Resume Tips for Veterans

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Resume Tips

Write to the future.
Resume writing is not about rehashing your past history and listing what you’ve done and where. Rather, resume writing is about writing to the future, to the job that you want or the career path that you wish to pursue.

This is a critical consideration throughout every phase of writing your resume and conducting your job search. Clearly define your objectives, identify the skills and qualifications you’ve gained through your past experience that support your current goals, and then focus on these elements throughout your search. Don’t position yourself as someone who wants to be a sales professional; rather, position yourself as someone who is a well-qualified sales professional with excellent skills in delivering presentations, negotiating and closing deals, planning incentives, and more. (If you’ve worked as a military recruiter, you’ve certainly done all of these things and more!)

“Re-weight” your skills and qualifications.
When writing your resume, you want to bring the skills and qualifications that are most relevant to your current career objectives to the forefront and put the most emphasis on them. Consider the following example: during your four-year tour of duty, your primary function was as a maintenance mechanic with collateral responsibility for technical training. Now, at this point in your career, as you re-enter the civilian workforce, you want to work as a technical instructor. To best position yourself for such opportunities, you’ll want to “re-weight” the information you include on your resume and put greater emphasis on teaching and training than on the mechanic functions you performed on a daily basis.

Be inclusive, not exclusive.
Every time you include a military acronym or use other military jargon in your resume, you’ve given a prospective employer a reason to exclude you from consideration. Employers want to know what you can do for them in language that they will understand and appreciate. This is what the concept of transferability of skills is all about. Change the language in your resume from military to civilian so that employers in “corporate America” can understand what you did and how it applies to them. Note: The only time this is not true is if you’re applying to a company or government agency that works directly with the military and is interested in a candidate with your specific military qualifications. If this is the case, you want to follow the exact opposite strategy and incorporate all appropriate military language into your resume. Consider who your audience is and then determine how best to write your resume and present your skills.

Sell it, don’t tell it.
Resume writing means selling—pure and simple. You have a product to sell—yourself, and you must create a resume that highlights both the features (responsibilities) and benefits (achievements) of that product. To accomplish that, change your resume-writing mind-set. Instead of simply telling your readers what you have done, sell them on how well you’ve done it. Consider the difference in the following two sentences. Tell: “Managed fleet of military vehicles.” Sell: “Managed fleet of military vehicles valued in excess of $225 million and achieved 100 percent operational readiness scores for two consecutive years.” See the difference in impact?

Highlight your keywords.
Keywords are a vital component of every job seeker’s successful search campaign. Tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, of companies and recruiters use key words as the primary vehicle to search their database of resumes. For example, a recruiter might be interested in a candidate with a strong background in supply chain management. If your background is in logistics, you’d be an ideal candidate. However, if you haven’t included those specific words—supply chain management—in your resume, you’ll be passed over. Take the time that is necessary to learn the civilian keywords that are important to your current career goals, and then be sure to incorporate them into your resume (as long as you actually do have experience in each particular function).

Create your own personal brand.
The latest and greatest strategy for successful resume writing is the concept of personal branding—creating a brand that is unique to you and your specific skill sets. Here’s an example of a branding statement for a veteran with extensive experience in budgeting and financial management: “finance executive who has delivered double-digit gains in productivity, quality, and cost reduction in operations worldwide.” By incorporating this statement at the beginning of his resume, this individual has immediately communicated who he is and the value that he brings to a prospective employer in the civilian marketplace.

Make your resume inviting to read.
You’ve heard it all before. Use plenty of white space on your resume, use bold and italics to highlight important information, write in short paragraphs for a “quick” read, and use bullets to showcase your achievements. In addition, consider using a typestyle other than Times Roman, which is the most widely used of all fonts. Arial, Tahoma, Verdana, Garamond, or any one of a number of other typestyles are clean and crisp, yet they give your resume a unique appeal. These visual factors are important for you to consider when preparing your resume. Not only must your resume contain solid content that clearly communicates your value to a prospective employer but the visual presentation must be sharp, professional, and easy to read.

Create three resume versions.
Every savvy job seeker knows that in today’s world of electronic job searching, you must have three distinct versions of your resume—a Microsoft Word version, an ASCII text version, and a scannable, or printout, version. You’ll use the Microsoft Word version whenever you’re submitting your resume via snail mail or as an attachment to an email message. You’ll use the ASCII text version when completing online applications or when you know the company will not open a Microsoft Word attachment. And finally, you’ll use the scannable version when employers request one, which they will scan  into a resume database.

Proofread, proofread, and then proofread again.
When you submit a resume with errors, you’ve almost certainly eliminated yourself from consideration. Before prospective employers ever meet you, they meet a “piece of paper” (or electronic file), and that piece of paper demonstrates the quality of work that you can produce. If you want someone to extend to you an offer for an interview and then a job, you had better be sure that your resume is 100 percent accurate and indicative of the quality of work you will perform for that company.

Use your resume wisely.
Your resume can be a valuable tool throughout your job search. We all know that you need to have a resume to generate job interviews. That’s a given. But also consider these other uses for your resume: (1) as a tool for networking and contact development; (2) as a tool to guide your interviews; and (3) as supporting information to help you negotiate a strong compensation package. Then be sure to update your resume once you’ve landed a new job. You never know when that next great opportunity might appear, and you always want to be prepared with a current resume on hand.

Source:  daytonastate.edu

‘Therapy on ice’ helps vets heal, give back to community

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By Gary Sheftick

The buzz of the crowd had Sgt. 1st Class Michael Vaccaro on edge. Then a loud bang made him look around nervously.

He knew the noise came from a Zamboni machine, yet its exhaust made him think of the aftermath of a roadside bomb.

All his stress melted away immediately, however, as soon as he stepped out onto the ice.

“When I’m on the ice, no matter what happened before, everything dissipates,” he said. “It’s like a fresh start.”

Vaccaro is one of the co-founders of the Capital Beltway Warriors, a hockey team of veterans with disabilities founded two years ago.

Veterans on the team open up to each other and talk about how they cope with injuries, stress and other issues, said retired Maj. David Dixon, another co-founder of the team.

“It’s like a giant support group,” he said, “or therapy on ice, as we like to call it.”

Many of the players have some level of post-traumatic stress disorder from service in Iraq, Afghanistan or other hot spots, Dixon said. He personally survived four deployments to Iraq, where he was shot in the back and shaken up by three different improvised explosive devices.

GIVING BACK

Dixon and a number of the other veterans also coach youth hockey teams and a few of them help with a local blind hockey team, the Washington Wheelers.

“Giving back to the community often gives them a sense of purpose,” Dixon said of the veterans, adding that it helps minimize depression and PTSD.

Dixon puts in more than 20 volunteer hours a week managing the Capital Beltway Warriors as president and executive director of the team. He helps solicit sponsors, run meetings, apply for grants, recruit players and schedule games.

His time on the ice as a player-coach is extra.

“In a sick kind of way, I enjoy all the hard work,” he said. “You go from commanding troops to working in a cubicle,” he said about retiring from the Army and beginning a civilian job.

He explained that managing the hockey team gives him a renewed sense of purpose.

“You find that niche in life that gives you purpose and whether it has a monetary award or not, that’s what you’re supposed to do,” he said.

He helps make the games special for the warriors with lights, music, an announcer and filling the stands with veterans. Local chapters of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion in northern Virginia help bring veterans from retirement homes to the games, Dixon said.

Vaccaro also spends several hours per week helping the Capital Beltway Warriors and other veteran hockey teams. He spends a week every year helping run the USA Hockey camp in Buffalo, New York, where they select the national sled hockey team.

He serves as a referee for blind hockey and sled hockey. He helps stand up other Warrior division hockey teams. In November, he spent a few days in Philadelphia helping the Flyers start a warrior team.

“This is my therapy,” he said of the volunteer work. “This is what keeps me going.”

SPREADING THE WORD

Just over two years ago, Vaccaro met up with Dixon who was interested in starting a Warrior hockey team in Virginia.

They met in the Pentagon food court in December 2016. “We sat down and started sketching stuff out on napkins,” Dixon said.

They laid out plans for a team that would play in rinks across Northern Virginia and Southern Maryland.

They found players by word of mouth. They showed up at “stick and shoot” sessions and asked if anyone was a military veteran with a disability rating.

Now they have 76 veterans with disabilities on the team and they play other warrior clubs. A game in Ashburn Dec. 22 pitted the USA Warriors from Maryland against the Capital Beltway Warriors. The teams also play in annual tournaments.

There are now 16 warrior teams across the United States. The minimum requirement to play on one of the teams is a 10 percent VA disability. Some of the players are 100 percent disabled and play with prosthetics.

Some of the veterans, like Vaccaro, have been playing hockey since they were 3 years old. Dixon, however, did not pick up the sport until he was 40.

RAMADI RPG

In 2006 and 2007, Vaccaro was an advisor to an Iraqi Army unit in Ramadi. He and two Marines were on patrol when they were pinned down by machine-gun fire. Then an insurgent fired a rocket-propelled grenade.

“It hit the wall in front of me and knocked me back. Next thing I remember, I heard this really loud ringing in my ears and there was a Marine dragging me back into the courtyard. They were calling for air support.

“We finished the patrol,” Vaccaro said, explaining aerial medical evacuation was not available. A doctor patched him up, and a couple of days later, he was back out on patrol.

After his tour in Iraq, he came back to Virginia, where he had been a reservist with the 80th Training Division. But he had PTSD issues. He decided to go to Liberia in western Africa as a contractor to help put about 2,000 Liberian soldiers through basic training.

“I thought that would help, but I just ended up coming back with the same issues,” he said. “That’s another thing: You can’t hide from this.

“Everybody handles PTSD in a different way. I tried the group therapy stuff and it just didn’t work.”

He received treatment and medication from Veterans Affairs, but the issues persisted. When he smelled fresh bread, for instance, it reminded him of the flatbread Iraqi soldiers baked every morning.

“That’s a good smell,” he said. But then his mind would continue to remember until he imagined the smell of an IED.

“You’ve got to face your fears. You’ve got to face your issues,” he said. “I was trying to hide from it and hockey has helped me open up and talk about it.”

About 10 years ago, he became involved in the first-of-its-kind USA Warrior hockey team stood up by a patient at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Maryland.

“When I’m on the ice, things slow down; things are different,” Vaccaro said.

Both he and his family noticed the difference in him after playing hockey.

“It really helped me,” he said. “The first thing I said to myself when I started realizing that is, ‘I’ve got to get other veterans involved in this.'”

So he became the national representative for USA Hockey in its Warrior division to help stand up teams. He does that in his spare time when he is not working as a civilian employee for the Army Corps of Engineers or on duty as an Army Reserve NCO.

Continue onto Army News to read the complete article.

How to Write an Impressive Cover Letter From Scratch in 30 Minutes

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You know enough to regularly update you resume—so if you find a job posting you’re interested in, you’re halfway through the application process.The other half, of course, is your cover letter. If you have some time and are just rusty, you can make a game plan to write a draft, then take a break, and come back to it with fresh eyes.

But if you see the deadline to apply is just 30 minutes away, you don’t have any time to spare. Here’s how to write a cover letter that will bolster your application—in just half an hour. (And if you need to revamp your resume or prep for interview in the same amount time, look here and here.)

Minutes 1 Through 10: Write Down Your Main Points

Maybe it’s just me, but I often struggle the most on the opening line of a cover letter. I know I shouldn’t lead with “My name is…,” and I want something that’ll grab the hiring manager’s attention. But my quest for the perfect beginning can lead me to spend 15 minutes (or more) typing and deleting the same line over and over. (And at that rate, my 30-minute cover letter would be all of two sentences.)

So, skip the intro if need be, and just start writing about why you’re a great fit for the open position. Don’t stress about the very best way to phrase your current responsibilities. Just write down your main points.

Need a prompt? Answer these questions: What do you find most exciting (or interesting) about the position? What relevant experience do you have? What would you bring to the role (and/or company) that’s unique to you?

Definitely make sure to have your resume and the job description open or printed out next to you. That way you can glance over at both and make sure you’re highlighting the right experience.

Minutes 10 Through 20: Add in Examples

OK, so you’ve written out all of reasons why you’re perfect for the job. Now it’s time to make sure you’re on the same page as the hiring manager. How so? Go back to that job description.

Re-read what the position calls for. Did you mention the experience and skills they’ll be screening for? To connect the dots in a way that’s clear—but wouldn’t be confused with a laundry list—add in an example or two.

If the job calls for people skills, swap out the line that reads, “I have excellent people skills” with a line that explains how in previous roles you’ve managed relationships with board members, which taught you about working with opinionated stakeholders. Does the position call for someone with sales experience? An anecdote about how you’ve been in sales since you set up your first lemonade stand when you were seven years old is memorable.

Continue onto Muse to read the complete article.

World War II veteran gets 50,000 birthday cards after daughter’s plea

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Duane Sherman-Purple Heart Recipient

A 96-year-old World War II veteran from California will be spending plenty of time with family going through a mountain of birthday cards, after a request from his daughter on Facebook went viral.

Sue Morse had put out a request for friends to send birthday wishes to her father and Purple Heart medal recipient Duane Sherman, expecting she would get maybe 160 cards.

Instead, he received over 50,000.

“I was amazed, shocked and appreciative,” Sherman told the Orange County Register. “All the good comments people made, it just brightened my day.

Sherman’s wife of 57 years, Lois, died in 2011. His daughter told the Register the only mail her dad receives most days are just bills, and he’s outlived most of his friends.

“I wanted to him to feel special on his birthday,” Morse said.

Sherman enlisted in the Navy shortly after Pearl Harbor was attacked on Dec. 7, 1941. He was stationed aboard the U.S.S. Lamson, a destroyer that saw several battles in the Pacific.

Continue on to Fox News to read the complete article.

Recruiting Veterans Can Improve Your Company’s Bottom Line—Here’s how to do it

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Veteran employee talikn with hiring manager

What are your company’s biggest goals right now—building out a core product, improving customer service, growing your client base? When looking at employers’ top priorities, it’s rare to find hiring more veterans among them.

But when you hear what National Director of Military Affairs at Power Home Remodeling Mike Hansen has to say, you just might change your mind.

After a decorated military career, Hansen at first struggled to find a civilian position in the midst of the Great Recession. But after coming across a sales opportunity at Power Home Remodeling, he quickly found his footing. Within 12 months, he had closed a million dollars in deals. And Hansen wasn’t alone—he found that other employees who had served in the military were, on average, significantly outperforming the general population.

This discovery prompted Hansen to reach out to leadership all the way up to the co-CEO, Asher Raphael, to lobby for a veteran hiring program. Fast-forward five years later, and running the program became his full-time job when it launched in the spring of 2016. But make no mistake—Hansen doesn’t see his job as an act of corporate charity.

“When you go back to aligning the program with business objectives, you create a department that not only pays for itself, but pays for itself times ten,” Hansen said.

Glassdoor’s Emily Moore caught up with Hansen to learn more about his unique military affairs program, advice for companies hoping to hire veterans and vision for the future of the company—here’s what he had to say.

Glassdoor: How did the opportunity with Power Home Remodeling come about?

Mike Hansen: It actually kind of fell in my lap. One of the Marines I served with a few years before I joined Power started working in our Philadelphia branch, so he referred me to the local one outside of DC. I figured I’d go in for the interview and see where it went. I had no intention of working in this industry—I never thought I would be with a company like this given what I wanted to do. I was completely clueless, but ended up finding success rather quickly within the organization.

Glassdoor: What made you start thinking about recruiting more veterans to Power Home Remodeling?

Hansen: I met a couple other vets across the business that were doing pretty well, and we found that most of us were doing not just well, but disproportionately well. I wrote a couple of white papers to the chain of command saying, “Hey, we should have a more defined military initiative.” Then in 2015, our organization won Fortune Magazine’s number one place to work for Millennials and camaraderie—that was a real jump-off point. At that point, I got to meet with our co-CEO Asher Raphael and found that he wanted to do a military program and just didn’t know how. We felt that on the heels of that award, it was a really good time to launch this initiative. We set up a military affairs council, and we put together some ideas and thoughts of what we could do and what our objectives would be, and we just started iterating from there. Very quickly after that, we realized that someone would have to manage this full-time, and that’s when our co-CEO Asher asked me to move up to the headquarters and build the program.

Glassdoor: You mentioned that you noticed veterans were not only successful at Power Home Remodeling, but disproportionately successful. Can you talk a little bit more about why that might be?

Hansen: A lot of companies are afraid to hire vets because of PTSD or other perceived issues that come from being in the military. But everybody who is hired, whether they’re right out of college or a 40-year executive, comes with baggage. The difference is the military population has a natural leadership background, a strong work ethic and an understanding of how to operate in chaos that most non-veterans can’t really relate to. The culture is very mission-driven in the military, and that can be applied to any work environment. The second that an organization is able to vocalize their mission, that military drive kicks in and veterans just naturally work towards the objective.

Glassdoor: How did Power’s veteran hiring program start, and how has it changed and grown along the way?

Hansen: We started out thinking we were just going to offer a bonus and do some military-focused hiring. The more we dove in, we saw how our program aligned with the business objectives, and we started iterating and kept evolving our processes. One of the things that’s so unique is we’re able to tie the metrics of our initiative to the actual business growth, which then creates a positive feedback loop. Now, we want to double-down on some of our investments. A big goal for me is leadership development, because it’s one thing to build this program and to successfully identify, attract and onboard new talent, but when we have more veterans in Director, VP or Senior Vice President roles, military talent and leadership becomes part of the genetic makeup of the organization. That creates that positive feedback loop that just runs itself.

We actually have this joke in the business, even our co-CEO got me a T-shirt at our company party in Mexico last year that said, “Get Hansen Fired.” The idea is that my job is complete when I’m no longer needed. We’re trying to continue to build this cycle of leadership development so that more of that group will continue to take the business into the future without needing a dedicated department.

Glassdoor: A lot of companies want to hire veterans, but have no idea where to start. What advice would you offer to them?

Hansen: Number one, I think every company that’s bigger than a hundred people has probably got a veteran or two working there, and a lot of times they just don’t know. I think the first step is looking internally at your own veteran population, and getting together to understand their stories. What you’ll find is usually that some of those military veterans and spouses will already be performing above average. Then you can tie that back to where the business is going and which objectives you’re trying to solve for.

I think that’s what is intrinsically unique about our philosophy—it was never just about hiring. It was about solving business objectives. One of those objectives was investing in human capital and making sure we had the right people and the leadership development we needed to grow and scale the organization. We were able to very quickly identify that some of the gaps in our organization could be filled by a military affairs program. We come at it from a different angle, whereas most organizations view it just in terms of hiring or as a philanthropic endeavor.

Glassdoor: Are there any benefits or perks that companies should offer to help entice candidates to work there?

Hansen: We offer a $3,000 sign-up bonus for vets and spouses, but I’m not necessarily advocating that everybody do that—it just aligns with our business model because that’s the way we’ve built the program. I think the best things you can offer veterans are a sense of purpose, tying what they do back to how it’s making an impact in the lives of the people or the customers that they serve, and a sense of community. In the military, your sense of identity, purpose and community are all so defined by your environment. When you leave the military, you lose those things almost immediately. Companies that can create that sense of purpose and community naturally for their employees help them shape and evolve their new identity.

Glassdoor: Beyond creating a veteran hiring program, what can employers do to sustain it long-term?

Hansen: There are so many different versions of military hiring programs at different companies. What I like to know is, what was the foundation or the philosophy that spurred them to start that program? When you look five years down the road, the programs that were founded on philanthropy alone tend to fizzle out, or their impact wasn’t very measurable on the company. When you go back to aligning the program with business objectives, you create a department that not only pays for itself, but pays for itself times ten and helps create new opportunities across the business.

Source: Glassdoor.com

2019 Hot Jobs

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Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) careers are revolutionizing the STEM field. If your New Years goals include a career in this field, or educational studies to advance your career, check out these hot jobs for 2019!

Software Developer

Annual Wage: $101,790

Employment of software developers is projected to grow 24 percent from 2018 to 2026.

Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or another device. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or that control networks.

Computer Systems Administrator

Annual Wage: $81,100

Employment of network and computer systems administrators is projected to grow 6 percent from 2018 to 2026.

Computer networks are critical parts of almost every organization. Network and computer systems administrators are responsible for the day-to-day operation of these networks. They organize, install, and support an organization’s computer systems, including local area networks, wide area networks, network segments, intranets, and other data communication systems.

Petroleum Engineer

Annual Wage: $132,280

Employment of petroleum engineers is projected to grow 15 percent from 2018 to 2026.

Petroleum engineers design and develop methods for extracting oil and gas from deposits below the Earth’s surface. Petroleum engineers also find new ways to extract oil and gas from older wells.

Architect

Annual Wage: $78,470

Employment of architects is projected to grow 4 percent from 2018 to 2026.

Architects plan and design houses, factories, office buildings, and other structures.

Cartographer

Annual Wage: $63,990

Employment of cartographers is projected to grow 19 percent from 2018 to 2026.

Cartographers collect, measure, and interpret geographic information to create and update maps and charts for regional planning, education, emergency response, and other purposes.

Source: bls.gov

DynCorp International Awarded Rotary Wing Services Contract at Joint Base Andrews

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DynCorp awarded contract

On December 27, 2018, the 11th Contracting Squadron at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland awarded DynCorp International (DI) a contract for rotary wing aircraft maintenance. The competitively-awarded, firm-fixed-price contract has a base year plus four option years, valued at $75 million if all options are exercised. The period of performance is May 1, 2019 through June 30, 2024.

DI will provide services at Joint Base Andrews to support all management, personnel, equipment and services necessary to perform 811th Operations Group rotary wing flight line maintenance.

“We are honored to have once again earned the trust and confidence of the United States Air Force for this exceptionally important mission,” said Joe Ford, DynAviation president. “We have a rich history at Andrews and look forward to continuing our legacy of superior service on this contract.”

“We are extremely pleased to be able to continue our over 18 years of support on this very important mission,” said Jeff Dickman, senior director, DI Capture Management. “We look forward to meeting our customer’s requirements each day on this no fail mission.”

About DynCorp International
DynCorp International is a leading global services provider offering unique, tailored solutions for an ever-changing world. Built on over seven decades of experience as a trusted partner to commercial, government and military customers, DI provides sophisticated aviation, logistics, training, intelligence and operational solutions wherever we are needed. DynCorp International is headquartered in McLean, Va. For more information, visit our blogs Inside DI or DI at Work or follow DynCorp International on Twitter.

DynCorp International Awarded United States Coast Guard Contract

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DynCorp awarded contract

On December 20, 2018, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) Aviation Logistics Center (ALC), Long Range Surveillance Product Line Division, awarded DynCorp International (DI) the Progressive Structural Inspection (PSI) and Depot Level Maintenance (DLM) contract for C-130H and C-130J aircraft.

Located at the Aviation Logistics Center at USCG Base Elizabeth City in North Carolina, the total value of this contract is $51.4 million and consists of one base year and four option years.

“We are pleased to be named a critical new partner with the Coast Guard’s ALC Depot Team at Elizabeth City. They are entrusting us with the C-130H/J depot operation of aircraft tasked with unbelievably tough missions in very challenging environments and we are eager to demonstrate our commitment to getting that mission done, every day,” said Joe Ford, president of DynAviation.

The C-130H and C-130J aircraft are the USCG’s LRS aircraft providing critical Search and Rescue, Law Enforcement, Logistics, and Marine Environmental Protection response to the United States of America. Inspection of the C-130 series aircraft will be made to ensure airworthiness through detailed non-destructive inspection procedures. These inspections ensure compliance with Aircraft Structural Integrity Program (ASIP) requirements. Due to the corrosive environment in which USCG aircraft operate, inspections are required to be performed on each USCG C-130 every 48 months.

“This award illustrates that the excellence, innovation, and dedication of DI employees is not lost on other customers around the globe. As a new partner, we look forward to being a part of U.S. Coast Guard’s mantra of ‘Semper Paratus’ or ‘Always Ready.’ This opportunity grows DI’s C-130 portfolio, adds to our depot-level maintenance capability, and continues our role in improving the readiness of our Nation’s key, no-fail mission aviation assets,” said Bill Tart, senior director, DI Business Development.

About DynCorp International
DynCorp International is a leading global services provider offering unique, tailored solutions for an ever-changing world. Built on over seven decades of experience as a trusted partner to commercial, government and military customers, DI provides sophisticated aviation, logistics, training, intelligence and operational solutions wherever we are needed. DynCorp International is headquartered in McLean, Va. For more information, visit our blogs Inside DI or DI at Work or follow DynCorp International on Twitter.

Easterseals serves 20,000 vets and their families in 2018

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Angela Williams-Easterseals

In 2018, nearly 20,000 veterans and military family members received support through Easterseals through an extensive list of programs, including; advocacy and education and employment programs and job training.

Other programs include; military and veterans’ caregiver services, veteran community services and support and health and wellness programs. The organization is led by President and CEO Angela Williams, a retired United States Air Force officer, serving in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps. The iconic nonprofit kicks off its 100th anniversary celebration, furthering its mission of supporting the disabled and their families. Over the past century, Easterseals has provided a multitude of disability services to more than 1.5 million people, helping to meet individual and family needs.

Easterseals Military & Veterans Services
Our mission is to ensure that it’s possible for veterans and military families to live their lives to the fullest in every community. We work to break down barriers, engage organizations and communities, and connect veterans and military families with what they need for meaningful employment, education and overall wellness. Our grassroots outreach – through 71 local affiliates in communities nationwide– provide unmatched, accessible, and indispensable resources and support for veterans and military families.

Grassroots Solutions through Easterseals
The needs of veterans and military families are evolving, not disappearing. That’s why Easterseals specializes in identifying the needs of veterans and military families, particularly with employment, job training and support like family respite opportunities. We work to make solutions easily accessible in communities.

Learn More about Easterseals Military and Veterans Services

Discover how we’ve been successful so far in our mission.

Our work in action

  • Advocacy & Education
    Veterans and military families deserve services delivered in an appropriate, timely, and accessible manner. Our Washington, DC-based government relations team works to influence federal and state legislation affecting veterans and military families and actively engages with Congressional staff in pursuit of these goals.
  • Employment Programs and Job Training
    Our employment programs provide the necessary tools to achieve and maintain meaningful employment and a steady income. We offer skills training, job search assistance, employment preparation and guidance. For example, we partner with the Direct Employers Association, which has a membership of about 800 employers who want to hire veterans and people with disabilities. Through this partnership, Easterseals is offering a job search portal at easterseals.jobs, which features job postings from these employers.
  • Military and Veterans Caregiver Services 
    We strive to ensure military caregivers can access what they need to take on the enormous responsibility of caregiving—often, while still needing to work, navigate family life and take care of themselves. We embrace and support military caregivers, particularly as they transition into this new experience, life-long trajectory and unfamiliar — yet vital role — within their families and communities.
  • Veteran Community Services & Support 
    Veterans come home to their families and communities, so serving them must be a community undertaking. That’s why, across the country, we are delivering services that veterans and military families need to live productive, successful lives.
  • Health and Wellness Programs
    We aim to reach as many veterans and military families as possible to provide health resources and programs, including adult dayand medical rehabilitation services.

Additional resources

What are many veterans asking themselves these days? “What to wear?!”  As military members return to civilian life and face the job search, figuring out the right suit to wear to an interview can be the biggest challenge, while the job responsibilities are a breeze. Watch the video below to see why, and help spread the message that veterans are highly skilled and valuable employees. See all three of our military themed public service videos. 

In November 2015, Easterseals hosted Heroes Work Here, an event to educate corporate leaders on hiring and retaining veterans. With friends and partners, we gathered important advice about how to hire America’s best and brightest. Find tips on why and how to hire veterans here!
Watch Travis Mills explain how you can hire veterans with Easterseals’ help right now.

Veteran and Dancing with the Stars winner JR Martinez and veteran and author Travis Mills play word association with Easterseals, our veteran edition!

10 Reasons Veterans Make Great Employees

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By Julie Rains

Over the past few years, I have had the privilege of working with military veterans and active duty personnel who anticipate, are in the process, or have already transitioned to the civilian world.

Some job descriptions line up with their military credentials: a helicopter pilot making evacuations in Baghdad might find similar work with a law enforcement agency stateside; ditto for a technician who is searching for a mechanic’s position. But others may have incredibly valuable skills that aren’t recognized in the private sector. And, like many job seekers, the language of their current or most recent employers may be misinterpreted by those who screen candidates and make hiring decisions. Based on my experiences with military personnel, here are attributes that veterans often have and that make them great employees.

1. Understanding that actions and behaviors reflect on the organization

Military personnel, like other public servants, are always under scrutiny whether on a mission, back at the base, or on leave. They seem to understand that everything they do and say reflects on the integrity and reputation of the organization.

2. Cross-cultural skills

Our military personnel have the opportunity to interact with people of many countries. They might supervise local contract employees on base, conduct medical evacuations, or provide resources in humanitarian missions. Our veterans also have had the opportunity to work alongside others from all over the United States, providing them with knowledge of diverse cultures within our own country.

3. Innovation

I get the impression that many hiring managers may not always grasp that veterans may actually be more, rather than less, innovative in their thinking than non-veterans. Just as in the private sector, there are many opportunities for improving processes and results. In some cases, being in the field requires adapting to uncertain or changing circumstances, not being able to receive assistance from back-up teams, which further develops innovative thinking.

4. Ability to create something where nothing existed before

It took a while for one of my clients to explain to me what implementing “life support” systems in a previously undeveloped area meant. I finally realized that he directed the development of an infrastructure to house, feed, and take care of the basic needs of thousands of people. And, at some point, I understood that his logistical skills consisted not only of accessing supply chain resources but, more significantly, creating the supply chain.

5. Presentation skills

Many veterans, especially those who became officers, have excellent presentation skills. Some have fielded inquiries from Congressional representatives; others have spoken before senior executives (such as a Four-Star General). Delivering accurate information and being clear in meaning are both critical.

6. Quick Thinking

Missions and field exercises require leaders to quickly analyze situations, continuously process new and changing information, and make sound decisions. They have often received training on certain techniques, such as maneuvering a helicopter in a dust storm with no visibility, but real-world scenarios with life-or-death consequences can help hone focused thinking aligned with quick action under pressure.

7. Desire to reuse and recycle

More than one of my clients has mentioned that he or she was able to conserve resources by sharing inventory (equipment and supplies) with other facilities. In one case, he redistributed parts to sites worldwide; in another, she claimed serviceable but unneeded equipment from a nearby site.

8. Preparedness and flexibility

Readiness for deployments or impromptu operations plays a central role in many military job descriptions. Making sure that equipment is operating correctly and that supplies are ready allows responsiveness to organizational needs. And, understanding that uncertainty is the norm yields flexible employees.

9. Insight into how their actions impact other people

Doing a good job doesn’t mean just getting a good performance review, it means that fellow soldiers are as safe as possible and that critical missions are successful: the cargo plane with military troops is loaded properly; the helicopter that is transporting the critically wounded will respond to pilot controls, etc.

10. Demonstrated commitment to the greater good

Our veterans have shown that they have put themselves in danger to protect our freedom. Being able to sacrifice personal reward for greater, collective good is often a valuable asset.

There are even more skills, such as project management, purchasing, and team leadership skills, that our veterans possess. I have listed 10 that made the deepest impression on me.

Article was first published by Wise Bread.

This is the most important career skill to master in 2019

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interview tips

Chances are, no matter what your job title is, in the coming year you’ll have a series of conversations that are important for your career. Whether you’re being interviewed for a new position, discussing a promotion, or pitching an important project, high-stakes discussions await you in the months to come.

To ace these exchanges, you must master one crucial skill: the ability to handle Q&A, the impromptu questions and answers that are at the heart of every interview. Studies show that those who think on their feet and respond without hesitation come across as leaders who project a certain charisma. In fact, the same research indicates that this quickness of mind is rated as being even more important as a barometer of your mental smarts than IQ is.

Here are the four fundamentals that will help you answer any question with grace.

Prepare, prepare, prepare

To begin, prepare for these impromptu exchanges. While we think of answering questions as a totally spontaneous act, you can and must get ready for these conversations. Sure, you can’t anticipate ALL the questions you might be asked, but you can take a stab at preparing a list of questions and answers. This holds for job interviews, performance reviews, client meetings, and presentations that have a Q&A component.

I have coached everyone from individuals who were applying to med and law schools, to executives going for their next big job. In each case, we spent hours writing down questions, preparing answers, and role playing Q&A. The result has been a series of success stories. Candidates got what they wanted: law school, medical school, acceptance into grad school, or a CEO position.

So if you’re heading for a job interview this year–or any other critical conversation–begin by prepping.

Don’t rush to answer

Next, take your time answering. You’ll come across as more confident if you do. Listen to the entire question. If you rush to formulate your answer while the speaker is still talking, you may ignore part of what they’re saying. The result: You’ll answer the question you think they’ve asked, instead of answering the actual question.

Rushing can also cause you to interrupt the speaker—who may be contemplating the second part of her question. That will make you seem rude and panicky.

You’ll present yourself as a confident, thoughtful leader if you wait for the full question to be asked and then pause to reflect on your answer. Even if you have the answer in your mind, that pause will suggest that you are taking the question seriously and judging that it deserves a thoughtful answer.

But just because you are pausing doesn’t mean you have to fill in the silence with words like, “That’s a good question.” You’re not there to evaluate questions, you’re there to answer them. (And, hey, what about the other questions: Are they bad questions in comparison?)

Structure your response

Third, carefully structure your response. If you want to sound smart and quick on your feet, organize your answer and include the following components.

  • Begin with a segue from the question. For example, you might open with “That’s something I think a lot about,” or “Yes, I’d be glad to tell you about my qualifications for the job.”
  • Then state your point. Every answer should have a one-sentence message that’s presented clearly and with conviction. For example you might say, “I believe I have the credentials to be successful in this role.”
  • Give two to four proof points. These reasons support your message.
  • End with a call to action. This might be telling the interviewer you are excited about the opportunity being discussed and look forward to hearing from them. You also might ask what the next steps are. When preparing your answers in advance, use this structure so you will come across as clear and confident.

Ask questions

Finally, take a proactive approach and ask questions. For example, in a job interview, ask your future employer about the position or the culture of the company. These questions will show you’re engaged and have been an active listener. There are tons of great questions to ask. Giving the other person a chance to share her experience and expectations conveys your emotional intelligence–and keenness for the position.

Continue on to Fast Company to read the complete article.