New year, new career: VA’s tips to help you prepare

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For many people, the first quarter of the New Year is a popular time to transition into a new job. That’s why, as 2017 draws to a close, it’s a good idea to invest some time polishing your resume or revising your long-term goals. VA has a few tips to help you be as prepared as possible for any career opportunities that may come your way in 2018.

Refresh your social media profiles
Make sure your online presence is updated and aligned with your current career objectives. Update your profile photos and spruce up any headlines or bios to clearly express your personal brand.

Update your resume
Get a head start on perfecting your resume, instead of waiting until it’s needed and then making rushed edits. Thoughtfully adjust your resume to highlight skills and experience that are relevant to your future goals and cast you in a positive light.

Plan for your future
Where do you want to see yourself in 2018? The holiday season is a great time to reflect on what’s most important to you and to redefine your career priorities accordingly. Get proactive and outline steps to reach your target.

Boost your digital skills
Digital tools are getting increasingly sophisticated—in order to stay competitive, it’s crucial that your data proficiency grows as the technology does. Developing these skills will help improve your efficiency in all areas of business.

Connect with people
This season is the perfect time to strengthen your relationships and make an effort to meet new people. Prepare a brief description of your qualifications and aspirations for any social events and other networking opportunities.

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The iGen iEverything Train is Coming, but Are You Ready?

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Technology is being consumed at an ever increasing rate causing executives, managers, and process improvement experts on the factory floor to re-define the methods of training and dissemination that have become obsolete.

Critical skills and tribal knowledge are being lost as boomers retire and training plans for new employees fall short of preparing workers for the sophistication of the new manufacturing environment.

Move over millennials, here comes the IGen! Born between 1995 and 2005 this group of tech savvy natives is the next cohort and are just now entering the workforce. IGen, or Gen Z as they are often referred, have grown up in a world of social media where Youtube, Instagram, and Twitter reign supreme. These kids are a force to be reckoned with and require access to information in ways that are familiar, immediate, and actionable. Our success depends on them because as the IGen goes, so goes the manufacturing industry, the nation, and the world.

Alliance Resource Group, in partnership with Sify Technologies has pulled together experts from manufacturing, academia and automated methodologies to develop a solution that addresses the manufacturing challenge of this next generation and identifies the key components of a successful framework including content management, dissemination methodology, scalability, and integration with current learning management systems. These components constitute a micro-learning strategy that facilitates current and future state requirements. Developed in participation with a major government funded military program, this framework is at the ready to support the success of our veterans as they transition into civilian careers.

Alliance Resource Group (ARG), is a service disabled veteran owned business located in Newport Beach California. With a foundation in resource management, recruiting, and consulting, ARG provides services to small and medium size companies throughout the United States.

View the ARG White Paper here! Better be prepared for total process transformation if you want to remain competitive.

INDIAN MOTORCYCLE & Indian Motorcycle & Carey Hart Bring V-Twin-Powered Armed Forces Day Celebration To Troops At U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart

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Carey Hart-Good Rides

Indian Motorcycle, America’s first motorcycle company founded in 1901, and freestyle motocross icon Carey Hart have partnered to take Hart’s Good Ride fund-raising platform overseas to active soldiers based at U.S. Army Garrison (USAG) Stuttgart in Germany. On May 20, Good Ride Salutes USAG Stuttgart will honor U.S. military soldiers and the freedom they protect with an Armed Forces Day ride and barbeque celebration. In support of the honorary ride, Indian Motorcycle will donate up to $30,000 to the Infinite Hero Foundation from test rides completed at Indian Motorcycle dealerships during the month of May. In addition, donations to Hart’s Good Ride (a 501C3 charity) can be made at goodriderally.com in support of active American troops and veterans.

In partnership with Family and Morale Welfare and Recreation (MWR), Indian Motorcycle and Hart will bring the Good Ride experience to a community of over 20,000 active military and their families. With an anticipated count of more than 200 participating motorcyclists, Hart will lead the ride from USAG Stuttgart through the picturesque Black Forrest and German countryside. Following the ride, the Armed Forces Day celebration will continue with a family-friendly barbeque, live music, prize drawings and a kids’ zone.

“I’ve always held an immense sense of respect and gratitude for our troops, and that’s why I’ve made the military, both active and veteran, the focus of Good Ride’s efforts since day one,” said Hart. “I couldn’t be more proud and excited to bring Good Ride directly to our active troops overseas.”

In support of Good Ride Salutes USAG Stuttgart, Indian Motorcycle will run a test ride promotion that will raise up to $30,000 for the Infinite Hero Foundation. As the primary beneficiary of Hart’s Good Ride Rally, the Infinite Hero Foundation funds programs that drive innovation and accessibility of effective treatments for military heroes and their families dealing with service-related mental and physical injuries. For every motorcycle test ride completed at an Indian Motorcycle dealership in the month of May, Indian will donate $20 in that rider’s name. Riders can schedule a test ride at a nearby Indian Motorcycle dealership at IndianMotorcycle.com.

“Indian Motorcycle’s commitment to the American military dates back to the first World War, and it’s something that will forever be a part of our brand DNA,” said Steve Menneto, President, Indian Motorcycle Company. “It’s both an honor and a privilege to bring a little piece of home overseas to these brave men and women with this special Good Ride event and Armed Forces Day celebration.”

To further the Armed Forces Day celebration, Indian Motorcycle dealerships around the U.S. and Canada will host honorary military events on May 19. Many dealerships will offer food, drinks, and giveaways, including an Indian-branded multi-tool.

For more information about Good Ride Salutes USAG Stuttgart, or to find a dealer near you, visit IndianMotorcycle.com and follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

ABOUT INDIAN MOTORCYCLE®

Indian Motorcycle Company is America’s First Motorcycle Company®. Founded in 1901, Indian Motorcycle has won the hearts of motorcyclists around the world and earned distinction as one of America’s most legendary and iconic brands through unrivaled racing dominance, engineering prowess and countless innovations and industry firsts. Today that heritage and passion is reignited under new brand stewardship. To learn more, please visit www.indianmotorcycle.com.

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Iraq War Veteran Awarded Brand New Vehicle Through TrueCar DrivenToDrive Program

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U.S. Army Sgt. Michael Goodrich

TrueCar and AutoNation today donated a 2018 Honda Ridgeline to Ret. U.S. Army Sgt. Michael Goodrich at a special event held at the AutoNation Honda Dulles in Sterling, VA.

The vehicle donation marked the second year of the DrivenToDrive program, a partner program between TrueCar and DAV (Disabled American Veterans). DrivenToDrive was created to help injured veterans regain the freedom they’ve fought and sacrificed so much for, by helping them get back behind the wheel of vehicles retrofitted for their needs.

Father of two kids, Goodrich suffered traumatic brain and leg injuries in combat while serving the country during deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. The injured leg is confined to a brace which prevents Goodrich from driving or sitting in a compact vehicle for more than 20 minutes at a time due to discomfort and pain.

“After my time in the service, my wife and I decided to dedicate our lives to helping other veterans rehabilitate and recover through art therapy,” said Sgt. Goodrich. “I would not be able to reach and help as many people without the help of this new vehicle.”

Goodrich’s military-themed art has garnered national acclaim, with his work having been exhibited at the National Museum of Health and Medicine and appearing in a number of national publications.

“AutoNation is honored to join with TrueCar in recognizing Sgt. Michael Goodrich and his family for their service and presenting them a brand new Honda Ridgeline,” said Marc Cannon, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for AutoNation.

In addition to Goodrich and his family, the event was attended by AutoNation CMO Marc Cannon, Assistant Executive Director of DAV National Service and Legislative Headquarters Randy Reese, and TrueCar CEO Chip Perry.

For more information about DrivenToDrive and its mission, please visit truecar.com/driventodrive.

About TrueCar
TrueCar, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRUE) is a digital automotive marketplace that provides comprehensive pricing transparency about what other people paid for their cars and enables consumers to engage with TrueCar Certified Dealers who are committed to providing a superior purchase experience. TrueCar operates its own branded site and its nationwide network of more than 15,000 Certified Dealers also powers car-buying programs for some of the largest U.S. membership and service organizations, including USAA, AARP, American Express, AAA and Sam’s Club. Over one half of all new car buyers engage with the TrueCar network during their purchasing process. TrueCar is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, with offices in San Francisco and Austin, Texas. For more information, go to truecar.com. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

About DAV
DAV empowers veterans to lead high-quality lives with respect and dignity. It is dedicated to a single purpose: fulfilling our promises to the men and women who served. DAV does this by ensuring that veterans and their families can access the full range of benefits available to them; fighting for the interests of America’s injured heroes on Capitol Hill; providing employment resources to veterans and their families and educating the public about the great sacrifices and needs of veterans transitioning back to civilian life. DAV, a non-profit organization with more than one million members, was founded in 1920 and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1932. Learn more at dav.org.

About AutoNation, Inc.
AutoNation, America’s largest automotive retailer, through its bold leadership, innovation and its comprehensive brand extensions, is transforming the automotive industry. As of March 31, 2018, AutoNation owned and operated over 325 locations from coast to coast. AutoNation has sold over 11 million vehicles, the first automotive retailer to reach this milestone. AutoNation’s success is driven by a commitment to delivering a peerless experience through customer-focused sales and service processes. Through its Drive Pink initiative, AutoNation is committed to drive out cancer, create awareness and support critical research. AutoNation continues to be a proud supporter of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and other cancer-related charities.

Please visit investors. autonation.com, autonation.com, autonationdrive.com, twitter.com/autonation, twitter.com/CEOMikeJackson, facebook.com/autonation, and facebook.com/CEOMikeJackson, where AutoNation discloses additional information about the Company, its business, and its results of operations.

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If You’re a Military Planner, You’re a Project Manager

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Project Manager

In the military, there is always action of some kind, from training to maintenance, and behind it all, there is a plan. The framework for military planning is often described as the troopleading procedures, the military decision-making process, or as an acronym such as SMEAC (“S” Situation, “M” Mission, “E” Execution, “A” Administration/Logistics, “C” Command/Signal), or MCPP (The Marine Corps Planning Process), etc.

Successful leaders, both in and out of the military, need to know how to plan and manage projects, which includes adjusting plans as needed to ensure success. It’s project management that executes a marketing campaign, a business plan, or the building of a house or a freeway. In both business and military organizations, there are myriad approaches to management and planning, but all projects have a lifecycle and the same essential components.

The most recognized standard for project management is the PMI (Project Management Institute) process, an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Standard. It’s based on the doctrine presented in the Project Management Body of Knowledge, which is a guideline for managing projects. If you can look beyond the differences in terminology, you’ll see that it’s very much like military planning.

All forms of project management are a means to solve a problem which, in the military model, can be what to train, how to resupply, or how to plan a battle. In the business model, project management goals may be building a product, providing a service, or achieving a particular result. The process outlined by PMI consist of five phases, beginning with initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and finally closing the project. The PMI process places these phases into the project’s lifecycle, which determines the focus of effort.

Initiating. In the PMI model, this is receiving a task, assigning responsibility or a project manager, and estimating the requirements. In the military model, this is receiving a mission from the command, assessing the mission tasks, conducting necessary reconnaissance, etc. The initiation phase is when initial planning begins, either assembling a planning team or sending out an NCO to gather and coordinate resources.

Planning. In both models, planning is a democratic process of analyzing the mission or requirements, determining a commander’s intent, identifying essential tasks, and deconstructing those tasks. It is looking for any conflict between tasks and resources, timing of events, and end state. There is also a quality component, which will measure the mission’s success. It’s a collaborative process, dependent on the collective and active participation of all participants.

Executing. The phase in which the real work begins, executing is the longest of all the lifecycle phases and where the bulk of the effort is placed. Executing is consuming resources—labor and material—to achieve the project objectives. As requirements, goals or objectives change or risks are uncovered, the plan is adjusted to adapt.

Monitoring and controlling. This phase includes the feedback loop, used to monitor and control where plans are adjusted through the change order process known as the FRAGO (fragmentary order). Through feedback, progress and quality of execution is monitored, controlled and evaluated. Reports are made and plans adjusted accordingly. It’s in this phase of the lifecycle that the commander or the project manager coordinates the main effort and its supporting elements to ensure mission or project success.

Closing. In the last phase of the project lifecycle, the project is closed when the mission is complete. Success is judged in terms of meeting time and quality goals and, often—even in the military—cost. The PMI process describes the project management challenge as the “triple constraint”: balancing resources, time, and quality requirements to achieve your goal.

Project management is essentially the same across industries, as military planning is the same across services and commands. Having a general knowledge of the process is helpful—what will get you a shot at a job is knowing the industry-specific language. As a service member, you may not have a great depth of technical experience in a particular industry, but you have leadership experience. Often the crux of the project management challenge is getting the team to work together, understanding the requirements, and, most importantly, effectively communicating to the stakeholders. Your ability to listen, collaborate, problem solve, and lead are traits that industry is looking for. Your challenge is to translate these qualities into the industry-specific language for your next career.

Author
Mike Olivier

Rob Riggle: Combat to Comedy

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The Rob Riggle InVETational Golf Classic

By Mackenna Cummings

You may recognize comedian and actor Rob Riggle from his success as a correspondent on The Daily Show, films like Step Brothers, Dumb and Dumber, The Hangover, and 21 Jump Street. This year you’ll see him in Midnight Sun, which came out March 23rd, and Night School, set to release September 28th. But it’s his recent role in the war drama 12 Strong: The Declassified True Story of the Horse Soldiers, released in January, that has us talking.

His two-decade-long entertainment career began while he was serving 14 years in the United States Marine Corps Reserve, following his 9 years of active duty service in the U.S. Marines. Retired in 2013 as a lieutenant colonel, Riggle has served in Liberia, Kosovo, Albania, and Afghanistan. He told the USMC official magazine Marine Mag what he liked best about serving: “One—I earned the title ‘Marine,’ no one gave it to me. I’ll be proud of that as long as I’m alive. Two—Marines are loyal to each other. I like loyalty. Three—Marine Corps history and tradition is something to be proud of, and I’ve been part of that history for the last 19 years. And four—honor, courage and commitment. Those words really do mean something.”

USVM: So how did a theater major from the University of Kansas rise through the ranks as a Marine while still pursuing comedy and acting?

RR: “I had my pilot’s license when I was an undergrad. I was also a theater and film major. So I either was going to be ‘Top Gun’ when I graduated, or I was going to be a waiter. […] I went through Officer Candidate School and went through flight school and the further I got along, the more I realized that, if I continue flying, I’m not going to be able to pursue my dream of comedy and acting. So I stopped flying, became a ground officer, had a short contract, fulfilled my contract and pursued comedy and acting. I stayed in the reserves though, serving there for 14 years,” Riggle told CBS News.

In 2001, the day after the September 11th attacks, Riggle was called by the Marine Corps Reserves to report to Ground Zero to help move rubble by hand and search for survivors. Six days of emotionally and physically grueling 12-hour shifts followed, and a few weeks later, Riggle volunteered to return to active duty. He was deployed to Afghanistan, where during his two tours he served under Lt. Col. Max Bowers, an Army colonel who was part of 12 special forces who were sent there immediately following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Bowers was the commanding officer of the 3rd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group. In 2017’s 12 Strong: The Declassified True Story of the Horse Soldiers, Riggle was honored to portray Bowers. He told ABC News, “After I volunteered to go back on active duty … I worked directly for him. He was my direct boss. I was doing public affairs and some civil affairs work for him. Now I’m playing [him] in the movie.”

Of the 12 Special Forces featured in the movie, Riggle says “TheyStephen Colbert and guest Rob Riggle Stephen Colbert and guest Rob Riggle were the first guys in. They teamed up with the Afghan Northern Alliance and did some truly amazing things, fighting in the mountains on horseback under intense conditions. They took three warlords and brought them together, fighting a pretty well-armed and entrenched Taliban force.”

As the ruins of the twin towers still smoldered at Ground Zero, Bowers and the U.S. Special Forces began the grisly war against the Taliban in Afghanistan.

In Liberty Park, a one-acre elevated public park at the World Trade Center in New York City, a statue stands overlooking the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. America’s Response Monument, or “De Oppresso Liber” (the motto of U.S. Army Special Forces that means “To free the oppressed”), is dedicated to the U.S. troops who responded in those weeks following 9/11. The 18-foot bronze statue depicts a Green Beret soldier on horseback, symbolizing the horses that the Afghan tribes provided our troops to navigate the mountainous Northern Afghanistan terrain. Most of those U.S. troops had never been on horseback before. In the age of modern warfare, it is remarkable that the initial response to the worst attack on American soil was fought in the same cavalry style as the forefathers of this country.

Although Riggle usually plays comedic roles, 12 Strong gave him the opportunity to play a dramatic character, who helps tell a story Riggle himself is passionate about. Transitioning from comedy to a drama left him a little out of his comfort zone on set, but the story and the truth behind it made it something he’s proud of. Speaking of the real people who inspired the book The Horse Soldiers and this 12 Strong movie, Riggle says, “In the annals of military history, this is something pretty special, when you think about what [the soldiers] did with what they had, where they were, in the amount of time that they did it.”

Rob Riggle Hosts Shoebox'As for the transition into acting, he notes that much of what he experienced in the military has helped in his comedy career. “You have to have thick skin, and you have to be able to bounce back from rejection and adversity. And you also have to have a mindset of ‘I’m not gonna quit until I accomplish my mission.’ So you learn those intangibles in the military, and those intangibles carried over and have sustained me in my comedy career,” he said. His career in acting and comedy was rather a trial-and-error process for him, as identifying what sort of sketches and scripts would suit him became easier the more he wrote and acted.

Riggle considers himself fortunate to have been able to pursue both paths that he was passionate about as a college student, and he’s still an active member of the veteran community. He participates in multiple charities, including Conservation International, ENOUGH Project, Entertainment Industry Foundation, Friars Foundation, James R. Jordan Foundation, Los Angeles Police Memorial Foundation, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Opportunity Village, Stand Up To Cancer, United Service Organization, We Advance, and Cats Care.

He also founded and hosts the Rob Riggle InVETational Golf Classic to raise funds for the Semper Fi Fund, which provides immediate financial assistance and lifetime support to post-9/11 combat wounded, critically ill and catastrophically injured members of all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. Riggle speaks proudly and candidly of his military career, and lives out the official motto of the Marine Corps League, “Once a Marine, always a Marine.” Although his career is now focused on being a comedian and actor, Rob Riggle remains honored to call himself a veteran. His heart and mind are never far from his military comrades, and he continues to support them no matter where he goes.

Univision Communications Inc and We Are The Mighty Hit the Dance Floor with First-Ever “Salsa InVETational” for U.S. Military and Hispanic Community

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salsa dancing veterans

SAN ANTONIO – In recognition of National Military Appreciation Month in May, Univision Communications Inc. (UCI), the leading media company serving Hispanic America, and We Are The Mighty (WATM), the leading media brand for the military-veteran community, today announced their collaboration to stage the first-ever Salsa InVETational, a dance competition for active duty service members and military veterans. The day-long event celebrating the spirit of service and Hispanic culture in the military will take place on Saturday, May 12 in San Antonio, Texas at Hangar 9, Brooks Air Force Base from 2 pm-10 pm with Lackland Fisher House benefitting from donations and awareness.

Salsa dance therapy is considered an effective and fun way for veterans to build confidence, engage socially and transition to civilian life in addition to aiding the ongoing treatment of various physical conditions associated with Post Traumatic Stress (PTS).

Service members and veterans will be the main event as they compete alongside their dance partners showcasing their best Latin dance moves for Salsa, Merengue and Bachata, vying for 1st place prize of $1,000 in each category and $500 for 2nd place. Festival activities, food and musical acts Oscar D’Leon, Messiah, Play-N-Skillz, and Fort Sam’s Own are scheduled during this celebration of America’s heroes as part of National Military Appreciation Month, a declaration that encourages U.S. citizens to observe the month in a symbol of unity.

Hispanics have a longstanding tradition of military service to our country. According to the US Department of Veteran Affairs 2014 Minority Veterans Report, Hispanics comprise 12.4% of Post-911 veterans with more than one million Latinos currently in uniform.

“UCI is proud to join forces with We Are The Mighty to give back to our military veterans, their families and community,” said Chris Morris, Vice President and General Manager at UCI for San Antonio. “This event celebrates our military’s diverse and inclusive community and embraces the powerful contributions our veterans have made to our nation and beyond.”

“Salsa dancing nights have long been enjoyed by active duty military and veterans alike not only for therapeutic purposes, but as a cultural connection within the military community,” noted David Gale, CEO & Co-Founder, We Are The Mighty. “Salsa is also an opportunity for military and civilians to connect through the joy of dancing. We are grateful to Univision for partnering on this visionary, lifestyle event and are inspired by Lackland Fisher House and the work they do for San Antonio’s veterans and their families.”

Military and ex-military interested in participating with a partner must be at least 21 years of age. The next qualifying round is May 6 at Arjon’s International Club. Registration starts at 8 p.m. and the contest kicks off at 9:30 p.m. Five couples from each category will advance to the finals on May 12. For more information about Salsa InVETational participation requirements and festival information, please visit WeAreTheyMighty.com.

Salsa InVETational will be free to active duty military and veterans with proof of veteran status. Tickets are available for those interested in attending the event and can be purchased at myticketgenius.com.

Sponsors for Salsa InVETational include Cavender Toyota and Cavender Audi.

What are soft skills?

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Two young men reviewing resume

Every career has a job description. Employers like to make clear the experience, education, and skills they look for in an employee, so they can ensure a good fit. But in addition to “hard skills” that come from your education and work experience, employers want to know if you have the personality and character it takes to do well in the workplace and in your specific role. These less-technical skills are called “soft skills.”

So what are soft skills?
Unlike other parts of your job duties, soft skills are traits that aren’t trained, according to hiring and onboarding coach, Jen Teague.

Human resources consultant, Laura MacLeod, says soft skills are interpersonal skills like communication, empathy, collaboration, problem-solving, and conflict resolution.

“These skills are all essential for employees in any organization,” MacLeod says. “We all work with people in a variety of ways, and teams are the norm in almost every company. Hiring professionals and supervisors need to know you will get along with, support, and effectively connect and collaborate with co-workers to complete tasks.”

Why are soft skills important?
Simply put, hard skills may get you an interview, but soft skills can help you get the job and keep it. The soft skills that set you apart from others may also lead to future incentives or promotions.

Soft skills are an excellent way for you to differentiate yourself in a job search. If your technical skill is on par with other candidates, your ability to communicate and build a connection with hiring managers can be a tiebreaker of sorts.

You’re probably wondering which soft skills will set you apart from other applicants. Most hiring managers agree that communication skills are at the top of their list. While you don’t have to be an amazing speech-deliverer, employers want to know that you can handle conflict, portray ideas in presentations or conversations, and write coherently.

Like MacLeod mentioned, conflict resolution and collaboration are other key areas hiring managers value. But don’t be fooled—working well with others isn’t just about keeping a calm office. The ability to develop relationships that benefit both parties is a big part of becoming an influential and effective employee.

While it’s true that many of these traits are “built in,” don’t worry too much if these don’t come naturally to you. There are plenty of ways to learn and grow as you prepare for a job. If you’re interested in developing your soft skills, courses in leadership or public speaking may help. Additionally, a mentor can help you identify blind spots in your abilities and push you to improve.

How can I make my soft skills stand out?
Though any hiring manager would agree on the importance of soft skills, they can be hard to quantify. “These skills are tough to share on a resume,” said Laura MacLeod. “How do you list empathy? And who can vouch for it? Even in the interview, soft skills are not so easy to prove or demonstrate.”

But showing your soft skills isn’t impossible. It just takes a little work. MacLeod recommends not only emphasizing your soft skills in interviews, but sharing specific examples to illustrate how you apply them in your life and on the job. Giving employers an idea of how your personality comes to life when you’re working with a team can also help you avoid clichés, like “I’m a team player” or “I’m good with people.”

For example, MacLeod says to recall times when you’ve worked on a team project where members had conflicting views, and share how you handled it.

“Were you the leader who made sure all voices were heard and then helped mediate and resolve the conflict? Maybe you were one of the team and you took the role of helping evaluate each view and coming to consensus. Maybe you were the one to support the person whose idea was not used,” MacLeod said.

MacLeod says these are all examples that can be highly relevant to employers making hiring decisions.

When it comes to your resume, leveraging your soft skills may sound tricky, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, how you communicate on your resume and cover letter are great examples of your soft skills. Start by making sure your resume and cover letter are typo free and grammatically sound.

Remember to show and not just tell. Saying you’re an excellent communicator has much less impact than giving concrete examples of times where your communication ability was excellent. Anyone can say they’re amazing—it’s up to you to prove it.

Author
Ashley Abramson

About Rasmussen College
Rasmussen College is a regionally accredited private college that is dedicated to changing lives and the communities it serves through high-demand and flexible educational programs. Since 1900, the College has been committed to academic innovation and empowering students to pursue a college degree. Rasmussen College offers certificate and diploma programs through associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in seven schools of study including business, health sciences, nursing, technology, design, education and justice studies.

Source: rasmussen.edu/student-life/blogs/college-life/what-are-soft-skills/

Veteran advocates rally to bring more resources to Southern California veterans

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Kevin is the principal attorney at Snyder Law, PC an Irvine based firm focused on protecting families through estate planning, administration, and elder law. In addition, a unique portion of Kevin’s practice also involves veteran defense –  defending criminal justice-involved military and veterans across Southern California. Kevin earned his LL.M from the California Western School of Law; his JD from the University of Richmond School of Law, and completed his undergraduate studies at Boston College. Prior to law school, Kevin served in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps where he met his wonderful wife, business partner, and mother of their tribe of three.


Deirdre is the President-Elect of the Orange County Bar Association and will be its President in 2019.

For more than 25 years, Deirdre has worked with many of the richly diverse elements of the legal community.  As a law student, Deirdre conducted 25-30 juvenile trials with the LA District Attorney’s office.  She started at Jones Day after graduation, and was then brought in as Vice President and Legal Counsel of American Savings Bank in Irvine, where she resolved legacy issues from the S&L crisis.  Afterward, Deirdre joined a vibrant trial group at Kindel & Anderson, and later practiced real estate litigation with Paul Hastings.  Deirdre then became a law school professor and today is Director of Career Services at Chapman University Dale Fowler School of Law and runs Chapman’s Professional Development Program.

Deirdre is the former Chair of the OCBA’s Judiciary Committee as well as Chair of the OCBA’s Law School Task Force.  She also has been an active member of the OCBA’s Diversity, Mommy Esq., and Pro Bono Committees.  Deirdre is the Treasurer of the OCBA Charitable Fund Board, and serves on the Public Law Center’s Dinner Committee.  Deirdre is active with the Orange County Coalition for Diversity in the Law, the Celtic Bar, ABTL, and the William Gray Legion Lex Inn of Court.  Deirdre is a Past President of the Orange County Women Lawyers Association.


Mischa Martineau is the Founder and President of Martineau Systems – a marketing and training company, since 2003, that empowers individuals and enterprises to articulate their unique value and execute strategy for sustainable growth and transformation.

Martineau Systems brands include, California Life Solutions and its flagship product I AM Who I Say I AM – Believe & Achieve™ a cognitive neuroscience-based curriculum that empowers -private and public sector – participants to believe in their greater capabilities, set and achieve lofty goals.

Martineau Systems partners with ON-STRATEGY® – a consulting firm operating in Latin America and North America – on a joint mission to empower mid to large market enterprises to increase their global competitiveness.

Ms. Martineau recently delivered a keynote for Women in Technology International and is a Business Advisor for Executive Next Practices – a C-Level advisory and thought leadership group headquartered at UCI Applied Innovation. It was featured by Forbes as one of the most innovative and relevant organizations for middle to large market leaders and nominated by the Orange County Business Journal as Innovators of the Year.

On the lighter-side, Mischa has performed stand-up comedy at the Brea Improv, California and appeared in independent films, television and stage. She is an extraordinary keynote speaker!


A long time supporter of various non-profits, Wendy and her significant other Mick (who is a US Marine) are delighted to be involved with Veterans Legal Institute.

Wendy Hooper is a residential real estate expert in Orange County. She began her career in 1984 and has seen pretty much everything since then. She loves helping her many clients make the smartest real estate investment decisions, addressing their uniquely individual needs. This includes aiding veterans to maximize their VA home buying benefits.

In her spare time you will likely find Wendy tossing balls to “Harley” her beloved Louisiana Catahoula at Huntington Dog Beach.

12 Surprising Interview Tips

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Interview Tips

You’re almost there. Your resume landed you an interview and now it’s time to seal the deal. So what’s the best way to prepare?

To find the answer, I looked back on my interviews, sifted through research, and most importantly, asked employees from today’s most coveted companies. I tried to find deep insights beyond the typical “sit up straight!” and “dress to impress!” tips we hear too much.

Below you’ll find the 12 best tips to help before, during and after your interview.

BEFORE

 1.    Research Earnings Calls, Quarterly Reports & Blog Posts

In today’s world, content is king. Goldman Sachs publishes quarterly reports, Microsoft records its earning calls, and every startup has a blog.

With so much out there, I’m baffled that few of us look past the company’s homepage. It’s like we’re writing an essay on The Odyssey without quoting a single passage from the book.

Example: If you’re interviewing with Google, here’s two ways to answer: “What’s Google’s biggest opportunity in the next 5 years?”

  • Weak: “I think wearable technology will be big because Google Glass and Apple Watch represent a new trend that shows…”
  • Strong: “Call me geeky, but I was listening to Google’s quarterly earnings call and was blown away by the fact that display advertising hit over $5 billion in the past few years. Therefore, I think that…”

Neither answer is wrong, but the latter says much more. It shows you’ve done your homework and give answers rooted in data.

2.   Use Google Alerts

Keeping up with company news is hard, especially if you’re interviewing with multiple places at once. That’s why Google Alerts is a savior; it’s a tool that emails you anytime a new story appears for a specific term. That way, you learn about current events without searching for them.

 Example: If you’re applying to Creative Artists Agency, follow these steps:

  1. Go to www.google.com/alerts
  2. Type in “Creative Artists Agency”
  3. Put in your email address if you’re not already logged in to Gmail

Soon enough, you’ll get updates on CAA and have more ammo for your interview.

3. Use Social Sweepster To Clean Your Facebook & Twitter

Nowadays, 91% of employers search your social media for any red flags. While most people tell you to watch every single thing you upload, there’s a much easier solution. Use Social Sweepster, an app that detects pictures of red solo cups, beer bottles, and other “suspicious” objects. It even detects profanity from your past posts! Now, that’s f%$king awesome!

“Too many recruiters reject candidate because of something they found on their social platforms” Social Sweepster CEO Tom McGrath says. “We help you create the first impression on your own terms.”

4. Schedule For Tuesday at 10:30 AM

According to Glassdoor, the best time to interview is 10:30 AM on Tuesday. Remember, your interviewer has a world of responsibilities beyond hiring. They’re responding to emails, balancing projects, and meeting tons of other candidates so it’s crucial to consider when they’ll be in the best mental state to meet you.

10:30 AM Tuesday is the sweet spot because you:

  • Avoid the bookends. On Mondays and Fridays, employees gear up for the week or wind down. By the same token, avoid the first or last slots of any workday.
  • Avoid lunchtime. Immediately before noon, your interviewer may be too hungry to concentrate; immediately after, they may be in a food coma.

But there’s a caveat. Research shows it’s best to take the earliest interview slot “in circumstances under which decisions must be made quickly or without much deliberation because preferences are unconsciously and immediately guided to those options presented first.”

Bottom line: if the firm is hiring for a job starting in a few months, try to interview late morning between Tuesday through Thursday. If the firm is hiring immediately, grab the earliest slot.

5. Craft Your “Story Statement”

 Though most interviews start with the same prompt (“tell me about yourself” or “walk me through your resume”), we blow it off with boring answers like:

I studied [major X] because I really care about making a difference in [industry Y] as you can see through my last job at [company Z]…

This answer is like tearing out the first 200 pages of your autobiography. You leave out everything that gives meaning to why you want this job in the first place. What was your moment of epiphany? How did your childhood influence you? Why does this job move you? Most people don’t answer these questions. They start and end with their professional experience, leaving little to inspire the interviewer.

Next time, use what I call a “Story Statement,” which is a Cliff Notes of your autobiography.

Example: Here’s an amazing Story Statement that Teach For America fellow Kareli Lizarraga used for her interviews.

“I grew up in California and Arizona after immigrating to the United States when I was four years old. Since neither of my parents went to college, I relied on my high school teachers to help me apply to top universities. With their support, I was able to attend the University of Pennsylvania. Then I spent a summer at a Washington DC law firm, which represented low-income students and helped me realize that my passion lay within creating educational opportunities for all.

I decided to become a teacher because I see myself so deeply reflected in the stories of so many students in your schools – and that’s why I’m so excited about the opportunity to interview with you today. Like my teachers did for me, I want to impact the next generation of students by supporting them and understanding the experiences they’re facing.”

A Story Statement shows that you’re a person, not just a professional.  It also makes it easy for your interviewer to predict the next chapter of your story. For Kareli, Teach For America is a logical next step. Of course, if she interviewed for Apple, she may change her Story Statement to include an early experience with her first computer and talk about how her passion for tech grew from there. For a Bain interview, she could mention how she started problem solving at a young age and now wants to do it on a big scale.

Chances are, we’ve all had experiences we can connect to where we’re trying to go. It’s just a matter of selecting the right ones to tell our story. That said, if you struggle to craft your Story Statement for a particular interview, you might be applying for the wrong job.

6. Wear a Subtle Fashion Statement

We already know dressing well makes a difference. But what if we took our attention to detail a step further? That’s exactly what Morgan Stanley analyst Julio German Arias Castillo did for his interviews.

“Wear something that represents your culture or background,” he says. “In my case, I always wear a pin of the Panamanian flag on my suit lapel. Most of my interviewers ask about it so it becomes a chance to discuss my upbringing and love of my homeland.”

Julio created a conversation starter with his clothing. Depending on the company, you can be more playful: wear a bracelet from your recent travels to India, a tie with a quirky pattern, or — if you can pull it off — a small mockingjay pin if you’re a Hunger Games fan. As long as it’s subtle and tasteful, your fashion statement can build rapport through fun conversations about your hometown or mutual love for Katniss Everdeen.

Continue on to Forbes.com to read tips 7-12 and more great career/business articles

Army Vet Helps Wounded Troops Find Way Back to True Selves

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army veteran coaching volleyball

At 6’2″, Army veteran Sarah Hughbanks has a bird’s-eye view of wounded warriors on the sitting volleyball court.

The assistant coach also has a clear view of what sitting volleyball and other adaptive sports can bring to the lives of wounded, ill and injured soldiers who are training for the 2018 Warrior Games.

“After injuries, some veterans may feel as if they’ve lost opportunities, but things like volleyball can be part of their journey to find their way back to their true self and help them realize they can conquer anything put in front of them,” Hughbanks said.

Her own connection and love of sports began at the age of 4. She learned the fundamentals of sports from her father while she was growing up in Idaho.

“My dad was a big baseball person, so when I came along he started teaching me how to throw a baseball. That basically helped me develop my hand-eye coordination early on,” Hughbanks said.

“I started out playing softball and, of course, basketball, because I was so tall. I made the volleyball team in high school, but I was terrible. I believe it was the height and eye coordination that helped secure my position,” she laughed while recalling her first experience with the sport.

A Welcome Challenge

Hughbanks has come a long way since those high school days. After being honorably discharged from the Army, she eventually found her way to coaching volleyball. “I believe I have a special talent for coaching volleyball. Understanding the game and finding new ways of teaching it is a welcome challenge.“

After a stint coaching at a high school, she was recruited to coach the Armed Forces Volleyball Team at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York. While coaching at West Point, Hughbanks volunteered to help coach the Army’s sitting volleyball team there during the 2016 DoD Warrior Games. She enjoyed the experience and made an impression on Team Army sitting volleyball coach Linda Gomez.

“I loved Sarah’s energy and spirit,” Gomez said. “We talked about adaptive sports and her having been in the Army. She fits into my philosophy of working hard and staying humble. She takes direction very well and from a leadership standpoint to administrative things she just gets it. She’s a hard worker.

“This is a labor of love,” she continued, “and we have to remember who we’re serving and we’re always on the same page. She’s been a godsend, and I just think she’s a phenomenal person.”

Hughbanks will tell you that sitting volleyball is much harder than standing volleyball because the ball comes at you so much faster. Your hand-eye coordination has to be spot on, and that’s a challenge. But teaching players to overcome that challenge is very personal for Hughbanks.

“I’ve had battle buddies that have committed suicide,” she said. “I think volleyball, or other sports and activities, can help people connect to something and maybe help them not feel like they should make that decision. I can see it in their faces when they get it. When it all clicks and it comes together and they begin to understand the sport and that connection is made, this is definitely not just about sports or volleyball.”

Hughbanks said she takes particular pride in teaching a sport she loves to soldiers who have never played and seeing them fall in love with the game as she did.

“Knowing that many of the soldiers did not play the sport before they got injured and watching them find a love for it is incredible,” she added. “I love to see the light in their eyes. It’s gratifying to watch them play so hard and know you’ve played a part in this life-changing moment. It’s wonderful.”

Continue onto the USO to read the complete article.