterans who have settled in Wisconsin say the state’s employers offer numerous opportunities for those about to enter civilian life.

“Since moving to Wisconsin, I’ve had a lot of great career opportunities. I don’t have a college degree, but companies here in Wisconsin view veterans as though we do have a college degree,” said Karl Johnson, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who is now the vice president of sales at Lippert Flooring and Tile in Menomonee Falls, Wis. “[Veterans] have an unbelievable work ethic and we’ve shown commitment by following through on our service.”

“Wisconsin is a great state for veterans to reside because of the opportunities for education and employment,” added Charles Williams, a member of the Army Reserve stationed in Florida who plans to return to Wisconsin in October. “Wisconsin also provides veterans with resources to assist them with pursuing entrepreneurship. There is a lot of community support and Wisconsin has one of the largest outdoor recreation communities for families to enjoy.”

Following the Camp Pendleton event, the Wisconsin delegation will attend the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Hiring Our Heroes event in Washington on Sept. 25-26.

The transitioning veterans initiative is part of the state’s $6.8 million targeted, multiagency campaign to attract talent to Wisconsin. The state’s talent and attraction efforts embody Think-Make-Happen In Wisconsin®, a new unifying message that celebrates Wisconsin as a premier destination for business, career and personal fulfillment.

To find out more about Wisconsin and what it offers for veterans, visit In Wisconsin.com/veterans.